Richard Foss

South Bay Dining News: Zina, Krust Bakery comes to Redondo, Superba opens in El Segundo, Orlando’s ambition expands, and more…

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Orlando Mule of Orlando’s Pizzeria shows off a berry dessert with new sous-chef Naeem Muhammad. Muhamad is a local native who traveled and cooked in Brazil and Hawaii before returning to Redondo.

Orlando Mule of Orlando’s Pizzeria shows off a berry dessert with new sous-chef Naeem Muhammad. Muhamad is a local native who traveled and cooked in Brazil and Hawaii before returning to Redondo.

Same Idea, Different Places… Redondo will soon have two new bakery coffeehouses, and according to Google Maps they are all of 367 feet from each other. Krust Bakery is coming to a space on PCH that was very briefly Green Roast Coffee – and if you never noticed it I’m not surprised, because it is well back from the street facing a parking lot at the corner of Avenue E. Krust may be open when you read this, and if not it will be soon – construction was almost complete when I stopped in. They’ll have a new competitor soon, and it’s someone with a familiar name in the South Bay. Zina, who used to own the restaurant and bar by the same name in Torrance, will be opening a bakery café in the former TKP Provisions space. It’s too early to tell what either place will specialize in, but I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve been able to sample their wares…

Same Style, Different Attitude… The building at the corner of Yukon and Artesia has been a burger joint for decades, but a recent remodel has made it a rather classier place than the architecture would suggest. In their new incarnation as Burger Bistro Grill they’re dishing out buffalo cauliflower, truffle fries, and a burger inspired by Cuban sandwiches. There’s some energy in what had been a dull space, and it’s nice to see modern ideas filtering into mainstream fast food…

And Speaking Of Upscaling… Orlando’s Pizza opened in February of this year with an eccentric menu that included Montreal-style Canadian items alongside pizzas and simple pastas. They recently debuted a more ambitious menu with more entrees like fresh fish, lamb shanks, and steaks. There are some interesting vermouth-based drinks too – if you’re used to this as a flavoring in cocktails, you may be surprised to find what it does mixed with watermelon juice and lemonade. An interesting place just gets more so…

Event Alerts!.. Love & Salt will be hosting a dinner on December 3 to support an interesting cause: the Local Grains Project, a heritage grain farm near Tehachapi in Kern County. This fundraiser will allow them to purchase farm equipment and increase the supply of wheat to Los Angeles area bakeries and restaurant. The dinner will cost $80 per person, or $115 with wine pairings – call 310-545-5252 for menu and details… The Strand House will be resuming their Culinary Masters series with a Dec. 7 appearance of chef Bev Gannon, who will showcase recipes from her restaurant on Maui. She’s a nominee for a James Beard award and one of the leaders in the New Hawaiian Cuisine movement, a set of flavors that has made few appearances here. Cocktails, dinner, and wine is $140 all 310-545-7470 for reservations…

Winter Is Icumen In, Break Out The Truffles And Wine… One of the delights of November is the truffle season – the fresh ones are being flown in as I write this, and many restaurants are adding them to menus. Mar’Sel at Terranea is running a white truffle tasting menu through November and will switch to a black truffle menu in December – there’s a menu at terranea.com or you can call 310-265-2836 for details… The Beaujoulais Nouveau is another rite of November – the first bottles of the 2015 vintage will be uncorked on November 19.  The grapes were picked last month and made into the famous style of wine that will be past its prime by Christmas, so enjoy it during its brief availability…

One Brazilian Down… The tiny Copacabana restaurant on Pier Avenue served good food but wasn’t economically viable – the buffet table swallowed almost half of the potential seating in the restaurant, so they needed a huge takeout business to survive. They evidently didn’t get it – the banner is up for another outpost of Amigo’s Tacos….

Debuting in El Segundo… Superba Food and Bread is scheduled to open this weekend at The Point, and their focus on doing everything possible in-house fits the profile of other restaurants in this development. I wonder if there will be parking issues once everybody is up and running, since the lots are already somewhat crowded at peak times. Meanwhile in downtown, Kagura, a restaurant specializing in Japanese-style fried pork cutlets, is scheduled to open on Main around the end of November…

Another World Is Close By Freeway… Moroccan cuisine isn’t available in the South Bay, though it’s within reach if you’re willing to take a short drive to San Pedro. Babouch has been serving that cuisine in a palatial atmosphere for 38 years, and recently unveiled a new menu of modern Moroccan entrees. They’re also enticing people who enjoy their traditional menu with a price rollback – to celebrate their anniversary they’re offering full dinners with main course, soup, salad, and bread for only fifteen dollars. Believe me, it’s worth the drive…

Monday Night Deal… Monday is usually a low traffic night for restaurateurs, which is why some places are closed that evening. Paul Martin’s on Rosecrans has a different strategy – on every Monday they offer dinner for two with a bottle of wine for the amazing price of $49. There are three choices, and it’s a pretty remarkable deal…

Reality Check For Complainers… I was at a small restaurant specializing in seasonal cuisine and overheard someone at a neighboring table complaining at length that they were out of her favorite item. This will happen if a restaurant actually uses fresh food rather than frozen – some days the ingredients available at the farmer’s market won’t be up to the chef’s standards, or a popular item will sell out. A little unpredictability in selection is the price you pay for dining where quality ingredients used, and if you’re going to get all cranky about this, you just might be in the wrong place. And whatever you do, please don’t take your frustrations about things not being available on your server – their job is hard enough without being snapped at because they are the bringers of bad news…

Any new restaurants I should know about, any culinary events? I’m at richard@richardfoss.com

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