I have made it a habit lately to travel south to Manhattan Beach, a small but active and bustling beach community a few miles south of Los Angeles. At first I visited to have a nice walk on the beach or for a shopping spree at the many beach town shops selling everything from original beachwear to unique and fun home accessories. In the 1960’s and 70”s Manhattan Beach was an unassuming beach community made up mostly of passionate surf enthusiasts and an occasional bar and fried fish hangout for the locals.
Today, to the chagrin of those who remember the town’s quaint and quiet atmosphere, Manhattan Beach has become one of the most sought after beach home communities with stratospheric home prices, high-end shops and happily, one of the newest and most exciting food scenes in the area. Impossible to transit on the weekends, Manhattan Beach is a better visit during the week, when beach goers and surfers are busy staying in the city making a living and the traffic is less congested and parking isn’t a hunt for a miracle.
Within the center of the town there are many establishments that have been the mainstays of Manhattan Beach’s food scene – burger joints, bars and conventional family restaurants catering to the majority of visitors that pour in during the summer months. Happily however, in the last few years new and exciting establishments have begun to pop up offering a variety of options for those looking for a more unique and healthy dining experience.
I discovered Fishing with Dynamite because I used to walk by it every time I went to one of my other favorite new places in town which happens to be right across the street – Little Sister, a Vietnamese fusion restaurant with amazing flavors and delicious bites.
The restaurant is small, just a few tables, so it’s almost always full and during weekends reservations are a must. The menu is predominantly made up of seafood delicacies, from a rather wide variety of raw bar options to a number of dishes that include conventional options such as Crab Cakes, a Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich, Fish and Chips – but always with unique ingredients and creatively composed – to more imaginative dishes like my favorite Rock Fish and Shrimp Ceviche on Crispy Tostadas, the unbelievably delicious and tender Grilled Octopus with Cranberry Beans, Date Tomato ragu and preserved lemon to their Yellowtail Tacos made with Homemade Tortillas garnished with Guacamole, Salsa Verde, Spicy Crema and finished with Crispy Fried Shallots.
Every one of their selections are small and meant to be shared, in this way you are able to try a variety of choices and enjoy as many of their unique dishes as you can – simply put, they are all worth a try. By the way, if you have a sweet tooth, you will go home most happy if you share one of their three delectable desserts – my favorite is the Whoopie Ice-Cream Pie – home made strawberry ice cream nestled between a couple of chocolate cookies and topped with a dollop of white chocolate whipped cream… Need I say more?
FISHING WITH DYNAMITE
1148 MANHATTAN AVENUE
MANHATTAN BEACH, CA