Your correspondent doesn’t visit the South Bay enough.
When he does go, he likes to visit Love & Salt, a rustic Italian haunt with more cured meats in the back than there are grains of salt in a shaker.
So when it comes to dining in that neck of the woods, we figured we’d ask Michael Fiorelli, the toque behind L&S, to help us expand our horizons.
“It's the closest thing I've found to the East Coast,” says Fiorelli. “There's a downtown. A community. You don't necessarily find that everywhere in L.A. I grew up being able to walk from my house down to Main Street where we had the local butcher, a few restaurants, a deli, the ice cream shop. Manhattan Beach has all of that. And the beach, like Long Island.”
Today, he divulges some great tips on getting the most out of the neighborhood — from morning coffee to a stunning hike to one of the best under-the-radar sushi spots in Southern California.
Coffee: Two Guns Espresso
“When I have extra time in the morning, this is where I’m getting my caffeine fix. They do a two-bean espresso blend from Brazil and Colombia, use Strauss products and pay attention to the details. There’s an outpost on Sepulveda Blvd., and a newer one at the MB Yacht Club at the end of the pier.”
Hiking: Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve
“You can’t beat the ocean view, and you can make the hike as long or as short as you like. It’s not super challenging, so I don’t worry too much about gear aside from my Jordan hiking boots.”
Brunch: mar’sel at Terranea Resort
Rancho Palos Verdes
“Brunch is only served on Sundays, but it's worth the drive down from L.A. for the view alone. Request a table on the patio or next to a window, and you’ll feel like you’re dining in paradise. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Chef Andrew Vaughan is doing an amazing job. There are trails all over the Peninsula for a hike after you eat.”
Lunch: Superba Food + Bread
“El Segundo has blown up recently with the opening of The Point. Superba is your best bet for a casual lunch or breakfast with all the LA essentials: toast, grain bowls, salads and veg-centric plates.”
Drinks: Fishing with Dynamite
“While most people think of sparkling wine and white wine with oysters and seafood, I love coming here for the cocktails. I just stop in and ask for Ken and let him decide for me.”
Dinner: Sushi Chitosi
“This off-the-radar spot offers authentic Japanese omakase with geoduck, clam, monkfish liver, etc. at a really reasonable price point — either $45 or $60. There’s also a great lunch special. Think the Sugarfish of the South Bay.”