As I’ve said many times around these parts, I have very little need for seafood in my life. Thus, when a decision was made to pay a visit to Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach, I was relieved to find out that there were not only a few more terrestrial options, but that they looked so good that I had a hard time deciding.
MB Post (or Manhattan Beach Post to some) has long been a spot I wanted to get to. Two years in Pittsburgh derailed those plans temporarily, but I was glad to find out upon my return to the West Coast that MB Post had not shuttered after a brief trendy phase. This meant that it was truly a place worth visiting and we decided to make a “Bangin’ Brunch” (their words) out of it.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives can be a fun show to watch because all of the food on it looks, well, amazing. Yet, in my experience not all the food on it is as amazing as it looks. Plus, watching it requires watching Guy Fieri balance his sunglasses on the back of his head. Recently, I found myself at North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach, completely unrelated to DDD, only to find out the restaurant had been on the show.
I have a coworker who has a problem. The problem is she is a vegetarian. Gross, right? But not by choice. You see she is lacking the enzyme that breaks down meat in her body, so the simple act of eating meat makes her violently ill. It’s really the only acceptable form of vegetarianism, yet there is one place she will always eat meat, stomach be damned. That place is Cafe Rio. It’s a seemingly generic Mexican place that I have driven past many times in Manhattan Beach and brushed off. But little did I realize that Cafe Rio is huge in Utah. Like real huge. And it’s about to get even huger. There are currently 40-something locations, but they are planning an expansion on the scale of 100 restaurants. So when one opens across the street from you, remember you read about Cafe Rio on The Unvegan first. With my coworker in mind, we finally stopped at Cafe Rio to what all the meat fuss was about.
For some breakfast in Manhattan Beach, I found myself at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. Just like all breakfast joints in LA, the place as a huge line on weekends, but luckily my step-dad went a little early to put the name in, so by the time I got there, there was only a few minutes left to wait. We sat down at their outdoor area, which had a great view of the ocean.
The menu was huge, and to be truthful, I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted. Then, buried in the Waffles section, I found what had to be mine; the cheddar cheese and bacon waffle. I was filled with questions. Would the bacon and cheese be cooked into it or just on top? Could this be the new chicken and waffles? Or could this simply be the next step towards certain death? Either way, I was ready to find out.
For a quick lunch idea to please a few people, the girlfriend and I decided to pick up food from Corner Bakery. Although the place is pretty well-known for its sandwiches, I was in no mood for such food. Instead, I found that they had a little selection of pasta dishes that looked like a good lunch to me. Of these, the Pesto Cavatappi looked best to me.
Chili’s isn’t exactly known for being healthy, making it a perfect place to do some unvegan food reviewing, or so one would think. I went to the Manhattan Beach location with a group of six for lunch and we all decided to take advantage of their 2 for $20. In this nutso deal, two people get to share an appetizer, get their own entrees and get to share a dessert. Since we had six people, we all ordered that special and made sure to get different appetizers. Then the real fun began!
A not-so-well known sandwich place in Manhattan Beach goes by the name of Sloopy’s. I’m not sure how they decided on that name, but as long as it isn’t related to the state of Ohio, I’m cool with it. When you first walk into the place, you realize that you’re pretty much still outdoors, only there are walls around you. As for the ceiling, part is covered with a greenhouse-esque roof, but the rest is open to the world. Oh, the joy of living in a place where you don’t have to worry about rain. There is a menu stuck to one of the walls and a counter to order from. The sandwiches mostly involved a whole load of vegetables, so I ordered the one sandwich that looked like it would retain some substance after being ripped free of veggies: the Bar-B-Q Chicken Sandwich. For some reason, this sandwich was fried, but since I’m not exactly a health advocate, I accepted it for what it was.
On Tuesdays, Hennessey’s Tavern in Manhattan Beach offers a great special: Two-for-one burgers. As I was running late for dinner on one of these lovely Tuesday nights, I asked my girlfriend to place an order for a Western Burger with cheese. The Western Burger comes with BBQ sauce and bacon. Since she knows my dietary restrictions, I assumed I didn’t need to specify that it should come without vegetables. When I arrived, it looked like she paid no heed to my needs. On my plate, along with my burger, was a pickle, lettuce, tomato and onions. I quickly checked to make sure no pickle juice had seeped its way into my bun. Lucky for my girlfriend, it had not.
For a little Chinese lunch, I headed to Szechwan in Manhattan Beach. It had come highly recommended, so I went expecting something pretty good. When we arrived, the restaurant was only about half-full, but we were still told to wait for a table. This seemed strange, especially when were standing around for five minutes looking like fools. Nonetheless we eventually took our seats and got the chance to check out the menu. The first thing I noticed that seemed off was that the food wasn’t quite Sichuan style (Sichuan being the way Szechwan is actually supposed to be spelled). Sichuan style is usually really spicy food and different from what we usually think of as “Chinese” food. Instead, the menu looked like any other Chinese restaurant.