For lunch one day I headed out to Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ in Manhattan Beach. I had heard that Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers was somehow tied to the restaurant, which actually made me a little worried, but I still wanted some BBQ. The place was pretty small and other than the Lakers championship pennant, there was really nothing else denoting that this was in any way related to Luke Walton. Besides, half the restaurants in LA have Lakers pennants (I later found out that Walton essentially wrote a big fat check to get the place started, but it pretty much runs without him). With this in mind, my fears of a generic BBQ restaurant were slightly assuaged.
For a fancy Sunday lunch, I went out to Rock’n Fish in Manhattan Beach at the request of my favorite girlfriend. The name makes it sound like some sort of gimmicky musically inclined restaurant. It’s actually nothing of the sort, and more of a fancy little place.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of consuming fish before dinner time, so I looked more closely at the cow and chicken options. The place had some good unvegan choices, but I finally settled on the Hibachi Teriyaki Chicken, which didn’t have a vegetable in sight. It also included two sides, so I got shoestring fries and the spicy mac ‘n cheese.
Down in Manhattan Beach is a reliable little bakery called Manhattan Bread & Bagel. It’s a great place to stop by for some lunch, and although the sandwiches don’t get incredibly creative, they can always be counted on.
Just as with almost every sandwich place, most of their choices came with a bunch of vegetables. Last time, I ordered the Grilled Pesto Chicken Breast, which comes with tomato, red onion, lettuce and pesto on a French baguette. As always, I ordered it without the tomato, red onion or lettuce, then I noticed that there was a total lack of cheese. To remedy the situation, I ordered some Havarti cheese on it.
Pardon the pun above, but it had to be done. Anyway, when I saw the Pizza Hut commercial for the Panormous on TV the other night, my friend and I just looked at each other and realized we had to have it. It also helped that it was being advertised for only $10! The next day, we set off in search of this mega-pizza.
Our search took us down to Manhattan beach, where we ordered our Panormous with pepperoni. Strangely, or conveniently, it turned out that the Panormous is really two pizzas, both the same size. This was fine by us, as it made it quite easy to make sure we both had the same amount of food. The only trouble is that I think Pizza Hut did this so they wouldn’t have to use as much cheese and sauce on those middle, crustless pieces that are usually borne from a rectangular pizza. Luckily, the Pizza Hut crust is so loaded with oil, it goes down just as smooth as the rest of the pie.
Tucked away in cozy little Manhattan Beach is a place called the Ocean View Cafe.
The location is great for a lazy afternoon lunch, and the breezes coming up from the ocean are a pleasure. But enough about the location, let’s get to the food.
A lot of the sandwiches offered great core ingredients, like smoked turkey and chicken pesto, but they were all tainted by one or another peripheral vegetable. The one sandwich that caught my eye and didn’t let go was the Herb Pizza Sandwich. It came with chicken breast, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, tomatoes and fresh herbs. Two different kind of tomatoes?! This was madness, but I couldn’t pass up the other tasty-sounding ingredients.
Today the taco of choice was Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach. Sharkeez is better-known as a late-night college-style bar, but on Tuesdays they serve up a variety of tacos, from Mahi to carnitas to lobster. Being my first time, I ordered a “Maui” style mesquite chicken and a tri-tip steak. The cashier told me they would come with Pico de Gallo** on the side, and inside would just be the meat, cheese and sauce. This sounded great to me, so I sat down to wait for my food. Sharkeez has a good all-you-can eat chips and salsa bar, which is nice to munch on when you’re wating for more food, so I grabbed a trayful.