Richard Foss

Best Tequilla bar: Palmilla

Best Tequilla bar: Palmilla

Behind the bar at Palmilla, the stack of bottles of clear and amber liquid looks like a shrine to tequila. That’s probably because it is one – the people who set up this bar have a respect for that elixir that borders on worship. The great names are here, as well as some you have […]

 Esther Kang

Best Music Lessons: Dietz Brothers

Dietz Brothers Music has proved to be one of Manhattan Beach’s most beloved and successful family businesses since opening its doors more than 30 years ago. Founded by Manhattan Beach brothers and music aficionados John and Pat Dietz and their musician wives Susan and Carol, Dietz Bros provides lessons in guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, ukulele, […]

 Esther Kang

Best Movie Theater: ArcLight Beach Cities

ArcLight earns its Best of recognition with reserved seating, top quality sound and visuals and ridiculously comfortable leather seats in its state-of-the-art auditoriums. They have bars too, and for special 21+ presentations, adult moviegoers can sip on their cocktails while enjoying the film. ArcLight boasts a membership club of more than 500,000 film aficionados who […]

 Esther Kang

Best dance club: American Junkie

American Junkie is largely responsible for the heavy bass drops that pulsate through the party scene on the Hermosa Beach Pier every Thursday night. The modernized gastro pub boasts two dance floors inside, usually pumping with high-energy beats provided by resident DJs QUASAR, Nick Jagger and Drew Pierce. It also regularly hosts guest DJs, including […]

 Esther Kang

Best live music venue: Saint Rocke

Best live music venue: Saint Rocke

Since taking over the space previously occupied by Pitcher House on Pacific Coast Highway in Hermosa Beach five years ago, Saint Rocke has become the South Bay’s premier music venue. Allen Sanford’s intimate venue hosts a constant flow of inspired performances, from nationally touring artists (2012 included rock guitarist Steve Kimock, psycho-billy trio The Reverend […]

 Esther Kang

Best underage band: Bläk Reign

Best underage band: Bläk Reign

What started out as a one-time gig for the fourth grade talent show two years ago has given birth to arguably the hardest rocking kid band in Southern California. Bläk Reign’s youthful trifecta — Tre Coe on guitar and vocals, John Forbes on bass and vocals and Nathaniel Harris on drums — covers classic tunes […]

 Esther Kang

Best original music band: Andy & Renee with Hard Rain

Best original music band: Andy & Renee with Hard Rain

With 11 albums and more than two decades of serenading the South Bay, Andy & Renee of Hard Rain aren’t newcomers to the scene. Singer-songwriters Renee Safier and Andy Hill and band members Jim Vermilya, Kirk Makin, Dave Batti, John Hoke and Marty Rifkin have earned a variety of recognitions, from L.A. Music Awards’ “America […]

 Richard Foss

Best entertainment club dining: The Comedy & Magic Club

Best entertainment club dining: The Comedy & Magic Club

The best seats at any club tend to go to the patrons who have come early for dinner, so generations of theater aficionados have gotten used to the drudgery of club dining – small selections of indifferent food, usually at high prices. The Comedy & Magic club is a delightful change, with a wide choice […]

 Esther Kang

Best DJ: DJ DIK

Best DJ: DJ DIK

In the 13 years that DJ DIK has been dropping beats on the South Bay clubbing scene, he has gathered quite a local following. Taking the title of best DJ for the fourth consecutive year, he says he is grateful, honored and humbled. “I get surprised every year,” said Richard Podgurski, the man behind DJ […]

 Alyssa Morin

Best sports bar: Shark’s Cove

Shark’s Cove is the South Bay new sports bar sweetheart. With copious amounts of flat-screen, high-definition TVs, 16 beers on tap, legendary wings, and a loyal commitment to the Lakers, Dodgers, and Kings fans, the Manhattan Beach bar is the favorite spot for LA sports fans to catch games seven days a week. And, despite […]

 Alyssa Morin

Best happy hour: Baja Sharkeez

Sharkeez’s Mexican fare has no business being as good as it is for bar food at a popular party spot, yet it never disappoints. Once again, Sharkeez wins for best happy hour, though it may be the 2-for-1 drinks that tickle the patrons as much as the cheap tacos and free chips and salsa. If […]

 Alyssa Morin

Best neighborhood bar: Gasser Lounge

Gasser’s finally beat out the North End as locals’ favorite neighborhood bar. Billing itself as the “South Bay’s only true rock ‘n’ roll bar,” Gasser’s off-the beaten track location on Aviation Blvd. does not deter those looking for a craft cocktail, a cold beer and good music from crossing PCH. And with beer flowing from […]

 Alyssa Morin

Best margarita: Palmilla Cocina y Tequila

Best margarita: Palmilla Cocina y Tequila

Whether you like your margarita frozen, muddled, spicy, or skinny, Palmilla delivers for the best margarita in the South Bay. An expansive selection of tequila ensures the satisfaction of even the most discerning imbiber. A team of expert mixologists continues to add choices to the impressive margarita list and manage the massive tequila program. Whatever […]

 Esther Kang

Best male bartender: Scott Perry, Charlie’s

Best male bartender: Scott Perry, Charlie’s

“I think the fact that I’ve been doing this for a while…” Scott Perry, this year’s best male bartender, is first and foremost, modest. The New York native has decades of bartending experience. After graduating from Mira Costa High School, he moved back to New York for 15 years, navigating through the bar backs and […]

 Esther Kang

Best female bartender: Bre Hale, ROK Sushi

Best female bartender: Bre Hale, ROK Sushi

Eight years ago, Bre Hale, a Utah native, wanted to be near the beach. So she packed up her bags and moved to Hermosa Beach, where she has since racked up a reputation as the best female bartender in town. “I make good cocktails?” Hale said, laughing. “But more than anything, a lot of my […]