Richard Foss

South Bay food news: early returns on the Rockefeller , Strand House chefs’ big honor, and more….

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
The Rockefeller, which recently opened on Highland Avenue in downtown Manhattan Beach. Photo courtesy The Rockefeller

The Rockefeller, which recently opened on Highland Avenue in downtown Manhattan Beach. Photo courtesy The Rockefeller

First looks…  I stopped in at the Rockefeller in Manhattan Beach to see how that new establishment is fitting into the community, and I have to say that it is a very well-done remodeling of the former barbecue joint. The rows of kegs visible behind the bar are a visual hint that they take the beer seriously here, and are living up to the pub part of the gastropub theme. I hadn’t been to the Hermosa location in some time and hadn’t known that the previously burger-centric menu had broadened this much – it’s a smart move given the saturation of burger places in Hermosa, and I think it will work well in Manhattan too. I was dining light and ordered a pair of Mexican street tacos packed with marinated short rib and fried zucchini – it was an excellent light lunch, and I’ll be back for more…

Here’s an interesting wine dinner… I haven’t seen a wine dinner at a Mexican restaurant in a long time, but one is coming to Manhattan Beach on February 27. Gourmet Wine Getaways will be collaborating with the Manhattan Beach Cantina Real on a menu that includes red crab quesadilla, ceviche tostada, chicken Picado, and a grilled sirloin with roasted vegetables and heirloom tomatoes. It is an ambitious undertaking, and worthy of investigation. Price is $69 per person including tax and tip– And may I say how much I appreciate the place quoting the entire amount so there are no surprises. Reservations are required. Call 310-376-8044…

Further proof that dining well makes you invulnerable… Patrons of Chez Mélange may notice is the restaurant looks the same, but their host looks different. Michael Franks apparently decided to celebrate his successful recovery from a heart attack by growing a beard. He has a new pacemaker, so may be expected to keep serving excellent meals far into the future. Congratulate the new battery-powered restaurateur on your next visit…

Local folks get the gig of a lifetime… One of the most prestigious things that any chef in the world can do is to receive an invitation to cook at the James Beard house in New York. Manhattan Beach’s Greg Hozinsky and Neal Frazer of Strand House received that honor, and spent two weeks working on a menu that included sweet corn angnolotti with périgord truffles, peekytoe crab, parmesan fondue, sweet pea emulsion and pea tendrils. Since many of the items on their menu were out of season are not available in New York, they sourced the event in California and shipped them back for the dinner on January 31. By all accounts it was a success, and Manhattan Beach is now even better established as a culinary destination. Congratulations to the chefs and the entire team that braved snow and storm to support them…

Any new restaurants I should know about, any wine dinners, any place to get a fantastic drink? You can reach me at Richard@richardfoss.com.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login