Great Find in Manhattan Beach
One of my favorite restaurants in the South Bay is Lido di Manhattan. It is everything I want in a restaurant - excellent food, charming & comfortable atmosphere, reasonable pricing & great staff. They have fun & informative wine tastings on Thursdays. Tonight there is an Octoberfest beer tasting with beer from Germany, U K & Belgium. This is the kind of restuarant every neighborhood should have but unfortunately does not.
ate dinner there tonight.
the prices are those of a neighborhood italian restaurant.
the quality of the food is better than that of a neighborhood italian restaurant.
(for instance, i ordered the grilled baby artichoke hearts for my appetizer. what arrived, UNLIKE most restaurants at this price point were FRESH, grilled baby artichokes. they did NOT come from a plastic bag in the freezer. they did NOT come from a jar. there were lots of them).
the serving sizes are substantial.
the flamenco show (dancers, musicians, and singing) that they threw in for free was TERRIFIC. (they did pass a tip jar)
is this anything like valentino? NO
is this many times better than most neighborhood italian restaurants YES: both in terms of food and the room.
would i drive from downtown or west hollywood to go there NO.
would i drive right past alejos and italy's little kitchen to go there YES, YES, YES.
should be noted that this is not a pizza place.
Wow, talk about risking the potential of "taking one for the team". Good to know...
In the spirit of your review, if you were instead coming up Rosecrans from the beach, would you drive the extra 10 seconds to go to Il Fornaio instead? Assume that the availability of Flamenco is not a consideration :)
the price to quantity/quality ratio is significantly worse at il fornaio.
the absolute quality offered at il fornaio is marginally better.
that said, i don't see il fornaio EVER doing the work and dealing with the sourcing issues involved in making grilled baby artichokes from fresh.
il fornaio offers more of a commercial/controlled kitchen. the il fornaio output will probably be more consistent for what it is across all menu items and over time.
I find this post hard to believe because Lido has been awful for many many years. I haven't been recently even though I work across the street but Ramsay couldn't have made that much of a difference. If they did improve that much recently, I'm happy for them as the owner is a nice lady, but I'm not in a hurry to go back.
I have been told there is a relatvely new owner so that explains why the food has turned around.
The last time I went we were a party of six and everyone loved their meal. The pasta was great - and not over sauced. Most of it is made in-house. The baked eggplant apetizer was very good. Their interesting assortment of flat bread is delicious. The entrees are varied and all good - halibut with artichokes, capers & cherry tomatoes, roasted rack of lamb, risotto pescatore with seafood just off the boat, grilled chicken topped with prosciutto, osso bucco... Salads are fresh and light. If I lived closer I would eat there often. It's the kind of place you can go to often and not get tired of. The perfect little restaurant!
That's good to know - Manhattan Beach needs a good place with a style and price point somewhere in between MB Post and Shellback's. I haven't been in ages, but Lido used to be horrendous (its hard to expound without sounding cruel). Glad to hear its taken a turn for the better..and I could get on board if Ital-Octoberfest is the next fusion trend.
They have a web site http://lidodimanhattan.com/ and are away from the ocean front village, which is undoubtedly a good thing when it comes to the summer months and the traffic that the beach front area generates.
I was a little concerned when looking at the food photos on Yelp of their pasta dishes, as most of them seemed heavily (over) sauced. The line between properly saucing pasta and drowning it makes a significant food quality difference to me. Although photos don't always tell the story, so I reserve any final conclusions without trying some of them.
Have you had any of the pasta dishes (or what have you tried, since you didn't talk about any specific items you have eaten there)?
In any case, thank you for posting about Lido. It's always good to have LAX adjacent options.