Manhattan Beach's dining scene has been buzzing ever since the likes of M.B. Post, Love & Salt, and Little Sister populated the bustling Downtown area, with David LeFevre's The Arthur J opening within a few weeks. But the momentum will shift just a little bit inland when Manhattan House opens (softly) this coming Saturday in the former Aji Sushi nearby the corner of Manhattan Beach Blvd and Sepulveda.
Partner Richard Drapkin has tapped talented chef Diana Stavaridis to run the kitchen, who cut her teeth at Drapkin's other project, bld on Beverly Blvd, before staging at European stoves for a long period.
As for the fare, everything is this side of approachable, which makes sense for the beachy community. Think crispy dungeness crab beignets, or a spicy chicken presented with salsas verde and roja. A more composed bourride, sort of a French take on fish stew, but with a faux-creaminess coming from a few dollops of aioli, undergirds the larger plate section. And for more drink-friendly bites, a smashed pea toast topped with house-made burrata.
As for those beverages, compiled by barman Kerry Donnelly, think classic cocktails but with a modern twist. Or sip a craft beer or quality glass of wine that tilts toward California growers.
Finally the interior, which is unpretentious, spacious, comfortable, and equally ideal for both a Sunday night feast with family or a mid-week supper at the bar. It sports aged cedar reclaimed from old Hollywood Bowl seats, plus an overall industrial vibe that feels more warm than your average pub. Fellow partners Brett Schwartz, Jeffrey Kirshenbaum, Adam Hersh, and David Hopkins all hail from Manhattan, New York, hence the restaurant's moniker.
Reservations and walk-ins accepted, plus free valet.
1019 Manhattan Beach Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266