Richard Foss

Fish Shop down, Riviera House in business, Avenue A back up, wine events, and other dining news

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A La Carte column for 24 October 2019

You won’t be seeing these people behind the counter at Hermosa Fish any more, because the place just closed. Word is that the replacement will be another branch of The Habit burgers.

Too affordable for Manhattan: The Subway on Manhattan Avenue, the last franchise fast food place in Downtown Manhattan Beach since the Wahoo’s across the street shuttered, is closing this Friday, the victim of a rent increase. I’m not sure what will replace them but I’d bet they’ll something more expensive than five dollar sandwiches… Bobo’s Chinese Deli on Highland has also closed after a long run — the food was adequate at best but cheap and filling. Now the only takeout Chinese in town is Beach Chinese Food on Rosecrans and the Panda Express on the highway… The Valentino’s Pizza on PCH in El Segundo is also closing after years of serving dependably good pizza in an odd strip mall location. There are plenty of pizza places left in El Segundo, though…    

One Down, One Back: Fish Shop in Hermosa has also closed, though the website is still up. (On the other hand, the Bobo’s Deli website is also still up, as are the sites for many closed eateries, so that doesn’t mean much.)… On the brighter side, Avenue A sports bar has reopened under new ownership, and when I went in for a drink there was a cheerful and friendly staff joshing with patrons. They’re serving a small menu of standard bar food, but may expand the selection after they’re up to speed (800 S. PCH, RB)…

Up And Running: Riviera House has been in test mode in the former Sophie’s space for a few days, and will be open this weekend. They will offer seafood and an extensive modern cocktail selection, and I’m looking forward to trying the place (1708 S. Catalina). I have had a chance to stop in at two other newcomers, Mosa and Coast. Chef Anne Conness is well known locally thanks to her restaurant Sausal in El Segundo, and her take on Italian food has subtle Middle Eastern touches. The environment at Mosa is pleasant and not overly loud, and it’s a jewel in the neighborhood (190 Hermosa Ave.)… I also stopped in at Coast in Manhattan Beach, Josiah Citrin’s restaurant in the former Fonz’s that also specializes in Italian and seafood. The environment here is old school cool and classy, and the bar pours good drinks — I can’t say anything else about the place because I haven’t dined there yet, but I look forward to hearing your reactions. (1017 Manhattan Ave., MB)… A few doors away, work has started on David Slay’s new restaurant, which will be called MB Kitchen. You’ll be shocked to discover that they will be serving Italian and seafood, won’t you? We seem to have an inexhaustible appetite for the stuff…

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Event Alerts! Chez Melange will be offering another of their “Trust The Chef” dinners on November 4. Having attended one, I’m a big fan. There is a sense of anticipation as you wait to find out what their team of chefs is going to turn out that night, and at $39 it’s a great deal for adventurous omnivores. They’re also presenting a ZD winemaker dinner on November 18 for $125 plus t&t, and a grand 37 anniversary dinner on November 25th. I’ll be the MC at that event, which will have a focus on the restaurant’s wine history over the last four decades (price TBA). Call (310) 540-1222 to reserve for any of them, or for all of them if you’re one of those people who attend everything they do…  Bluewater Grill will be offering a “Holiday” stuffed lobster dinner on November 12 for only $45 inclusive. (I don’t know what holiday they mean because that’s too early for Thanksgiving, but would bet that the lobsters in question are not celebrating.) Call the restaurant at (310) 318-3474 to reserve… Uncorked will celebrate their eighth this Friday, October 27, with a grand wine and food party in a big tent behind the shop. Over 60 wineries will be represented, pizzas will be baked in a mobile oven, and an array of appetizers will be served. Tickets are $55. (424) 247-7117 to reserve…

Sneaky Tactics Online: There is a website called that comes out at the top when you search for that restaurant on Google. But when I clicked on it the graphics didn’t match that Chicken Dijon’s branding. As it turned out that’s not Chicken Dijon’s site – it’s run by GrubHub, though they don’t say that except for small text at the bottom. This is interesting because Chicken Dijon has their own delivery service, which is free, and GrubHub isn’t it. I called the restaurant owner and he said this was the first he had heard of it. Would it surprise you to know that the mezze sampler costs $6.99 if you order from the restaurant’s online system, but $7.99 if you order through GrubHub? Who knows how many other websites are out there using the good names of other establishments? Let the online food enthusiast beware — unless you like wasting money, contact restaurants to see whether they have their own delivery service before clicking…    

And In Conclusion… Your tips help me keep up with what’s happening around the neighborhood. Any openings I missed, any events, anyplace else for Italian seafood? Please send an email to ER


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