Richard Foss

A Tale of Two Chickens [restaurant review]

A Tale of Two Chickens [restaurant review]

A comparison of the South Bay’s highest and lowest volume restaurants selling roast chicken

One of the main reasons for dining out is there’s something you love to eat, but not to cook. A prime example is roast chicken, which is just about everybody’s favorite everyday meal. To do it right so that the interior is moist and the skin isn’t rubbery takes not only practice, but time and […]

 Richard Foss

Second chance for Second, vegan Grain, Michelin honors, stealth tax, and other dining news

Second chance for Second, vegan Grain, Michelin honors, stealth tax, and other dining news

A LA Carte column for 06 June 2019

A Second Chapter: Serve on Second had a rocky first year, with inconsistent food in an environment that was often chaotic. Their stated ambition to be an everyday family place serving the neighborhood was laudable, but the execution was never up to the challenge. The original owner recently sold the business, and they are scheduled […]

 Richard Foss

Zinc essentials [restaurant review]

Zinc essentials [restaurant review]

Shade Hotel’s Zinc balances the needs of its guests with the high bar set by neighboring restaurants

Some places chase trends, some start them, and some ignore them. Any of these strategies can be successful depending on how well they’re executed and how well they fit the local clientele. If you look at the 300 block of Manhattan Beach Boulevard there’s a coffee shop that has gradually upscaled with the neighborhood, a […]

 Richard Foss

Neighborhood appeal for a new French bistro

Neighborhood appeal for a new French bistro

Thomas and Lori Compagnon's new restaurant benefits from their local roots

When Loni Compagnon met Thomas, the man who is now her husband, there was an awkward moment. He was then the sommelier at Cafe Pacific at Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes but mentioned his ambition to open his own restaurant. “I said, ‘Oh, if you do, I’ll help you.’ Then I thought, […]

 Richard Foss

Decadence on the rise [restaurant review]

Decadence on the rise [restaurant review]

Hermosa’s newest restaurant offers high-style Asian fusion and some deceptively simple dishes

A French speaker might have a momentary sense of confusion when they look at the sign for a new Hermosa restaurant whose name translates as “decline.” The word decadence has other meanings too, though those aren’t always positive — “moral decay” is the first synonym in most dictionaries. Depending on what you think of downtown […]

 Richard Foss

New Hermosa gastropub, Persian on 190th, tacos in Manhattan, events, and more dining news

New Hermosa gastropub, Persian on 190th, tacos in Manhattan, events, and more dining news

A La Carte column for 15 May 2019

Sushi On Sepulveda… Yanagi Kitchen just opened in the former Brazuca space on Sepulveda across from the Manhattan Mall. It’s an offshoot from the restaurant of the same name on Artesia in Redondo, which remains open though their landlord is selling the property. The Manhattan Beach location is take-out only and offers sushi, poke bowls, […]

 Richard Foss

A steak in Manhattan [restaurateur profile]

A steak in Manhattan [restaurateur profile]

“There are enough places for people to go that are fun and vibrant and loud, but we wanted a quieter dining experience.” -- Chef David Slay

To find out about the next big restaurant opening in Manhattan Beach, I went to Stanton, a city in north Orange County. It isn’t where you would expect to find a fine restaurant. The top employers are a senior living center and HomeDepot, and almost 20 percent of the population is below the poverty line. […]

 Richard Foss

Good and fast [restaurant review]

Good and fast [restaurant review]

Stonefire Grill’s quick service requires quick study

Stonefire Grill’s quick service requires quick study

 Richard Foss

Happy veggies, Roman pizza, food and drink, events galore

A La Carte column for 25 April 2019

Going with the grain: There’s a new tenant in the former Nuna’s space in Redondo Beach, and in combination with the neighboring businesses it may signal a new attraction that might be called Vegetarian Row. The Grain Cafe is a branch of a Los Angeles mini-chain and specializes in vegetarian and vegan meals at moderate […]

 Richard Foss

A formula that works [restaurant review]

Deluca Pasta offers Italian home cooking without artifice or fancy presentations

A long time ago there was a restaurant in Torrance called “The Chicken, Steak, and Chocolate Cake Place.” If you needed to know what they served, all you had to do was look at the sign. This evidently wasn’t a great strategy because like the other restaurants in that chain it didn’t last long, but […]

 Richard Foss

A Home For Homie [restaurant review]

A Home For Homie [restaurant review]

A challenging downtown Manhattan Beach space becomes a popular breakfast spot

Over the years a fair number of people with eccentric visions have been attracted to a long, narrow space next to the Kettle in downtown Manhattan Beach. Since 2005 this has been an Indonesian restaurant, a French bistro that also served tacos, a cafe specializing in chocolate, and a surf shop that also sold burritos. […]

 Richard Foss

An institution closes, the steak takeover, and this taco is a mystery

An institution closes, the steak takeover, and this taco is a mystery

A LA Carte column for 11 April 2019

An Indian departs… After over 20 years in business, Addi’s Tandoor closed at the beginning of his month. The Redondo Beach institution was the first restaurant in the South Bay to offer a sophisticated wine program, and was one of the few in all of California to specialize in the distinctive cuisine of Goa. Addi […]

 Richard Foss

Havana home cooking [restaurant review]

Havana home cooking [restaurant review]

Havana Mania is a major draw among people who know this cuisine, and a cultural portal for those who don’t.

I love the creativity of California chefs, but sometimes they don’t know when to leave a good thing alone. This seems to be most extreme with Mediterranean food. The fact that our Golden State produces every kind of produce under the sun doesn’t mean they all belong in that bowl of pasta primavera. That sprinkle […]

 Richard Foss

Authentically Greek [restaurant review]

Authentically Greek [restaurant review]

Founder Jimmy Hantrzarides’ memory is honored, down to the gyros and retsina

The Mediterranean diet hit its stride in the early 1990s when celebrities and pundits started extolling the virtues of salads with cheese and olive oil, grilled meats basted with olive oil, and marinades with lemon pepper, garlic, and (you guessed it), olive oil. It was a rejection of dishes heavy with butter and cream, and […]

 Richard Foss

A better cup of coffee

A better cup of coffee

Coffee has more proven aromas than wine, says Smoky Hollow Roaster’s Dale Inghram

A really good cup of coffee changed Dale Inghram’s life. Inghram was a voiceover performer who had risen to doing Super Bowl commercials and being the voice of the Bravo Network, and… well, let’s let him tell it. “One of the great things about voiceover work is that there’s a lot of free time, and […]

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