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Downtown Manhattan Beach

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My mom will be visiting and I try to take her someplace new each time she comes out. I've never been to Manhattan Beach - and was thinking that would be a nice place to go for lunch and to window shop. Any recommended restaurants in that area by the pier (or within walking distance)? Probably would want typical american style cuisine (chicken, fish, meat, burgers, sandwiches, etc). Thanks!

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  1. the Kettle is right on the corner of Highland and Manhattan Beach Blvd. and your needs fit their menu perfectly. Nothing more than a glorified Mimi's Cafe, with similar pricing, yet definitely doable. Nice enough environs for a high-rent coffee shop, yet with full menu including beer and wine. Very popular with the locals.
    Cafe Pierre just east of it a few buildings has served food there seemingly forever.

    2 Replies
    1. re: carter

      I love their bran muffins...

      1. re: carter

        It's a shame to call The Kettle a glorified Mimi's Cafe. It's actually the birthplace of the Mimi's Cafe concept. Mimi's fans will have a serious case of deja vu when looking at the menu. It's not identical, but all the Mimi's favorites are there. It's tough to beat the 24-hour service, and their --encouragement-- to go beyond the basic menu, and make up your own creations! As a Mimi's fan, I was pleasantly thrilled to discover The Kettle entirely by accident while on vacation.

        www.the24hrkettle.com

      2. Uncle Bills Pancake House, a bit of a dive, but it's on Highland.

        8 Replies
        1. re: mlgb

          Can't go wrong with the Kettle, they have everything and anything she might like!!!

          1. re: barcelona

            Ditto Kettle

            1. re: nyfoodjoe

              I haven't been to the Kettle in years, but when I did, during High School, the only reason to go there was because it was open late. The food was awful... I don't know if that's changed since that section of Manhattan Beach has been gussied up.

              The place I would recommend down there is Mama D's Italian Kitchen, which is one block down Manhattan Beach Blvd on Manhattan Ave. Very good Italian food, reasonable prices (as long as you don't get the specials), great fried calamari! Not standard American food, but good stuff anyways.

              1. re: Dr. Confoundo

                I'm not sure I can sit here silently when a recommendation for Mama D's comes up... that place serves glorified Chef Boyardee. Overcooked pasta and over-the-top, faux friendly service from teenagers who clearly couldn't give a damn what my name is, how I'm doing tonight, etc. I can't understand the line to this place...

                1. re: glutton

                  Well Glutton, I stand firmly behind, er beside you. yuch! The Kettle is not recommended either, except for breakfast. Uncle Bill's is interesting for breakfast but the lines are horrible on weekends.

                  On the main drag, we like Rock n Fish on Manhattan Beach Blvd (seafood, burgers, salads, etc), Petros-next Le Pain in the Metlox Center. Please avoid Doughboys (?), the absolutely terrible deli across from Petros.

                  1. re: Densible

                    Petros is first class. Its the first fine dining I've seen in Manhattan beach in years.

                    1. re: glutton

                      I agree with you again! The shrimp saganiki is so good and I love the eggplant dip. We go there for lunch on the weekends and it is very enjoyable. Sometimes I find the service a bit lacking but not enough to avoid. My partner LOVEs the grilled octopus. Says it is very tender. Just the idea that one can find grilled octopus other than in a japanese retaurant makes it special.

                  2. re: glutton

                    No worries. Mama D's isn't the greatest Italian place in the world, but the OP was looking for something in the Manhattan Beach area. I haven't found much to like down there, but I thought Mama D's was good enough.

          2. There's Hennessey's Tavern (very passable traditional American and Irish fare) on Manhattan Beach Blvd., right in the middle of the main shopping street, just up from the pier but I'd also consider Le Pain Quotidien at the new Metlox Center about 1 block east of that.

            1. I second recommendations for Petros; sit on the patio if the day is beautiful. Although it's "Greek", the menu is varied and ranges from simple to complex. You'll find lots to enjoy especially the watermelon salad.

              I also like the food, salads especially, at Manhattan Beach Brewing company, which tends to have a calm, pleasant vibe during the day. Cafe Pierre also has reliably decent food and attentive service, without being too adventurous or too French for your mom.

              Although I like the "mimi's cafe" concept at the Kettle, I've been disappointed by the food; lots of bland, and/or over-microwed food. I would move this option down the list.
              It's also a shame to sit inside this dark space if the weather's nice.

              Wahoo's is a great, more casual option. Most people tend to love the fish tacos or salads there.