Southern California Restaurant News

Bar Fiorito

The restaurant news in Southern California is always changing and a new menu comes about as often as a the sun rises. With COVID19 the changes are even bigger as restaurants are opening back up to diners and the experiences and settings are changing rapidly. We will do our best to keep you up to date from Los Angeles to Orange County and down to San Diego.

Gracias Madre West Hollywood recently introduced a new at-home cocktail party kit, family style meals to-go, and a mezcal flight with proceeds going No Us Without You.

Beverage Director Maxwell Reis and Executive Chef Mario Alberto have taken the past few challenging months to get creative and innovative behind the bar and kitchen at Gracias Madre, in addition to spending time on refining their to-go options (both food and beverage) in order to package its menu like it’s never been available before to allow guests to eat at home in a fun way. 

Elevating Your Next At-Home Cocktail Party

We’re all getting pretty good at pouring ourselves a drink (or two or three…) around 5:00 each evening (wait, what day is it?), but there’s nothing quite like the finesse of a cocktail prepared by one of your favorite bartenders behind the bar. That’s why Gracias Madre decided to bring the cocktail party home to Angelenos with their new Cocktail Party Kit. The Cocktail Party Kit comes with the Signature Purista Margarita for two, plus housemade salsa and fresh guacamole. Your next at-home fiesta is just an order away…!

Gracias Madre WeHo Does Family Style To-Go

Fulfill your family’s Gracias Madre cravings in the comfort of your own home with newly-launched Family Style To-Go options, available now for pickup and delivery via the  website. Experience Madre at home like you’ve never experienced before with our specially-packaged plant-based Mexican “family style” fare (serves 4) for $75, and don’t forget, must-have a la carte favorites remain available on the menu for at-home enjoyment. Take a much-needed break from the kitchen and let Madre take care of your next family meal with organic, farm fresh, locally sourced food, full of flavor and love.

Mezcal Flight x No Us Without You

Available now, Gracias Madre is offering a special Mal Bien agave varietal mezcal flight with $5 from each flight going to No Us Without You501c3 non-profit public charity providing food security for undocumented hospitality workers. Flights will also be available to-go and delivery.

Pasta Sisters Pasta

Saturday, August 15th is a special public Italian holiday known as Ferragosto, originating from the festivals of the Emperor Augustus which were introduced back in 18 BC to celebrate a battle victory, and were celebrated alongside other ancient Roman summer festivals. These festivities were intended to be a period of rest after months of hard labor. Today, the holiday combines both its ancient Roman and Catholic roots, and also marks the semi-official start of Italy’s summer holiday season. It’s traditional to use the August long weekend to take a trip, usually escaping the heat at the seaside, lakes or mountains. Although we can’t be in Italy this summer to celebrate, LA’s family-run Italian restaurant and fresh pasta shop Pasta Sisters has everything Angelenos need to make the most of the holiday without ever leaving LA. 

Pasta Sisters Pasta Room

Whether you’re in the mood for authentic customizable pasta dishes, fresh pasta and homemade sauces to-go, or interested in grabbing a selection of Italian-imported artisanal cheeses and cold cuts, Pasta Sisters is your go-to Italian home base, bringing the summer holiday stateside for your at-home festa.

Clique Hospitality is excited to announce the reopening of their premier dining destination, Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine at Pendry San Diego by James Beard Smart Catch Leader Chef Jose “JoJo” Ruiz will reopen its doors for service on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. 

Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine, developed in partnership with Andy Masi’s Clique Hospitality which debuted in February 2017, brings forth Ruiz’s incredible talent in seafood, coastal cuisine and sushi with a menu of distinctly San Diego-inspired dishes. The award-winning restaurant is driven by seasonal, local ingredients highlighting fresh-catch and prime meats with Jose “JoJo” Ruiz at the helm. Ruiz’s unrivaled dedication to his craft earned him a spot on the James Beard Smart Catch Leader list, enlisting his two San Diego-based restaurants, Lionfish and Serẽa Coastal Cuisine the only two locations with the prestigious accolade. 

After a two-month closure in accordance with the CDC guidelines, Masi’s team is proactively setting up all necessary protocols according to the California state requirements to ensure the best possible level of service and prioritize guest and employee health and safety. Increased sanitation and cleaning procedures have been implemented to daily operations with team member wellness assessments. All employees and guests must adhere to wearing a face covering prior to entering the restaurant, dining rooms will operate at a reduced capacity, with tables set up according to social distancing standards. Updated protocols from host stand to bar, also include, providing disposable and digital menus with a QR code to be viewed on diners’ mobile devices. Lionfish will require a reservation for all guests requesting to dine in, available by calling the restaurant or booking online. 

“We are excited to re-open and are taking every possible step to ensure our employees and guests safety and well-being.  We will continue to strive for an incredible and safe dining experience.” Says Masi. 

Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine will be open for dine-in, offering happy hour and dinner menus with take-out for curbside pick-up and delivery with the same selections as their dine-in menu.


Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine

Sunday – Monday: Closed 

Tuesday – Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Phone: (619) 738-7200

Social Handle: @lionfishsd


Oceanside’s The Plot, serving badass plant-based food with a zero-waste ethos, focused on the culinary evolution, reopens today! Hallelujah. The Plot opened THIS YEAR to great fanfare, attracting guests from Los Angeles, Orange County and, of course, San Diego. This Oceanside haunt features rockstar chef Davin Waite making cool food with plants and his equally socially conscious wife, Jessica Waite, who’s long dreamed of owning a plant-based restaurant that could serve as a replicable model for conscious capitalism, whereby restaurateurs can do good and be profitable. “Take my idea, PLEASE.”

The Plot Patio (courtesy The Plot)

The Plot opened counter service with patio dining last weekend and will open fully for dine-in May 27th. In addition to following all protocols laid out in Cal OSHA’s guidelines, all surfaces and knobs will be disinfected every 15 minutes and all dishes will go directly into sanitizing bins before being sent to those doing dishes to keep those doing dishes safe, too. Checks will be presented on rocks that will be sanitized after each use. For more information, visit: The Plot.

Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub and The Whet Noodle, conjoined sister restaurants in Oceanside, CA owned by husband and wife rebel crusaders Davin and Jessica Waite. These locally famed restaurants feature unorthodox sushi and Japanese cuisine focused on total utilization of product and driven by a punk rock spirit and a rebellious nature. Emphasis is on local ingredients. Wrench and Rodent is a multi award-winner with a cult following. I mean, any restaurant that attracts lines out the door with a rodent in the name has gotta be GOOD. Wrench and Rodent along with The Whet Noodle are currently doing take-out currently, with the option to sit on the patio with or without a drink. They reopen for dine-in June 5, 2020.

Eataly LA will be opening a blooming pop-up bar, Bar Fiorito, to celebrate the spring season on March 5. Located in the heart of Eataly LA, inside La Pizza & La Pasta restaurant, Bar Fiorito is inspired by the Italian spring flower fields and offers a colorful, fun atmosphere to enjoy while drinking from a selection of refreshing spritz cocktails, vibrant mocktails, and eating a traditional selection of Italian Aperitivo bites.

The Eataly LA beverage experts have crafted an extensive spritz cocktail menu featuring the traditional Aperol version, plus eight twists on the classic (yes, EIGHT!). Sip Spring on the West Side, made with Astral Gin, Luxardo Bitter, rhubarb and fresh cucumber or enjoy mocktails featuring fresh local produce like grapefruit and strawberries with aromatic herbs like basil and mint. Bar Fiorito also offers a brand new menu of Italian bites for the perfect pairing during aperitivo (Happy Hour), like Pinzimonio, the Italian version of crudité featuring seasonal raw vegetables like snap peas and carrots with a bright ricotta dip, or Fiori di Zucca, fried zucchini blossoms served with sea salt and lemon. Between the floral takeover, bright spritz cocktails, and Italian springtime vibe, Bar Fiorito is the new go-to spot for Angelenos to stop and enjoy a spritz under a flower sky – and let’s just say you’ll definitely want to save a place on your Instagram feed.

Bar Fiorito Cocktails

The Original Farmers Market Announces 2020 Calendar of Events 

From annual traditions to seasonal celebrations, the beloved Market at Third and Fairfax is ready to host another year of festivities for visitors of all ages 

The Original Farmers Market just announced its slate of exciting events for 2020 featuring showstopping performances, family-friendly crafts and fun, and delicious eats! New visitors and neighborhood regulars can kick off the new year right with the Lunar New Year Celebration, delicious gumbo at the 31st annual Mardi Gras celebration, and welcome the Fall with pie-eating, pig races and a petting zoo at the Market’s annual Fall Festival.

“We look forward to bringing our community another year of wonderful events, complete with new faces in our Market merchant family,” said Mark Panatier, Vice President. “Given our 85-year history in Los Angeles, it’s only fitting that we continue historical traditions, while also making way for new ones as the city grows and changes along with us. We can’t wait to begin another decade as a go-to destination for residents and tourists alike.” 

The schedule of 2020 Farmers Market events is summarized below:

Lunar New Year Celebration

Lunar New Year Celebration, Year of the Rat

Sunday, January 26th, 2-5pm

To celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rat, the Farmers Market will host a day full of exciting activities in the Plaza. Entertainment includes traditional lion dancers, Korean fan dancers, a magic show, and crafts for kids and adults; including live chalk art, a balloon artist, and a Chinese calligraphy art demo. Also look out for “Lucky 8” food and merchandise specials throughout the Market!


2:00 – 5:00 PM:  Lunar New Year Chalk Art Presentation

2:00 – 5:00 PM: Balloon Twisting

2:00 – 5:00 PM: Chinese Calligraphy

2:00 – 5:00 PM: Dragon Puppet Craft

2:15 – 2:30 PM: Lion Dance

2:30 – 2:45 PM: Hiza Yoo Korean Fan Dance

3:00 – 3:30 PM: Wushu Shaolin Kung Fu Demonstration

3:30 – 4:00 PM: Joseph Tran Magic Show

4:00 – 4:15 PM: Hiza Yoo Korean Fan Dance

4:30 – 4:45 PM: Lion Dance Finale

*schedule subject to change

31st Annual Mardi Gras Celebration

Saturday, February 22nd & Sunday, February 23rd, All Day; Fat Tuesday, February 25th, 6-9pm

Party in true New Orleans style at the Market’s 31st Annual Mardi Gras Celebration. The weekend will feature bead throwing, beignets, Dixie beer, face painting, Cajun gumbo and jambalaya from The Gumbo Pot,along with live musical performances. The Dog Bakery will also host its annual Mutti Gras Pet Parade and Costume Contest for our furry four-legged friends.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Tuesday, March 17th, Afternoon & Evening

Wear your green and get into the Celtic spirit for the Market’s annual St. Paddy’s Day celebration. Enjoy authentic Irish food, such as the famous corned beef from Magee’s, green beer and imported Irish beers from EB’s andBar 326, a bagpiper, live music and more! 

Friday Night Music at the Market

Friday evenings through the summer, May 29th-August 28th, 7-9pm    

What better way to celebrate the warm weather than live, outdoor music with friends and family? Open and free to the public, the West Patio will come alive every Friday night to feature a range of musical genres from jazz to salsa, rock & roll to reggae and much more. 

26thh Annual Gilmore Heritage Auto Show

Saturday, June 6th, 11am-5pm

One of the Market’s most iconic events, the Annual Gilmore Heritage Auto Show is back for its 26th year at the Farmers Market. This year’s theme will be “American Royalty – a tribute to Cadillacs, Imperials, Lincolns, Packards and Dusenbergs.”

Taste of Farmer’s Market

12th Annual Taste of Farmers Market 

Tuesday, July 21st, 5-9pm

Grab a taste from your favorites and find new go-to spots with the Farmers Market’s annual tasting extravaganza. Spend an evening strolling through the Market sampling flavorful eats from your favorite vendors, along with live entertainment and friends from LAFD and The First-In Fire Foundation. Ticket information to follow in early June. 

Metropolitan Fashion Week Costume Designers Competition

Thursday, September 24th, 6:30pm

The Market Plaza transforms into a glorious runway once again for Metropolitan Fashion Week. Come watch the opening ceremonies and experience the costume designers’ competition – attendees can also help pick the winner via Instagram! 

Fall Festival

Saturday, October 10th and Sunday, October 11th, All Day

The Farmers Market’s oldest annual tradition, Fall Festival, is back for another year of seasonal fun. Featuring live music, a petting zoo, crafts, pig races, and a pie-eating contest, the weekend-long event has activities that keeps visitors coming back year after year.  

Chanukah Celebration

Sunday, December 13th, 2:30-5:30pm

Kick off the eight-day Jewish holiday known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ in the heart of the Fairfax district. Celebrate Chanukah at the Market with live music, arts & crafts, and special lighting of a giant Lego menorah.

Christmas Festivities

Friday, December 18th – Thursday, December 24th 

Spend the most wonderful time of the year at The Original Farmers Market with festivities for family and friends of all ages. Enjoy cheerful music, holiday crafts, and carolers. The Market comes to life this time of year with gorgeous lights and an incredibly tall, beautifully decorated tree in the Plaza. 

Additional details on these events will be available in the coming months. For further information, visit Schedule is subject to change.

About The Original Farmers Market
The Original Farmers Market has been Los Angeles’ favorite gathering place since 1934. With more than 100 grocers, retailers and restaurants—as well as year-round activities for the whole family—the Farmers Market is a beloved place for locals and one of the top tourist destinations in Los Angeles. For more information visit Follow the Farmers Market on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Chez Melange, the beloved South Bay restaurant that you’ve frequently celebrated special occasions, birthdays, graduations for decades has just announced that they will be closing their doors on February 29th or sooner, after 37 years in business. 

When they first opened the restaurant in 1982, Michael Franks and Robert Bell decided to offer unique options that were unheard of at the time by combining American, European, and Asian fusion dishes into a menu that change daily. The beloved restaurant also offered farm-to-table food options straight from the local Valmonte Gardens in Palos Verdes, always incorporated sustainability into their full-service restaurant and upon arrival guests would be greeted with friendly faces. This was all very unique concept in the South Bay and some would say that is why it has been a South Bay local favorite for many many years. But after 37 amazing years, they’re sad to announce that it’s time to shut their doors. 

Chef Robert Bell & Owner Michael Franks | Photo Credit: Chez Melange

To say, “Thank You” for the love and support over the years, they will be taking the restaurant on a Farewell Tour where they will be cooking and dishing up all the hits from the ’80s ’90s and 2000. They want to show gratitude to every single person that has supported them throughout their journey and encourage all supporters and locals to dine in a final time before saying a final goodbye. 

ABOUT CHEZ MELANGEWith hopes of making the South Bay recession-proof, Chez Melange offered unique options that were unheard of at the time by combining American, European, and Asian fusion dishes into a menu that changes daily. Throughout the years, the restaurant has gone through many changes to become what it is today: three restaurants under one roof. Chez Melange offers Bouzy Gastropub which is inspired by a French brasserie, English pub, and an American bar and grill; The Oyster Bar which carefully selects pristine seafood and handcrafted cocktails; and their newest addition Sea Change which is a formal, seafood-centric restaurant with a menu that continues to change daily, creating items such as Zarzuela, Lobster Kung Pao, and the classic ‘Hangtown Fry’. With rare, eclectic menus under one umbrella, it’s easy to see how Chez Melange has been loved by the community for over 37 years.
Chez Melange is located at1611 S. Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA

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