Richard Foss

New Hermosa gastropub, Persian on 190th, tacos in Manhattan, events, and more dining news

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A La Carte column for 15 May 2019

Chef Jeff Kobzeff, manager Monica Jones and server Jenna Kessidjian of the newly opened Crafty Minds Brews and Bites offer upscale flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers and local craft beers. The downtown Hermosa Beach location was formerly Boardwalk Burgers. Photo by Kevin Cody

Sushi On Sepulveda… Yanagi Kitchen just opened in the former Brazuca space on Sepulveda across from the Manhattan Mall. It’s an offshoot from the restaurant of the same name on Artesia in Redondo, which remains open though their landlord is selling the property. The Manhattan Beach location is take-out only and offers sushi, poke bowls, salads, and a few cooked items. The prices are modest and it’s well located for the business crowd seeking take-out (3001 N. Sepulveda, MB)…

Coming Attractions In MB… The King Harbor Brewing tasting rooms in Redondo have been doing a great business, and now another small brewery is opening one in downtown Manhattan Beach. It’s not one of the Torrance operations wooing the beach crowd, but a San Diego County outfit called Culture Brewing. The little space at 327 Manhattan Beach Boulevard was formerly a hair salon and has no kitchen permit, so food sales are likely to be negligible. It could be a good bet given the location in a lively block, and it will be interesting to see how this works out… A few blocks away, it has been common knowledge that Wahoo’s Fish Tacos has been getting ready to bail on their expensive Manhattan Avenue space. The incoming business is another Mexican place called Tacolicious, their first location outside San Francisco. I talked with co-owner Sara Deseran, who explained that one of the company’s investors lives here and is pining for their upscale Mexican food and drinks. This is a great location for them, because people who have been seeking tacos by the beach won’t have to learn a new address. It marks an almost complete turnaround for this block, with three of the four restaurants changing hands this year. Expect an opening this fall… A nearby specialty operation went under with the closing of Andrew’s Cheese Shop on Highland. They had a good selection but alienated some potential customers with their policy of not putting prices on their stock. No word on what might move in…

One Up, One Down In Hermosa… The Angel City Grill closed after just over a year of making eclectic fast food in a space with little visibility and less parking. I liked what they served, but the noisy, spartan interior made it an unpleasant place to eat. The problems here will be a challenge to fix, and I’ll be surprised if another food business moves in. There are no such problems at Crafty Minds Brews and Bites, one of the few places in Downtown Hermosa to have their own parking lot. The new gastropub is an upgrade from the Boardwalk Burgers operation, with a sleek modern interior and a menu of upscale flatbreads, sandwiches, and of course burgers. (1031 Hermosa Ave., HB)…

The Persian Corner… The South Bay has a new Persian restaurant, but you probably don’t know about it because it has no external signage. Market Grill is inside Jon’s Market on 190th Street, and they offer a mix of ready-to-go items with kebabs made to order. Persian cuisine is rich in stews and cold dishes that can keep well for some time, so their format makes sense. Jon’s smokehouse barbecue is still open, so you now have two fast food options in one of the few grocery stores that actually seems most interested in selling groceries (4848 W. 190th, Torr.)…

Event Alerts!… We covered a lot of these in last week’s edition, so this section will be brief. The South Bay Wine and Beer Festival is this coming Sunday, May 19, and those who enjoy those beverages and the foods that go with them will want to be at Ernie Howlett Park between 1 and 5 PM. It’s $79 for standard admission, or $42 more if you go for the VIP ticket. Check the details at Eventbrite… Other attractions include the Twomey and Silver Oak wine dinner at Chez Melange on May 20, Kunde wine dinner at Second City on the 23rd, and the “Country Fair wine dinner” at The Depot on the 24th. Check our summer calendar for more details – it’s online, like the rest of this content…

On My Soapbox Again… Every restaurant, no matter how well run, sometimes has food and service problems – an order lost, something not made as it was asked for, perhaps a drink spilled on a customer. Restaurateurs often decide to make up for these problems by sending a free appetizer or dessert to a table, which I’m sure is done as a gesture of hospitality. Unfortunately, the manager who does this often doesn’t check to see whether those items are welcome or even edible to the people who receive them. I have seen this happen twice at recent meals, once a lovely oyster plate delivered to someone with a shellfish allergy and the other time a charcuterie assortment to someone who doesn’t eat meat. Even when the item is something that the people at that table can eat, it’s not necessarily something they want. I know you restaurateurs want to surprise people with that grand gesture, but it’s way more thoughtful to invite the person who experienced the problem to choose something rather than delivering what you think they ought to like…

Random News Items… The Palos Verdes Golf Club has remodeled their restaurant, retaining the old Spanish style but brightening and modernizing the place. They’ve also added a pub menu that has casual items like burgers and some more upscale fare at moderate prices. They’re open to the public, but you should probably call for reservations because they do host events – (310) 375-2533… Radici is offering Sunday specials each month, and May’s is four courses for $40 – a watermelon salad, meatballs, lasagna, and panna cotta. Sounds like a deal to me – reserve at 310-318-0778… And some of you have contacted me to find out what restaurant is moving into the former Second Half sports bar. There won’t be one – it’s being remodeled into office space…

And In Conclusion… Your tips help me keep up with what’s happening around the neighborhood. Any openings I missed, any events, any other places serving world class lasagna? Please send an email to Richard@RichardFoss.com. ER

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