A celebrated chef arrives at a place better known as a nightlife destination.
Some things are so widely believed to be impossible that they’re rarely tried. In the hospitality industry one of these truisms is that once a place has an established identity as a bar that serves food, you can’t transition into an upscale restaurant. You can do it if you change the name and décor, but […]
A La Carte column for 01 August 2019
Summer Rush Transit: No matter what you think of services like Lyft and Uber, they are helping to keep beach city restaurants alive. It’s not just tourists. Locals who don’t live within convenient walking distance are using them to avoid driving in circles looking for parking. I talked to a Lyft driver who said that […]
A Mediterranean steakhouse inspires thoughts of a different Old West
Earlier this evening, I found myself imagining an alternate history where the American West was settled by Greeks rather than the motley crowd of Germans, Irish, French, Mexicans, and Spaniards. I imagine cowboys sitting around the fire drinking red wine with their bacon, beans, and steaks while meditatively reviewing the dialogs of Socrates. On particularly […]
Hermosa’s newest gastropub features ambitious menu, novel brews
Before I stopped in at Crafty Minds Brews + Bites for the first time, I tried to look up their menu online. I couldn’t find one, so I called. The fellow who answered the phone said they didn’t have an online presence, but volunteered that they serve what he called “California pub food.” It’s a […]
The LA dining scene has lots of fantasy restaurants where the interiors were designed to evoke another place or time. That’s not a new thing – by the 1920s there were restaurants that were decorated to look like French chateaus, a pirate hideout, and most improbably, an old Western jail. However exotic their décor, they […]
A La Carte column for 04 July 2019
Changes At Shark’s Cove: Shark’s Cove sports bar in Manhattan Beach will close after Labor Day, to be replaced by Esperanza, a restaurant similar to and under the same management as Palmilla in Hermosa. The concept drawings for the space are dazzling, and it will be a major upgrade for the area. It’s a canny […]
Stripe Cafe has a hidden location and eccentric hours, but it's worth a visit.
A relatively new food service in Rancho Palos Verdes has a name that is the linguistic equivalent of a Russian nesting doll. Shady Grove at Stripe Cafe at the Palos Verdes Art Center is the majestically long moniker for a little cafe tucked in the upper level of the building. They’re open only for breakfast […]
Jetta Thai emphasizes authenticity and some unusual dishes
Years ago, I took a trip to Thailand, spending time in several regions and sampling food from street stalls, upmarket restaurants, private homes, and everything in between. After two delightful weeks I arrived home and my family asked what I’d like for dinner, expecting that I’d have the Mexican food craving that usually sets in […]