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Jan 27, 2013 10:22 AM

Moderately priced interesting food in the South Bay.

That won't freak my wife with OCD out. We can't go to any "authentic" Asian places, sadly... Preferably near Hermosa and Manhattan. The generously suggested Vietnamese places in Gardena and Inglewood were all nixed. What's am I to do?

ANY type of food will do.

Thanks in advance...

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  1. I guess if one nixes Vietnamese food, it's hard to tell what, "other food" might include. I found that once I started to understand the seemingly exotic names and the range of ingredients and flavors the seemingly of this cuisine, the food itself is both approachable and entertaining to the taste buds. In some ways the flavor profiles are similar to Thai, but more light and delicate in many ways.

    Anyway, it may help to know what kinds of foods/cuisines your wife might find acceptable, as well as a general price range that falls under, "moderately priced." One of the most prevalent examples of food in the South Bay is Japanese, and this can run the breadth of price ranges.

    1. since it appears that, in your case, "interesting" doesn't include exotic, i'd go with uncle bills pancake house for breakfast or lunch.

      imho (and there are many on this board who disagree with me here) stay away from the ultimately mediocre and boring kettle.

      8 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal

        Agree with westsidegal. Some other less exotic moderately priced places in the South Bay I like include:

        FishBar in Manhattan Beach
        North End Cafe in Manhattan Beach
        Lemonade in Manhattan Beach
        Houston's Manhattan Beach
        Old Venice (Greek & Italian) Manhattan Beach
        Martha's 22nd Street Grill in Hermosa Beach
        Mongolian Big Wok (build your own wok stir fry) Manhattan Beach
        Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach
        Good Cuban Food at Havana Mania in Redondo Beach
        Umami Burger Hermosa Beach
        Original Pancake House Redondo Beach
        & Pitfire Pizza opening this week in Manhattan Beach

        1. re: wienermobile

          I have had some really stellar food at Hot's. It's also a good compromise place for our family with interesting food for those who want it and more standard food for those who don't as well as kids meals.

          El Pollo Inka is another one of our family compromise spots. The chicken is very good and appeals to everyone and you can go more exotic or add green sauce if you like.

          1. re: wienermobile

            do they still have the foie gras burger at hot's kitchen ???

            also, can you describe FishBar further ?

            that reminds me that i'm overdue on a visit to uncle bill's too.

            1. re: kevin

              Hot's had the foie burger last month when PETA was picketing them.

              FishBar is a casual full service seafood restaurant with a large menu of fresh fish both grilled and fried. Full bar. No ocean view but it is just one block away. Good prices. Good lunch menu and weekly specials too. Serves late, till 11pm and midnight on Fri. & Sat.

              1. re: wienermobile

                Is it an order at the counter grilled fish joint ?

                Btw, what do you think of Malibu Fish Grill ?

                1. re: kevin

                  FishBar is a full service restaurant, no ordering at the counter here. Complete table service. Great oysters and chowder too.

              2. re: kevin

                Hi Kevin, yes they still have it on the menu, last burger listed as: “THE” Burger balsamic thyme onions, whole grain mustard*
                *served with a complimentary side of foie gras
                I had one yesterday for lunch, it was excellent! Flavorful, rich and beefy at a very reasonable price but they are quite small. Plan on ordering more than just the one burger. They have primarily burgers and a long list of some pretty tasty 'gringo style' tacos and a long list of craft beers.
                I'd like to thank the PETA (People for the Ethical Eatment of Animals) blog for letting me know about this place........


                1. re: sel

                  Exacty. Sounds great.

                  And I will have to thank the PETA people too, soon.

          2. Thanks for all the ideas. Let's put it this way. Number Nine in Hermosa and Thai Dishes in MB are just fine. Yamadaya in Torrance really pushed the envelope and she won't step foot into 99 Ranch again. Other than that, the rules are unwritten...

            1. to help her break out of the bubble, take her to coni'seafood in inglewood. i bet she'll find it a revelation.

              7 Replies
              1. re: raizans

                i've tried taking unadventurous people to coni's before and it didn't go well.
                the unadventurous people insisted on ordering things that weren't on the menu (e.g. salads) and although coni did everything in her power to accommodate them, in the end, a mexican restaurant that did not serve lard-laden beans nor meat dishes, nor bland burritos made with commercial cheese, did not go over well with the chain-restaurant set.

                also the nonadventurous people had problems with spiciness, the lime-acidity, the use of cilantro, and the use of other ingredients that are found in the food at coni's and aren't found in any of the Stouffer's frozen entrees.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  Agreed - similar results for us w/ folks who typically carry a narrow palate. The OP's picky eater seems to have taste buds that suffer from ethniphobia.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    We've taken all manner of folks to Coni's... One thing that goes over well with even the pickiest folks is their Chicharon de Pescado... which is basically fried fish nuggets... Also their Sopa de Camarones is not too fishy and you can ask them to cut off the fish heads...

                    That being said, I probably still wouldn't take someone with OCD there... The thing that gets most people is their 'relaxed' service... If took my SIL there, she'd totally have a fit about the wait staff not refilling water glasses, not picking up plates. not giving her enough napkins...


                    1. re: Dommy

                      the response i got from my "stouffers is the best" group about the chicharone was that they were overcooked, much more well-done than frozen fish sticks or the mcdonald's chicken nuggets.
                      (if during this meal a sharp knife had been on the table i would have committed suicide out of embarrassment)

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        darn, i guess in that case hounds, might just be 1/10 of 1% of the general population.

                        Your friends would have probably loved Sammy's Woodfire, Eddie's, etc.

                      2. re: Dommy

                        That being said, I probably still wouldn't take someone with OCD there... The thing that gets most people is their 'relaxed' service... If took my SIL there, she'd totally have a fit about the wait staff not refilling water glasses, not picking up plates. not giving her enough napkins...

                        I suppose that means about 90% of the Chinese restaurants in SGV are off-limits for your SIL.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          LOL! Actually she still RAVES about our Chinese banquet wedding because of the service we recieved and almost magical set up and then breakdown (She's runs a HUGE interior design business, so she's VERY into logistics)

                          She however was ready to slap a waiter at Ford Filling Station for being too drool...


                  2. also, for interesting salads, sammy's woodfire pizza in el segundo plaza,
                    absolutely do NOT go near their pizzas.