Brix@1601 Rating: ** Location:Brix@1601, 1601 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach; (310) 698-0740; www.brix1601.com. Ambience: Sprawling South Bay wine-centric restaurant with a contemporary American menu. There's a large bar and several dining areas. Lots of stone and wood, even a fireplace, give this newcomer polish. Service: Enthusiastic and helpful. Price: Dinner appetizers, $8 to $15; main courses, $12 to $54; desserts, $6 to $9; cheese plate, $12. Best dishes: Sliders, crispy calamari, lettuce wedge, duck confit spring rolls, hot-smoked salmon, prime flat-iron steak, Alaskan halibut, diver scallops, burger, maple tiramisu, coconut coupe. Wine list: Exceptional, wide-ranging list and wine by the glass program. Corkage fee, $20 (2-bottle maximum). Best table: One of the generously sized booths. Details: Open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m Monday through Friday and for dinner from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Bar stays open nightly until midnight. Full bar. Valet parking, and also parking in a lot beneath. To see a photo gallery, go to latimes.com/food. Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.
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