Richard Foss

Big change in Upper Pier dining, Derby Day celebrations, Veteran’s wine benefit, Brunches, and More Dining News

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

A La Carte for 04 May 2017

Next Dance In Hermosa… Restaurants change hands all the time, and often nobody knows except employees who notice a different signature on their paychecks. Those changes become news when the new owner changes things, though it should be noted that what is an improvement to one person may annoy another who likes things as they are. It’s impossible to know what will happen as a result of the latest round of sales, but it looks like we are in for new concepts in well-established places.

A case in point is the former Tammie’s Corner Café in South Hermosa, which will be renamed Serve and run by Jon Mesko. Mesko’s experience is in franchise operations, but he has put some thought into creating an independent operation that will fit the neighborhood where he lives. The concept appears to be a moderately priced place serving New American food from breakfast through dinner, with an extensive wine selection. They promise to keep muffins on the menu using Tammie’s recipe, so the most popular item from the previous place will still be available. No estimate yet on how soon they’ll serve the first meal…

Another evolution that has been announced is the sale of Buona Vita after over twenty years of serving classic Italian food with liberal corkage policies. The restaurant will continue operations with the current menu and under the current name, but you might watch for some French items to be added to the menu over time to reflect the culture of the new owner…

Almost next door, Thai Top has served its last order of Pad Kee Mow, marking the end of an era. The restaurant opened in the 1990s, and took over from famous Chinese dive Fook Gin that had been there since the ‘60s, so this will be the first time in over fifty years that something other than Asian food will be served in that building. Remodeling is underway to turn this into The Original Ragin Cajun, and owner Stephen Domingue predicts an opening sometime in early June…  

Event Alert: A Tasting For Veterans… Want to learn about food and wine pairings and support a local veteran’s group? On Saturday, May 13th, there will be a six-course wine and food tasting experience at American Legion Post #184 on Camino Real in Redondo. It costs a mere fifty dollars, and if one of the Champagne corks hits the ceiling it will be appropriate because the event is a fundraiser to replace the roof. Live music will follow, making this one a rare bargain. For more information check the link at post184.com.   

One Open, One Coming Soon… Manhattan Beach acquired a new Japanese take-out option with the opening of I-naba, which is serving up sushi in a tiny space next to the library on Manhattan Avenue. The offshoot of a popular Torrance chain is serving bento box combos, poke, and sushi to go, and you will definitely get it to go because there isn’t even a chair inside. The location is well-hidden, so I was surprised they had a line when I stopped by to take a peek. (1300 Highland Avenue #108, MB 310-545-3345)… A little further north, work continues at Les P’tit Bretons at the corner of Marine and Highland. They hope to open within a month and the hiring sign is up so they evidently believe they can do it…

Event Alert: Mint Juleps For All!… Derby Day is a big event is the South, and on the first Saturday in May, TVs in public places are tuned to whatever channel is carrying the action live from Louisville. The race itself lasts just two minutes, but provides an excuse to carouse for hours beforehand. There are two shindigs in the South Bay, one at Shade in Manhattan Beach at the other at the Manhattan Country Club. Shade’s is the simpler affair – everyone is invited to dress in Southern high style to watch the ponies on a big screen and enjoy themed appetizers and mint juleps. There is no cover or minimum, but it’s a good idea to reserve if you want to join the fun – call 310-469-3466. If you prefer a more lavish event, reserve seats at the Country Club, which will feature a Champagne brunch and live music by Lou Giovanetti, Cool Whip, and Mikie Smithers. Tickets are available with or without brunch – go to this link at ticketfly.com. Wherever you go, we presume you will see more string ties with white suits and Easter egg-colored hoop skirts with matching bonnets than you will the rest of the year…    

Brunch Is Big Business… Is it the imminent summer that turns our attention to brunch? Whatever the reason, two local eateries are jumping into the market. Primo Italia is offering Italian and American favorites with flair — who else gives you the choice of items like ricotta pancakes in a cast iron pan with homemade honey syrup, a pork belly pizza with eggs and arugula, or grilled half lobster with market veggies? Check their online menu now, but don’t start the car yet — their first day of service is May 14, which by an astonishing coincidence is Mother’s Day…  Standing Room in Hermosa is less upscale but also breaks out a cast iron skillet for their brunch version of Loco Moco, a Hawaiian-Korean fusion item of ground beef, kimchi fried rice, fried egg, and cheese. A lighter option that is served the same way is a skillet vegetarian frittata or skillet pork belly benedict, both available with bottomless mimosas or other beverages. I applaud the new brunch options, but have one question – Is this happening because there is a really good cast iron skillet salesman out there?…

And Random Information… If you have been getting Craiger’s Fudge at farmers markets, you will rejoice that it will soon be available any day — they’re opening a store by the corner of PCH and Catalina. To the east, Pinwheel French Bakery is finally open in the former L’Amande space in Torrance, and they’re baking superb breads and pastries. I tried a whole wheat baguette that was as light as any standard version, which is a marvel indeed…

Any other events I should know about, any new openings, any deals on slightly used skillets? I’m at Richard@richardfoss.comER

 

comments so far. Comments posted to EasyReaderNews.com may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login