Richard Foss

Darren’s Closed, Darren Still Here, Admiral Risty Sinks, New Openings, and Local Dining Events

Darren’s Closed, Darren Still Here, Admiral Risty Sinks, New Openings, and Local Dining Events

A La Carte column for 07 February 2019

Darren’s gone, Darren Isn’t… After just over two decades of serving creative modern food, Darren’s in downtown Manhattan Beach has closed. Chef-owner Darren Weiss will now have more time with his family, but will still be part of the local dining scene. Darren’s brother Seth owns Underground and The Chelsea in Hermosa, and Darren will […]

 Richard Foss

A satisfying everyday meal [restaurant review]

A satisfying everyday meal [restaurant review]

AKA Sushi and Ramen offers conventional flavors uncommonly well combined at a modest cost

I enjoy and respect high-style and creative restaurants, but I wouldn’t want to dine at them every day. Sometimes I’m looking for peak experiences, for epiphanies about what can be done with an arsenal of ingredients and methods and a daring attitude, but eating special things every day would make them less special. There are […]

 Richard Foss

Subtle, Simple, Serene [restaurant review]

Subtle, Simple, Serene [restaurant review]

Centuries ago, when the rest of Italy was a chaos of feuding dukes and statelets, Venice was called La Serenissima, the serene republic. The only Venetian-style restaurant in the South Bay is a quiet echo of that city, a place with candlelight, soft music, and a muted color scheme. Sosta means “rest” or “pause” in […]

 Richard Foss

Mexican slang [restaurant review]

Mexican slang [restaurant review]

Caló Kitchen takes its inspiration from the 1930s pachucos, with inspired results

Interesting things happen near borders, where cultures merge organically and children who straddle societies come up with ideas that confuse their elders. Sometimes this is deliberate, as a counterculture finds ways to dress, talk, and cook that stakes a claim to being different. In the 1930s hipsters along both sides of the Mexican border were […]

 Richard Foss

Restaurants help Fed staff get fed, Steakhouse and natural market coming to Redondo, Events, and more dining news.

A La Carte column for 17 January 2019

Feds Shut Down, Restaurateurs Respond… There are federal employees in our area who usually live from paycheck to paycheck but currently aren’t getting one, and some literally may not know where their next meal is coming from. Two restaurants have risen to the challenge, albeit with limited offers. Rock & Brews is offering a free […]

 Richard Foss

Food finds from 2018 [dining feature]

Food finds from 2018 [dining feature]

Last year’s best new South Bay restaurants offered fine traditional and innovative cuisines

For the past 15 years I’ve written about the best South Bay restaurants that opened in the previous year, and every time people complain. The complaint I hear most often is, “The list is subjective.”  Yes, it is. When it comes to taste, both literally when it comes to flavors and figuratively when evaluating décor […]

 Richard Foss

Dinner in Redondo with a side of history [restaurant review]

Dinner in Redondo with a side of history [restaurant review]

The 1892 Bistro in Riviera Village offers gastropub food with Caribbean and Mexican accents

I’ve heard it said that you only need to know three dates to pass an American history class: 1492, 1776, and 1941. That’s an exaggeration, but not much of one. My teachers thought it was more important to know the sequence of events than the numbers behind them, so were lenient about details, which I […]

 Richard Foss

Less Inventive, More Mature – Dining in review 2018

Less Inventive, More Mature – Dining in review 2018

But success in the restaurant field is as unpredictable as always

The economic theory of creative destruction points out how old ideas fall to new ones in a cycle that is unpredictable on an individual scale, but inevitable when considered collectively. The object lesson for this might be the South Bay restaurant scene, in which we all know that some restaurants will close and be replaced, […]

 Richard Foss

Sea to table

Sea to table

Kai Gourmet brings fish from New Zealand to local restaurants and homes within 36 hours

If you are like most Americans, you probably can’t name 10 kinds of edible fish. (Even though your mother served them to you as a kid, fish sticks don’t count.) When you do consider buying finny creatures it’s as a commodity, something you shop for on the basis of price rather than where it came […]

 Richard Foss

A Northwest Passage [restaurant review]

A Northwest Passage [restaurant review]

America's northwest has a culinary embassy in Hermosa.

I am a big fan of American regional cuisines, and have been enthusiastic whenever a new outpost of our culinary heritage surfaced. Those featuring the American South have often been successful, while most offering food of the Midwest and Northeast have fizzled. The local population of expats was too small, and locals who delight in […]

 Richard Foss

Mr. Micawber’s Holiday Punch

Mr. Micawber’s Holiday Punch

Our food writer explains how to celebrate Christmas with Dickens' favorite beverage

It’s the time of year when people pull out their worn copies of Dickens, and if they’re paying attention they’ll notice Charles was quite a sensualist when it came to food and drink. When he talks about a bad meal you’re disgusted, and when he describes a good meal you get hungry. This is the […]

 Richard Foss

Spice Six: Punjabi comfort food

Spice Six: Punjabi comfort food

A strip mall Indian restaurant in Hermosa delivers the goods.

I don’t often get takeout food, partly because I enjoy experiencing restaurants and mostly because I like my meals to be as fresh as possible. The most popular takeout options — burgers, pizza, and Chinese food, all wilt on the drive home. If there’s anything worse than Szechuan crispy pork that isn’t crispy any more, […]

 Richard Foss

Pushing the boundaries [restaurant review]

Pushing the boundaries [restaurant review]

Pier 76 Fish Grill expands on the fish house concept

Years ago I worked with someone who spent much time thinking about numbers. He was a tour organizer rather than an accountant, and he believed that combinations of digits had a psychological connection. He priced his excursions based on this theory, which drove management crazy because profits were always slightly off from their projections. The […]

 Richard Foss

Shark’s Cove swims forward, a biker bar goes upscale, holiday fare is served, and Mama D’s says goodbye

A La Carte column for 06 December 2018

One Going, One Gone, And Two Rebirths… The original Mama D’s in downtown Manhattan Beach served its last plate of pasta and closed last week, and the new owners are already moving in. They confirmed that the new restaurant will serve Hawaiian-Japanese food, and will open in March. That’ll be just about the time that […]

 Richard Foss

The broths are what stand out [restaurant review]

The broths are what stand out [restaurant review]

Variations on traditional theme offered at RB’s Rakkan Ramen

Of all the items to enter culinary fad territory during the last few decades, ramen has been most resistant to being upscaled into silliness. Burgers are sprinkled with caviar, pizza topped with quail sausage, sushi rolls stuffed with foie gras, but somehow ramen just stays its honest self. It can’t be that nobody has considered […]

1 2 3 53