If you haven’t seen Roman Aroma Café, that’s no surprise. It’s hidden next to King Shabu Shabu and a car wash. The surprise is the ‘60s Italian decor
by Richard Foss Categories are useful. If you’re with someone and they suggest going to a coffeehouse, you know what they’re craving. This sets up problems for non-native speakers who have to be told that a coffeehouse is different from a coffee shop. One is a place for gourmet coffee with only a cursory […]
Hostaria Piave’s Venetian finesse is a welcome contrast to southern Italy’s more brazen flavors
South Bay ‘s Hostaria Piave, a stylish restaurant near the corrner of PCH and Torrance Blvd.
The clay pot was full of some of the hottest food I have ever liked. I’ve had hotter, but I endured it rather than actually enjoyed it.
A few years ago, I spent an afternoon in a Thai culinary garden learning about the sight, scent, and flavor of the herbs that make that cuisine so magnificent. I tasted the world’s spiciest basil, something that is so pungent that even Thais wear eye protection when cooking it, as well as fruity pandan leaves, […]
Mickey's Deli has a lot of practice at keeping Hermosans happy.
In 1953 Dwight Eisenhower was President, Elvis Presley graduated from high school, and a fellow named Michelangelo Mance started a deli in Hermosa Beach. His clientele included surfers who showed up with whatever pocket change they could scrape together. To keep them happy he started selling marinara sauce sandwiches for five cents each. Sixty-four years […]
The Garden Thai in small strip mall restaurant has little going on when it comes to ornamentation, but their cooking has the subtle use of powerful spices that is the hallmark of Thai cuisine.
by Richard Foss In 1953 Dwight Eisenhower was President, Elvis Presley graduated from high school, and a fellow named Michelangelo Mance started a deli in Hermosa Beach. His clientele included surfers who showed up with whatever pocket change they could scrape together. To keep them happy he started selling marinara sauce sandwiches for five […]
After seven years the South Bay's first Cajun restaurant is back where it started.
The sound of Cajun music can be heard on Pier Avenue again, but it’s coming from the other side of the street. After seven years in two different locations, Stephen Domingue has reopened the Original Ragin’ Cajun on the same block where he started. Domingue left Louisiana in 1988 and got a job as the […]
Hot Summer, Hot Dining Scene… After a lull in openings and changes, things are heating up in the South Bay restaurant scene. The big surprise is the changeover at Chez Melange, which will close for a few days and reopen with a brighter main room and new concept. That news and a story about the […]
The South Bay's famous culinary innovator undergoes a transformation.
During a meeting between two restaurateurs who had been business partners for 35 years, Robert Bell uttered a fateful sentence. “I said to Michael, “The good news is that everyone knows Chez Melange. The bad news is that everyone knows Chez Melange.” Michael Franks agreed with his partner’s assessment. They needed to change the name […]
OB’s is a worthy throwback to the era of peanut shells on the floor
by Richard Foss I’m glad I don’t have a peanut allergy because I like places with peanut shells on the floor. Bars and restaurants that have them are carrying on a great American tradition. The oldest example cited by historian Andrew F. Smith a 1803 New York newspaper column written under the name “Philo Drammaticus.” […]
California Sushi & Teriyaki evokes the Japanese pushcarts where sushi was first served
by Richard Foss Friends who travel to Japan on business regale me with tales of meals that cost more than I paid for my airline ticket on my last trip. I’d like to visit those places, but would be more interested in humbler meals at pushcarts called yatai. These start out looking like a box […]
An ancient cuisine gets an update from rising chef Michael Mazzotta
Basque cuisine might not seem like the obvious springboard for creative fantasies. There are delicious dishes based mainly on seafood and the excellent local cheeses and breads, but there isn’t a wide variety of seasonings or vegetables to work with. It’s hearty and based on natural goodness rather than innovative combinations. Nevertheless chef Michael Mazzotta, […]
New Restaurant in Sushi Duke Space, Trellis Wine House Project Canceled, Upcoming Food and Wine Events, And More Dining News
South Bay dining news for August 10th, 2017
Dog Days Of Summer… August in the South Bay is a slack time for restaurant debuts, as most owners try to move heaven and earth to be open during the tourist season. The only big opening in the near term is a delayed one, as the Original Ragin Cajun in Hermosa hoped to be open […]
The 100-page tea menu includes a guide to tea terminology and the art of reading tea leaves. The staff knows tea and will enhance your experience
by Richard Foss When I asked the Chado Tea Room manager how many varieties of tea were available, he sadly told me that there were only 398. There are 405 on the menu, but seven are seasonal or were out of stock. I assured him that I expected to find something I liked […]
A day in the life of an itinerant barbeque master
by Richard Foss Dustin Bartz wasn’t a particularly avid barbecue fan when he left the South Bay for Texas for his job as a security camera distributor. As he remembers it, “I went to Austin in 2007 and stayed for three years, and that’s where I learned what barbecue was supposed to taste like. When […]