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Manhattan Beach Dinner

a
Adeenabs Oct 18, 2007 04:26 AM

Looking for a place for a great dinner in Manhattan Beach for 6 people - something fun, with great food, festive atmosphere. Any thoughts?

  1. j
    jlrobe Nov 25, 2007 09:34 PM

    Bora Bora is good when its busy. A perfect spot on the north end of town.

    Cafe Pierre is okay, and probably the busiest spot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jlrobe
      wowimadog Nov 26, 2007 09:08 AM

      that new 100% red decor in cafe pierre makes my head spin.

    2. t
      Tony Miller Nov 25, 2007 03:58 PM

      Has Michi closed? When I lived in MB it was my first choice for food, service, and atmosphere.

      I also liked Cafe Pierre, Taiko and Reeds, but have had off nights at each.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tony Miller
        wowimadog Nov 25, 2007 05:59 PM

        yes, michi is now mucho, in a twist of ironic restaurant naming.

        cafe pierre's dining room is now a nightmarish red throughout which makes relaxing a bit elusive.

      2. wowimadog Nov 25, 2007 08:44 AM

        you won't find "great food" in manhattan beach unfortunately; it's more of a "drinks" town, but bora bora would be a good choice. i think they only offer beer and wine though. or if you are willing to downgrade to "decent" food - or maybe start off (or end) the night with a cocktail - i like the atmosphere and service at towne. there is also the recently-opened mucho, which clearly needs to get their footing, but might be tolerable for a drink just for something novel (see http://www.muchomb.com/). in neighboring hermosa beach, i always like the food at il boccaccio (site seems to be down - see http://www.ilboccaccio.com/), though "festive" doesn't really come to mind.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wowimadog
          t
          thomtompkins Nov 25, 2007 09:29 AM

          I agree with Nanette: Gina Lee's in Redondo is very, very good and for a quick ten minute drive from Manhattan its definately worth it. Pretty cool room, California light seafood based menu driven by an owner who soures the best products. His only problem is that he is located in Redondo but they are swamped from when the doors open. If they were on the west side you couldnt get it. Also "up the hill" is Bistro 767. A well rounded smart menu featuring a nice mix of California inspired dishes some meat, some fish, some pasta...I have eaten there many times and its always very good. Then there is also Christines. I love this place and go frequently, although I dont live anywhwere near Redondo. The wine list is short but well chosen and fairly priced as it is everywhere else in Redondo. I also really enjoy setting out on the patio under the heaters for dinner. Good luck.

          1. re: thomtompkins
            a
            amela Nov 27, 2007 12:29 PM

            Gina Lee's is very noisy. Yes it would be festive, but you won't be able to hear what anyone is saying unless they are sitting right next to you. Petros is festive and noisy as well but at least you can hear all your tablemates. Bora Bora is great but not so festive. la sosta enoteca is not festive ...more formal. Panchos is fun for parties but the food is what it is....

        2. j
          jlrobe Oct 19, 2007 01:17 PM

          Bora Bora. Plain and simple. it is the most underrated place in Manhattan Beach.

          Great decor, nice beachy crowd, GREAT beer (they have brother thelonious and hitachino belgian style white all....nuff said!).

          The food is quite good. I am a food snob (I hate being one!!!!), so nothing in the beach cities except la sosta enoteca and japonica really impresses me, but you will love Bora Bora. It is on the north end, so it is a bit isolated, but its worth it. you can WALK (walking in LA, I know.....) to skarkeez for some beers after.

          check it out. you will be pleasantly surprised I think.

          Not to insult the other readers but PF Changs, Daily Grill, McCormick And Smics are chains in an industrial part of town while there are so many unique, fun restaurants in a beach-urban setting west of PCH.

          If you want chain mediocrity, might as well go to Redondo Beach and eat the chart house or kincaids. They are not great, but certainly better than PF changs and M and S. Speaking of that, Gina Lees Bistro in redondo beach is much better than PF changs, and you should go if you make it down that far south and Iike PF changs.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jlrobe
            n
            nanette90278 Nov 24, 2007 10:47 AM

            This whole series of comments is depressing me because I live in Redondo. The only recommendations to be taken seriously are La Sosta and Gina Lee's. Admittedly, I'll have to give Bora Bora a shot. The requester asked for "great food" and people are suggesting chains, Mexican-American fare, and Rock'N'Fish. All mediocre on a good day.

            Petros is trendy and the location is great if you dine on the patio. Inside is way too crowded and noisy to enjoy your own party. The food is upscale Greek, not authentic. Appetizers are very good but the mains are mediocre. Specials were the same all 3 times I dined there, months apart. How special is that? Wine list is largely comprised of Greek wines. I know it's a Greek restaurant, but really?! Greek wines? Yecchh! BYO - $25 corkage, nothing waived even when the winemaker is in attendance sharing fine wines with the owner of the establishment.

            1. re: nanette90278
              j
              jlrobe Nov 25, 2007 09:38 PM

              I agree with nanette90278

              La sosta enoteca, Gina Lee's, and Japonica are sadly one of the few good spots in the beach cities.

              Bora Bora is great for the south bay, average for LA. i wouldnt consider any of those festive except bora bora.

          2. n
            Nicole Oct 18, 2007 10:40 AM

            Your best bets are probably Rock n' Fish for seafood and Pancho's for Mexican. Pancho's isn't right in the downtown area...it's a little bit north of there, but it is particularly festive. It probably meets your needs best if you don't mind that it's not quite in downtown MB. Haven't eaten at Petros, so I can't comment on their food...but I've walked by it a million times and it didn't look particularly fun/festive to me. Please not go to Cozymel, it's terrible.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Nicole
              t
              Tony Miller Oct 18, 2007 07:27 PM

              Funny -- I like Cozymel, don't like Pancho's.

              1. re: Tony Miller
                g
                glutton Oct 18, 2007 07:48 PM

                This sounds like a horse race between clydesdales... Neither have good food, but Pancho's gets the nod for the kitschy, festive atmosphere inside. It's a bit of an institution in Manhattan Beach, not that that provides any assurance of quality food.

            2. c
              Clinton Oct 18, 2007 08:34 AM

              On Rosecrans not too far from MB is Cozymel for fancy Mexican. Houston's is nearby as well as PF Chang's. McCormick and Smicks has high end seafood. Looking for more casual try Island's for fancy burgers or Tequila Willy's if it's still there in the Manhattan Beach mall?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Clinton
                westsidegal Oct 18, 2007 08:34 PM

                would not consider pf chang's to be 'great food,' i don't even consider it to be good food, imho, it's simply greasy food aimed at the lowest common denominator.

              2. c
                Clinton Oct 18, 2007 07:26 AM

                The Big Wok is fun and inexpensive. It's a Mongolian BBQ place where you select your own veggies, meats, and sauces, and they cook it for you right before your eyes. Fun place for lots of people to socialize.

                1. Foodandwine Oct 18, 2007 05:48 AM

                  I think Petros would be a nice spot to try. Its Greek Food with a Modern Flair, otherwise in my opinion its pretty much a wasteland here for "great food"

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Foodandwine
                    g
                    glutton Oct 18, 2007 07:48 AM

                    I agree that MB is pretty much a wasteland -- that's the principle reason I had to move from there a few years ago. That said, Petros is probably the best recommendation for fun, tasty, festive.

                    MB does breakfast very well -- I should give the town that much credit.

                    1. re: Foodandwine
                      e
                      ElissaInPlaya Oct 18, 2007 10:39 AM

                      I third the Petros recommendation. Definitely avoid all of the chains listed below. If you'd like something more reasonably priced, maybe Musha in Torrance would work for you.

                      1. re: ElissaInPlaya
                        Foodandwine Oct 18, 2007 11:22 AM

                        Elissa.. Nice pick with Musha.. I went to the Santa Monica location a few weeks back I was not that impressed when I compared that dinner to the Torrance Location.. Sorry Guys!!

                        1. re: ElissaInPlaya
                          b
                          broncosaurus Nov 26, 2007 08:53 AM

                          No need to avoid Houston's. They're the one chain worth having around.

                          1. re: broncosaurus
                            t
                            Tony Miller Nov 27, 2007 09:00 AM

                            I second that. I avoided Houston's when I moved to MB, thinking that it looked "chainey". I was very pleasantly surprised when I finally tried it, and got great menu recos from the excellent waitress.

                            1. re: Tony Miller
                              e
                              ElissaInPlaya Nov 27, 2007 09:43 AM

                              Houston's has its place. But I respectfully disagree with recommending it for someone who is looking for a fun, festive place with great food.

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