Kevin Cody

Chili: Barney’s Beanery

Any restaurant that celebrates National Chili Day (February 27) deserves recognition, especially if it has beanery in its name. Though Barney’s Beanery only opened on the Redondo Pier in December it has already garnered local recognition for its five different chilis, including a 1920s recipe from the original Barney’s Beanery on Santa Monica Boulevard in […]

 Richard Foss

Late Night Restaurant: The Kettle

Late night dining is tough in the beach cities. For transplants from cities like Chicago and New York, it can be unsettling to realize that your food options after 10 p.m. are little more than fast food and 7-11. Thank god for the Kettle. Since 1973, the Kettle has provided tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner […]

 Richard Foss

Outdoor Dining: Hennessey’s Tavern, Hermosa Beach

Hennessey’s Tavern has had a monopoly on the outdoor dining category for some time. And while the street-side tables at the Redondo and Manhattan locations are great, we all know it’s the roof-top patio at Hennessey’s Hermosa that brings home the bacon. Right on the corner of Pier Plaza and the strand, the roof-top at […]

 Richard Foss

Restaurant view: Strand House

It seems almost unfair to award best view to the Strand House. It’s like watching Meryl Streep win her 18th Oscar. But, as is the case with Meryl, when you got it, you got it. The Strand House took over the Beaches property at the corner of Manhattan Beach Boulevard and the strand in 2011 […]

 Richard Foss

Steakhouse over $20: Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

It’s unusual for a chain restaurant to win in a competitive poll in an area so supportive of small, local businesses. Fleming’s is the expert on steaks, offering both wet-aged and dry-aged beef – and if you’ve never tried both to savor the difference, it’s an interesting experiment in flavor. Great steaks are hard to […]

 Richard Foss

Japanese, Sushi: Izaka-Ya by Katsu-Ya

Sushi has gone through several evolutions in the U.S., from the traditional version in which the flavor of fresh fish was paramount to modern versions in which spicy sauces, mayonnaise, cream cheese and other flavors dominate. The sushi at Izaka-Ya by Katsu-Ya splits the difference with its rolls and fancy dishes, using modern ideas sparingly […]

 Richard Foss

Thai: Phuket Thai

There are Thai restaurants in the South Bay that have done a marvelous job at recreating Thai architecture, gardens and decor; it’s nice that they did because the setting is part of the dining experience. But once again, the favorite Thai restaurant in the South Bay is in a nondescript office building. Phuket Thai delivers […]

 Richard Foss

Italian under $20: Mama D’s

The two restaurants that tied this year couldn’t be more different in style. One is a little cucina any homesick East Coaster could love, the other a more California-style place with a decidedly experimental bent. Mama D’s is the classic checkered-tablecloth place specializing in homestyle recipes. If you don’t know about this place, you don’t […]

 Richard Foss

Vegetarian: The Spot

Lots of places call themselves famous, sometimes an indecently short time after they start offering their services. The Spot is one of the few places in the area claiming that title that actually deserves it. It is L.A.’s oldest and best-loved natural foods restaurant, and the place has been under the same ownership for more […]

 Richard Foss

Indian: Akbar

The Indian Emperor Akbar was an adventurous and ambitious ruler who learned from other cultures, which makes it quite fitting that this restaurant is named for him. Chef Avinash Kapoor has an adventurous take on Indian food, serving Southern seafood dishes and items that use nontraditional combinations of spices and ingredients. There are sometimes daily […]

 Richard Foss

Fish n’ Chips, Seafood soup: Fishbar

Chef Jessica Jordan has made her mark with Fishbar by focusing on the freshness and quality ofher seafood, and the beloved El Porto restaurant’s fish and chips are no exception. Historically, deep frying fish was a way to take a fish of questionable quality and make it tasty — the presiding ethos was when in […]

 Richard Foss

Pizza: Fresh Brothers

This locally owned chain has taken off, going from one location in Manhattan Beach in 1985 to 10, with locations as far north as Westlake Village. The menu has broadened, too, and includes vegan snacks, meatball sliders and salads. The pizzas are available with deep dish, gluten-free, thin or “skinny” crust and 30 toppings, so […]

 Richard Foss

Rotisserie chicken: Poulet du Jour

When it comes to chicken, this is the specialist. It serves rotisserie chicken, sandwiches and salads made with rotisserie chicken and stuff that goes well with rotisserie chicken. The restaurant has bet its whole operation on serving perfect chicken, and the fact that our readers have repeatedly voted it best in this category indicates this […]

 Richard Foss

Teppanyaki: Banzai Beach

One may argue about what cuisine in the world is tastiest or healthiest, but there’s really no contest over which is most fun to watch someone make. Teppanyaki cooking is an exercise in showmanship, with a chef juggling ingredients, spice shakers, knives and sauce bottles as a meal is cooked on a huge flat griddle. […]

 Richard Foss

Mexican over $10: Palmilla Cocina y Tequila

Our readers show an adventurous streak this year, selecting the most modern Mexican restaurant in the South Bay. The menu and decor here are like nothing else in the area. You dine in an Aztec fantasyland by the light of candles and overhead lanterns, next to a bar that looks like a shrine to tequila. […]

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