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Healthy, Delicious Dining for a solo traveler in Manhattan Beach?

VintageMolly Oct 1, 2010 08:40 AM

I'll be staying for several days in Manhattan Beach on business, and I'm looking for some good options so I don't have to resort to California Pizza Kitchen. Preference for asian cuisines or middle eastern/ Mediterranean, but anything yummy will do.

I've tried searching the board, but have mostly found threads about what a culinary wasteland Manhattan Beach is.

Surely it's not that bad? I'm just looking for one or two good spots to get takeout from, or enjoy while reading a book. I'd be willing to drive a little if that's what it takes.

  1. p
    pauliface Dec 15, 2010 11:02 AM

    I lived in Manhattan Beach for a year, long ago.

    I am not a hamburger fan but I always loved the hamburger and the cantalope shake at Sloopy's. I still go back when I visit. Often, they don't have cantelope for the shake so I get their nearest substitute.

    3416 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

    3 Replies
    1. re: pauliface
      goodhealthgourmet Dec 15, 2010 02:38 PM

      you have an interesting interpretation of "healthy"...but that cantaloupe shake does sound good ;)

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
        pauliface Dec 15, 2010 03:58 PM

        I was focusing more on the 'delicious' and 'dining solo' parts.
        Besides, it's healthy if you go for a run on the beach later in the day.

        1. re: pauliface
          goodhealthgourmet Dec 15, 2010 05:18 PM

          i was just teasing. and while a burger & shake may not be diet food, at least Sloopy's sources high quality ingredients.

          3416 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

    2. Foodandwine Oct 3, 2010 10:14 AM

      I actually like the Tin Roof Bistro in Manhattan Village, great lunch special for less than $10, good happy hour and just good food.

      Same Owner if you want more of the Costal Vibe up the block from the Pier is Simmy's ( excellent Burgers and Crafted Beers )

      Uncle Bills is a local institution for Breakfast ( eat mid week and lose the tourists )

      Al Watan for a Pakistan complete meal ( area is a bit seedy if your on a trip but the grunge adds to the flavor) Flying solo, I always get the Lunch $7.99 or Dinner $8.99 special. Prices may be a buck off. Tandor Bread, Meat, various curries and a salad with a mound of rice that will feed two. Good spot ( my preference over Al Noor )

      Fish Grill is sterile but good for what it is as well as other spots in the El Segundo Plaza ( cool Whole Foods too. ) The Starbucks there is nice to catch up on email ( if your traveling and enjoy the coffee )

      In near by El Segundo the Second City Bistro on Monday Night's ( only ) try the free Wine Tasting and grab some apps.. Lots of fun people and nice time to be had. Same block there is a blast from the past Richmond Streer Bar and Grill for some very good Burgers too

      This will all serve the Yummy option. I would go to Gardena for Asian, nothing to be found here. As to the Med. I do hear good things about Open Sesame as some hear have mentioned as well.

      Enjoy your time, take a walk on the strand and have fun!!

      Al Watan
      13619 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

      Al Noor
      15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

      Open Sesame
      5215 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

      Tin Roof Bistro
      3500 Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

      1. DrBruin Oct 2, 2010 10:16 PM

        There are 2 additional restaurants worth checking out IMHO around MB. It's not super fancy food but good food, good prices....

        1. California Fish Grill - Fresh fish, simply grilled, great prices, good portions
        730-H Allied Way
        El Segundo, California 90245

        2. Petit Cafe Mediterranean Grill
        630 N Sepulveda Blvd #3A
        EL Segundo, CA 90245

        An aside, I'm very excited to hear Open Sesame opened up a location closer to where I am, than their 2 locations in Long Beach.

        2 Replies
        1. re: DrBruin
          Dommy Oct 2, 2010 10:34 PM

          Loooovvveee Petit Cafe... awesome gyros! Tons of fresh veggies! :D

          1. re: DrBruin
            kevin Oct 3, 2010 02:08 PM

            i actually like the old cliche of blackened catfish at california fish grill, and the prices are way way way reasonable.

          2. Dommy Oct 1, 2010 07:53 PM

            They JUST opened up an outpost of one of my favorite middle eastern restaurants there... Open Sesame! :D


            Another healthy option is Veggie Grill. They have a Kale Salad which is my favorite Kale anything...


            If you like Mexican, I've been more than pleased with La Sirena Grill. Organic Meats, cooked well, you can get an excellent Mexican Cesar Salad as a side instead of rice and beans...



            Open Sesame
            5215 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

            6 Replies
            1. re: Dommy
              sel Oct 2, 2010 06:00 PM

              I've only been to the northern outpost of La Sirena Grill once (many times to the original location on Mermaid St. in Laguna Bch.) but MY favorite salad for more than a couple of years is their Blackened Salmon Salad. Cold salad with 3 hot from the pan salmon fillets blackened to order. It's tossed with a citrus/cilantro dressing before the fish is placed on top.
              Guess I'm going to have to try their "...excellent Mexican Cesar Salad..." sometime soon. Maybe with the salmon added!
              Also their house made Horchata and Lemonade are pretty tasty.

              La Sirena Grill
              347 Mermaid St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

              1. re: sel
                Dommy Oct 2, 2010 07:43 PM

                Yeah, their Horchata is pretty awesome! Thanks for the tip about the Salmon salad... I actually loathe salmon but P. LOVES it... so now I have an excuse to take him. :D


                1. re: Dommy
                  kevin Oct 3, 2010 02:07 PM

                  yeah, i'm never salmon fan either, and not usually mahi mahi either. why is that?

              2. re: Dommy
                goodhealthgourmet Oct 2, 2010 09:15 PM

                i had relatively high hopes for my first visit to La Sirena Grill (in El Segundo) a couple of weeks ago but i was pretty disappointed. the guac was nothing more than a bunch of avocado slices pressed on top of each other in a bowl - if there was any tomato, onion or cilantro hiding in there i couldn't find it. and i really wasn't a fan of the ceviche - it was more cucumber than anything, the rock shrimp were little pieces of rubber, and there was very little acid to perk up the flavor.

                but on the bright side, my dining companion really enjoyed his margaritas!

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                  Dommy Oct 2, 2010 09:44 PM

                  Meep! Thanks for your 2cents. I admit, I've only been during lunch and have always ordered a taco plate. But good to be warned about the Ceviche in case I get tempted next time...


                  1. re: Dommy
                    goodhealthgourmet Oct 2, 2010 10:06 PM

                    yes, definitely skip the ceviche. but apparently the "Cadillac" margarita is excellent if you ever want a cocktail with your lunch ;)

              3. wienermobile Oct 1, 2010 10:42 AM

                Manhattan Beach has a very nice but small farmers market Tuesdays 11am-4pm. Good produce and tasty treats.
                and there is a Le Pain Quoitidien right around the corner from the open market.

                Le Pain Quotidien
                451 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                1 Reply
                1. re: wienermobile
                  Bradbury Oct 1, 2010 03:40 PM

                  LPQ is a great breakfast/lunch option on the same small plaza as Petro's. (By the way, when dining solo at Petro's, I'd suggest getting a sampling of their mezes, which are outstanding, rather than a main course, which run the gamut from superior to "ehhhh...") Also on the same plaza is a Japanese fusion-y place called Sashi, which is more about the scene than the food and best avoided, especially since there's so much better Japanese bang-for-the-buck in nearby Gardena and Torrance.

                  The farmer's market is held just northwest of that plaza and has some nice options, but you should note that some of the vendors there also show up at the El Segundo, Redondo, and/or Torrance farmer's markets with notably lower prices...

                2. b
                  Bradbury Oct 1, 2010 10:33 AM

                  Al Noor is nearby in Lawndale for first-rate Punjabi dishes (paneer tikka masala, karahi, korma, palak, etc.)

                  For convenient Middle Eastern, there's Open Sesame in the Marina Village complex in MB; nothing to write home about, but still fairly good.

                  Al Noor
                  15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bradbury
                    banana_peel Dec 15, 2010 07:42 AM

                    Second Al Noor.

                    Al Noor
                    15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                  2. wienermobile Oct 1, 2010 09:13 AM

                    North End Cafe- as seen on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is good for breakfast and lunch.

                    North End Cafe
                    3713 Highland Ave Ste 1, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wienermobile
                      mollyomormon Oct 1, 2010 10:36 AM

                      I really like North End as well. They definitely have healthy options and some pretty delicious food.

                    2. wienermobile Oct 1, 2010 09:07 AM

                      For good udon and soba you might like Taiko, right next door to Manhattan Beach in El Segundo.
                      2041 Rosecrans Ave
                      El Segundo, CA 90245

                      Taiko Restaurant
                      2041 Rosecrans Ave Ste 190, El Segundo, CA 90245

                      1. wienermobile Oct 1, 2010 08:59 AM

                        Good coffee shop-diner type food at the 24 hour The Kettle in Manhattan Beach.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: wienermobile
                          westsidegal Oct 2, 2010 08:17 PM

                          respectfully disagree,
                          imho, most of the food served at the kettle is fair, not good.

                          1. re: wienermobile
                            Servorg Oct 3, 2010 06:58 AM

                            Strong second for the Kettle. An upscale coffee shop with some excellent breakfast fare. I try to get down here every couple of months for their outstanding eggs and stuffed French toast (pain perdu) consisting of 2 eggs, sausage or bacon, breakfast potatoes and French toast stuffed with cream cheese and orange marmalade. I love the Kettle.

                            1. re: Servorg
                              Servorg Oct 3, 2010 07:07 AM

                              Stumbled upon the 38th Annual Manhattan Beach Home Town Fair this morning. Looks like a pretty darn big event as I pedaled through the middle of it on N. Valley Dr. near 15th Street. See this link for food and drink related information (including a beer garden...mmmm beer): http://www.mbfair.org/Food_%26_Drinks...

                              1. re: Servorg
                                wienermobile Oct 3, 2010 10:59 AM

                                yea...funnel cake.

                          2. wienermobile Oct 1, 2010 08:55 AM

                            For asian you might try The Izaka-Ya- by Katsu-Ya.

                            1. wienermobile Oct 1, 2010 08:52 AM

                              Petros for very good greek food.

                              Petros Restaurant
                              451 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: wienermobile
                                lil mikey Oct 2, 2010 12:09 PM

                                Recently had the Karpouzi salad, with fresh watermelon, tomato and feta, drizzled with honey. The honey was an unexpected pleasure as it perfectly offset the light acidity of the watermelon.

                                The dip combo was also pretty good, although I liked some more than others. The Kafteri was my favorite. The Tzatiki with cucumber burned the inside of my mouth for some reason. I'm not sure what was in there.

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