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Jul 23, 2006 06:09 AM

Manhattan Beach - A culinary wasteland?

So the BF and I just moved to Manhattan Beach, and so far, well, we're unimpressed with the offerings. We've found some great stuff in Lawndale, etc. (many thanks to Mr. Gold for his CI tips), but that's a long way to travel on a regular basis. We'd love it if there was a local joint (or two or three) that we could call home. Are we missing something? Is there any great food to be had in MB? Most especially we miss that heavenly combination of high quality and low price...

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  1. I like Versailles on Sepulveda, despite the detractors on here that don't like it...garlic pork for me...their lauded chicken is usually too is great stuff on the cheap too. i need to work my way through the menu some time....

    Houstons is always great.

    I like bristol farm's cafe too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Xericx

      Don't bother working through the menu. You hit the bullseye with your first pick. The roasted pork is the best.

      1. re: mattesq

        Second... The rest of their stuff is just awful... :P


      2. re: Xericx

        Versailles on Sepulveda has the best atmosphere of the 4 Versailles Resturants and I agree he Lechon is great and the Chicken Dry......try the Rabo Encendido you won't be disappointed and if you are go to Havana Mania it's great there and the Mojito's are good too at Mania

      3. Manhattan Beach and Low Price are mutually exclusive. There are several nice places to eat in MB, but cheap eats they are not.

        In addition to Versailles, the other best bang for the buck in MB is Back Home in Lahaina. And the El Tarasco on Rosecrans. Bring your own beer and sit on the roof and watch the sunset.

        1. Try Il Boccaccio @39 Pier In Hermosa by very close to MB

          1. Not sure what part of MB you live in, yet if in the northerly portion, try El Segundo for options, as the commercial rents, especially downtown, are MUCH cheaper, and thus you can find some quality dining where landlords have not forced the tenant to jack up prices beyond imagination.
            Here is a recent thread that might at least get you started. Also, like I did, use the search feature, entering whatever titles of interest, specify the LA Message board, and then see what has already been mentioned.

            1. My post from a previous thread:

              El Pollo Inka: Peruvian

              Great peruvian food. Someone below mentioned the one in hermosa, but I think that that particular El Pollo Inka waters down their flavors for the HB crowd. The one I like is just a block or two north of Hawthorne and Manhattan Beach Blvd. You MUST try the saltados, preferably the saltadao camarones. I also like the camerones picado (although I am looking at the menu now and think they might have droped this last dish). Don't forget the delicious green sauce.


              La Creme de la Crepes- French

              A crepery. I haven't been there in 4 years, but I know a lot of people who go regularly. They have expanded their menu beyond crepes and now have other dishes (nothing too fancy). Also, they have free escargo on thursday nights!


              Poulet Du Jour- Rotasserie/Mediterranean

              This place (as its name suggests) does chicken, very well! It's very tasty. They do free delivery to MB, which is what my family always does. For sides, get humus (duh!) and their cole slaw. You can also order the chicken without the skin, which is nice.



              If you like Brooklyn style pizza (which I'm sure you do), order delivery from Valentino's. They have a pretty darn authenitc NYC style thin crust pizza. They also have coupons in the Beach Reporter and Easy Reader, so snap those up. Note that it's a little oily, but nothing absurd. (note: the pictures of the pizza on the website below is not their actual pizza... so don't worry



              Al-Noor: Indian/Pakistani

              I've mentioned this place a few times over the last few days here on the board, but I simply love it. Get the paneer tikka massala and rice and naan and you're set. This is one of my favorite restaurants, it's AMAZING.


              Pennylane: Neighborhood Sushi... it's kinda a secret

              This place in downtown is pretty good, though not amazingly special/extraordinary. Your typical sushi joint, but more traditional. I like it a lot. After you meal, you can walk down to the strand in like 2 minutes. I like the spyder roll.

              Penny Lane
              (310) 374-6311
              820 Manhattan Ave # 105 (cross street is 9th
              )Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

              El Tarasco- Mexican

              There are many El Tarascos (even 2 in MB), but the one on Rosecrans in downtown MB is by far the best. A favorite of local surfers, it's a pretty darn good mexican restaurant, and very cheap. You eat at the counter, which is covered in surf stickers. Check it out.

              manhattan+beach,+CA&sll=37.062500,-95.677068&sspn=23.875000,57.630033&latlng=33884722,-118410000,16155927076216783362" target="_blank">

              Azuma Izakaya: Japanese (pub/tavern style


              The south bay has a ton of great japanese restaurants. I just happen to go to this one, which is pretty respected. I like the combo dinners (which are enormous). Excellent tempura and really amazing terriyaki steak. Also try the croquettes. Don't be intimidated if you are the only non Japanese person in there. Also open late (like 2am) on the weekends.


              La Cueva: $1 tacos (need I say more?


              This place opened up about a year ago. A pretty good taqeria for south bay standards. I like the chorizo and carne asada tacos (each $1). A good snack when you go to the Galleria for shopping (right across the street). Parking is behind the shop.


              Let's see, what else?

              El Gaucho Meat Market: Argentinean Meats

              Although this place has a deli, I've never tried any of their sandwiches (although my argentinian friend says the lomo is great). My family always gets their marinated meats, either skirt steak or the chicken, and brings them back and make them on the grill. They are very well marinated, with a lot of cilantro. You should also try their empenadas. I like the chicken and the spinch ones. ALso ask for the empenada dipping sauce.

              beach&sll=37.062500,-95.677068&sspn=23.875000,57.630033&latlng=33849167,-118387500,2150825270712269878" target="_blank">

              Thai Dishes (Sepulveda location next to the post office): thai

              This place is by no means excellent Thai Food, but when you're not in the mood to drive to Thai Town for some Ruen Pair, this place fits the bill. Just normal, Americanized versions of Thai dishes. Great, cheap lunch specials. I really LOVE the garlic chicken, although I warn you your breath will smell for days... it't that strong (but oh so good!). Usual pad thai is good too, as is the vegetarian fried rice. Just a local, dependable Thai joint. They do free delivery. They also sometimes do coupons in the Easy Reader and Beach Reporter.


              Well... that's more or less every restaurant in my MB and environs rotation. I guess a general rule of thumb is if you want to go ethnic, you should drive out a mile or two east onto Hawethorne blvd/lawndale blvd. or 5 or so miles south east into torrance/gardena area for great Asian food (so many too choose from) which I haven't exlored as much as I would like.
              END OF POST

              New thoughts: I don't see how a drive to lawndale can be long. Al Noor, my favorite restaurant, takes maximum 10 minutes from MB. I am the type of person who likes great food at low prices, and MB has very little of this, so I think doing a 10 minute drive is worth it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: young_chower

                Poulet Du Jour is definitely tasty, but prepared to load up on water. They are not shy about the salt.

                Poulet Du Jour
                233 Pacific Coast Hwy, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254