Storm has arrived, so has Aussie coffee, Louisiana ramen and more eateries on the way

Bluestone Lane is making a good first impression in the space that was formerly Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in downtown Manhattan Beach

A La Carte column for 27 January 2022

Meteorological metaphor: The arrival of a perfect storm isn’t usually something to celebrate – as I remember, it didn’t work out too well for the people aboard the fishing boat in the movie by that name. Locals in Riviera Village will be happier, because that’s the name of the new seafood restaurant co-located with Table Manners at the corner of Catalina and Avenue I. The menu is centered on steak and seafood and currently rather short, but that may change once they’re in full operation. Perfect Storm is currently only open on weekends for dinner, but hopes to expand their hours. (1611 S. Catalina, RB.)…

Melbourne, via New York: Bluestone Lane is open in the space that was formerly Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Downtown MB, and they seem to be doing a lively business already. The menu is larger than at some of their other locations, and is a vegetarian-friendly mix of sandwiches, burritos, and bowls, along with their specialty coffee. The inspiration is said to be the Australian beaches near Melbourne, and the name is from lanes in the streets of that city paved in blue stone, but with the exception of the flat white in the coffee section I don’t see much on the menu that reminds me of that city. It is a pretty space, and if they put the same effort into the food that they did into the environment, they’ll do well. (321 Manhattan Beach Blvd., MB)

Dash Dashi debut: After a month of quiet operation, Dash Dashi is planning a grand opening on February 3, with a complimentary draft beer and sake tasting for all diners. The menu was originally described as Japanese-Hawaiian, but the focus appears to be on modern Japanese, with a wide variety of daily specials depending on what’s fresh. (1127 Manhattan Ave., MB)

Brazil Segundo: I don’t usually mention downtown El Segundo restaurants unless they’re offering an experience not available elsewhere in the Beach Cities, but a new restaurant there is definitely in that category. Tapizôn is the Portuguese word for “tapestry,” and they’re serving what they call “Tropi-Cali” cuisine that is heavily influenced by Brazilian traditions. The décor is dazzling and the menu looks interesting, certainly worth a trip to see what they’re doing. (450 Main St., ES)…

Coming Attractions: The Soo Good Snack Bar is opening in Hermosa with offerings of fried potatoes, nachos, pretzels, churros, and ice cream, or as teenagers might describe it, health food. They’re in the little space on Hermosa Avenue that was formerly Paradis Ice Cream, so if you’re used to coming to this space for something cold, sweet, and creamy, you won’t have to learn a new location (1309 Hermosa Ave.)… Elsewhere in the Beach Cities, Pantry by the Yard will be open soon on Rosecrans, a sandwich shop using boutique ingredients. The bread is baked by their own bakery, and the pastrami comes from the famous Ugly Drum, which gives me high hopes. They’re waiting on their final permits and look ready to go (312 Rosecrans, MB)… And finally, the most unlikely new coffeehouse in the South Bay is Pure Bean, at the corner of PCH and Artesia. They have two other locations, in Rapid City, and Box Elder. If you don’t remember passing those places in your rambles around LA, it’s because both are in South Dakota. Why they decided to put their third location 1,407 miles from the closer of other two locations is a mystery, but I suspect that the weather right now is better here than there. (Update: it’s currently 15 degrees in Box Elder. Update 2: I just talked with owner Nick Reid, and he has been shipping their coffee all over America. He has a friend here who will be running the place.) They’ll be roasting the beans in South Dakota and shipping them here, and java hounds will no doubt want to stop in to check out their technique. They’ll have to wait until early April, because construction is in progress…

Speaking of Coffee: The space that used to be Artesia Produce and then Peachwave Frozen Yogurt is now Artesia Deli & Coffee. Peachwave had an odd business model of frozen yogurt and South American groceries, and the new business seems to still have some Brazilian pastries available. It will be interesting to see what they do to stand out in an area with lots of competition…

First Look: I was impressed by the classic Mexican food at Tacos El Goloso on PCH, and surprised to find that their Pier Avenue location has a different menu. It’s smaller and simpler, sensible given the tiny kitchen at this location, but they offer a breakfast burrito that isn’t at the location up the hill. Based on the lunch I had there, the flavors are just as great as at the bigger space. (118 Pier Ave, HB)…

Event Alerts: You might not expect an Asian fusion noodle shop to celebrate Mardi Gras, but chef Al Kim at Pa-Do is doing exactly that with an original creation: gumbo tsukemen. Yes, Louisiana gumbo served with ramen noodles. How did nobody think of this before, and what does it taste like? I don’t have the answer to either question, because they don’t start serving it until February, and will stop on Fat Tuesday, which is the first of March…  I don’t have details on the only other event yet, but you might mark your calendar to note that Pacific Standard Prime will host a wine dinner on 16 March with Long Shadows winery. Long Shadows is a well-regarded winery near Walla Walla, and as PSP owner Kevin Leach has impeccable taste in wines this should be special. Check their website for details…

And on my soapbox: I recently had family visiting from out of town, and they were shocked when we walked into a restaurant and immediately sat down. “Nobody’s checking your vaccinations here,” they said with surprise. Nope, they’re not, but they are only a few miles away in the city of Los Angeles proper. I have talked with some servers who aren’t happy about this at all, and also to restaurateurs who tried enforcing the mandate due to corporate policy. A Manhattan Mall restaurant manager’s response was typical: “We tried asking people, but some of them swore at us or yelled, and we just got tired of it.” I found it disheartening that anyone would be that rude to someone who is just trying to protect the health of their staff, but that seems to be the world we’re in these days. I hope that the South Bay doesn’t become the dining area of choice for those who have these attitudes, and suspect that it will be even harder to find staff if they are faced with a more hazardous workplace. Minimum wage plus tips isn’t enough to risk your life…

And In Closing: Have you seen a new culinary business that I haven’t heard about, a local event either live or virtual? Do you know anyplace else with Louisiana-Asian fusion? You can reach me at richard@richardfoss.com. For more reviews visit our website at  https://easyreadernews.com/restaurants/ER

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