Soleil in Manhattan Beach
We had a quick dinner there tonight, first time there. The food was very good and the atmosphere was nice, casual but not crappy, relaxed, nice art on the walls by local artists. I used Opentable.com for the reservation for the first time. Smooth sailing.
I started with country pate which was served with a few crusts of bread and some greens. It was a very generous slice of pate, I didn't want to eat the whole thing fearing the after effects, but did anyway... My husband had the Cafe soup which was a green muscle bisque that was fantastic.
I had paella for my main and my husband had a seafood pasta. The portions were very generous. My paella was pretty could, could have used more saffron and my husband did enjoy his seafood pasta very much.
They have a very extensive wine list but we didn't partake because we aren't drinkers (we each just had soft drinks) We didn't say for dessert because we need to get to the airport. The total bill was $57 (not including the tip).
They service was very attentive.
Based on your rec and Zagat, tried Soleil last weekend. Underwhelmed. My salmon had a ham-like overtone, as though it had been cooked or smoked over some kind of bbq wood that overpowered the delicate fish flavor. My friend's halibut suffered the same fate. They were accomodating in substituting asparagus for the vegetable medley, but all in all, a mediocre experience. Based on Zagat, and on opentable.com I expected a more Mediterranean menu, but it turned out to be your average seafood menu.
Granted, this was one night, and it could have been an off night. Place is pretty, but the acoustics make it very loud, and hard to hold conversation. With so many other choices in the area, though, doubt if I'd give it a second try.