It is that time of year known by both religious and secular folk as “the holidays.” People finish the last of their Thanksgiving leftovers just in time for an eerily similar meal at Christmas. Jolly music with bells is in the air, along with the scent of pumpkin spice everything. I’m okay with it for…

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After a business develops a loyal clientele, you can’t blame them for resting on their laurels. With the hard work of building a business done, why not relax, give people what they want, and let the money roll in? The original Thai Dishes in Manhattan Beach could certainly do that without fear or criticism. The…

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I was thinking about how strange it must be for an Italian who visits California for the first time. They might start in San Diego and try a few meals in local restaurants, and then when they come to Los Angeles the food tastes exactly the same. Then they go to San Francisco, or Humboldt,…

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Even people who have never eaten on the beach in a Mexican ramada might have a longing for that environment. Imagine the sound of waves in the distance, the scent of seafood frying or boiling mingled with the tang of chillies and vinegar, the sound of someone who’s never going to win a prize as…

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When I stopped by the Shellback Tavern last Friday the weekend forecast was for rain, and I asked Rico if he was concerned about it. “Rain, not much, because people can stay under the canopies. The problem will be the wind.” By the time we finished dinner, the breeze had strengthened and was threatening to…

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There’s a stereotype about people from New York City that we all recognize, of people who are brash, boastful, and generally larger than life. People from elsewhere in the state often like to put some distance between their areas and denizens of the Five Boroughs, but most of those who call Brooklyn or Manhattan home…

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As I walked up to The Source’s new location in Manhattan Beach for the first time, I mused over all the different meanings for the word source. While waiting for my food I looked them up on the internet, and in case you’re interested, there are 10 synonyms,  which include pedigree, origin, fountain, dawn, cause,…

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I just looked in my music collection, and between my CDs, downloads, and vinyl, I have at least seven recordings of the same piece by Vivaldi. They range from small ensembles to full orchestras, plus one by street musicians whose instruments include banjo, harmonica, and saxophone. Each gives a different perspective on the piece. Sometimes…

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MB Stays Healthy: Those who enjoy their meal in a cup have been crestfallen at the closure of the Jamba Juice in Downtown Manhattan Beach, which has been a mainstay for over a decade. They will be happy to hear that they won’t need to learn a new address for a healthy food destination, though…

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America wasn’t the first place where people celebrated special occasions with steak dinners – that was probably Britain, where “beefsteak societies” started meeting as early as 1705. These all-male gatherings were a magnet for minor nobility, major celebrities, and merchants who wanted to flaunt their success. Steaks were the symbol of wealth, because big chunks…

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One of the odder effects of the pandemic has been to level the playing field for modest restaurants. When everybody is serving outdoors on improvised patios, the view of the beach, street-life, or in some cases a brick wall is the same as their neighbors’. People who wouldn’t have given some places a second glance…

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One hundred and ten years ago, railroad magnate Henry Huntington cashed in on a craze inspired by a melodramatic novel. Helen Hunt Jackson’s “Ramona” was set in Spanish California, and it set off a craze for tamales, enchiladas, and other Mexican dishes. The story inspired Huntington to open Casa Verdugo, which set the standard for…

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