Richard Foss

South Bay Dining News: Laurel Tavern opens in Hermosa Beach, 21 Square Bar + Kitchen, Café Roma, and The Schooner in Torrance, “A Feast of Seven Fishes” and more….

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Schooner opens, new restaurants on the way, gourmet doughnuts coming to Metlox Plaza, Boxing Day, Italian feast, and more...

Chef Victor Miguel of 21 Square uses liquid nitrogen to create a "Tornado Sundae" tableside. Photo by Richard Foss

Chef Victor Miguel of 21 Square uses liquid nitrogen to create a “Tornado Sundae” tableside. Photo by Richard Foss

 

 

 

       Old Name, New Place, Now Open… There isn’t a nautical theme to be seen at The Schooner, the restaurant that opened at the corner of Inglewood and 190th. The place has a split personality, a sports bar connected to a quieter dining room. They opened last weekend and are serving a menu that includes very good fried chicken and brisket. Based on my first meal of both, I’m giving it two (slightly greasy) thumbs up… (2701 190th Street, RB. 310-214-1430)

            And Coming Attractions… By the time you read this, the new Laurel Tavern may be open in Hermosa Beach in the former Game Changers space on Hermosa Avenue. Expect counter food service, a wide range of beers, and fancy cocktails. I was inside last week and the place is casual but stylish – it’s an upgrade for the neighborhood…

            Why Didn’t I Think Of This… Why hasn’t anybody opened a gourmet doughnut shop in the Beach Cities? Before you file a business plan to be first, let me tell you that someone is ahead of you. Portland’s Blue Star doughnuts will be opening at the Metlox Plaza sometime this month. While they have items the kiddies will enjoy, they offer “Doughnuts for Grownups,” with the blueberry-Bourbon-basil and Cointreau crème brulee flavors as examples…

            Torrance Is Booming… 21 Square Bar + Kitchen is the new restaurant inside the Torrance Marriott, and they’re bringing high style to a nondescript location. The room is lovely and Chef Victor Miguel is serving eye-catching treats that can be as simple as a great burger or as fancy as roasted scallops over pillowy gnocchi with mushrooms, peas, and truffle butter. The address is 3635 Fashion Way, phone number is 310-316-3636, and don’t feel bad if you accidentally go to the wrong side of the hotel because I did the same thing….

Elsewhere in town, Café Roma has opened in Old Town serving Italian, Persian, and a little of everything. The décor is over the top Italian kitsch, and it’s a fun place. The long-awaited branch of Din Tai Fung is open too, and diners are waiting for up to two hours for Chinese dumplings and fresh noodles. There’s progress everywhere you turn in this town…

            Name Changes, And More… The former Fika Coffee Roastery is now The Boy and the Bear, and I’d tell you why if I could call to ask. They don’t list their phone number anywhere on their website or social media, so I guess they don’t want to hear from anybody… Another business that has changed is the former Vintage Shop wine store at the Manhattan Village mall. It has changed ownership and is now The MB Wine Company. The store has been remodeled, the selection expanded, and they are still doing events and tastings (3500 N. Sepulveda Blvd. MB 310-546-9463)…

            Not In Catalina, But With A View Thereof… The Catalina Kitchen at Terranea has been closed for months for remodeling, and will open this weekend with an expanded and more wide-ranging menu. Meanwhile, people who actually live in Catalina wish there was any place over there with food half as ambitious. And is there anywhere on the island that boasts a Palos Verdes view? Not that I have found yet…

            An Italian Tradition in Redondo… Italians celebrate Christmas eve with a dinner called “Feast of the Seven Fishes,” a pescetarian’s dream in which everything but dessert is made with seafood. That tradition lives on at Hostaria Piave, the proudly Venetian restaurant neart the corner of PCH and Torrance Boulevard. The cost is $51 plus tax & tip, the menu is on their website and looks amazing – find out more at hostariapiave.com…

            A Very British Celebration… I hear about a lot of Christmas eve and Christmas day events, but just like every other year only one place seems to be presenting a Boxing Day event. Chez Melange co-owner Michael Franks celebrates December 26th with a feast of very British items: it’s the only day of the year you’ll see Welsh rarebit, Lancashire hot pot, Bubble and Squeak, or Yorkshire pudding on a local menu. I fully intend to attend some day, but it takes me at least two days to recover from my family’s Christmas feast. If you have an affection for all foods British, call 310-540-1222 to reserve….

            Any new restaurants, any events I should know about, anyplace else with exceptional doughnuts? I’ m at Richard@richardfoss.com.

 

 

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