Paul Martin's - New in Manhattan Beach
It’s right there on Chain-Row (Houston’s, Il Fornaio, Flemings, Macaroni Grill, PF Chang) on Rosecrans, and they’re doing a good job of trying to fit in. It looks and feels like a chain restaurant inside.
The service is good, attentive and friendly, but I’m getting a little cynical about all this “locally sourced, it’s from right around here” and “it’s all organic” business. Are a hamburger and fries local?
Beef within 100 miles? Nope. Potatoes? Nope. Lettuce? Maybe in Camarillo if it’s in season. Tomatoes? Maybe during the summer. Bun? Yes. I’ll give them the bun. It’s from a bakery in El Segundo.
In fairness, the beef is ground locally….in the back kitchen to be exact. And you can really tell the difference. The texture is much tenderer than other burgers I’ve had recently. But I shouldn’t have heeded the server’s admonishment against ordering it medium rare. He said the medium burger was on the rare side. In fact it was on the medium side; but it was very juicy and tender due to the fresh grind. Unfortunately it was also very salty. Too salty.
The bun was quite firm on the top, and it was difficult to cut in two. It wasn’t stale, just quite firm…like it sat under a heat lamp for a while (while it seemed like this, I doubt it actually sat under a heat lamp for long because the food arrived very quickly after our order). Once cut, though, it was quite fresh tasting, and it served to sop up the abundant juice from the burger.
The fries were thin and light colored. They had a light seasoning, and parsley, which added a delicious touch.
This was a very filling lunch for me. I didn’t have a huge appetite, but the portion was more than adequate for me or anyone I normally dine with. My dining partner took home half of his burger.
It's a little on the pricey side. Think Houston's plus.
Rosecrans at Continental (across the street from Il Fornaio, next to Macaroni Grill)
We ate at Paul Martin's last evening and were disappointed. Yes, it had the ambience...it had flair...it had energy. All the "beautiful people" were there. But as for the dining experience, it left much to be desired in our book. First of all, though the servers appeared to be attentive and constantly asked if everything was alright, they had to be reminded about a number of things that had been ordered. One person's cocktail was forgotten and then arrived along with the soup and the glass of wine. An appetizer was forgotten. Items were brought to the wrong table. They have their spiel down pat...using the word sustainable in every other sentence. The food was not exceptional. I had the plank salmon (that was "sustainably farmed in Oregon") and it was overcooked. The meal was quite pricey and I doubt that we will return.