Manhattan House Delights with Cocktails, Seaonal Fare, and…Windows! (Video)

Manhattan House is one of the latest additions to gastropub dining options around the South Bay.  With a fresh, seasonal menu and solid beverage options, they’re already exceeding expectations.

Location Location Location

Before we get into the food, let’s talk about the location:  1019 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

If you know the space that Manhattan House occupies, you might recall a few previous occupants:  Chicago for Ribs, Tapameze Mediterranean,  Aji Sushi, Kah Asian Restaurant…maybe not in that order though.

While each of those places had competent management and decent menus, in each case the one thing that was missing from the building was light.  Windows to be specific.

At night, I guess it wasn’t so noticeable.  But daytime dining at this address in the past meant you were going into a dinig room that felt closed off and dungeonlike.

The team at Manhattan House saw that as an opportunity and literally let the sun shine in with three huge windows facing west.  Catching the rays from the sun setting into the Pacific, the extra light makes the dining room feel warm and cozy.

South Bay Foodies - Manhattan House - 3 South Bay Foodies - Manhattan House - 2 South Bay Foodies - Manhattan House - 1Inside you’ll find a wall with bench+chair seating, four-top tables, and four booths just in front of the bar area.  Each booth features artwork inspired by New York City.

The booths seat four and are like a little art gallery.  Note that the space between the table and seat back might be a little tight!

The booths seat four and are like a little art gallery. Note that the space between the table and seat back might be a little tight!

Drinks True to the Name

Liquor enthusiasts will be pleased to find a menu that’s short and sweet with quality cocktails.

Their “Manhattans” list is like a bourbon lover’s playground.  I quickly settled into The East Village ($13) which features Michter’s Rye and Vya vermouth.

The East Village Manhattan cocktail.

The East Village Manhattan cocktail.

In the vodka territory, the Cucmber Collins was a true refresher with execellent cucmber flavor and a subtle sweetness from lemon and mint.

The Cucmber Collins.

The Cucmber Collins.

The selection of beers on tap leans heavily on local brews from Torrance (Smog City Coffee Porter and Strand Brewing’s 24th Street Pale Ale at the time of my visit), Orange County, and San Diego.  Bottled beers round out brewed options.

Daily Changes on the Menu

The menu at Manhattan House is broken into categories like Small, Large, and Side corresponding to appetizers, entrees, and side dishes respectively.

With a menu that changes daily, its hard to pin down a signature dish.  I hope to all things precious that their Grilled Lamb Meatballs ($15) find a permanent spot!

The dish is prepared with Morracan spiced lamb and served with buckwheat cooked three ways (roasted, steamed, fried) for a mouth-feel that’s all over the place:  savory from the meat, chewy and crunchy from the buckwheat.  The house made yogurt adds a cooling touch.

The grilled lamb meatballs

The grilled lamb meatballs along with buckwheat and house made yogurt.

During my visit*, I also sampled a special dish not featured on the menu: barbecued ribs.  While I might expect ribs from a gastro pub, I wouldn’t expect damn great ribs.  These bones were right on point; smoky, sauced perfectly, and tender to the point of falling off the bone.

rack of ribs

A very nicely done rack of ribs. Not on the regular menu! I only present it here as testament to a special, seasonal entree.

The meal was rounded out with a flourless chocolate cake.  Again my expectations were exceeded by a cake that was light and fluffy compared to the dense flourless cakes that I’ve had in the past.

Flourless chocolate cake.

Flourless chocolate cake.

Be sure to save room for dessert!

* Items mentioned in this article were provided on a complimentary basis for the purpose of this review. This story was accurate when it was published and reflects the uninfluenced opinion of the reviewer.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

About the Author

Michael loves grilling, rum, and has a weakness for key lime pie.

Comments are closed.