Richard Foss

Trust I-Naba chef, more cheese, beer and Italian offerings, Basque and Prohibition events

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A La Carte dining news column for 23 November 2017

Big Change In A Little Restaurant… I-Naba opened in a cubbyhole on Highland across from Uncle Bill’s earlier this year, and at first they offered only sushi to go. Recently they switched to a much more unusual business model: offering deluxe omakase tasting menus of sushi at a counter with only eight seats. They offer four levels, at prices from $80 per person to $180, and the reports I have heard have been rapturous. I don’t know of any other place in the area that uses this business model, and it will be interesting to see whether this catches on. 1300 Highland #107, Manhattan Beach…

Milk And Artistry… Andrew’s Cheese Shop is about to open in a former jewelry store on Highland, just north of Manhattan Beach Boulevard. The small but pretty space will be stocked with wine, cheese, and all things to pair with both. With the recent opening of Cultured Slice in Hermosa, the South Bay has gone from zero cheese shops to two…  

Benvenuto to Manhattan House… If you have visited Manhattan House Gastropub lately you probably noticed a shift in focus. Though the farm to table aesthetic is still prominent, the contemporary eclectic menu now has a pronounced Italian flair. Founding chef Diana Stavaridis has moved on, and replacement Juan Torres is a veteran of the acclaimed Beverlywood restaurant Sotto. The popular lamb meatballs and a few other items from the old menu remain, but there have been profound changes elsewhere. Those who appreciate seasonal Italian have a new destination in the area. 1019 Manhattan Beach Blvd…

No More Brats, Much More Brau… Brat & Brau was fun while it lasted, but the space will soon become the tasting room for Hermosa Brewing Company. They will continue serving food, but it won’t be the same menu.  Expect a brief closure for remodeling in early December…

A Basque Banquet, Now With Music!… A Basq Kitchen has been presenting occasional boarding house style Sunday suppers, and the next one brings in a new element. On December 3, Solange Marie Kay Igoa will sing traditional Basque folk songs, and by all accounts she’s a dynamic performer with a powerful, passionate style. Dinner with wine or beer will run you $65, a remarkable deal for a one of a kind evening. For reservations go to their website at abasqkitchen.com

Party Like It’s 1933… As my regular readers know, I’m a culinary historian and sometimes announce related events in this column. The next one in our era is special: To commemorate the Dec. 5 anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, I’ll be hosting a dinner with a menu from the Roaring Twenties.  This will be at J. Trani’s in San Pedro, and the fourth-generation chef will be cooking menus from his great-grandfather’s kitchen. After the meal I’ll present a humorous and informative talk called “How Prohibition Changed America,” which will include cocktails from the period. The proceeds will benefit the Pacific Food and Beverage Museum, and I do hope some of you will come out for a fun and informative evening. You can see the whole menu and make reservations at Pacificfood.org…

Any more restaurant openings I should know about, any events, any other nights of music and food? I’m at Richard@richardfoss.com. ER  

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