Richard Foss

A café beyond category

A café beyond category

The Antigua Cafe is part wine bar, part coffee and pastry shop, a little Guatemalan, a little Polish, and a wholly interesting dining experience.

 Richard Foss

Handel’s: Best ice cream

Handel’s: Best ice cream

Handel’s bare-bones walk-up stand isn’t fancy, but there are nearly always people standing outside eating because they couldn’t even wait to get to nearby benches.

 Richard Foss

The Spot: Best vegetarian

The Spot: Best vegetarian

This is one of the only local restaurants that can use the words “World Famous” in their advertising and have a credible claim to the distinction. The Spot has been a place of pilgrimage since 1977 and is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in greater Los Angeles.

 Richard Foss

Thai Dishes: Best Thai

Thai Dishes: Best Thai

Thai Dishes building with the steeply peaked roof by the post office on PCH is one of the more arresting pieces of architecture on the highway. It’s as close an approximation to a Thai home as local building codes will allow.

 Richard Foss

Benihana: Best teppanyaki

Benihana: Best teppanyaki

The award for teppanyaki goes to the restaurant that brought it to America. Teppanyaki – literally, food cooked on an iron grill – was invented in the 1940’s but wasn’t very popular among Japanese.

 Richard Foss

W’s China Bistro: Best Asian fusion

W’s China Bistro: Best Asian fusion

Though W’s China Bistro has a name that leads you to expect tradition, the menu has much more going on — not only Chinese dishes, but Thai, Peruvian, and some items that fuse multiple traditions.

 Richard Foss

Mediterraneo: Best tapas

Mediterraneo: Best tapas

The restaurant that pioneered Spanish tapas in the South Bay is still serving them, both in their traditional form and modern variants. Any resident of Madrid would immediately recognize much of what is served here.

 Richard Foss

Bull Pen: Best steak under $30

Bull Pen: Best steak under $30

If a film producer was looking for a local place that looks like a classic steakhouse, the Bull Pen would be their first choice. This is the kind of establishment others try to mimic, one that looks a lot like their original location, which opened in the 1940’s.

 Richard Foss

Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar: Best Steak over $30

Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar: Best Steak over $30

When a chain operation in an office building is the overwhelming favorite steak option in an area with many competitors it means they’re doing something extraordinarily well.

 Richard Foss

Bottle Inn: Best Romantic, best wine list

Bottle Inn: Best Romantic, best wine list

Although almost everything else in our culture has changed in the last four decades, our definition of a romantic space hasn’t. The Bottle Inn in Hermosa was a place for an intimate meal when it opened in 1974, and though there have been only a few refurbishments since.

 Richard Foss

Hot’s Kitchen: Best Foie Gras

Hot’s Kitchen: Best Foie Gras

Hot’s Kitchen is all about creative food, served in an energetic environment along with craft beers.

 Richard Foss

Dominique’s Kitchen: Best French

Dominique’s Kitchen: Best French

Dominique Theval makes French food as if it is the most exciting cuisine in the world because to him it is.

 Richard Foss

Mickey’s: Best Deli

Mickey’s: Best Deli

Most delis cultivate the impression of being a neighborhood institution, some going so far as to refer to their sandwich as “famous” on the day they open. Mickey’s doesn’t have to do that.

 Richard Foss

Tomboy’s: Best Chili

Tomboy’s: Best Chili

Here’s the pro tip – it’s not on the Tomboy’s menu, but they’ll make a chili size topped with cheese and onions. It’s the best way to enjoy the chili here, which is mild but flavorful.

 Richard Foss

Palmilla Cocina y Tequila: Mexican over $20

Palmilla Cocina y Tequila: Mexican over $20

Whether you’re enjoying Palmilla’s ceviches, Carne Tampiquena perfumed by a wood fire, or one of their regional specialties, it’s a gourmet experience.

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