Richard Foss

Empanadas on Artesia, Brew destination in El Segundo, Proud Bird taking wing, and dining events

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The Proud Bird will reopen next month with a vastly reimagined menu described as “a multicultural food bazaar.” Photo by Brad Jacobson

The opening of The Empanada Shop on Artesia last week gives everyone a new problem, namely where to eat them. There’s no space inside the shop itself, and if you’re not taking them back to home or office you may find yourself looking for the nearest bus stop bench. My suggestion is the Andrews Parkette on Rockefeller a few blocks away, which I can verify is a nice place to enjoy crisp organic turnovers made with fresh ingredients. Mine were stuffed with carne asada and ancho chillies and with chicken, onions, garlic, and corn. See you there, and leave me a space at the round table in the shade – that one is my favorite (1908 ½ Artesia, RB. 310-994-4947)…

Co-founder and Chef Ruben Frias of The Empanada Shop. Photo by Richard Foss

Interesting Concept, Interesting Food… Brewport is open in El Segundo, and the row of sixty tap handles on the wall will thrill anyone who enjoys adult beverages. There are 48 beers, ten wines, and one each for nitro coffee and kombucha. You get a wristband and pour everything yourself, so opportunities for sampling abound. Their menu has some pretty wild items too, and this is easily the most adventurous new combination of concept and cuisine in a long time. I can’t predict how it’s going to go over with the public, but it’s going to be interesting to watch. (204 Main Street, ES. 310-648-8972)

And Torrance Too…  Local Kitchen American Tavern doesn’t have as avant-garde a style as Brewport, but they’re still likely to make a big impact in formerly staid downtown Torrance. The wide ranging menu is solidly in modern gastropub territory, the interior updates old school style, and the well-stocked bar looks like a lovely place to have a drink. It’s a reason to give a new look at old Torrance, and I look forward to dining there. (1321 Sartori, Torr. 424-337-1321)…  

A Proud Return… The Proud Bird on Aviation in El Segundo had a dated menu and was looking pretty ragged when it closed early last year, so it will be very interesting to see what it looks like after over a year of renovations. The new concept will be a multicultural food bazaar and reopening is scheduled on May 15…

Fish From The Harbor… Torrance is going to get two new casual fish restaurants, with the Ocean Market Grill moving in at the former The Counter location at the corner of Torrance and Hawthorne. It’s an outgrowth of a successful operation in Long Beach and serves seafood as burritos, tacos, sandwiches, or combo plates. The San Pedro Fish Market also plans an opening in the area. The restaurant is capitalizing on their appearances in a web series called “Kings of Fi$h,” a very smart move. No word on opening dates for either yet…  

Event Alerts!… Love grilled cheese sandwiches in all their infinite variety? You should attend the pop-up dinner at South Bay School of Cooking in Redondo this Saturday the 22nd, where you can sample many kinds along with freshly made red pepper and tomato soup and a Scandinavian cheese waffle for dessert. The lactose intolerant might want to avoid this one, but everyone else should go to the schedule at southbayschoolofcooking.com to reserve…  Another kind of pop-up is the Boardinghouse Basque night at A Basq Kitchen in Redondo on April 30. On that day they transform from a traditional European-style restaurant to one offering the hearty cooking associated with Basques in the American West. Soup, salad, entrees, and dessert will be offered with wine for a mere $45 plus T&T. Reserve at 310-376-9215…  And on May 4 Kochi will be hosting a South Indian dinner with Wagner Family Wines – it’s $89 inclusive for five courses with vino to match. Call 310-937-3800 for more info and to reserve…

Mystery Lovers, Listen Up… I try to give you at least some details about the dining events I cover, but this time I can only tell you the date, place, and price. Those are The Standing Room in Hermosa at 6 p.m. on April 26th, and forty bucks total. It’s a special beer dinner, but what will be served and whose brews will not be revealed until you’re there. The daring and omnivorous are encouraged to call 310-318-1272 for reservations…  

Buon Giorno And Kansamnida!… Love and Salt usually offers modern Italian creations, but in May they’re going to offer a different kind of pasta — Korean-style cold noodles with sweet and spicy sesame-gochujang sauce. It’s a team effort with Nguyen and Thi Tran of Starry Kitchen, who have a cookbook coming out soon; they’ll make the sauce for Michael Fiorelli’s handmade noodles. The special will be running all through May, so you can catch a taste of North Asia in Manhattan Beach all month…

Any restaurant openings I should know about, any food and drink events, anybody else making great handmade noodles? I’m at Richard@richardfoss.com…ER

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