Richard Foss

Best wine store: Uncorked

Best wine store: Uncorked

A small wine store is a lot like an art gallery, a curated selection for connoisseurs rather than a warehouse that might contain gems mixed with dubious items. In a small place, the owners can come to know both their stock and their customers and match one to the other. From your first visit to […]

 Richard Foss

Best seafood soup: Fishbar

Best seafood soup: Fishbar

Fishbar has won this award multiple times, possibly because there are multiple things to love here – South Bay restaurants have been serving chowders and fish stews since the era when patrons arrived in Model T’s, but not in the variety or quality displayed at this establishment. New England and Manhattan style clam chowder are […]

 Richard Foss

Best fresh seafood: Bluewater Grill

Decisions, decisions – and you can’t decide ahead of time, because the menu changes daily. Bluewater Grill offers as many as twenty kinds of fresh fish, either simply grilled or sautéed or in preparations like tacos, pastas, and cioppino. Add in the array of fresh oysters and the Ipswich fried clams – a rarity here […]

 Richard Foss

Best fish & chips: Captain Kidd’s Fish Market

Best fish & chips: Captain Kidd’s Fish Market

Things have changed a bit at this South Bay landmark since one of the partners sold his interest, but the essentials remain the same – good value, casual environment, and famously fine fish and chips. Twelve dollars gets you two big pieces of fish in crunchy batter, as many fryer-fresh fries as the average person […]

 Richard Foss

Best Philly Cheesesteak: Big Mike’s Philly Steaks & Subs

The staff at Big Mike’s are used to homesick Philadelphians who come in to eat cheesesteaks and reminisce about their childhood homes by the broad Schuykill River. We get it – imagine being a Californian living in Philadelphia who has finally found the perfect burrito joint, the one that gets the salsa just right and […]

 Richard Foss

Best pizza: Fresh Brothers

Best pizza: Fresh Brothers

This company is one of many South Bay success stories – they have gone from two locations in the South Bay to eight as widespread as Calabasas and Westlake Village. Their secret is simple – Chicago attention to light, flavorful crusts and a flavorful, strongly herbed sauce, paired with California ideas about freshness and healthy […]

 Richard Foss

Best rotisserie chicken: Poulet du Jour

The chicken is everything you hope for when you envision roasted bird – juicy and tender, with a flavorful, lightly crisp skin. Part of what makes it special here are the creamy garlic sauce and the variety of sides – try the fresh-tasting Mediterranean-style coleslaw with lemon juice and olive oil, creamy or spicy hummus, […]

 Richard Foss

Best specialty salad: Lemonade

We assume our readers didn’t have a specific salad in mind when they voted Lemonade as best specialty salad. Or perhaps each voter had a specific salad in mind, but not necessarily the one anybody else was thinking of. It’s just as valid either way, since Lemonade offers a vast selection of pre-made salads at […]

 Richard Foss

Best sliders: Hot’s Kitchen

The menu at Hot’s Kitchen doesn’t mention sliders, which might make you think they aren’t served there. They are, but not under that name – Hot’s has based their business on selling small portions of many things so that customers enjoy a great variety over the course of a meal. Their burgers are sliders and […]

 Richard Foss

Best Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food: Mediterraneo/The Med Kitchen & Bar

There have been a few changes at the restaurant we have known and loved for so long – founding chef Amber Caudle departed and was replaced by Pedro Pureco, and the name has been changed to The Med. There are new and intriguing items on the menu, but the things we have always loved are […]

 Richard Foss

Best steak under $20: Coyote Cantina

The top steak in this category is at a Mexican restaurant? Yes it is, and it’s something special. The carne asada at Coyote Cantina is a grilled skirt steak topped with caramelized onions, and it’s as tender and tasty as many that cost much more. For $16 you get a substantial piece of meat served […]

 Richard Foss

Best steak over $20: Fleming’s Steakhouse

Our readers agree that Fleming’s is the place where steaks are a science, the specialist spot where you go when you want a piece of meat that has been properly aged and expertly cooked. You can perceive the difference even before you order; the servers here know their stuff, and can intelligently discuss the difference […]

 Richard Foss

Best Mexican food over $10: Coyote Cantina

The décor is the first thing to register – art of amorous, sophisticated coyotes dancing, romancing, and driving fast cars, a whimsical visual introduction to a cheerfully eclectic establishment. The classics are here, but so are some items that take Mexican ideas to new levels – brie and mango quesadilla to start, anyone, or perhaps […]

 Richard Foss

Best Mexican food under $10: El Burrito Jr.

There’s a reason that El Burrito Jr. is enduringly popular, and it’s not the décor – this roadside stand has only a few old picnic tables for seating, but they are often full. The secret is very good food at rock bottom prices, neither of which have changed for years – don’t bother asking about […]

 Richard Foss

Best Tequilla bar: Palmilla

Best Tequilla bar: Palmilla

Behind the bar at Palmilla, the stack of bottles of clear and amber liquid looks like a shrine to tequila. That’s probably because it is one – the people who set up this bar have a respect for that elixir that borders on worship. The great names are here, as well as some you have […]