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South Bay dining: Readers write in about their favorite restaurants

June 20, 2011 |  5:44 pm

I wrote a story for last week's Food section that talked about some exciting new developments in the South Bay's dining scene. I was careful to mention in the story that there were many restaurants in the area that residents have long loved, but due to space and the nature of the story I couldn't list every single one of them. I expected to hear from readers about places I missed, and, boy, did I.

People are passionate about their favorite restaurants, and your letters reflected that. Readers wrote in mentioning 11 different places that they felt I was wrong to have omitted. They are: Talia's, Mangiamo, Darren's Restaurant, Sashi, Fonz's, Gina Lee's Bistro, Chef Melba's Bistro, J. Trani's, Restaurant Christine, Admiral Risty and Petros. I received the most letters about Talia's and Mangiamo, with Darren's and Gina Lee's Bistro coming in at a close second.

We all define fine dining a bit differently, and as one reader pointed out, "A great restaurant is many things in addition to food and drink. It is a home away from home, a place for friends and family to gather and a place for building memories that sustain us in the years to come."

That's well put. In fact, this weekend I spent the night in Redondo Beach for my birthday and had dinner with two of my best friends at a cozy restaurant by the beach called Captain Kidd's. It's just a little fish market with counter service and long communal wooden benches for dining, but I had a great plate of clam strips that reminded me of my college days in Boston, as well as some yummy grilled mahi mahi and a plastic cup of red wine. It was the perfect birthday dinner for many reasons, but the time, place and people with me had as much to do with my experience as the food.

So, here's to all of you who wrote in about your favorite restaurants. May you enjoy many more fine meals at them.


The Churchill is coming to West Third Street

West Hollywood gets its very own Coney Dog

The Battle of the Burgers is so on!

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Captain Kidd's Fish Market in Redondo Beach. Credit: Jessica Gelt