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Oct 21, 2009 08:32 AM

If you moved to the Palos Verdes area, where would you end up eating?

Interesting restaurants, anyone? There must be foodies there, no?

And, for real experts, where would you end up hanging out and having a coffee if you lived on the peninsula? (Is there a non-chain cafe that encourages reading there?) Must you go off the peninsula for a real meal / real coffee and if so, how far?

Please help... (I can reciprocate in the West LA/SM area, but for PV, I'm stumped.)

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  1. For excellent, food driven restaurants that will light a fire under your taste buds you will be driving into Torrance and Redondo Beach for the most part. You should comb through this thread (along with the other threads that are linked within it) to get a good read on the top flight ethnic offerings in the general PV area. You also have the San Pedro area to consider as well. Places like Pavich's (Croatian / Serbian influenced pizza, etc.) are certainly more than holding their own against anyplace in the greater LA area.

    Izakaya Bincho
    112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

    Pavich's Brick Oven Pizzeria
    2311 S Alma St, San Pedro, CA 90731

    8 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Just a little update on Pavich's. I had tried their website, which isn't working, so called out of an abundance of worry. The owner said that the guy who constructed and maintained their website vanished, and they are in the process of opening a second location at the intersection of Summerland and Western Blvd. in the heart of Rolling Hills. So he is waiting to get that second location open and then bringing the website back with both locations listed. This is certainly good news for the hounds living down in PV proper.

      1. re: Servorg

        Cool about Pavich's new spot, but just to be clear: Summerland and Western might still be in San Pedro.

        That intersection is where the San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes (eastside) border is. Rolling Hills is a gated community a few miles away and has no restaurants.

        I have nothing add to these recs -- there doesn't seem to be any good food actually on the hill.

        1. re: missyp

          I just took a look at Google maps and they are telling me that those streets cross in the 90275 zip code - so it seems that it will actually be in Rancho Palos Verdes.

          1. re: Servorg

            It depends on which side of the street their new place is located, Servorg. The zip-code boundary runs through that intersection -- see:

            Ogle Maps gives you either 90275 or 90732, according to whether you specify Rolling Hills Estates or San Pedro as the city.

            Getting back to Pavich, I like that guy and think he sells a decent pizza. Not as delicious as Bollini's, to my taste, but much better (and more carefully made) than Petrillo's, to name another LA Board favorite. Incidentally, I might well stay with Pavich's current location, which has many urban charms, unless the new one offers good drinks and tables and chairs, for example.

            1. re: Harry Nile

              I tried Bollini's the other night and was disappointed. I really wanted to like the place but was underwhelmed by the pizza and pasta dish I ordered.

              I prefer thin crust pizza, but Bollini's is more like wafer-thin crust. It was like eating melted cheese and pepperoni on a toasted cracker.

              We also sampled their wild mushroom fettuccine. It was on the bland side and doused with too much truffle oil. The mixed green house salad, however was great and a generous portion easily enough for two people.

              Service at Bollini's was very attentive, but as far as the pizza goes, Pavich's is still tops for me.

              1. re: Ernie

                Ernie, what kind of pizza did you get? The crust is indeed thin, but, except for the slices of very tasty no-topping pesto pizza offered gratis when you sit down, nothing I've had over the last couple of years (the Porco with tomato sauce being one of my favorites -- for the menu, see: ) was cracker-like. My choices have always had plenty of soft-to-medium chew, and the toppings are high quality.

                I've never ordered anything other than pizza at Bollini's, but I don't like the sound of that fettucine dish, because I don't like the taste of what manufacturers get away with calling "truffle" oil (as I noted in a recent thread on truffles).

                1. re: Harry Nile

                  I tried Bollini's P&S (Pepperoni and Sausage) on my visit there a couple nights ago. Perhaps it was an off-night, but I'm not inclined to go back just for that good mixed salad.

                  1. re: Ernie

                    Ernie, after reading your post I went to Bollini's for the first time in more than a month and -- shazam -- had a crust that was a bit crackery. However, I had asked for less sauce than normal (their pizza often has a little too much for my taste, given the thin crust), and I hoped that was the explanation.

                    I went back two weeks later and noticed that: (1) the crust on the small slices of tasty pesto pizza served gratis while you're waiting was tougher than usual, probably because it had sat around too close to heat; and (2) the full pizzas being eaten at other tables were clearly not of the cracker persuasion -- they drooped and folded like good thin-crust pizza should.

                    I'm glad to report that my own order -- again the Porco with added pepperoni but this time with full sauce -- was very good, no crackers in sight. As I have reported numerous times, it is far, far better than the average LA pizza pie.

                    So unless you specified easy on the sauce, I can't explain your cracker crust. I encourage you to try again and let them know about the bad experience last time. The chef-owner is a local boy made good ( ) who shows a strong commitment to his customers.

                    Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana
                    2315 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

    2. The Penninsula is not a foodie destination.

      The Steak House has great Kobe-style streaks. Just down the hill a bit off Crenshaw, but a definite go-to spot. And I second Pavich Pizzeria, but it's pretty much for take-out only.

      In Lomita you have Gaja Okonomiyaki and Chantily Bakery, both pretty unique spots.

      In Rancho PV, Admiral Risty has been solid, if unspectacular for seafood.

      1. Some links

        Patisserie Chantilly
        2383 Lomita Blvd., #104, Lomita, CA 90717

        Gaja Moc
        2383 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

        Admiral Risty
        31250 Palos Verdes Drive West, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

        1. For coffee, the pickings are kind of slim if you want to avoid Fourbucks, Peets, Coffee Bean, etc. Coffee Cartel in Riviera Village used to be OK, but IMO, it's gotten run down and the coffee, frankly, is not as good as the chain offerings. The two places I hit up most often are Malaga Cove Ranch Market in the Malaga Cove plaza and the Fourbucks in the Golden Cove Center on the corner of Hawthorne and PV Dr. W. Neither is life-altering. If you want to read, I'd say hit the Fourbucks in Golden Cove. They have a patio with firepits that overlooks the ocean that has a view that's so great that it pretty much offsets the fact that you just bought your beverage from a faceless multi-national conglomerate. Bring sunglasses.

          Food-wise, PV proper is a wasteland with a few exceptions (e.g., the brunch at Trump). Within a 10-15 mile radius, it's still not a food mecca on the order of the westside or the SGV, but it's definitely gotten better in the last few years. Here are places we go to and would recommend:

          Oumi Sasaya (udon in the same center as Gaja, Chantilly, get the cold tempura/mochi udon)
          Santouka Ramen at the Nijiya food court
          Shinsengumi, Shisen, Ramen California, Hakata, Gardena Ramen, ramen joints in Torrance and Gardena. I personally think Santouka is the best of all of them.
          Izakaya Bincho, already mentioned
          Fanoo's Grill, solid Persian in the monster center at PCH/Crenshaw
          Torihei, oden and yakitori at Carson/Western
          Musha, izakaya in same center as Torihei
          Quality Seafood at RB Pier
          Neil's and Raffaello's, Italian in San Pedro
          Pavich's, pizza in San Pedro, already mentioned (get the quattro gusti)
          A-1 Market on 8th in San Pedro is a very good Italian market
          La Espanola in Harbor City for sick, sick serrano ham sandwiches and paella
          Ortega 120 in RB at PCH/Prospect for higher end Mexican
          Ichimi-An in old Torrance for soba
          Miura, Hirose and Sushi Ken in Torrance for sushi (in that order)
          Japonica on PCH/Avenue G in Redondo for shi-shi izakaya
          Yuzu in old Torrance for pretty good izakaya

          Mexican w/in 10-15 minutes of PV is pretty mediocre, with the notable exception of Isaac's on Fries in Wilmington that has an outstanding carne asada burrito.

          Chinese in the radius is mediocre too, IMO. We go to Seashore (PCH/Calle Mayor) and PV Palace (PCH/Narbonne), but they ain't Din Tai Fung or or J&J, for sure.

          For "fine dining" in the immediate area, the options include Gina Lee's (Redondo Beach), Restaurant Christine (Torrance), Trump and Terranea in RPV, Chez Melange (Redondo Beach), Buona Sera (Redondo Beach).

          I used to be more up to date on Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, but no more. There are places worth trying in those areas, I'm sure.

          We've lived in PV for awhile. You don't move here for the food, if you know what I mean. That said, it's not bad and it's getting better, especially if you like Japanese.

          Good luck!

          2 Replies
          1. re: steve1244

            How is Hirose? I've been meaning to try but haven't gotten around to it yet. Always enjoy Miura.

            1. re: baloney

              We've been to Hirose twice. Both times it was quite good. IMO, if you like Miura, you'll like Hirose.

          2. When you live in PV, almost everything is a twenty minute drive, so it's no big deal to travel for good food.
            San Pedro is your best coffee bet.