Richard Foss

Bretons Gone, Ribs Back, Pizza, PETA, and Primo: Dining News for 08 February 2018

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A La Carte South Bay dining news for 2/08/2018

Manhattan Bread and Bagel celebrated its 25th anniversary in January. The bakery is known for its artisan breads and seasonal specialties, including green bagels and Irish soda bread on St. Patrick’s Day.

Popular Until The Day They Closed… The big surprise of the last week was the sudden closure of Les P‘tits Bretons, the elegant little French restaurant at the corner of Marine and Highland in Manhattan Beach. It’s an unfortunate end to an establishment that seemed to be on the rise…

In Brighter News, Here Come The Openings… Chicago For Ribs returned to Redondo Beach after more than a decade’s absence, and the remodeled space is a showplace. The room that was dingy and claustrophobic as Casa Pulido sparkles now, and when I stopped by there was a line to be seated. The menu is the same as their other locations, focused on American classics such as steaks, simple seafood, burgers, and of course ribs. (228 Avenue I, Redondo Beach)

The other big Redondo opening was Enrique’s Cantina, which did something audacious: their first day in business was Super Bowl Sunday. Most places like to open quietly in order to let the staff work out the kinks with a small crowd, but they obviously don’t believe in that. The place was packed, loud, and looked like fun when I stopped in to reconnoiter. That day was a test run — they’ll be opening for dinner tomorrow and expect to be open for lunch by summer… (320 S. Catalina, Redondo Beach)…

A Banh Mi sandwich with fries at Pho Hui Oi. Photo by Richard Foss.

At the opposite end of Redondo, I finally stopped in at Pho Hui Oi, the new quick serve Vietnamese place at the corner of Marine and Inglewood. (And yes, that’s Redondo. The northernmost point in the city, but still Redondo.) The Vietnamese sandwiches are the real deal, and they’re served with your choice of salad or good garlic fries. This is an offshoot of a Fountain Valley place that serves a largely Vietnamese community, and they know their business (4061 Inglewood, Redondo Beach)…

The other opening action was in Hermosa, where Hermosa Brewing Company is pouring and serving. The tasting room offers inexpensive gastropub-style bar snacks in a lively, loud environment that is aiming at a younger crowd. The food menu is short now but expected to expand (1342 Hermosa Ave Hermosa Beach)…  Up on the highway, Fabio’s officially replaced Wildflour Pizza, and they remodeled and repainted while they were at it. The dining room is greatly refreshed but very minimally decorated. The menu is brief and composed of salads, sandwiches, pizza, or simple pastas. I tried two slices at lunch and was impressed enough that I’ll be back (2512 PCH, Hermosa Beach)

A Very Strange Proposition… The Hot’s Kitchen space is up for lease, and they have at least one offer that would bring a very strange establishment to Hermosa. Hot’s was noted for serving Foie Gras, and PETA has contacted the landlord about opening a combination vegan café and museum of why eating birds is bad. It’s probably a publicity stunt, but it’s easily the most bizarre idea for an eatery that I’ve heard of…

Event Alerts… Primo Italia is offering a dinner featuring wines from Tuscany’s Querceto Di Castellina on February 15. The price is $125 and if you’re interested you should book soon. These are held in an intimate space and sell out quickly – enter the restaurant’s name in Eventbrite to book…

Chez Melange has scheduled a wine dinner on February 19 with Greg Brewer of Brewer Clifton Winery of Lompoc. Dinner is $79 plus tax & tip for five courses, and you can see the menu and reserve at chezmelange.com

And Just A Bit Out Of The Area… I rarely write about events outside the South Bay, but one at The Autry Museum of the American West has two local connections. I’m the Culinary Programs Consultant for the museum and am hosting an event on Friday, February 23 celebrating the history of street food in Los Angeles. Joining me will be Strand House chef-partner Greg Hozinsky, who has created a menu that updates some classic items that go back to the 1800s. The traditional will be served alongside the modern, Pre-Prohibition cocktails will be offered, a program will offer education and entertainment, and some surprises are promised. The $65 price includes dinner and admission to the galleries – check this link at TheAutry.org…  

It Seems Like Yesterday… Manhattan Bread & Bagel has been open for 25 years as of late January, and it seems only appropriate to celebrate by raising a bagel in their honor. They’re proof that artisan bakeries still have a place in our community, and cherished for their dedication to baking the good stuff and serving it with a smile…

Any openings I missed, any events, any other weird restaurant concepts? I’m at Richard@RichardFoss.com. ER

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