Richard Foss

Openings delayed and otherwise, new bakery and coffee coming to Hermosa, dining events, and more restaurant news

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A La Carte column for 21 November 2019

Barsha’s opened to critical praise, but has been required by the Hermosa Beach to temporarily close because of minor changes to the kitchen. Photo by JP Cordero (CivicCouch.com)

Building Permit Blues: There are multiple restaurant projects around the South Bay that are running behind schedule due to conflicts with city and county departments, and that’s not unusual. Pacific Standard Prime is one of several works in progress that was close to opening until a review of their plans forced them to make changes in their layout and file new paperwork. As a result they won’t open until mid-December, which has disappointed their impatient fans…

If you think that’s inconvenient, imagine what it would be like to be already open and then told you have to close because there was a problem with your paperwork. That’s what happened to Barsha in Hermosa, which was doing great business right up to the moment that an inspector strolled in. He gave the place an “A” rating and then shut it down because when they remodeled the place they had made some minor, unpermitted changes in the kitchen. To make it worse, co-owner Adnen Marouani had flown his mother in from Tunisia to celebrate the opening and taste their versions of her recipes. They’re getting the paperwork fixed now, and hope to be open again by next week while Mama Marouani is still in town…

Happier Tales: Urban Plates in the Manhattan Mall will be in full operation early next week. The chain’s specialty is health-oriented eclectic contemporary food at relatively moderate prices, a format that will probably go well at this location (2650 N. Sepulveda)… Around the corner on Rosecrans, Chin Chin Modern Chinese and The Butcher, The Baker, and the Cappuccino Maker (which will henceforth be abbreviated as BBCM so I don’t have to type that again) are expected to open by next weekend. Those two are in the former P.F. Chang’s space next to the AMC theaters, so that area will get lively again…

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And in Hermosa, the former Pita Pit on Hermosa Avenue will become Lucky Seven Coffee, a rare independent specialty coffee cafe. They’ll serve sandwiches, pastries, and of course the fresh-ground black stuff in all varieties. It will be a few weeks until they open the doors, so you’ll have to get your caffeine buzz elsewhere until then… Up the avenue, at the corner of 14th, the long vacant space will become a bakery. No word yet on whether it will have a cafe component too, but I’d bet they will, because it’s a great spot for one…

How Could Anyone Have Foreseen This? I’ve been hearing that business for the family-oriented eateries along the Redondo Boardwalk has slumped since the closure of the Fun Factory arcade. (I expect the same is true for the retail stores in the neighborhood too, but haven’t checked with them.) The bars and similar venues I contacted haven’t noticed much of a change, which is also no great surprise. If the City wanted to turn this area into an alcohol-oriented nightlife district, they’ve done exactly the right thing. I hope that the places that cater to families will make it, and if you want them to thrive the best way is to patronize them. Some of them have good food, and they need the help right now…

Event Alerts: Can’t figure out what to serve for the holidays, and looking for the perfect wine to complement that Thanksgiving turkey or tofurkey? Uncorked will help at an afternoon event this Saturday at Radici, which will be hosted by sommelier Nadia Pavlevska. They’ll serve eight to 10 wines with hors d’oeuvres and cheeses between 2:30 and 5 p.m., with commentary about how all of them pair with your holiday meals. Enter Radici at Eventbrite.com and you’ll find the link with more info and tickets… Most restaurants that change concept don’t look back, preferring to make their new business plan work and hope customers forget that they were ever different. Love And Salt, the successor to the much-loved Cafe Pierre, is different. On November 25 and 26 they’ll serve the California French specialties that were favorites at Cafe Pierre from the 1970s until only a few years ago. To reserve, call the restaurant or send an email to info@loveandsaltla.com – and do it quickly, because last time they sold out fast… Another historic local place will be celebrating an anniversary is Chez Mélange, which turns 37 this month. They’ll be offering a wine dinner on November 25 featuring items from throughout their tenure. I’ll be helping as master of ceremonies and resident historian. There are a few seats left as of this writing, so call (310) 540-1222 to change that. It’s $95 plus tax and tip… Fleming’s will be hosting a wine dinner with Duckhorn on Sunday, December 1 – four courses with paired wines will set you back $100 plus T&T. More information and menus at flemingssteakhouse.com. And finally, at a somewhat more modest price point, Brewport in El Segundo will be having another of their Wine Academies on December 4. A representative of Saintsbury Winery will be on hand to conduct a tasting and answer questions. Ten bucks will get you a sample flight and a tasting glass to take home. No reservations required – just show up between 5 and 9 p.m. and join in. See, there really is a wine event for any budget…

In Conclusion: I rely on you for tips about what’s happening in the neighborhood. Any openings I missed, and upcoming events, any other places to get great indie coffee and pastries? I’m at richard@richardfoss.comER

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