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Jul 17, 2013 01:17 PM

Manhattan Beach, Mid Priced and Impressive?

Have the oppurtunity to fete a young relative who just finished Wharton and want to impress without breaking bank, I don't know the scene in Manhattan Beach, any help welcome please!

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  1. MB Post is the best restaurant in Manhattan Beach and one of the best in LA. Wonderful small plates to be shared. Seafood, meats and veggies. Don't miss the bacon chedder biscuits. Expect to spend around $40 per person without drinks.

    Fishing with Dynamite is the sister restaurant of MB Post (and right next door) great seafood and shell fish platers. Can be expensive depending on what you order. My son & I ate there like kings for around $100 including fresh Santa Barbara uni.

    Petros has great upscale greek food and wonderful deserts too with a really nice patio.

    Houston's is always good for steaks, ribs and their prime rib french dip.

    Much more casual and lower prices
    North End Cafe
    Pit Fire Pizza
    & Simmy's

    14 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      $100 per person, or $100 total? $100 total for 3 people doesn't sound that bad for seafood....

      Went to Petros once for a friend's b-day and think it would make a good choice for a celebratory dinner.

      Is the Lemonade to which you refer the chain? If so, I wouldn't recommend it for a celebratory event. I like the food, but the ambiance is a bit more like super swanky cafeteria than anything else. Same w/ Pitfire Pizza. The food is fine, but it's a place I'd think of more for a kid or teenager's party....

        1. re: wienermobile

          The more casual restaurants (Lemonade and etc.) in the area I gave just to let the OP get an idea of what was in Manhattan Beach and let them decide what they were looking for. I for one wouldn't be unhappy having a lower cost celebratory meal at somewhere like North End Cafe.

          1. re: wienermobile

            Fair enough. ;)

            I would consider $100 for 3 people pretty cheap for good seafood. Might have to try Fishing for Dynamite (although I so rarely get out to the South Bay area....).

            1. re: ilysla

              If you do go make a reservation or go early, they are having as long as 2 hour waits on weeknights.

      1. re: wienermobile

        Obviously it depends on the diners and their appetite, one can spend much less than $40/pp and leave not hungry.

        From their latest menu (, a hypothetical dinner for two, including an "appetizer", two "sides", two "entrees" (or what passes for those courses), and two desserts:

        Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits - $5
        Fontina/Parmesan Mac & Cheese - $12
        Roasted Brussels Sprouts - $10
        Steamed Mussels - $14
        Vietnamese Caramel Pork Jowl - $13
        The "Elvis" - $7
        Coffee Soft Serve - $6

        $67 total, or $33.5/pp for what I'd consider a good amount of food. I'd say even three people (at $22.33/pp) could share the above and be satisfied (well, except for the fight that breaks out splitting two biscuits between three people).

        1. re: PeterCC

          normally, for a celebratory dinner, one doesn't expect their guests to "order carefully."

          i've never gotten out of MBP for less than $60/pp.
          imho, one of the things that makes them special is their terrific treatment of fish, so i would not have any interest in passing that by. . . . .

          1. re: westsidegal

            Not saying by any means that the OP should limit their spending, just that if cost is a factor (and it is, based on the OP's words), that MB Post is actually quite reasonable.

            The above sample meal would probably be what my wife and I would get to celebrate an occasion (well, sub fish for pork since she doesn't eat beef or pork). Maybe she'd get a second "Elvis" (probably not), and that's not us being frugal or anything.

          2. re: PeterCC

            Thanks for the tip MBP was terrific. Great energy fun place good food. Ate at bar rather than communal tables which was a good move. You're officially cool and a good South Bay source! Thanks, samthechef!

            1. re: samthechef

              Wait, is weinermobile cool or am I? We can't both be cool can we?! I demand a recount! ;-)

              BTW I am _not_ a good South Bay source. Don't want the responsibility. ;-) I don't make it down there more than a few times a year.

          3. re: wienermobile

            Thanks for the tip MBP was terrific. Great energy fun place good food. Ate at at rather than communal tables which was a good move. You're officially cool and a good South Bay source! Thanks, samthechef!

            1. re: samthechef

              Thanks for letting me be cool with PeterCC too. Wait does that mean the pressure is on me?

          4. The obvious ones that come to mind are MB Post, Fishing with Dynamite, and Petros. I can't vouch for it personally, but Strand House is also very popular and a lovely space.

            1. If you want to something brand new Little Sister just opened this week in Manhattan Beach (I have not yet been) featuring a cross-section of Southeast Asian cuisines and a very tasty looking menu.

              1. Another in the "I haven't been yet and can't personally vouch for" category: Chez Soi. Mark Gold, formerly of Eva, is the chef.

                I guess MB Post is the most obvious answer but while I really liked a few dishes, I wouldn't really call it that impressive. I'm not sure that there really is an impressive restaurant in Manhattan Beach though.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bg90027

                  I'd say MB Post is "impressive without breaking bank" as OP requested.

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    Fair enough. I know a lot of hounds like it more than I do. I liked about half the dishes we ordered. The other half were merely ok -- executed well enough but a little boring. I'm just not that much of a fan and am not in any great hurry to go back. I can't think of a much better recommendation though. As I said, I'm not sure if there really is an impressive restaurant in Manhattan Beach even if the choices are a little better than they were 5-10 years ago.

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    The Stand House is very popular due to their ocean views but no one ever mentions their food.