Richard Foss

A La Carte: Dining News for 05 January 2017

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Openings in Hermosa, new French restaurant in MB, whiskey and wine dinners, and more

by Richard Foss

Long Awaited Openings… Over two years since the previous tenant departed, the Laurel Tavern has opened just north of the corner of Hermosa Avenue and Pier. The décor is classic, the cocktail selection abundant, the food menu a brief list of sandwiches and sides. They seem to anticipate confusion about their ordering system, since they have emblazoned reminders to order at the bar on the menu, website, front door, and every other available surface. A prominent hole in the downtown dining and nightlife scene has been filled (1220 Hermosa Ave., 424-275-9694)… A block away, Local 90 has opened their second location serving Neapolitan thin-crust pizzas. Their new chef Michele Galifi worked in a pizzeria in Sicily beginning when he was eight years old and stayed with that specialty when he moved to the U.S., so there is a lot of expertise here (1040 Hermosa Ave., HB. 310-372-9090)…A

Expanding On An Ancient Cuisine… The Redondo Boardwalk’s A Basq Kitchen has been bravely presenting the traditional cuisine of their region along the border of Northern Spain and Southern France, and they have a new ally. Chef-partner Michael Mazzotta joins the business with an eclectic skill set, as he recently returned from several months in Southeast Asia studying traditional street foods. He’s not promising Thai-Basque fusion, but may bring some modern and global ideas alongside the paellas and other items served there. His skills will be on display at a beer pairing dinner with King Harbor Brewery on January 22 — price is $49, and reservations may be made by calling 310-376-9215 (136 International Boardwalk, RB)…

Another Cuisine On The Way… Manhattan Beach will soon have an interesting distinction: Les P’tit Bretons will be the only restaurant in greater Los Angeles to focus on the authentic cuisine of Brittany, the westernmost region of France. The area is famous for abundant seafood, buckwheat crepes, and flaky pastries made with their famously rich and sweet butter. This is chef Olivier Jouet’s first restaurant in the US, but he is famed in France and ranked first out of 240 chefs in a Parisian competition. Star power will be coming to the corner of Marine and Highland Avenue as soon as the remodel is finished, probably sometime in February…

Opening Postponed… In an earlier edition of this column I said that the new Mama D’s in Redondo would be open by the end of December of last year. That was the plan, but according to staff reached at the Manhattan Beach location the new target is the end of January. Redondoans who want a Mama D’s calzone will have to commute until then. Elsewhere in town, a branch of the Paris Bakery chain will open next to Whole Foods in Redondo. This Korean-owned company offers excellent quality traditional and fusion pastries, as well as a range of sandwiches and coffees. I have enjoyed their baked goods in their Koreatown location and am delighted that their croissants and danishes will be available close to home…

Event Alerts… Chez Melange has had a relationship with the Grgich Hills winery ever since the restaurant opened, and the winery has returned the favor by bringing their best to wine dinners and other events. Winemaker Ivo Jeramaz will be bringing his wares to a wine dinner on Monday, January 23 — Price is $90 plus T&T. Phone 310-540-1222 for reservations and more details (1611 S. Catalina, RB)… If you prefer liquor with your meals, you might consider attending the Hudson whiskey dinner at, where else, Hudson House. Six different expressions of Hudson whiskey will be paired with cuisine from chefs Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts on January 16th. The price is $85, and you can see the whole menu and make reservations at this link:

The French Winter Delight… One of the joys of winter in Southern France is the cassoulet, a rich stew of sausages, duck confit, vegetables, and white beans that is slow-simmered for days to meld the flavors. Because it’s an incredible amount of work to make very few restaurants serve this, but one does so at least ounce a year. On 17 January Dominique’s Kitchen will serve a three-course meal of soup, cassoulet, and the buttery pastries called K0uign-Amann, all for only $39 plus tax & tip. Reserve at 424-247-9054, and do it quick because they will sell out!     

Any new restaurants I should know about, any events? I’m at… ER


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