Cal's South Bay Dining Guide and Links

(and other southern Cal favorities)

Best entry in the last 6 months

Went again 03/08/08. OMG. Met Steve Matthews, the Chef extraordinaire.
I can't even begin to describe it. As usual, dinner tasted like it should have been $1000 a plate.

Bob's Big Boy

Pick a place below or scroll down.

Featured Dining... Acapulco   Aioli   Alpine Inn   Big Boy   Black Angus   Blue Water Grill   Buca Di Beppo   Cafe Luna   Captain Kidd's   Chandra   Chart House   Cheescake Factory   China Buffet   Claim Jumper   Comedy & Magic Club   Curry House   El Burrito Jr.   El Paso Cantina   El Pollo Inka   Empress Pavilion   H.T. Grill   Kincaid's   Kings Hawaiian   La Capilla   La Salsa   Le Petite   Little New York   Lucille's   Macaroni Grill   McCormick & Schmick   Mimi's Cafe   New Delhi-Indian   PF Changs   Phuket Thai   Redondo Beach Cafe   Saladang   Thai Thani   Thai Tiffany   Tony's   Your Feedback

Dancing Entertainment Services/Shop

Next project - reorg the reveiews below by chronological order.


555 East American Steakhouse $$$$ Long Beach

$100 a dinner for $5 worth of food and service.
I was NOT impressed. $12 for a drink? I could have stocked a bar for what we were charged for drinks alone.
Not recommended. (12/28/07)


Formerly a Rocky Cola. It was a little rocky at first.
It was good for a while. Some great stuff as long as you don't order the special.
And why was the special always "Something with 'SMOKED MEAT'"? "SMOKED MEAT"? Could be an Armadillo caught in a grass-fire.
It has really gone downhill. We went there every week and always tipped at 25%
Then they changed the hours and treated us like cattle. Food and service have went downhill.
Not recommended. (07/22/07)

$-$$ Acapulco. 3530 W. Carson (Near Del Amo mall on Carson and Madrona), Torrance. Multiple locations.
Great Mexican food. Similar to El Paso Cantina (same ownership). Some rave over the fish tacos, but I like everything else here too.
$$-$$$ Aioli. 1261 Cabrillo Ave. Torrance (Old Town)
Italian food that's at best, mediocre. Spend how much for how little? Definitely not worth the $5 per bite and 2$ per bite tip these idiots expect. Minimal servings and minimal service. I could order 5 $20 dinners here and leave hungry.
$-$$ Alpine Inn at Alpine Village. 833 W. Torrance Blvd. (near the 110 Fwy.), Torrance, CA
Dozens of daily specials starting around $10. A great Sunday brunch (for now). I don't know what the heck is going on here. Maybe bad management. Service seems to be worse lately. But hey, there is room on the dance floor lately. If you and your sweetie go out for a dance, you'll likely come back and find your table cleared and given to someone else.
$-$$ Big Boy - on Hawthorne near PCH
This place really serves up some good food. Excellent dinners, lunches and breakfasts.
$$-$$$ Black Angus (Stuart Anderson's) - 3405 Carson (near Madrona), Torrance, CA
So so. Way overpriced for what you get. Choice of vegetables: Flavorless broccoli and potato. Steak and fish are usually good but there it ends. Imitation sour cream standard with (warm) baked potato. Dinner salad pretty boring (unless you consider plain iceberg lettuce a salad) and the flavorless dressings are doled out sparingly. Quite a dive from the chain operated in Colorado.
$-$$$ Bluewater Grill - Harbor Drive in Redondo Beach
Right down by my boat, which makes it convenient. Pretty good dining. The mesquite fish and seafood specials are pretty good. The salmon is Squeek's favorite. While the crowds flock to the more trendy Cheesecake Factory nearby, you can usually get seated here. At least for now.
$$-$$$ Buca di Beppo - Pacific Coast Highway & Palos Verdes Blvd.
"Heyya everbuddy! Guessa whut?" Great Italian food. Fun atmosphere. Huge portions. Nostalgic place that has great food and is so much fun, you and your sweetie won't mind if you can't hear each other once in a while. The decor includes many old photos that are fun to check out.
$-$$ Cafe Luna - Two locations in Torrance
Supposedly Italian. They tout themselves highly and send out a lot of ads. But every time I call either business location during their advertised business hours, they are either closed or only catering to parties. I'm glad I haven't wasted my time driving to their locations only to find their doors closed.
$-$$ Captain Kidd's - King Harbor - Redondo Beach
Seafood market. Piles of seafood just waiting to be cooked. Bench style seating and kind of noisy. If you love seafood, they have it all here.
$-$$ ChanDra - 600 Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA
I wish this place had more locations. Some of the best Thai food around and one of the most extensive menus I've seen. Even the spicy stuff is kinda on the mild side so for those of you who are "spicy impaired" you'll love it. Mmmmm, flavor to savor.
$$-$$$$ Chart House - North of Redondo Beach pier
Many selections all prepared well. Generous portions. Great service. Great food. Visit the one on Catalina Island also. Both are really good.
$-$$ Cheesecake Factory - Harbor Drive in Redondo Beach
Quite an extensive menu of everything including cheesecake. Pretty good stuff all prepared a little differently than anywhere else. You won't be disappointed.
$$ China Buffet - 3525 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance
New York Style Chinese Buffet. If that doesn't sound like an oxymoron, I don't know what does. I wonder if there is a "Hong Kong Style American Buffet" in Beijing????? The food here is great. $12.50 per person. There are a lot of things here for everyone. Great place to explore many Chinese dishes. More variety than you can imagine. Hun haochi-de! Kekou!
$$-$$$$ Claim Jumper - 24310 Crenshaw (Crenshaw and Lomita), Torrance
The long lines of people waiting to get in attest to the food and the service. Maybe to the point of being trendy. It is a nice dining experience with a robust menu.
$$ Comedy & Magic Club - 1018 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA
Aside from the line-up of some of the world's best comedy and magic, this place serves up a pretty good dinner. Go early and have a great dinner before a really great show.
$-$$ Curry House - Torrance Blvd. & Hawthorne (other locations throughout LA - all good)
Great service. Great food. Japanese curry at its finest. This is not the typical curry you may be used to. It is dark red and is as mild or spicy as you like it. Dinner salads are very robust and they make their own French and Japanese dressings which you can buy a bottle of to take home. Yum. Non-curry dishes as well.
$ El Burrito Jr. - 919 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach
Mexican. Primarily take-out w/some outdoor seating. No wonder there is always a huge line outside. Many of the locals rave it is the best around. Best to call in your order ahead of time at 310-316-5058. A big appetite is a must because the portions will never leave you hungry.
$-$$ El Paso Cantina - 2404 W. Sepulveda (east of Crenshaw), Torrance
Mexican. Great service. Try not to fill up on salsa and chips before your meal arrives. The salsa is some of the best around and they keep the bowls of it coming almost as fast as it gets devoured. Biggest margarita in town.
$-$$ El Pollo Inka - 1100 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach
The silverware was gross, the floor was dirty, the table was dirty. The place was in general dis-array. I bolted. YUCK! So much for first impressions. Other locations I've been to (out of this area) are much better.

Update: Someone wrote me and said they liked the food here because his wife was Peruvian. Maybe in Peru a good place to eat has the cockroach seal-of-approval.
$-$$ Empress Pavillion - 988 N. Hill St., Los Angeles (Bamboo Plaza in Chinatown)
Buffet via cart. They bring it by, you take what you want. Dim Sum, kingdom. An incredible selection for your 20 course lunch or dinner. Every visit is the ultimate in Chinese food.
$$-$$$ H.T. Grill - Catalina Avenue in Hollywood Riviera (Redondo Beach)
Great variety of specials. It is obvious that Master Chef Steve Matthews enjoys his creations as much as everyone else. Don't expect a 'lite' or 'lo-cal' menu. The finest dining in the South Bay. The best seafood you can imagine. For creations that will melt your tastebuds to heavenly levels unimagined, this is THE place.
Be forewarned. If you take a date here for dinner and then go for a walk on the beach to watch the colors of the lights in the night waves, your hearts will be melded forever. The combination of culinary delights at the H.T. Grill and then spending time on the night beach may be the greatest power in the universe. If you were not in Love before, you will be after.
$$-$$$ Kincaid's Fish, Chop and Steak House - 500 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach pier
Many selections all prepared well. Generous portions. Great service. Great food.
$-$$ Kings Hawaiian Bakery - 2808 W. Sepulveda (E. of Crenshaw), Torrance CA
Family oriented dining. Good service and food. You can always pick up a few loaves of their yummy breads and other bakery items to take home.
$-$$ La Capilla - 1332 Sartori Ave. (Old Town Torrance, Torrance Blvd. & Cabrillo)
Mexican. Good place for a reasonable and filling dinner. Great service. Voted one of the best Mexican food places in Torrance 5 years in a row.
$ La Salsa - 1759 S. Elena Ave. (Near to Trader Joes)
Great Mexican fast food that is easy on the pocket book. Just the right amount of food. Maybe a little extra.
$-$$ La Petite Cafe - 190 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA
Great place for breakfast and lunch with a French flair. Cozy and quaint and a mouth-watering menu.
$$-$$$ Little New York - West Hollywood
Russian food. Russian entertainment. They will feed you well with many things you can't even pronounce. It's a fun, lively and noisy place. Ochen Koosna.
$-$$ Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que - Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance
Great barbecue restaurant. But don't let the name fool you. Everything is good here and even their "Garden Burger" gets praise. Unfortunately, the service has really gone downhill. And when they are busy (which is diminishing) their attitude is to rush you in, and rush you out.
$-$$ Macaroni Grill - Crenshaw and Pacific Coast Hwy., Torrance, CA
Italian cuisine. Good fixin's and good service. Kind of noisy. Moderate portions.
$$-$$$$ McCormick and Schmick - Multiple Locations
Seafood and steak. Nice place to dine. Relaxing atmosphere. Service varies. Dinners are well rounded. The seafood is usually good, but is defintely not the best the South Bay offers. Lunch menu depends on what you order.
$-$$ Mimi's Cafe - Crenshaw and Airport Drive (near Pacific Coast Highway), Torrance
Large choice of menu items. Great dinners and lunches. Service is good. It can get pretty busy.
$-$$ New Dehli, Palos Verdes Blvd and Camino Real
Great Indian food if you like it spicy. I plan to go back and test them out further.
$$-$$$ PF Changs, Del Amo Mall, Great food.
But sometimes the dishes are dirty and the staff treats you like crap. What you expect and expect to pay for isn't consistent. Normally, PF Changs is excellent. But sometimes the staff and the cleanliness fall by the wayside. At least at the Del Amo location.
$-$$ Phuket Thai - 901 N. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA
Some days you just want to say... Well never mind, it is pronounced POO-KET. Great Thai food. Many spicy and non-spicy Thai dishes sure to please. Many people have avoided Thai food because of the use of coconut oil/milk and the myths surrounding saturated fats. Saturated fats found in coconut oils are very short-chained and are easily broken down in the body, making Thai food much healthier than the lobbyists for the American cooking oils industry would have you believe. If you have been leery of Thai foods, treat and surprise yourself today. This is one of my favorite picks in the South Bay. They don't skimp on anything and it is every bit as good as Chandra in Pasadena.
$ Rocky Cola Cafe - 1025 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach
Fifties style diner. Open until 3 AM on Fri-Sat night. Dishwasher is broke so the dishes are dirty. But hey, don't ya love stuff floating in your glass of water? The owner sold the Redondo Beach location (now RB Cafe) to concentrate on this location. The HB location has went down the toilet ever since. Besides dirty dishes the food has take a dive.
$-$$ Saladang - 363 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena, CA
Thai. First time I went there was one. Not a very large menu or portions. Now there are two right next to each other. The 1st one is Americanized Thai and the 2nd is more authentic. The authentic is the one I like. Forget the other.
$-$$ South Bay Grill
Lots of great food. Good service. Good everything.
$-$$ Thai Thani - Pacific Coast Hwy. and Avenue D in Redondo Beach, CA
Pretty good Thai food. A lot of the non-spicy types. Noodles and soups. Quiet, relaxing atmosphere. Moderate menu.
$ Thai Tiffany - 2201 Pacific Coast Hwy. Lomita, CA
Buffet Thai. Not the largest buffet or selection around, but what they have is good. You'll never leave hungry and it will barely make a dent in your wallet. Small but cozy.
$$-$$$ Tony's Fish Market - Redondo Beach pier
Primarily fish and seafood with some Italian. 'A' for ambience. Get a window and watch the waves, birds and seals play. Great atmosphere to take a sweetie. Browse the many historic photos of the pier and Redondo Beach over the last century. You pay for the ambience. Main courses are good. Salads are so so. A cow in barren field has more variety.
Average per person (with one drink)
$ = $10.00 or under
$$ = $10.00 to $20.00
$$$ = $20.00 to $30.00
Click Here for the South Bay Life Internet Dining Guide. Good resource.
Dancing Entertainment Services/Shop

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