Richard Foss

Best Philly Cheesesteak: Big Mike’s Philly Steaks & Subs

The staff at Big Mike’s are used to homesick Philadelphians who come in to eat cheesesteaks and reminisce about their childhood homes by the broad Schuykill River. We get it – imagine being a Californian living in Philadelphia who has finally found the perfect burrito joint, the one that gets the salsa just right and […]

 Richard Foss

Best pizza: Fresh Brothers

Best pizza: Fresh Brothers

This company is one of many South Bay success stories – they have gone from two locations in the South Bay to eight as widespread as Calabasas and Westlake Village. Their secret is simple – Chicago attention to light, flavorful crusts and a flavorful, strongly herbed sauce, paired with California ideas about freshness and healthy […]

 Richard Foss

Best rotisserie chicken: Poulet du Jour

The chicken is everything you hope for when you envision roasted bird – juicy and tender, with a flavorful, lightly crisp skin. Part of what makes it special here are the creamy garlic sauce and the variety of sides – try the fresh-tasting Mediterranean-style coleslaw with lemon juice and olive oil, creamy or spicy hummus, […]

 Richard Foss

Best specialty salad: Lemonade

We assume our readers didn’t have a specific salad in mind when they voted Lemonade as best specialty salad. Or perhaps each voter had a specific salad in mind, but not necessarily the one anybody else was thinking of. It’s just as valid either way, since Lemonade offers a vast selection of pre-made salads at […]

 Richard Foss

Best sliders: Hot’s Kitchen

The menu at Hot’s Kitchen doesn’t mention sliders, which might make you think they aren’t served there. They are, but not under that name – Hot’s has based their business on selling small portions of many things so that customers enjoy a great variety over the course of a meal. Their burgers are sliders and […]

 Richard Foss

Best Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food: Mediterraneo/The Med Kitchen & Bar

There have been a few changes at the restaurant we have known and loved for so long – founding chef Amber Caudle departed and was replaced by Pedro Pureco, and the name has been changed to The Med. There are new and intriguing items on the menu, but the things we have always loved are […]

 Richard Foss

Best steak under $20: Coyote Cantina

The top steak in this category is at a Mexican restaurant? Yes it is, and it’s something special. The carne asada at Coyote Cantina is a grilled skirt steak topped with caramelized onions, and it’s as tender and tasty as many that cost much more. For $16 you get a substantial piece of meat served […]

 Richard Foss

Best steak over $20: Fleming’s Steakhouse

Our readers agree that Fleming’s is the place where steaks are a science, the specialist spot where you go when you want a piece of meat that has been properly aged and expertly cooked. You can perceive the difference even before you order; the servers here know their stuff, and can intelligently discuss the difference […]

 Richard Foss

Best Mexican food under $10: El Burrito Jr.

There’s a reason that El Burrito Jr. is enduringly popular, and it’s not the décor – this roadside stand has only a few old picnic tables for seating, but they are often full. The secret is very good food at rock bottom prices, neither of which have changed for years – don’t bother asking about […]

 Richard Foss

Best outdoor dining: Hennessey’s Taverns

Hennessey’s is open from early morning to late night, and their outdoor dining areas are full for most of that time – all three locations in the South Bay are great places to enjoy the ambiance that makes our area such a great place to live. You can walk by the Manhattan Beach patio early […]

 Richard Foss

Best Italian under $20: Mama D’s

Another year, another win for the perennial favorite in moderately priced Italian dining. Mama D’s is the classic red checkered tablecloth Italian joint, serving a wide variety of pastas and pizzas along with dishes like eggplant parmesan, lasagna, and homemade ravioli. Go there on any evening and the place will be packed with families having […]

 Richard Foss

Best Italian over $20: Bottle Inn

Best Italian over $20: Bottle Inn

It’s the antithesis of dining at most places in Hermosa – quiet, dark, and elegant while the pier places are loud and bright; gracious and informed by tradition while others are brusque and modern. The menu here does change with the times, though some items have been there for 37 years – items like the […]

 Richard Foss

Best Japanese food: ROK Sushi Kitchen

The sign over the door does say “Rok Sushi Kitchen,” but they serve much more than sushi, and the list of entrees and sides goes far beyond Japanese tradition. They do offer salmon baked in ginger-soy sauce and steak teriyaki, but with nontraditional sides like wasabi mashed potatoes and tempura onion rings, and Chilean seabass […]

 Richard Foss

Best Indian food: Akbar Cuisine of India

Best Indian food: Akbar Cuisine of India

This was our closest race this year – Akbar edged out Addi’s Tandoor by only one vote out of more than two hundred that were cast. Akbar has all the elements of traditional Indian cuisine like tandoori barbecue and fragrant lamb curries, but also offers some modern fusion items that would have been mysterious to […]

 Richard Foss

Best Cajun Jambalaya: New Orleans Cajun & Creole Cuisine

The New Orleans serves both types of Louisiana food – the refined Creole and the spicier, exuberant Cajun. Everything about this place from the alligator on the neon sign to the worn roadhouse-style décor tells you that you’re in a place with Louisiana roots, especially when you get a plate of gumbo, fried chicken, or […]