Dining

 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

Decadence makes the scene, Mother’s Market opens, many dining events, and much more South Bay restaurant news

Decadence makes the scene, Mother’s Market opens, many dining events, and much more South Bay restaurant news

A La Carte column for 13 March 2019

The wait is over: It has taken almost two years, but Decadence is finally open on Hermosa Avenue. The interior design is remarkable and the sound level moderate, creating an atmosphere of modern elegance that is unlike most downtown restaurants. The opening menu is mostly contemporary items that often have subtle Vietnamese influences, along with […]

 Richard Foss

Imperfect copy, in a good way [restaurant review]

Imperfect copy, in a good way [restaurant review]

The Rockefeller in Redondo Beach does the unexpected

It takes an engraver a lot of time to create the dies to stamp a single coin. Once that has been examined and found to be good, the second takes almost no time at all, and so on with every one afterward. This is an apt metaphor for restaurant chains: once you have put the […]

 Richard Foss

Aristocrats of the Sea [restaurant review]

Aristocrats of the Sea [restaurant review]

Ali’i Fish Company’s variety of fish isn’t as extensive as elsewhere because much of it is flown in daily from Hawaii

Whoever named the Ali’i Fish Company after the Hawaiian aristocracy probably wouldn’t want his customers to actually eat like traditional Polynesians. The ruling chiefs and priests had a limited array of spices at hand, and their dining was so ritualized that men and women couldn’t eat the same foods. It was taboo for men and […]

 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 […]

 Easy Reader Staff

ES dining – Slice & Pint

ES dining – Slice & Pint

a chip off the nearby block