Michael Fiorelli believes that food needs love and salt. Well, it also needs a swanky new place to serve it in, and this classic space that once lived as Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach is now Love & Salt.
A seasonal kitchen if there ever was one, the genres bend a little toward Italian, a little Mediterranean, and most definitely Californian, offering everything from endive salads with chickpeas to rabbit porchetta served with prosciutto and swiss chard. Fiorelli is pulling out all the stops after remaking the culinary scene down in Terranea's mar'sel before decamping to this new partnership in Manhattan Beach with the former Cafe Pierre owners, father and daughter team Guy and Sylvie Gabrielle.
In the meantime, Fiorelli has tapped talented young chef Rebecca Merhej, who will handle pastry duties as well as the chef de cuisine title, managing all aspects of the ambitious menu. The 100-seat MASS Architecture-designed dining room has opened up a bit, revealing clean rafters, rustic lines, and a general sense of elegance. During the day, there's even plenty of natural light that bathes the space.
The middle of the room seems occupied with a massive communal table while the bar seating seems primed for the chatty Manhattan Beach crowd. Said banter will be lubricated by drinks designed by Copa D'Oro's Vincenzo Marianella, who has mixed up everything from the Lady in the Ballroom (grapefruit vodka, bell pepper, mint, St. Germain) to the Jimmy Conway (rye, rabarbaro zucca, amaro nonino, and walnut bitters).
Finally a straight look into the kitchen, which provides just that extra oomph of energy into the packed dining room. See below for the opening menu, dotted with everything from fresh pastas and wood-burning pizzas to small plates and shareable mains. Stephane le Garrec helms the dining room as General Manager and Melissa Gabrielle (Guy's other daughter) is serving as Assistant GM.
Love & Salt
317 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA, 90266
Reservations and walk-ins accepted
Sunday to Wednesday, 5 to 10 p.m.
Thursday to Saturday, until 11 p.m.