Openings. Jackson’s Food + Drink on Rosecrans next to P.F. Chang’s. Marine Street Café at Marine & Highland. Lemonade at the Metlox center in downtownManhattan Beach.
Sightings. Olympic soccer gold medal winner Tobin Heath at Granny’s Grocery inHermosa Beach.
News. 20/20 Bar & Grill in Torrance now uses remote iPads to take food & drink orders. The American Farmhouse Tavern on Sepulveda presents live music on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to midnight. MB Post in Manhattan Beach serves weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Artisans. Craiglist.orglists South Bayfood/bev/hosp job postings daily. This week includes postings from H.T. Grill, Houston’s, Open Sesame, Mucho, and Game Changers.
Tastes. Late Summer Calls for Cool Dishes: Gazpacho!
There’s a corny little joke that defines a fancy restaurant as one that serves cold soup on purpose. Well, your backyard is about to get fancy. We have been blessed with a heck of a nice summer in theSouthBayand, as a result, a heck of a tomato crop. The season for our juicy friends is waning and, as we enjoy a late heat wave, let’s make haste and make cold soup-Spanish gazpacho! Your kitchen will stay cool and the soup tastes even better the next day.
I shuffled off to the Hermosa Beach Farmer’s Market on Friday, looking for some wisdom from local farmers about the best tomatoes to use for the vegetable soup. Lark Farms of Fillmore had best-in-show heirlooms that vendor Gabor recommended for their sweet center. He also suggested using Japanese tomatoes that have even lower acidity. Great choices by Gabor and a great selection at the table. Surprisingly, though, the best advice I got came, not from a farmer, but from the market’s cheese guru: Renée Klaassen of the fabulous Gourmet on Wheels, Inc.
Renée had just hosted a dinner party that featured gazpacho (among other tasty dishes like the wonderful Moroccan Chicken Tagine) and added some great pointers. He seconded Gabor’s advice to use heirlooms but stressed that they should be extremely ripe. He also suggested using a dash of sherry vinegar; it lends a clean acidity to the broth. And my favorite tip, one Renée borrowed from Spanish chef-god Ferran Adrià, was toss in a dollop of mayonnaise before blending. I added these special somethings to my old faithful gazpacho recipe–the flavors absolutely pop and the creaminess of the mayo mellows the fierce tartness of the tomatoes, lime and vinegar. Thanks, Renée!
Zesty Gazpacho (yields 8 servings)
3 bell peppers (orange, red, green, or yellow) cored, peeled, and chopped
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
I cucumber, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded (optional–keep the seeds in for spiciness!) and chopped
5 fresh heirloom tomatoes (brandywine are my favorite), chopped
3 Tbs of fresh lime juice
tomato juice to cover
2 Tbs of sherry vinegar
1 Tbs mayonnaise
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
salt and pepper for seasoning
Pop the garlic and jalapeno in a blender and chop for a hot second. Add half of the veggies, all of the onion and lime juice, sherry vinegar, mayonnaise, and enough tomato juice to cover and purée smooth. Put the remaining half of the veggies in a large bowl and cover with the puréed mix. Add salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight.
Farmer’s Markets. Tuesdays 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in Manhattan Beach, Wednesdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in El Segundo, Thursdays 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in Redondo Beach, Fridays noon-4 p.m. in Hermosa Beach and 3-7 p.m. in Riviera Village, Saturdays 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in Torrance, Sundays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Peninsula Shopping Center.
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