“Great boasts deserve great scrutiny,” said someone wise. I’m not sure who that was, because I overheard someone attributing the saying to an obscure Victorian author without saying which one. Pithy wisdom may be valued regardless of the source, and this maxim is equally useful for political assertions and restaurant menus. That maxim was what…

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While walking from my parking space to Natural World Market, I found myself smiling at the irony of the name. Nothing about the stretch of Artesia where it is located is natural, from the concrete beneath my feet to the power lines that stretch overhead. The market and café is a concrete and glass box,…

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by Richard Foss I was one of the first customers when Hermosa Brewing Company opened in 2018, though that was an accident. My brother and I were walking away from dinner elsewhere when we noticed that the lights were on, so we stopped in for a pint. We had more than that, not only because…

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The pandemic shutdowns have given me plenty of time to practice replicating favorite restaurant dishes. Each time an experiment works, it makes me believe that I might be ready to assay an even more demanding recipe next time. There is one I would never try, because it can’t be made at home: the omakase sushi…

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Chicago pizzas and Italian beef sandwiches top the menu at Red & Louie’s   The Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov famously demonstrated that he could cause dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell. It was a pioneering discovery about psychology, demonstrating a reaction between two things not associated in nature, a clanging sound and…

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Mi Burrito is an unlikely standard bearer for authentic Mexican flavors One of the most frequent questions I get from readers is where to find great, traditional Mexican food. They want the real thing that makes you feel like you’re in Guadalajara, East LA, or somewhere else where locals savor authentically powerful, yet subtle flavors.…

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by Richard Foss Most businesses follow strategies dictated by marketing studies. Then there are places like Fruition Organic Market, which moved into the former El Tarasco location at Goat Hill in Manhattan Beach. I’m pretty much certain that no marketing consultants were involved in the choice of location, menu, hours, or anything else. The business…

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As we pass another month with neither indoor or outdoor dining in Los Angeles County, South Bay restaurateurs seem to remain cautiously optimistic. Few permanent closures have been announced, there have been some openings, and new projects have been announced. We’ll start this week’s column with some of that sweet good news. A Little Wonder:…

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I first ran across the term “moveable feast” as the title of Ernest Hemmingway’s memoir, not knowing its original meaning in religious practice. It refers to a holiday with a changeable date but I had thought Hemingway was referring to a picnic, which I envisioned as involving sandwiches, potato salad, and because it’s Ernest, some…

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Many classic horror movies start with characters blithely heading for a party or similar happy occasion, when suddenly things turn strange and terrifying. After various travails, they come out the other side scarred, changed, and wiser. The local dining scene in 2020 fits this scenario almost perfectly. As the year dawned the beach cities were…

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The history of commerce is full of companies that leaped boldly into a new business, with unfortunate results. The Enfield rifle company’s excursion into making lawnmowers was successful compared to Colgate’s attempt at selling frozen lasagna, and both were lucrative compared to the Bic pen company’s foray into women’s underwear. These strategies must have made…

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Last May’s much-anticipated second annual Beachlife Festival was canceled, but the organization behind has been busy with a project more relevant to our times. Instead of entertaining residents, they’re helping them with a program that gets gift cards to people who can use some help. It’s called Operation Smiles, and it’s a lifeline for local…

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Thanks to the pandemic I’ve been gravitating toward restaurants that offer food that travels well. Looking at it from a historical perspective, this makes fried chicken a natural. It was a component of picnic lunches in the mid-19th century, a staple at the Harvey House railroad cafes in the 1870s, and the only entrée offered…

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