Pitfire Pizza

Downtown Manhattan Beach has welcomed a cozy new restaurant: Pitfire Pizza. If you love wood-fired pizzas (or if you have never tried one before), you are in for a tasty treat.

pitfire exteriorPitfire Pizza, which is in a total of seven locations around Los Angeles and Orange County, is designed as a community-friendly restaurant with a neighborhood feel. (At our most recent visit, we ran into two different friends while there.) Its food is all hand-crafted, organic and local whenever possible, and cooked to perfection in a 630-degree wood-fired oven. Kids feel right at home here and they’re encouraged to order off the regular menu and/or create their own pizza. According to co-owner Paul Hibler. “If we can create sustainable pizza and Italian dishes that combine organic ingredients at an affordable price the whole community can enjoy, then our mission is accomplished.”

burrata piePizzas are crafted in individual sizes that are plenty generous for one, but perfect for sharing. At a recent visit, we enjoyed the burrata pie (made with burrata cheese, tomato sauce, wild arugula, caramelized onion, hazelnut, and a drizzle of pesto) and a seasonal roast pumpkin pizza (made with sage-roasted winter squash, brown butter, braised chard, fontina, toasted pepitas, and pumpkin seed oil). The verdict? They’re so tasty you may not even want to share.

Want to read more? Check out our full story on Jolly Tomato.

Pitfire Pizza, 401 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach. Open Monday-Thursday 11 am to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday noon to 10 pm. Price ranges: Pizzas, $8.95 to $10.95; Pastas, $8.75 to $10.95; Salads, $3.50 to $11.00. Phone: (310) 359-9555.

Little India Food Tour

Ever been curious about Artesia’s Little India, but weren’t sure where to start? That’s how we felt, until we had the opportunity to take a food bloggers’ tour of Little India with food blogger (and local mom) Rashmi Nigam of Yum Kid and Food Bloggers Los Angeles. In Little India, a city’s worth of delicious food is waiting for you, and it’s surprisingly accessible and family-friendly too.

Little India is the name for a stretch of Pioneer Blvd. in Artesia, generally between 183rd Street and South Street. It’s filled with ethnic Indian grocery stores, restaurants and shops. Our group was focused mainly on food, but if you wanted to make a day of it, you could spend all of your time wandering in and out of the beautiful clothing and jewelry shops.

Food highlights of the day included:

Appetizers at Jay Bharat, including  chai tea and khandvi, a brilliant yellow roll of garbanzo flour and spices, rolled thin and then steamed. It was served with shredded coconut, cilantro, and mustard seeds, and accompanied by a mint chutney. Jay Bharat, 18701 Pioneer Blvd  Artesia, CA 90701 Phone: (562) 924, 3310)

Food shopping at Farm Fresh, which is a cook’s wonderland, especially for those who focus on gluten-free or vegetarian cooking. Don’t miss the flour and legume aisles, with varieties of each that you’ve probably never seen before. Farm Fresh London Imports, 18551 Pioneer Boulevard  Artesia, CA 90701 Phone: (562) 865-3191.

A multi-course lunch at Bhimas, with the highlight being a North Indian thali, a curry sampler plate. Each curry and vegetable dish was perfectly spiced (not too hot) with complex flavors and fragrances that we only wish we could replicate at home. Bhimas, 8792 Pioneer Boulevard  Artesia, CA 90701 Phone (562) 809-3806

Dessert at Saffron Spot, where the rose ice cream hit the spot, and the most intriguing taste was the dense Indian frozen treat known as kulfi. Saffron Spot, 18744 Pioneer Boulevard Artesia, CA 90701 Phone: (562) 809-4554

Little India is a short and easy trip from the South Bay – Just head east on the 605 and exit to the right at Pioneer Ave. For our full story with more details and pictures, see our post on Moms LA.

M.B. Post Feast

M.B. Post is a Manhattan Beach phenomenon: Within just months of its opening, it has become a critical favorite within the Los Angeles restaurant community as well as a wildly popular local destination. From its vaulted ceilings and wide glass-and-steel doors that let in the beach breezes, to the long communal tables that encourage sociability, M.B. Post offers a unique dining experience that somehow feels both luxurious and comfortable.

So what about the food? We had a chance to sample a multi-course feast at M.B. Post during the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, and it was absolutely out of this world. Our fave appetizer was a hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi with pickled ginger, shiso (an aromatic Japanese green), and yuzu koshu (pungent sauce made from the yuzu fruit). We also loved the melt-in-your-mouth wine-braised beef cheeks with Nantes carrots, salsify (a white root vegetable), and German butterball potato puree. And local farmers’ market devotees will appreciate the roasted vegetable melange with rutabaga, baby Brussels sprouts, empire apples, pine nuts, sage, duck confit, and bourbon maple syrup – featuring produce fresh from Weiser Family Farms.

For the full review, check out our story at CBS Local Los Angeles . Hint: Do not miss a local favorite, Chef David LeFevre’s bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits. You won’t have a single morsel left on your plate. (Or if you do, call us and we’ll come and take care of it.)