Richard Foss

A La Carte – Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo Beach Dining News

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For The Record Books… Something remarkable happened this past week – two restaurants that had announced reopenings after remodeling actually did so on schedule. Darren’s in Manhattan Beach now sports a brighter dining room with an added communal table, a more contemporary space with a menu to match. The remodel at Redondo’s TKP Provisions was more extensive, turning a very dated deli into what is planned as a Kosher café and nightspot serving gourmet coffee and smoothies. TKP adheres to Jewish dietary laws, which means the restaurant will be closed from Friday afternoon to sundown Saturday and on some Jewish holidays. They’ll be serving late on Saturday evenings and in time may have live music, poetry, and other attractions… Locale 90 took their time about opening, for understandable reasons. Their remodel involved the construction of a wood-burning oven that gets hot enough to bake a Neapolitan-style pizza in a mere 90 seconds (and yes, that’s the reason for the number in their name). Like Grimaldi’s in El Segundo, they’re specialists – the South Bay has gone from having no Neapolitan pizzerias to two within six months. It’s a distinct upgrade for Riviera Village, and more are to come – the former Buona Sera location is for lease and attracting offers, and I’ve heard that another Italian restaurant is going in where Sushi Casa Arigato is now. That restaurant is still open – though it was announced that the last scallop rolls would be served in April, Casa Arigato is still serving while looking for a new home…

Cork'er's Larry Killian, who has brought an authentic taste of his family's heritage to the bookish little cafe attached to Mysterious Galaxy on Artesia Boulevard.  Photo by Brad Jacobson

Cork’er’s Larry Killian, who has brought an authentic taste of his family’s heritage to the bookish little cafe attached to Mysterious Galaxy on Artesia Boulevard. Photo by Brad Jacobson

From Going Big To Going Bust, Irish Style… Cork’er started out as a café inside a bookstore, taking about a quarter of the total space. After the closure of Mysterious Galaxy, owner Larry Killian decided on an audacious strategy – fill the entire space with an Irish gastropub. It was a great idea that would have given Artesia Boulevard a destination nightspot for the first time, and for a while it looked like it would work. Unfortunately after negotiations with the city and landlord regarding the extensive renovations that would have been involved, Killian decided to seek a new space, and Cork’er is closed for now… And An Intriguing Opening… Mandovi Indian Cuisine has opened on Sepulveda just south of El Segundo, and they’re doing something out of the ordinary; they’re one of the few restaurants in California serving the cuisine of Goa. The Portuguese ruled that city for hundreds of years, and there are Mediterranean/Indian fusions that developed over the centuries. If you’d like to try southern-style cocoanut-scented seafood curries, real vindaloo, or stewed goat, this is the place to go. Event Alert!… The Walk With Sally charity event on July 19th in El Segundo will be a spectacle – the band Berlin will perform, dozens of restaurants and wineries will be serving, and the entire audience has been asked to dress in white. The theme is similar to a New Orleans tradition called White Linen, which I have experienced and which is fantastic. If this is anything like the Louisiana event, it will be a visual as well as culinary and musical treat. It’s $200 and should be memorable – get tickets at walkwithsally.orgStrange Times on the Hill… If you were a fan of the Lunada BayHouse, you may have wondered why they suddenly closed despite having a loyal clientele. Co-owner David Letchworth took a vacation and had so much fun he decided not to come back; after over forty years in the South Bay restaurant scene, he decided it was finally time to retire. Chef Rafael Solorzano, who owns the neighboring Alfredo Garcia’s, is considering reopening the space with a new concept… Looking ahead… More events are on the horizon! On July 24tgh the Terranea Resort will host another dinner in their Chef’s Cooking Series, in which diners enjoy not only a view of Catalina, but of Chef Bernard Ibarra making their meals in an outdoor kitchen. The seasonally-themed dinner will include broiled local sardines, roast suckling pig, and grilled local halibut, all paired with wines from Caymus Cellars. A full menu, information, and reservations can be found at … The 28th annual Torrance Gourmet Food & Wine Festival is scheduled on August 2nd, and they’re bringing unprecedented musical guests – Grammy-winning performers Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho will play their Hawaiian-inflected jazz, and two hula troupes will perform. The audience is encouraged to dress in “elegant Hawaiian” garb, so break out those aloha-print tuxedoes, or whatever in your closet is the closest equivalent. Tickets are $150 per person, and proceeds support the hospital’s pediatric services – call 310-517-4703 or go to for information or reservations… Any food festivals, wine dinners, or events I should know about? Any new restaurants? I can be reached at

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