Richard Foss

Ten for ’20 [dining feature]

Ten for ’20 [dining feature]

The 10 best restaurants to open last year span the culinary and budget landscapes

Many fine restaurants opened in the Beach Cities in 2019 – but you probably already noticed that. Visiting all of them is an adventure that takes you from modest cafes to elegant, curated spaces, with coffeehouses, grocery store lunch counters, mini-malls, and office parks along the way. As always, it’s a struggle to compile a […]

 Richard Foss

Restaurant titans Chez Mélange, Abigaile announce closures

Restaurant titans Chez Mélange, Abigaile announce closures

The two restaurants launched careers and trends, but both will soon shutter

Less than two weeks into the new year, South Bay diners were hit with not one but two bombshells: two restaurants that changed the area’s culinary culture were closing. Chez Mélange opened in 1982, Abigaile in 2012. Both launched trends that continue to shape the South Bay. When Chez Mélange opened the South Bay restaurant […]

 Richard Foss

Decadence switched, Front Porch opens, Serbian in Segundo, Tunisian feast, and other restaurant news

Decadence switched, Front Porch opens, Serbian in Segundo, Tunisian feast, and other restaurant news

A La Carte column for 16 January 2020

This is usually a quiet time on the restaurant front, when the tourist trade is at its ebb and dinner specials prop up a slow season. That is not the case this week. The South Bay restaurant scene has been rocked by the announcement of the imminent closures of Chez Mélange and Abigaile. (See related […]

 Richard Foss

Most Excellent Mosa [restaurant review]

Most Excellent Mosa [restaurant review]

Mosa Coastal brings an artistic fusion to south Hermosa Beach

If you see only one canvas by a painter, you’ll have a glimpse at their sense of composition, their skill at brushwork, perhaps their inventiveness with color. And that’s all, a glimpse, because you don’t know the context of the piece. Was it their first sale or a mature work, perhaps a commission rather than […]

 Richard Foss

Plenty of flavor, no meat [restaurant review]

Plenty of flavor, no meat [restaurant review]

The Grain Café in Redondo offers strikingly good vegan food with a Mexican twist

As you walk into The Grain Café in Redondo, you see a large painted and carved image of a Mayan cuddling a tapir, a Central American animal that resembles a cross between a pig and a miniature elephant. This is an unusual image because tapirs aren’t generally companionable, and are aggressive when defending their territory. […]

 Richard Foss

2019 Dining in review – Restaurants go round ‘n round

Trump dining tariff in the offing?

 Richard Foss

ES dining – Hub for grub at The Proud Bird

ES dining – Hub for grub at The Proud Bird

The Proud Bird is an LA-centric foodbar hidden near the airport and offering a well prepared variety

 Richard Foss

Barsha serving again, other restaurants delayed, Mickey’s raising funds for ALS, and more restaurant news

Barsha serving again, other restaurants delayed, Mickey’s raising funds for ALS, and more restaurant news

A La Carte column for 19 December 2019

Eating My Words For Lunch: In last week’s review I made a rather large goof, so I’m starting this week’s column with a retraction. I said that Caffe Tre Venezie was the only Italian-style coffeehouse in the South Bay, which it isn’t. Redondo’s Roman Aroma has a similar dedication to authentic Italian coffee, panini, and […]

 Richard Foss

Venice alive and well in Torrance

Venice alive and well in Torrance

Il bar, where the Italian’s drink and drive by Richard Foss  There’s a reason Starbucks gives their drinks Italian names. Their Frappuccino and their measurements venti and trenta are either meaningless or misleading in Italian, but they reflect the fact that Italians not only invented the espresso machine, but most of the drinks that are […]

 Richard Foss

Venice is alive and well in Torrance [restaurant review]

Venice is alive and well in Torrance [restaurant review]

Il bar, where the Italians drink and drive

There’s a reason Starbucks gives their drinks Italian names. Their Frappuccino and their measurements venti and trenta are either meaningless or misleading in Italian, but they reflect the fact that Italians not only invented the espresso machine, but most of the drinks that are made with it. When you order a cappuccino or macchiato, you’re […]

 Richard Foss

Inching toward modernity [restaurant review]

Inching toward modernity [restaurant review]

Sloopy’s hasn’t changed much in 50 years, and that’s just fine

In 1967 the song “Hang On Sloopy” was three years old, no longer high in the charts but a staple with bar bands across America. The earworm groove and sunny, optimistic lyrics suited South Bay surf culture well, despite the fact that the tune was written by a teenager in Dayton, Ohio about a local […]

 Richard Foss

A fish house reimagined at Riviera House Redondo Beach

A fish house reimagined at Riviera House Redondo Beach

The new Riviera House gets almost everything right

 Richard Foss

Openings delayed and otherwise, new bakery and coffee coming to Hermosa, dining events, and more restaurant news

Openings delayed and otherwise, new bakery and coffee coming to Hermosa, dining events, and more restaurant news

A La Carte column for 21 November 2019

Building Permit Blues: There are multiple restaurant projects around the South Bay that are running behind schedule due to conflicts with city and county departments, and that’s not unusual. Pacific Standard Prime is one of several works in progress that was close to opening until a review of their plans forced them to make changes […]

 Richard Foss

Pastoral pleasures at the PV Land Conservancy Celebration

Pastoral pleasures at the PV Land Conservancy Celebration

The event at the Terranea Resort celebrates three decades of working toward a future with natural landscapes

If you just look at a map, it might seem unlikely that any event in Palos Verdes could legitimately be called pastoral. On all sides save the ocean to the southwest, dense suburbs dominate an artificial landscape. Nevertheless, the name is appropriate for a Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy event, because the fact that any […]

 Richard Foss

The triumph of simplicity [restaurant review]

Slay Steak and Fish House appeals to those who appreciate the classics

Every time I write about a steak and seafood house, I get the same complaint: “Why are you writing about something simple like this that I can do at home?” If you have even rudimentary cooking facilities, you can indeed cook a steak at home. You may also have a piano at home, and listening […]

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