2014 is over and done with by now and this page presents an easy compilation of some of the best restaurants in the South Bay to eat at and visit for a sandwich, a pizza, happy hour, or a burger or two.
THE SOURCE CAFE
Restaurant of the Month: May
509 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach
Changes in the way we eat and when we eat compound on a daily basis. The best laid plans of any diet or nutrition fad are so often temporary changes with no sustainable healthy effects. Food, now more than ever, is part of our identity. Insight on where it comes from and how it is grown resonate just as much flavor as taste. Simple, organic, farm to table ingredients underpin the strong focus of health and well-being at The Source Café in Hermosa Beach as the propietor & chef, Amber Caudle, infuses her Spanish & Italian style of cooking to meet the nutritious needs of the South Bay community.
Click here to read more about The Source Cafe.
GRIMALDI’S COAL BRICK OVEN PIZZERIA IN EL SEGUNDO
Restaurant of the Month: June
2121 Rosecrans Ave, Ste. 1399, El Segundo
At the beginning of 2014 that ever congested corridor along Rosecrans Avenue in El Segundo that caters to upscale dining restaurants like Fleming’s Steakhouse, as well as a conglomerate of corporations that lease space in a pro-business zip code with easy access to the 405 freeway, got a new neighbor with some east coast flavor. Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria is not your typical mom & pop “pizza by the slice” joint with locations across the nation and a landmark location that sits in the shadow of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge. The main engine that has driven Grimaldi’s across the country to California is the science behind it all; large coal-burning stoves crank up to approximately 1200 degrees and produce a thin, crispy crust that lays the foundation for a an authentic pie-eating experience.
Click here to read more about Grimaldi’s in El Segundo..
RED CAR BREWERY & RESTAURANT
Restaurant of the Month: July
1266 Sartori Avenue in Old Town Torrance
Historic preservation is a theme that underpins the nature of Old Town Torrance as its one way streets were originally designed to deter motorists from side-stepping highway traffic and using it as a short-cut. The pace of normal life slows down between Sartori & Cravens Avenue and without much notice, nightfall washes away lunchtime business and errands, bringing a simple quietness to Old Town that can be hard to recognize. At night, the street lights range from dim to very dim. The Red Car Brewery & Restaurant is also an homage to the past when Southern California traveled by electric trolley and cars were deemed a luxury item. The Red Car,a restaurant that brews its own beer on site, opened its doors & taps in 2000 which precedes the craft beer South Bay boom led by The Strand Brewery and El Segundo Brewing Co. It is one of the original South Bay brewpubs.
Click here to read more about Red Car Brewery & Restaurant in Old Town Torrance.
MANHATTAN BEACH POST
Restaurant of the Month: October
1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beachh
It is Tuesday night mid-September in Downtown Manhattan Beach just before dusk, the weather is hot and those lucky enough to enjoy a plot of sand on a weekday are treasure hunting for their parked cars hoping the day doesn’t end with a surprise stuck to their windshield. Fashionably well, the evening crowd fills in the vacancy left by the daytime class, Jimmy Buffet beach casual, millennial hipsters, and post-work power suit characters tangle through pedestrian traffic toward a happy hour or restaurant. The great food trends of the last five or so years have permanently migrated down to the South Bay, small plates, gastropub fare, farm to table, tapas, vintage cocktails & craft beer with the likes of Chez Melange’s Bouzy, Eatalian in Gardena, Hudson House and The Source Cafe finding success as some of the original table-setters. A deep cavernous buzz of share plates and wall to wall elbows pack the inside of Manhattan Beach Post every night always accompanied by a long line of eaters waiting to sit down in a location that actually sorted mail during the 1950s to the 1970s.
Click here to read more about M.B. Post.
CAFE ARISTO IN TORRANCE
Restaurant of the Month: November
3768 West 242nd Street in Torrance
Named after a lake that used to cause week long floods during heavy rains, Torrance’s Walteria neighborhood along Hawthorne Blvd. just west of P.C.H.is stacked with small businesses that could help you broker a mortgage, do your taxes, color you hair, clean your carpet, or decorate your pool or patio for starters. A gauntlet of inter-connected plazas not to keen on parking spaces or chic ambiance battle for curbside views, so it’s hard to find one of the best family owned, Mediterranean restaurants in the South Bay amongst the clutter.
Click here to read more about Cafe Aristo in Torrance.
EATALIAN CAFE IN GARDENA
Restaurant of the Month: December
15500 S. Broadway in Gardena
Have you ever been to a culinary theatre? Probably not as it is a bit high minded and normal lease space for restaurant owners is always pared down for efficiency dollar by dollar. It is the nature of the business and wide open vistas in restaurants don’t compute. Opening an authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of pounding steel and sweaty warehouses far away from shopping plazas and daily commutes seems like a math problem with no solution as well. Gardena’s industrial center is outside the familiar warmth of the South Bay, but it houses a restaurant within a factory (or quite possibly a factory buttresses by a restaurant) that stretches the meaning of an old adage that location is everything. Eatalian Café has been seducing hungry eaters under or over the 110 Freeway down into its cavernous den of homemade pastries, gelato, pasta and pizza since 2010.
Click here to read more about Eatalian Cafe in Gardena.