Mongolian in Redondo, Brazilian in Hermosa, food festivals and other events


Steppes to the Beach: Thanks to a recent opening, Redondo has a curious distinction — it’s home to one of only two restaurants in greater Los Angeles serving real Mongolian cuisine. Ayan, which means “life” in Mongolian, is located in the former Denny’s at Artesia and Aviation. They opened last week, serving the dumplings, stir-fries, and other simple, mildly flavored dishes of the vast northern grasslands, as well as Asian fusion and a few Italian-inspired items. They’re still in the soft opening phase and are getting the bugs worked out of their ordering system, so dining there may take a while, but they offer an experience you can’t get anywhere else in the area (1760 Aviation, RB).

Ayan, which means “life” in Mongolian, has opened in the former location of the the former Denny’s at Artesia and Aviation in Redondo Beach. Photo by Richard Foss

And more openings: And there have been a lot lately. Panela’s, which has operated a successful restaurant in a residential area of North Redondo for years, is serving in the former Silvio’s on the Pier Plaza. They offer the classics of Brazilian cuisine and have a following in the South American community.This high-profile location will introduce them to the broader community (20 Pier Avenue, HB)…Another outgrowth of a local success is the South Redondo location of Lobster Guy’s Rolls & Fries, which opened just a year after their popular Artesia branch. They opened so recently that the company’s website doesn’t yet mention their existence, but I had lunch there so I can attest that they’re open (800 S. PCH, Redondo)… There are also two openings in Rolling Hills Estates, which is not usually a hive of restaurant activity. Little Oliva, which has the same ownership as the Yellow Vase Café, is serving Mediterranean food in the location that was briefly Cheebo. The mainstays of the short menu are Greek and Italian, with a smattering of global items, and prices are modest (700 Deep Valley Drive, RHE)… And in last month’s edition of this column, I had noted that Brewco Social had opened but then closed while a permit problem was resolved. It was handled quickly, and they’re serving the full menu now (124 MB Boulevard, MB…

Coming Attractions: Construction is ongoing at the former Chez Melange/Perfect Storm location on a restaurant that will be called Montauk. No menu has been released yet, but since that town on Long Island is famous as a fishing harbor, it will probably be heavy on seafood. Their Instagram feed promises coastal plates, and I presume they’re referring not to the crockery, but to what is on it… The Sleepy Seal Coffee Shop is coming to a tiny cottage on PCH near Siam I Am, and I have questions about the name, starting with whether the proprietor is an actual aquatic mammal. I had no idea that pinnipeds enjoyed coffee, though if the seal is still sleepy after knocking back a few lattes, perhaps it should switch from decaf to the stronger stuff. We won’t know the answer until fall, because much construction remains to be done… I know only slightly more about the MaPi Eatery, namely that they plan to serve sandwiches, salads, and smoothies from another small location on PCH. If anybody out there can put me in contact with the owners so I can find out the reason for the name and when they’ll open, my contact information is at the end of this column… Finally, I have been getting lots of questions about the opening of Beachlife Grotto in Riviera Village, which is scheduled to debut within the next month. Chef Jacob Ramos will be Exec for both the Riviera Village location and the ambitious California Surf Club project. His resume includes stints at stylish restaurants in LA and Cabo San Lucas. The menu will be seafood-centric and promises recipes that are global yet tradition-based, which sounds exciting… Readers have been asking what will be going into the vacant spaces next to the Cinema West Theater on Rosecrans. The former P.F. Chang’s is vacant and on the market, but there is a surprising development next door. According to a reliable source, the space that was The Butcher, The Baker, and the Cappuccino Maker may reopen under the same ownership. There was a clue that I missed — they’ve been closed for two years, but the murals on the walls haven’t been repainted, as an owner would do if they were looking for a new tenant…

And closings: In a review of Aprons that came out just two weeks ago, I mused over whether a modest family restaurant could survive on Hermosa Avenue in downtown. I didn’t expect to have an answer this fast. Aprons closed just before the Fourth of July weekend, and will be replaced by another location of fast-growing chain El Goloso. This is remarkable in two ways – that location has been three restaurants in the last nine months, Blue Agave, Marena, and Aprons, so it’s on track to be four. I don’t know any other location with that dubious distinction. Second, that means El Goloso will at least temporarily have three locations within a mile of each other in Hermosa, on PCH, Pier Avenue, and Hermosa Avenue. I believe that they may be approaching the saturation point. I called the Pier Avenue location to ask if they would be closing, but the staff member who answered said they hadn’t heard anything… The Breakfast Burrito Factory on PCH remains closed after more than a month, with a sign on the door saying that they lacked an operating permit. This a paperwork problem rather than a sign that anything unsafe was going on during the brief time they were open, but the fact that it isn’t resolved after more than a month is a matter for concern. This location has been four restaurants in two years, and an exorcism may be in order…

Event Alerts: One of Redondo’s most beloved events is the Greek Festival, which will be at St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church July 12-14. This year marks six decades of the event that includes music, dance, kid’s games, and more. Head for 722 Knob Hill Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday, and wish them a happy anniversary and sixty more years… Dine LA Restaurant Week also starts on July 12 and runs through the 26th, and as always many South Bay restaurants are participating. If there is a place you have been curious about, look them up on the DiscoverLosAngeles.com website — there’s no better time to explore the restaurant community… Radici hosts their monthly wine pairing dinner on July 14th, featuring shrimp and zucchini risotto, braised lamb shoulder, and other delights. It’s $105 plus tax and tip, about $135 – reserve at the restaurant or at their Open Table page…. The Terranea Food & Wine Festival will take over the resort on July 21, and as always there will be a lot more to delight the palate and your other senses — a variety of spirits will be available for tasting, plus Caribbean music by Upstream, yacht rock by the Astro Yachts, and more. Check their website for full details and to purchase tickets — it’s $180 for a day of fun and indulgence… And finally, on July 24 PSP Steak will host a summer wine dinner with Mt. Beautiful and Armistead Wines from New Zealand. These events are always delightful and informative – it’s $150 including tax & tip, and you can reserve at their Open Table page…

A False Lead…  It was announced that the former art gallery at 208 Manhattan Beach Boulevard would be converted to an ocean view restaurant, and there was some excitement when a poster went up announcing the imminent opening of something called King Claw. There is a chain of crab and lobster places called King Claw Seafood & Bar, based in the Carolinas, and that company’s logo appeared in searches about this property. A visit this weekend revealed that the actual tenant is a pop-up store called King Claw, featuring claw machines, stuffed toys, and other novelties. The store is evidently a placeholder, so work on the restaurant renovation will probably begin after the summer…

In Closing: If you know a restaurant opening I might’ve missed, a culinary event that should be covered, or just about anything related to food that I should know about, please send the information my way. I’m at richard@richardfoss.com. And as long as you’re on the internet, check out past restaurant reviews on our website at https://easyreadernews.com/restaurants. ER



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