Richard Foss

The Chicken Shack [RESTAURANT REVIEW]

This Chicken Shack is decidedly upscale, the lighting modern and muted, the paintings on the wall moody and romantic. As for deep-frying, they obviously do have a fryer, because they serve French fries, but the chicken here is cooked on a rotisserie. It’s still home cooking, but home was in Peru, and this fast food has a touch of South American elegance.

 Richard Foss

Hoka Hoka Sushi & Sake [RESTAURANT REVIEW]

I really enjoy traditional sushi, and I really hate describing it. At many restaurants, there is a limited variety of preparations and condiments, so descriptions become monotonous even when the actual experience was interesting. When everything is a matter of subtlety, the difference between fresh fish cut perfectly and the same fish cut almost perfectly, […]

 Richard Foss

HT Grill [RESTAURANT REVIEW]

HT Grill moved from venerable but cramped digs across the street and gave the place a startling renovation. Gone are the white walls that covered the old brickwork, the plastered ceilings and divided rooms, in favor of expanses of stonework and open beams. The once quiet room is buzzing with life, and the bar hops even on weeknights. It’s a whole new scene, albeit one with a pedigree; the menu not only has items that were popular in the old HT Grill location across the street, but favorites resurrected from the cookbooks of the Velvet Turtle.

 Richard Foss

Annapurna Gardens [RESTAURANT REVIEW]

For many years I’ve enjoyed trips to Little Bombay, the area in north Orange County that boasts a huge South Asian community. A few minutes off the 91 freeway is a world where saris are everyday wear, jewelry shops are stacked with intricately worked gold, and men in turbans and gorgeously patterned silk share the […]

 Richard Foss

Mickie Finnz [RESTAURANT REVIEW]

The easygoing vibe is as much an attraction as the food and beverage, and it’s no surprise that the same enjoyable atmosphere can be found at the more upscale HT Grill. It can also be found at the newest of Hennessey’s ventures, the cheerful tropical-themed joint known as Mickie Finnz. Where the Hennessey’s Taverns make at least a nod toward the Auld Sod of Ireland and the HT Grill is modern Californian, Mickie Finnz is a loving recreation of a surf bar, palm fronds, bamboo, and all.

 Richard Foss

Lido di Manhattan Beach [RESTAURANT REVIEW]

The Lido Island near Venice is one of the most famously picturesque places in the world, a seven-mile stretch of villas and sparkling beaches. The name has become such a symbol of luxury that restaurants and nightclubs around the world have adopted it, hoping to capture a hint of the glamour. Parisians eat escargot and see expensive shows with minimally costumed starlets at their Lido, residents of Springfield, Massachusetts nibble Clams Casino at theirs, and locals in Riga dine on Latvian and international food in an atmosphere which I can only imagine is very much unlike Venice.