Beñat "Bernard" Ibarra, owner, of A Basq Kitchen in Redondo Beach, was born in the French Basque region. His cooking career has taken him to jobs in Israel, Canada, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and the U.S.A. That multi-continental career has given him a taste for food from all over the world, and so we asked him for his favorite multicultural restaurants in his hometown of Redondo Beach. Here are his ten picks.
Orlando's Pizzeria & Birreria
"I'm originally from Basque Country but spent much of my career in Canada and am a naturalized citizen, so whenever possible I search out other Canadians. Orlando's Italian and Canadian heritage is reflected in his menu with pasta, pizza and poutine." 1000 Torrance Blvd., Redondo Beach. pizzeriaorlandos.com
Redondo Beach Cafe
"Who would ever have thought a small town like this had so many Canadian restaurant owners? Kosta and Chris Tsangaris are Canadians of Greek heritage, so I get the Montreal meat poutine as well as the hummus plate here. And they have the actual cheese curds...! Go Habs!" 1511 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach. (310) 316-1047. redondobeachcafe.com
"When we actually have time for a proper meal, we'll come here to enjoy the atmosphere and chef Fabio's fresh handmade pasta. They also sell it at the Redondo Beach farmers market on Sundays." 211 Palos Verdes Blvd., Redondo Beach. (310) 375-0500. bettolinokitchen.com
Ragin' Cajun' Cafe
"I used to be the executive chef at Arnaud's in New Orleans; I miss its food culture. This is where I have my bonding time with my son, every Sunday night. We walk from our house and always share a plate of oysters and gumbo with jazz playing in the background. C'est si bon!" 525 S Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach. (310) 540-7403. ragincajun.com
"The desserts here are so artfully crafted and completely gluten-free. This Japanese pastry chef has been using rice flour in his family for generations." 707 N Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach. (310) 376-5313. kirariwest.com
"This place just opened up. It's a Korean chain baking French pastries. I love the play on a different country's heritage. My wife's favorite is the fruit tart. The interior is beautiful too." 403 N Pacific Coast Hwy., #104, Redondo Beach. (424) 383-1548. parisbaguetteusa.com
"Another place within walking distance of my house. It's definitely more Japanese than Italian (as the name might suggest) but the food is delicious and everything is presented with a very careful attention." 629 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach. (310) 543-0586. casaarigato.com
"Hawaiian name with a Korean owner. Robert blends four different types of beans and his espresso is consistently the best I've had in the area. It's a very no frills and humble place with a great product." 138 N. International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach. (310) 937-5140.
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"It's a pan-Asian vegan menu with a very mom-and-pop flair. They pack so much flavor into their pho and other soups, I always end up over ordering so I can take more home with me!" 709 N Pacific Coast Hw.y, Redondo Beach. (310) 379-5035. happyveggiela.com
"Also near my home! Features a few Goan-style dishes like shrimp masala. Their chef is so very talented. Owner Addi Decosta makes sure my dishes are always very spicy, and I can handle spicy!" 800 Torrance Blvd. #101, Redondo Beach. (310) 540-1616. addistandoor.com