Easy Reader Staff

Best yogurt shop: Yogurtland

South Bay fro-yo fans are loyal to this independent spot that offers a glut of flavors and toppings that you use to build your own sweet creation. Always immaculately clean and always well-staffed with smiling faces, Yogurtland satisfies sugar cravings without packing on the pounds. And eating red velvet soft-serve without any guilt is about […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Best bagel shop: Noah’s New York Bagels

The South Bay has enough New York transplants to grant credence to the winner of best bagel. Noah’s has beat out the competitors once again, with an eclectic menu of over 25 bagel varieties, sandwiches, and coffee and espresso drinks that draw local bagel enthusiasts to the Manhattan Beach store in droves. If you need […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Best independent coffee house: Java Man

Best independent coffee house: Java Man

For 20 years and counting, Java Man has been a popular spot for South Bay locals to enjoy coffee, homemade soups and sandwiches, and breakfast entrees. The coffee shop has comfortable seating for catching up with friends or getting work done out of the office. The gentlemen behind the counter are always welcoming and accommodating, […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Best coffee house chain: Starbucks Coffee Company

With a dozen locations around the South Bay, Starbucks continues to be locals’ number one spot for daily caffeine injections. Now that the chain has added hot sandwiches and packaged foods to go, more and more folks are choosing Starbucks for a quick bite to eat, as well. Each store has a different layout and […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Best bakery: Becker’s Bakery & Deli

Best bakery: Becker’s Bakery & Deli

Now in business 71 years, Becker’s continues to delight locals with a colorful array of cookies, cupcakes, and specialty cakes that draws fan of all ages to the sweet-smelling Manhattan Beach storefront. With cupcake varieties like maple bacon, Becker’s keeps up with the changing palate of foodies and keeps its place as the top bakery […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Best Sushi Chef: Sanji, Sushi Duke

Best Sushi Chef: Sanji, Sushi Duke

Sushi Duke owner Sanji is a beloved member of the South Bay community just as much for his warmth and commitment to hospitality as for his incredible sushi creations. Patrons swear the secret to his unrivaled flavors is his signature sauces that remove any need for soy sauce, ginger, or wasabi on the rolls. The […]

 Richard Foss

Best Vegeterian: Green Temple

The entrance to Green Temple is one of visual delights of the South Bay. You enter from either a nondescript courtyard on Avenue I or a side alley off Catalina, neither of which looks particularly impressive. Pass that door and you are in another world, a secluded courtyard next to a comfortable dining room, both […]

 Richard Foss

Best Thai/Southeast Asian food: Phuket Thai

Phuket is a town in Southern Thailand that is famous for a great beach and hospitality to match, assets the South Bay also proudly claims. Phuket restaurant doesn’t have a beach view but makes up for it with excellent service – the people here are happy to assist diners who have questions, whether they are […]

 Richard Foss

Best Tapas/Appetizers: Mediterraneo

Mediterraneo is much more than a Spanish restaurant; though authentic tapas have been served since the place opened a decade ago, so have innovative items based on the same bold flavors. Whether you’re a traditionalist or an adventurer, the pattern here is the same; order as many plates as there are people, with beverages to […]

 Richard Foss

Best wine bar: Friends of the Vine

One must feel envious of the owners of Friends of the Vine – they make a living by hosting a civilized house party five nights a week. (On Sunday and Monday, you’re on your own.) This wine bar in a wine shop offers a cozy environment with comfortable sofas and chairs near the bar – […]

 Richard Foss

Best restaurant wine list: Bottle Inn

Whether you are in the market for a rustic, full-flavored wine for an everyday meal or a bottle of something magical to celebrate an anniversary, corporate triumph, or just the fact that you really enjoy great wine, the Bottle Inn has what you are looking for. The owners have been collecting fine wines for over […]

 Richard Foss

Best wine store: Uncorked

Best wine store: Uncorked

A small wine store is a lot like an art gallery, a curated selection for connoisseurs rather than a warehouse that might contain gems mixed with dubious items. In a small place, the owners can come to know both their stock and their customers and match one to the other. From your first visit to […]

 Richard Foss

Best seafood soup: Fishbar

Best seafood soup: Fishbar

Fishbar has won this award multiple times, possibly because there are multiple things to love here – South Bay restaurants have been serving chowders and fish stews since the era when patrons arrived in Model T’s, but not in the variety or quality displayed at this establishment. New England and Manhattan style clam chowder are […]

 Richard Foss

Best fresh seafood: Bluewater Grill

Decisions, decisions – and you can’t decide ahead of time, because the menu changes daily. Bluewater Grill offers as many as twenty kinds of fresh fish, either simply grilled or sautéed or in preparations like tacos, pastas, and cioppino. Add in the array of fresh oysters and the Ipswich fried clams – a rarity here […]

 Richard Foss

Best fish & chips: Captain Kidd’s Fish Market

Best fish & chips: Captain Kidd’s Fish Market

Things have changed a bit at this South Bay landmark since one of the partners sold his interest, but the essentials remain the same – good value, casual environment, and famously fine fish and chips. Twelve dollars gets you two big pieces of fish in crunchy batter, as many fryer-fresh fries as the average person […]