<< Menu Tasting Courtesy of MB Post >>
Chef Lefevre helmed Water Grill, Downtown LA’s pantheon of seafood, for 6 years. That is an eternity in LA. Somehow, David Lefevre was able to get a restaurant opened, on time, a mere 6 months after departing DTLA. Chalk it up to that engineering degree? . It has been mentioned the chef/owner had industry (and local assistance), though one can’t but conclude think this man is a bit of a genius.
First, witness the attention to details in the room, both exterior and in — the restaurant feels comfortable, even quaint, but holds 100. Found object decorations evokes a vintage, pre-gentrification Manhattan Beach, yet doesn’t betray the globally inspired cuisine. Despite the wood paneling throughout, the main dining room doesn’t feel cramped, and is rather cacophonous. This does not feel/look like a restaurant built within a post office.
Though Water Grill is predominantly a house of seafood, do not come to MB Post expecting geoduck and ebi with haute presentation. Come here to eat your veggies, gloriously seasonal (excavated from that nearly farmers market no doubt), unpureed bounties of the earth with amazing palette. This is the “marinaded” cucumber. Its colors are clearly evocative of a salad-e shirazi salad which makes this the most under described dish of any gastropub in Los Angeles county. Here are the “blistered” green beans. Chinese folks will no doubt call this dish Chinese (soy, chili sauce, Thai basil), but please don’t start mouthing off and insist there is some magical invisible lemon in the beans. The chef may eventually come out and announce the presence of lime zest in the Staub, but by then that table full of food blogging mates will have lost their patience with you. The beans were fantastic, lemon’d or lime’d.
The charcuterie, cheese & condiment boards pictured in the gallery aren’t typical unless you’re ordering OOE (one of everything), and really, they should come after the greens lest the subtle flavors of the pomegranate cous cous are lost in between slices of La Quercia prosciutto and Creminelli salami. Better, then, to pair the fantastic veg section with the “Pass The Bread” (bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuit, fleur de sel pretzel, cumin naan) and perhaps complement that with the honey selection. While Thai folks may prefer egg on top of every stir fry, honey is a much healthier, more complex condiment. If someone at the table insists on gorging on pork protein, balance the fat with the fantastic pickles.
No doubt the buttermilk fried chicken will be a best seller here in Manhattan Beach, but for the sake of low LDL, let’s steer towards to the seafood. Here, seasoned veterans of Asian cuisine will again find home in the “tai snapper” (redundantly Japanese), and the green curry green mussels seems more fitting at A-Frame, but whatever, this is bargain Fish Sauced Water Grill menu with no valet parking.
Parting curated pictures — to the left: the fantastic 3 point strawberry rhubarb tart with the even better, and somewhat fascinating, panna cotta. To the right, that’s the third time in a month young cilantro + flowers showed up here in LA. Cilantro is the new chipotle.
1142 Manhattan Ave.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
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