Chef Greg Paul, known for creating the fantastic burger at The Oaks (dry-aged beef topped with thick Black Forest bacon, buttery taleggio and a smoked jalapeno and pineapple compote) is heading south — to 1321, an upscale/rustic/gastropubby kind of place scheduled to open in Torrance in May.
Paul, who has cooked at many a Greg Morris eatery (The Oaks, Boa on Sunset, The Belmont) is working on a seasonal, market-driven menu (who isn't?) of upscale American pub fare. That means calamari tacos, oxtail enchiladas, a half-pound hot link gussied up with a sauerkraut/onion ragout and raclette and, naturally, a burger. In this case, it's built with house-ground prime chuck, brisket, short rib, pub cheese, stout onions and slab bacon ($12.50).
There's beer too — over 50 varieties in the taproom. No word on how many are on tap vs. in bottles (or cans), but it's always good to have more options, especially when they include Ten Fidy imperial stout and Curieux tripel ale. It's also nice to have options for where to drink it. 1321 comes on the heels of City Tavern's recent opening and last weekend's dueling beer events: LA Beer Fest and ColLAboration.
1321 is the first venture from MOD (manage/operate/develop) Restaurant Group. They're going for a polished rustic look with exposed brick walls offset by sleek booths. 1321 is expected to open in early May for dinner service, followed by lunch and brunch in the subsequent weeks.
1321: 1321 Sartori Ave., Torrance. (310) 328-1321, www.1321downtown.com.