Friday, October 24, 2008

Public Hearing Monday on Waterfront Redevelopment

The Port of L.A. is hosting a community meeting Monday on waterfront redevelopment.

Official public testimony will be taken at the meeting, set for Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza hotel, 601 S Palos Verdes St.

The meeting will include a presentation on the draft environmental impact report (DEIR), a voluminous study of ways to improve the waterfront.

The report outlines proposals to create a pedestrian promenade, build water cuts along the Main Channel, add two cruise ship terminals, build parks and open space, create opportunities for new businesses and cultural attractions, redevelop Ports O’ Call Village, realign streets, de-industrialize some areas and extend the Red Car route to Cabrillo Beach.

The public can provide verbal comment at the hearing and/or submit written comment through Dec. 8, 2008.

Staff will then incorporate the public comment into a final environmental impact report, which then must be approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

The press release contains an overview of the project and the 41-page readers guide is the “Cliff’s Notes” version of the EIR.

View the documents and instructions for public comment on the port’s waterfront page.

Coastal Council Election Today

Voters are going to the polls this morning to elect leaders of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

The election takes place at the Cetacean Society building in Pt. Fermin Park today (Oct. 25) from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

There are more open seats than candidates, so the uncontested election will put 11 incumbents and four first-term board members into office.

Candidates’ photos and statements are published in a special issue of the council newsletter.

The board will make appointments to fill the two vacant seats. Visit for more information.

Group Explains Opposition to Angels Gate High School

Community members opposed to construction of a public high school at Angels Gate have outlined their case in the press.

The group has written a commentary for the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council newsletter, Coastal Currents.

Instead of building the Angels Gate campus, the allocated funding “should stay at San Pedro High School to convert the 49 temporary bungalows into ‘green’ state-of-the-art buildings for future generations to carry on the 100-year tradition of San Pedro High,” N.O.I.S.E. opponents argue.

The commentary is the second in a pro-con series. The L.A. school district wrote in favor of the campus in the previous issue of Coastal Currents.

San Pedro Voters: Global Issues, Local Faces

Bringing state and national issues home to San Pedro, dozens of community members attended a voter forum this week to assert their voice in the political arena.

The forum brought civic-minded San Pedrans together to delve into the local, state and national issues dominating public debate in the weeks before next month’s pivotal election.

San Pedro’s three neighborhood councils co-sponsored the forum, illustrating the point that “all politics is local.”

Community activists made statements with their comments, clothing and accessories. Political t-shirts and buttons dotted the room of approximately 50 activists.

Speakers included:

  • David Greene, president of the San Pedro Democratic Club
  • John Stammreich, local Republican Party leader and former Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council board member
  • Lydia Gutierrez, candidate for the 25th State Senate District and Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council board member
  • Brian Gibson, candidate for the 36th Congressional District
  • Steven Simons, candidate for Superior Court Judge Office No. 72
  • Councilwoman Janice Hahn, campaigning for L.A. city Measure A

Neighborhood council board members spoke to encourage participation in community issues year-around through neighborhood councils. More than a dozen board members attended the forum, including:

  • Linda Alexander, Central
  • Sue Castillo, Central
  • Doug Epperhart, Coastal
  • Robert Farrell, Coastal
  • Soledad Garcia, Coastal
  • Robert Gelfand, Coastal
  • Bruce Horton, Coastal
  • Linda Marinkovich, Coastal
  • Andrew Silber, Central
  • Kristina Smith, aide to Northwest
  • John Stinson, Coastal
  • Erin Strelich, Coastal-elect
  • Phill Trigas, Central
  • Peter Warren, Coastal

Participants enjoyed fresh fruit, vegetables and hummus donated by Melissa’s, a leading produce company. Melissa’s public relations director is a San Pedro resident who attended the forum.

San Pedro News has invited the local Democratic and Republican parties to write commentaries for next week’s issue.

Stay tuned for the election countdown and tune in to the Central, Coastal and Northwest councils for ongoing community politics.

View Assembly, Senate Debate on Cable

Cox Cable will rebroadcast a debate between candidates seeking to represent San Pedro in the state Senate and state Assembly.

The debate took place in Rancho Palos Verdes this week between hopefuls for the 54th Assembly District and 25th Senate District. It was sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

The debate will air on Channel 35 on Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m., Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m., Oct. 29 at 5 p.m., Nov. 1 at 6:30 a.m. and Nov. 2 at 6:30 a.m.

Halloween and Day of the Dead in San Pedro

In scary times, why not go undercover in an outrageous costume, eat too much candy and get silly for a few hours?

Welcome to Halloween in San Pedro.

Here are some options for spooky fun, beginning tonight (Oct. 25) and running through next Saturday’s Day of the Dead celebration.

Sea Scare

Saturday, Oct. 25
6-9 p.m.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Dr.
Tickets: $5 for adults, $1 for children
Trick or treating, haunted house, children’s crafts, carnival games and costume contest. See costume guidelines on event page.

Golden State Pops Presents “Halloween Fright Night 6”
Saturday, Oct. 25
8 p.m. (pre-show “stageside chat” with conductors at 7:30 p.m.)
Warner Grand Theatre
478 W. 6th St.
Tickets: $25 for general admission, $15 for students and seniors
The Golden State Pops Orchestra will perform music from “horror classics to modern thrillers,” including tunes from “King Kong,” “Mysterious Island,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” the “Twilight Zone” and more. Costume contest. (Costumes are optional.)

Haunted House
Saturday, Oct. 25
6:30-9 p.m.
Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse
3800 Stephen M. White Dr.
Tickets: $5 for adults, $4 for children under 48 inches
Dare to journey through the “House of Tortured Tales” and see the scary side of Little Miss Muffet, Snow White and other erstwhile innocent characters. The haunted house is a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts. Parking validated. Call (310) 548-7554 for more information.

Scary Stories
Thursday, Oct. 30
6:30 p.m.
Angels Gate Cultural Center
3601 S Gaffey St.
Tickets: $5 for adults, children 6 and under free
Performing artists will read scary stories in a scary place, atop the hill at Angels Gate in the amphitheatre where the old gun emplacement once stood. Bring your own seating and picnic and dress warmly.

Haunted House

Thursday, Oct. 30
6:30-9 p.m.
Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse
3800 Stephen M. White Dr.
Tickets: $5 for adults, $4 for children under 48 inches
Dare to journey through the “House of Tortured Tales” and see the scary side of Little Miss Muffet, Snow White and other erstwhile innocent characters. The haunted house is a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts. Parking validated. Call (310) 548-7554 for more information.

Trick or Treating

Friday, Oct. 31
6-8:30 p.m.
The Corner Store
1118 W 37th St.
The annual gathering of tricky treats and friendly neighbors. Call (310) 832-2424 for more information.

Haunted House and Street Faire
Friday, Oct. 31
6 p.m.-12 midnight
Beacon House
1003 S. Beacon St.
Tickets: $5 suggested donation
Visit the “Lost Island of Doom” and celebrate with games, food, a costume contest, live music, dancing and karaoke.

Vicars & Tarts
Friday, Oct. 31
6 p.m.-whenever
The Whale & Ale Restaurant and Pub
327 W. 7th St.
Tickets: No cover charge, no drink minimum
Returning after a six-year hiatus, this wacky event features guests dressed as vicars (men of the cloth; clergymen) and tarts (ladies of the night; women of loose morals). Other costumes are also welcome to come to the wild party.

Day of the Dead
Saturday, Nov. 1
3-10 p.m.
Downtown San Pedro
6th-8th Streets below Pacific Avenue
“Jurassic Lot” will become a graveyard and processions will march through the streets, plus food, art, Aztec dancers, Mariachi music, children’s crafts, face painting and more. Call (310) 832-0028 for more information.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Election Results! (for the Neighborhood Council)

If you watched this week’s presidential debate, you know that there’s a new everyman celebrity named “Joe the Plumber.”

Closer to home, another new set of names has emerged to represent “real people” served by the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

Board members elected five new officers at Tuesday’s council meeting. The new leaders are:

President John Delgado, head of the San Pedro Youth Sports Association;

Vice President Andrew Silber, owner of the Whale and Ale Restaurant and a San Pedro Chamber of Commerce board member;

Secretary Sue Castillo, an incumbent board member, committee chair and former Communications Officer;

Treasurer Linda Alexander, a consultant and newly elected board member; and

Communications Officer Phill Trigas, an architect, downtown loft resident and first-term board member.

The council will hold a retreat this fall to develop its projects and goals.

Board members praised immediate past president Joe Gatlin, who received a certificate of appreciation from Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s office. Gatlin is now coaching the San Pedro High School girls basketball team.

New Stars on the Sportswalk

Seven athletes were inducted on the downtown Sportswalk to the Waterfront Monday.

Football player and late former President Gerald Ford, Maury Wills of the Los Angeles Dodgers, basketball sisters Heidi Burge Horton and Heather Burge Quella, baseball player and local coach John “Red” Zar, USC basketball player Bob Benedetti and Navy football player Eddy Mascitto were inducted in a morning ceremony, followed by a luncheon.

The Daily Breeze has the story and a photo album.

Coastal Council Meeting Monday, Election Next Saturday

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building.

View the agenda for further details.

Uncontested election: Only 15 candidates have filed for 17 seats in next Saturday’s council election.

The candidates include 11 incumbents and four first-time candidates: Pam Meisel, Rosalie Perazzola, Erin Strelich and Alexis Ulrich.

The election takes place on Oct. 25 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Cetacean Society Building in Pt. Fermin Park.

The candidates’ statements and pictures are published in a special issue of the council newsletter.

The council will appoint two members to the vacant board seats.

Homeownership and Credit Counseling Workshop

Congresswoman Jane Harman’s office is holding a workshop Wednesday to provide information for homeowners facing financial challenges.

The homeownership and credit counseling workshop takes place on Oct. 22 at the San Pedro library, 931 S. Gaffey St. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. and the workshop is from 6-7:30 p.m.

Space is limited and reservations are encouraged. RSVP to Mary Bautista at (310) 549-8282 or Patricia Broughton at (310) 643-3636.

Political Calendar

The Palos Verdes/San Pedro League of Women Voters is having a forum on the ballot propositions at Miraleste Library (29089 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rancho Palos Verdes) today, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 20 is the voter registration deadline. The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder supplies instructions and much more voter information.

Tuesday, Oct. 21 is the voter forum sponsored by San Pedro News and the neighborhood councils. Educate yourself about the November election and learn how to make a difference in community issues year-around. 6 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building. Info:

Wednesday, Oct. 22 is a League of Women Voters candidates’ debate at 7 p.m. in Hesse Park, 29301 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes.

Thursday, Oct. 23 brings a Republican Women’s lunch with L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley (10:45 a.m. at Ports O Call Restaurant. Call Alice at 310-832-3711 to make reservations by Oct. 20) and a San Pedro Democratic Club meeting (7 p.m. at the Harry Bridges Institute; info at

Food Network Seeks Extras for Sushi Shoot at Korean Bell

Here’s a different option for your lunch hour.

The Food Network is filming in San Pedro Thursday for a new series on sushi.

Adults and children are invited to be extras on the set of “Raw Talent,” a new series about the techniques and traditions of sushi making.

Extras will be treated to free sushi.

The filming takes place on Oct. 23 at 12:45 p.m. at the Korean Friendship Bell in Angels Gate Park.

RSVP to Jessica Pantzer at

New Mediterranean Café Opens on Pacific Avenue

Nazelie’s Lebanese Café opened this week at 19th Street and Pacific Avenue.

The café serves healthy, savory chicken, beef, falafel and vegetarian dishes homemade by the multigenerational Kassabian family.

Matriarch Nazelie Kassabian cooks twice a day, using lemon, olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs to create savory dishes from scratch.

Entrees – such as rotisserie chicken, kabobs and tri-tip shawerma – come with an array of sides, including hummus, green salad, rice, white or wheat pita bread and/or a parsley and onion salad called piaz.

Most plates are in the $8 range and sandwiches are $4.95.

Garlic lovers will likely ask for seconds of the homemade garlic spread, a potent concoction sure to ward off Halloween vampires.

Jack, the family patriarch, brings 30 years of restaurant experience to the café, headed by his daughter, owner/manager Loutchia Torres.

The café’s location in Chin’s Plaza brings back memories for Torres, a graduate of San Pedro public schools. As a child, she went to the dentist in the very same location that now houses the restaurant. She remembers buying candy from the liquor store on the corner.

In those days, her father was a local jeweler who owned La Vogue Jewelers in Weymouth Corners and Kassabian Jewelers on Pacific Avenue in the 1980s and 90s.

“We’re here to serve our families and community,” said Torres. “We used to have Sunday family dinners at Mom’s house and now we have them here. We cook for the café like we cook for our family. It’s the same homemade food and family atmosphere.

“We’re happy to bring something special to the community.”

1919 S Pacific Ave., (310) 519-1919. Open daily 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Dine in, take out and free local delivery.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Re-Thinking the Port

Community Meeting Tuesday to Push for ‘Sustainable Waterfront Plan’

Grassroots community leaders are holding a public meeting Tuesday to promote an alternative vision for the San Pedro waterfront.

The “sustainable waterfront plan” is the brainchild of local and state environmentalists, civic activists and business leaders. It was authored by individuals associated with the Coastal and Central San Pedro neighborhood councils, Sierra Club, California Coastal Conservancy, San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, downtown and Ports O’ Call businesses and the American Institute of Architects, among others.

The plan will be presented at a community meeting on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 W. Fifth St.

It is centered around seven principles:

  • All cruise ship berths to be in the north harbor near downtown
  • Provide linkages to downtown and community
  • Provide links to and protection of existing open space
  • Expand salt water marsh habitat
  • Develop Ports O’ Call
  • Create diversity of parking options
  • Create a plan that reflects the port’s sustainability goals

The plan is an alternative to the official proposals the port has released in the draft environmental impact report of waterfront redevelopment.

The port will hold a public hearing on Oct. 27 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The project’s web page includes the report and instructions for submitting written comment.

For an in-depth story on the “sustainable waterfront plan,” see the Coastal council newsletter. An enlarged graphic of the plan is posted on the council’s website.

Random Lengths
has published a story on page 5 of its current issue.

Deciphering the Ballot

The Palos Verdes/San Pedro League of Women Voters is beginning a series of public meetings next week to explain the state and local propositions on the November ballot.

League representatives will discuss the pros and cons of the 12 state and five local initiatives on the ballot.

Community meetings will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16 at Malaga Cove Library and Saturday, Oct. 18 at Miraleste Library.

Additional meetings will take place later in October, including an Oct. 29 evening presentation on the ballot initiatives and an Oct. 22 candidates’ debate.

For more information, view the events calendar on the PV/SP League’s home page.

Neighborhood Council Meetings Next Week

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Monday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Peck Park, 560 N. Western Ave.

The Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council meets Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Port of Los Angeles High School, 250 W. Fifth St. Refreshments are served at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Agendas were not posted online at presstime. They are often emailed to subscribers before they are uploaded to the web. To join the councils’ email lists, visit the respective websites.

Retail Therapy

The economy is tanking and the political news frenzy is inducing delirium. Belts may be tightening, but there are some things you still have to buy.

San Pedro’s Target store has arrived to provide a bit of escapist retail therapy from the outside world.

Here are scenes from Tuesday’s ribbon cutting and soft opening.

Store managers speak as San Pedro business, community and political leaders bake under the sizzling sun.

The ribbon is cut.

Shoppers vote with their feet and march in.

The Red Car cruises up to whistle at the festivities.

Local restaurants supplied finger foods and live music filled the aisles. Some guests were treated to a piece of sheet cake with the bull’s eye logo, while others investigated the Starbucks and Pizza Hut Express.

As part of its opening, Target made donations to Clean San Pedro, the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles Harbor, the Gang Alternatives Program and San Pedro High School.

Store hours are Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Phone (310) 507-6289. The store is located at 1701 N. Gaffey St.

See the Daily Breeze for further reading.

Register to Vote by Oct. 20

Fewer than 10 days remain to register to vote in next month’s general election.

You must re-register if you have moved, changed your name or political party.

Forms are available at libraries, post offices, other government buildings and online at the Secretary of State website.

Volumes of helpful information are also found on the LA County Registrar-Recorder’s website.

And, Finally: More Politics

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin led a rally in Carson last weekend. The Daily Breeze has the story, photos and news video.
State Controller John Chiang, a Torrance resident, is interviewed in the current issue of Random Lengths. (See page 6).
Remember that hybrid car in last week’s San Pedro News – the one covered with Republican bumper stickers? Turns out, it belongs to Gabriella Holt, GOP candidate for the 54th state Assembly District. She posted a good-hearted reply to the story.
Help San Pedro flex its political muscle. Attend the voter forum on Oct. 21 sponsored by San Pedro News and the three neighborhood councils.

Get informed and involved. Connect the dots from San Pedro to the state and national campaigns.

If you’ve made up your mind, come and show your support for your candidate. If you’re undecided, get information from San Pedro-based party leaders.

The forum takes place at 6 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marina Community Building. Contact for more information.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Twin Ports Begin ‘Clean Trucks’ Program

Diesel trucks built before 1989 are no longer welcome at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, under an emissions-reducing plan implemented Wednesday.

This first phase of the contentious Clean Trucks Program is expected to remove some 2,000 trucks that would have generated more than 350 tons of diesel emissions.

“People said the fight would be too hard, but we kept on truckin’ because we knew that the people of our port communities needed relief,” said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at a San Pedro press conference.

“We can proudly say that our Clean Trucks Program will begin on schedule, as planned, with more than enough drivers, trucking companies and clean trucks to meet the port’s demand.”

Truckers can get $5,000 for scrapping their old trucks. One case is featured on the Port of L.A. home page.

Read more in the Daily Breeze.

Mixing Business and Politics: Government Leaders Visit Local Chambers

The port, education system and political reform are pivotal factors in California’s social fabric and economic power, state political leaders told the Harbor Area business community this week.

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi spent all day Tuesday in San Pedro on an economic, environmental and educational tour.

After meeting with port officials in the morning, Garamendi visited with Port of Los Angeles High School students before delivering the keynote remarks at a San Pedro Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

As Councilwoman Janice Hahn noted in her introduction of the lieutenant governor, Garamendi sits on the State Lands Commission. The agency has sometimes drawn the ire of San Pedro leaders seeking to redevelop parts of town considered within the “tidelands” areas, where land use is restricted to maritime-related functions.

“State Lands must expand its horizon,” said Garamendi. “There needs to be a broader definition of ‘marine’ – the port – and the surrounding community. You’re already doing this and more will have to be done as we grow the port.”

Chamber board chair John Ek, left, and CEO Camilla Townsend present artwork to Lt. Gov. John Garamendi.

As a state senator in the 1980s, Garamendi commissioned a study which identified five determining factors of economic strength: education, research, infrastructure, manufacturing and international scope.

According to Garamendi, the study’s findings remain relevant to the current economy with the addition of a sixth principle he described as a willingness and ability to change.

Citing state budget cuts to education and student dropout rates, Garamendi painted a bleak picture of the education system but pointed to the port high school as an example of effective education for a high-tech workforce.

Don’t expect the tide to turn by next year’s state budget, Torrance Assemblyman Ted Lieu told members of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce this week.

Lieu was among the state and local politicians to update peninsula business leaders and Rotary Club members at a legislative luncheon Friday.

Calling this year’s state budget the worst she has seen in her 14 years in the state legislature, Sen. Betty Karnette argued for fundamental reforms to the business of governing.

One reason the state budget was a record 85 days late is the two-thirds vote requirement, Karnette said. California is one of only three states that uses the two-thirds threshold rather than the simple majority vote.

Redistricting, term limits and the tax code need comprehensive reform to reduce partisan gridlock, unlock sources of revenue, increase politicians’ accountability to constituents and simply return legislators’ focus to the job of public service, according to Karnette.

Sen. Betty Karnette gives her analysis of state government as County Supervisor Don Knabe, seated at right, listens.

County Supervisor Don Knabe, who represents San Pedro, said that the state budget cut about $130 million from county social-service programs.

The very programs being cut – probation, mental health and drug and alcohol treatment – are the ones that are most in demand when the economy is down, Knabe said.

The supervisor stressed his strong opposition to Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase to fund public transit.

“There are 88 cities in Los Angeles County and this proposal benefits only one [Los Angeles] for only one project really, the ‘subway to the sea,’” said Knabe, referring to the possible extension of the Metro Red Line from Koreatown to Santa Monica.

“This is an issue of fairness. All we’ve asked is to do it the right way and be fair,” Knabe said.

Candidates vying to represent San Pedro and Palos Verdes made appearances at the luncheon.

State Senate hopeful Lydia Gutierrez and state Assembly candidates Gabriella Holt and Bonnie Lowenthal attended and were introduced to the audience. Lowenthal and Karnette also attended the San Pedro luncheon with Garamendi.

Political Hybrid

See a hybrid car and it’s only natural to make certain assumptions about the driver’s politics and lifestyle. U.C. Berkeley license plate frame? Yeah, it figures.

Then there are the bumper stickers. The Republican bumper stickers.

Hey, what’s that inside the rear window? It’s an elephant stuffed animal wearing a Gabriella Holt button. (She’s the Republican candidate for the 54th state Assembly District).

So much for stereotypes.

(Click on the photo to enlarge. Car spotted at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber legislative luncheon at the Palos Verdes Golf Club).

Final Political Note: It’s Palin Time

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is rallying in Carson today (Saturday, Oct. 4).

The Daily Breeze Pipeline blog has suggestions to get in without a ticket.

School District Argues for Angels Gate Campus

The L.A. school district makes its case for a campus at Angels Gate in the current issue of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council newsletter.

The district argues:

  • The school, an “810-seat, state-of-the-art campus featuring two small learning communities, is key to providing students adequate school housing while moving away from larger campuses that can dilute a student’s academic experience.”

  • “Adding additional bungalows or buildings to the San Pedro High School campus will fail to relieve overcrowding or allow for adequate school housing in the near and long term.”

  • School construction will “minimally impact the community.”

  • The school “promises to be one of the greenest schools ...”

Read the full story in Coastal Currents. The next issue will include an opinion piece by the NOISE opponents.

Target Opens Next Week

The new Target store on North Gaffey Street is opening next week.

Look for a probable “soft” opening on Wednesday, when the store will be open in transitional mode.

Sunday, Oct. 12 is the official opening day. No special celebrations are planned.

The store is located at 1701 N. Gaffey St. (at the former Di Carlo Bakery property). Call (310) 507-6289 to check on special hours Wednesday-Saturday.

What’s Cooking? Find out at these New Restaurants

Porky’s BBQ

Porky’s BBQ of Inglewood has opened on Sixth Street in downtown San Pedro. The barbecue menu features hickory-smoked meats, homemade sides and desserts.

Then there’s an additional menu of Muggie’s Chicken and Biscuits. The restaurant is decorated with homey, retro knick-knacks from a country kitchen.

362 W. Sixth St., (310) 521-9999, Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Monster Burgers

This independent burger joint is an island in a sea of fast-food chains on Gaffey Street.

Burgers include Greek, Frisco, Jalapeño and Monster creations in addition to the familiar bacon cheeseburgers. The menu also features sandwiches, gyros, salads and Mexican fare.

There’s a drive-thru or you can dine in. The interior is clean and simple, with bright yellow booths along the windows.

228 N. Gaffey St., (310) 521-8853. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Aloha Ice Cream and Coffee

Owners Martin and Mickky Chaput proudly opened their doors on Sept. 25 after months of frustrating delays.

True to its name, Aloha Ice Cream and Coffee brings tropical treats to 25th Street and Western Avenue, operating in the old Billy Baker’s location.

Ice cream, Hawaiian shaved ice, pastries and coffee drinks are among the offerings.

The credit card machine isn’t running yet, so bring cash for now.

1615 W. 25th St. (near Hollywood Video), (310) 547-1702, Hours: Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-9 p.m.