When Moruno closed at The Original Farmers Market, I wasn’t sure whether I’d get another chance to enjoy chef Chris Feldmeier’s Spanish comfort food. Thankfully, “boss lady/somm” Sara Gabrielle and husband Adam James Aro convinced the L.A. native and long-time Osteria Mozza chef to pick up the Spanish torch in Redondo Beach at Gabi James. If anything, the share-friendly menu that Feldmeier assembled at the open-air restaurant is even more enticing.
Go big with Fideos With Clams ($18), one of the best options in the “Grande” menu section. Toasted vermicelli-like pasta strands are seared in a cazuela and tossed with shell-on Manila clams, firm brunoise chorizo, and sweet-tart Honest Abe dry cider. Dollop doesn’t begin to describe the piquant cascade of sherry vinegar aioli that washes over the dish. Gabi James garnishes with clipped chives and sweet, spicy pimentón. Pluck plump clams and mix to integrate the bold flavors.