LUNCH IN MANHATTAN BEACH
The Kettle is pretty reliable and they turn the tables pretty efficiently.
Manhattan Beach Brewing Company is a pretty good brewpub. It isn't the best thing you've ever tasted, but the food is good and the menu is reliable.
Ebizo's Skewers is about as exotic as MB gets and it's not bad, for MB.
El Tarasco is a terrific hole-in-the-wall place for great wet burritos. Pancho's is a little more upscale, but has nice ambience and good tostadas.
If you go all the way down Manhattan beach Blvd to the end... on the left hand side of the street (south) there is a great restaurant for chicken teriyaki, the name is escaping me unfortunately.
There is also Pierre's on MB Blvd, a couple of blocks up, but ahven't been there in a while, I know it used to be very good.
Try Petros in the new mall off Manhattan Beach Blvd. where Metlox used to be. Irene Virbila just gave it a glowing review, and I've been there twice and really enjoyed it. It's upscale Greek cuisine, but not like anything we've quite tasted in L.A. before. The chef used to be sous chef at Spago and Maple Dr. It's open for lunch. There are nice salads - the Greek salad with avocado is lovely. There's a link here to Irene's review, check the Petros post.
Depending on how hungry you guys are for lunch, I'd recommend Big Wok Mongolian BBQ. It's a mongolian bbq buffet where you select from a variety of meats, vegetables, and sauces that you customize yourself, bring over to a cook, and they'll cook it up for you. Without drinks its under $10/person and you'll leave stuffed. There is no limit on how many times you visit the cooks. A fantastic deal in my mind.
Big Wok Mongolian BBQ
250 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
second the big wok recommendation.
not only a fantastic deal, but the best food quality of the mongolian bbq restaurants that i've tried.
It is a good deal not only because you can go back as many times as you want, also, they don't foist any noodles on you. if you like, you could easily do a low-carb meal in this place: just vegetable and meats (or tofu) until you are full.
most other ayce places either try to load you up on carbs or fat--not this one.
I'm not sure if you're west or east of Sepulveda, but here's some east of sepulveda.
Open Sesame - new Lebanese restaurant in Manhattan Village Mall, I've been once and I enjoyed my meal. I plan to go back.
Kai Sushi - good take-out sushi
O-Sho - fresh local restaurant, cheap lunch special (teriyaki chicken, gyoza, soup, and salad), decent sushi
Pho Hoa - Vietnamese noodles in Lawndale on Prairie and Marine. My favorite of the choices in Lawndale
Saigon Dish (I think) - closer to MB on Manhattan Beach Blvd and Hawthorne or Inglewood for Vietnamese noodle. I've been once and it was good.
Chicken Dijon - I like the house special salad, it's on Artesia
in the same boat but two-fold, i live in mb and work right up the street in el segundo, right across from the bristol farms. i'm sad to say, the food in MB is terrible.
the only place i've found in the city proper that would be worth traveling for is north end cafe, on highland and 34th-ish.
otherwise, when i want something good -- which is increasingly more often now -- i drive to gardena/torrance.