Richard Foss

A La Carte: Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo Beach El Segundo Dining News

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Petros Kafe in El Segundo has modern style unusual for El Segundo. Photo by Richard Foss

Petros Kafe in El Segundo has modern style unusual for El Segundo. Photo by Richard Foss

Complaining To The Wrong Guy… I have received two emails this week about the high noise level in local restaurants. “We cannot understand so many restaurants not ‘getting’ that we boomers like a quiet atmosphere, and we have money to spend,” wrote Karen Hopkins of Redondo Beach. I think she’s wrong in one respect – restaurateurs know that many people dislike noisy environments, but they’re fixated on attracting a young crowd that assumedly likes it. I suggested to both readers who contacted me that they tell the manager –the server has no power to change things – that they are going elsewhere unless the situation changes, and to do so on arrival rather than departure. Give management the choice of losing customers right then or turning down the volume. I think it’s fine for some places to be loud, but not everyplace, and that’s the direction we’re heading in…

There is big news in the South Bay this week… The most surprising comes from Redondo, where Leonardo’s Deli will become TKP Provisions, the first real kosher deli in the history of the beach cities. This won’t be a fossilized New York-style deli, but one that fits the way we dine here – classic sandwiches but with house-smoked meats and unusual items from Yemenite and Israeli cuisine will be in the menu. Look for an opening in early July… Redondo is becoming a much more lively town in general- Flying Fin sushi and Locale 90 Italian restaurant both should be open in Riviera Village by the time you read this, and at least two more Italian restaurants are planned in the area. It’s an exciting change for a neighborhood that has been a bit staid for some time… The biggest recent opening in the South Bay was Petros Kafe in El Segundo, just west of Main on Grand Avenue. The menu is similar to the artisan Greek cuisine served at Petros in Manhattan Beach, the ambiance a bit more casual, and they’re baking their own bread in-house. It’s easily the most stylish, modern place in town, the first restaurant here to really look like it was designed in the 21st century….

On The Horizon…Rumors have been swirling since the former Katsu Sushi in El Porto was taken over by Michael Cardenas, who has operated both European and Japanese restaurants. It is now confirmed that it will become Akatora Sushi, a modern Japanese concept. In Hermosa, I’ve been hearing for at least a year that Game Changers was on the market, and it has finally changed hands. It will become the second Laurel Tavern gastropub. The original is in Studio City and is critically acclaimed for good food and fancy cocktails.

Another Reason to Never Leave The House… As of this week, the beach cities have a new service available: wine, beer, and liquor delivered to your home or business. The company is called Drizly, and of course they have a cellphone app for booze shopping wherever you happen to be. I was curious and asked if they would deliver one bottle of Budweiser to the third blue towel from the left side of the pier. They declined, explaining that first, the minimum order is $25, and second, you can’t drink on the beach so they won’t take it there. I was about to ask about an ice bucket and glassware, but they anticipated the question and said I’d have to furnish that myself… Event Alerts – And There Are Several… Are you a New England expat who misses traditional clambakes? Bluewater Grill in Redondo can scratch that itch – on July 8th they’ll offer a traditional clambake and lobster dinner, with wine pairings, for $29.95. Call 310-318-3474 to reserve. (The meal is the same price the rest of the month but without the wine pairings.) You’ll be transported to beachside restaurants on the Atlantic coast – the only difference will be that the ocean is in the wrong direction… On July 17th Akbar in Hermosa Beach will be having another in their series of dinners pairing Indian food with wines, this time from Mollydooker. They make powerful, fruity wines in the McLaren Vale in Australia, not the type I’d expect to pair with this cuisine. I’ve been surprised before at these tastings, and you may be too – this four course meal will be a chance to learn a lot about pairing spicy foods. Reservations required – call 310-937-3800… On July 26th The Richstone Family Center will be celebrating their 40th anniversary with a “Beach Bash” at King Harbor. The group has spent four decades helping troubled children and families and it’s entirely reasonable to celebrate a bit. There will be food, wine, live music, even fireworks, and your admission price helps them continue and expand their programs in the future. Tickets are $100, group tables available – get more information and reserve tickets at the events tab at

Culinary Magic… I always appreciate it when restaurants think up something innovative, and El Segundo’s Farm Stand has been doing that with recent promotions. Besides their half-off offer for craft beers on Wednesday and Thursday, they’ve been having monthly close-up shows by famed magician Brian Gillis. Put some magic in your life and check with them to see when he’ll next be performing… Any new restaurants, any other things I should know? I’m at…


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