Richard Foss

Famous name returns, Jackson’s closed, outdoor dining extended

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

A La Carte dining news column for 01 October 2020

Uncorked co-owner Jeff Bonafede with some of the Bordeaux wines for this week’s tasting. Photo by Richard Foss

Life After Melange: The old Chez Melange was two restaurants under one roof, and the successor in that space will follow that model. The front of the house will be “Table Manners,” and will serve lunch and dinner, while the rear will be “Perfect Storm” and open for dinner only. No word yet on how soon they will be open and what they’re serving. What is remarkable is that the building is apparently being completely remodeled with a boutique hotel on the upper floors and a possible rooftop venue in the future. It sounds like a brilliant idea to put a hotel on the edge of Riviera Village, even if our current times make any big investment a bit frightening… And just down the street, the space that was formerly Bottega Romana will become a branch of the popular Avenue Italy restaurant in Rancho PV. I assume it was irresistible for a place called Avenue Italy to open on Avenue I – the street is practically monogrammed for them…

Riera’s Redondo Return: Twenty-three years after Millie Riera’s Seafood Grotto closed, her recipes have returned, and they are being crafted by someone who bears the family name. Nick Riera is Millie’s grandson, and his deli and pizzeria opened at PCH and Prospect in mid-August. There are even a few seafood dishes on the menu, so the Riera tradition lives on, albeit as more casual style. (1908 S. PCH, 310-316-1908)…

Some of the beers on display at Culture Brewing in Manhattan Beach. Photo by Richard Foss.

Openings and expansions: Culture Brewing has opened their Manhattan Beach tasting room, but you won’t be quaffing anything on the premises for a while. They’re selling some intriguing beers from their brewery in North San Diego by the can, bottle, and growler for now. Here’s hoping the covers come off the chairs soon and we can try pours of their extensive range of brews. They’re open only from noon to 7 p.m. We. — Sun., so time your visit accordingly (327 Manhattan Beach Blvd, MB)… In El Segundo, another alcohol-focused operation is expanding. R6 Distilling, which was closed for remodeling, will reopen this Friday with an outdoor patio and full kitchen. I enjoy their speakeasy and hope they crafted the new space with the same panache (909 E. El Segundo Bl, ES)…

And One Down: After eight years on Rosecrans Avenue, Jackson’s Food & Drink has closed. The location adjacent to a movie theater gave them a lot of walk-by traffic for years, but has not done them many favors lately. I’m sorry to see them go, because I had some fine meals there. Their neighbor The Butcher, The Baker, and the Cappuccino Maker is temporarily closed, leaving Chin Chin as the only open eatery in the building…

Odds and Ends: In last month’s column I mentioned the closure of El Barrio Neighborhood Tacos on Aviation in Redondo and expressed a hope that they might reopen. They did, but it’s not in our neighborhood now – they’re on Overland Avenue in Palms. Catch up with them at elbarriogroup.com… The newly reopened Mosa has an amusing pitch for new business – they suggest that you let them cater your presidential debate dinner. My first thought was that shouting at your TV or computer with your mouth full is likely to be messy and unhealthy. A look at Harvard Medical School’s website confirms that adrenaline and stress are bad for digestion, which suggests that meals should be enjoyed at least an hour in advance of the event. Drinking during the debate is also not advised because once you start, you might not stop, though if you start early you may forget to turn on the TV. Better yet, skip the debate and the angst and enjoy a nice dinner with someone you love. (I’m sure Mosa will be happy to cater that too.)…

Baran’s 2239 has been offering four course dinners to go midweek, and they’ve been so successful that they’re expanding their schedule. They’re now serving Wednesday through Saturday, and a sommelier is standing by to suggest wines when you come by to pick them up. This is one of the most successful gourmet to go options, and worthy of a special occasion or weekly treat. It’s priced at $75 for two, $140 for four – the weekly menu is on their Facebook page… And another update on the Rex Steakhouse project in Redondo: They had hoped to open this week, but construction setbacks have caused another delay. No timetable yet.

Event Alerts (Online And In Person): On Friday, October 2, Uncorked in Hermosa is hosting a wine tasting featuring three classics from Bordeaux. It works like this: you buy three selected bottles, then tune into the Zoom event at which you will be guided through the tasting experience. The wine costs $87 total, a modest price for a group tasting. If you have five or six wine enthusiasts in your pod you could each enjoy a restaurant-sized pour. If you have only two, it would be an interesting experiment to drink a third of each bottle for three days in a row to see how the wine matures. You can pick up the bottles or they’ll deliver. Check their site at uncorkedhermosa.com or call (424) 247-7117 for more details… Shade Redondo is bucking the trend and presenting a live event, an Oktoberfest celebration on their rooftop patio on October 4. The tables will be apart from each other and parties are limited to six people, but the beer will flow alongside pretzels, sausage, schnitzel, and strudel. Price is $65 per person, and reservations can be made at (310) 921-8950… In an unusual move, Love & Salt has come up with a contest that has something to do with food other than eating it. They’re hosting a pumpkin carving contest and will be displaying entries on their dining deck on October 22 and 23. I predict a mob of photographers on those days because I’m sure it will be amazing. Categories range from three-year-olds to adult – see the rules and a beautiful example of the art at loveandsaltla.com… And finally, those of you who are interested in food and beverage history might be interested in a virtual program called “Imbibing LA: Boozing it Up in the City of Angels.” This history of drinking in Los Angeles is free and sponsored by the Palos Verdes Library District. The presenter will be Richard Foss (yes, the author of this column). For more information and to get the Zoom code, go to PVLD.org and check the tab for virtual presentations…

As Summer Turns To Fall: The chill in the evening air hasn’t diminished the enthusiasm for outdoor dining so far, and many restaurants are opening, expanding, and embellishing their dining decks. What was originally a temporary summer program will now last at least until the end of the year. The move outdoors is bringing up questions about exactly what outdoors means, specifically where a building ends and a patio starts. I have talked with several restaurateurs who say that they have received little guidance on the subject and have been making their best guess about what will qualify as sufficient airflow. This is compounded by different investments in to-go options and to hosting customers. Some establishments are building waterproof roofs to enhance outdoor areas throughout the winter, while others are making do with pop-up tents and other makeshift solutions. The only prediction I feel comfortable making is that those who continue dining out despite the pandemic should invest in warmer clothing than is typical in the South Bay…

In closing: Have you seen a new culinary business that I haven’t heard about, a local event either live or virtual? Do you have a favorite patio or know a place doing takeout with unusual flair? You can reach me at richard@richardfoss.com. ER

 

Comments:

comments so far. Comments posted to EasyReaderNews.com may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login