Kid Hit Menu Items: While I don’t necessarily want to tell the kids we’re ordering from MB Post’s new daytime menu called the “Nooner,” there’s plenty on there for all of us to love. It’s quite a sight to watch a toddler hold one of the menacingly large “Fee Fi Fo Fum” steak fries that in small hands looks like a weapon. I had a bit of success by breaking the gorgeous romanesco roasted with lemon, caper, chili flakes (watch out for those) and Parm into very small pieces. The burrata and roasted pepper sandwich is rich and gooey, and the long translucent chips demonstrate chef David LeFevre’s (formerly of Water Grill) serious mastery over the potato. I wish we had more room for the pork belly steam buns and skirt steak. Cheeses, various breads, cured meats and pickles are plated in small amounts and ideal for random noshing.
Adult Perks: Befitting of a classy but loose beach neighborhood hang, MB Post has an extensive craft beer, wines by the glass and craft cocktail list with all the crazy names you’d expect. Again, my theory that upscale drink names such as Pushing Daisies and Last Rites often sound interchangeable with OPI nail polishes still holds. (How do they keep coming up with SO MANY?) The menu is market-oriented enough for us locavore food nerds, and hearty enough to make some element of the beach bro crowd feel comfortable.
Pros: Newly instituted all-day continual service is perfect for those oddly timed, off-schedule weekday afternoon daytime meals. I saw lots of people with happy babies and kids. Located on the site of a former post office, MB Post moves down the check list of current well-worn design touches with a nice big window that’s open to the street and welcomes in those luscious ocean breezes. I don’t always love Mario Batali approach to blasting music, but I will never complain when Led Zeppelin comes with lunch. And you can change for the beach in the individual bathrooms.
Cons: Parking, crowds during peak hours.
Changing Station: Yes! And clever paper towel storage in vintage mailboxes.
High Chairs: Yes
Parking and Access: Stressful metered street and city structure parking.
Other Tidbits: It takes a lot to get us to the South Bay, and I can literally count on one hand the number of times in my entire life I’d been to Manhattan Beach. In my childhood view of the L.A. beach community universe, that world sort of stopped after Venice and resumed somewhere around San Diego. The most recent trip to Manhattan Beach involved a pleasant but incredibly inconvenient day at the beach, when we had to run back to feed the meter every two hours. MB Post, however, is one of the best beach-adjacent restaurants in the L.A. area. Unlike Santa Monica and Malibu, where bluffs, highways, and other barriers separate commercial districts from good beaches, this area is much better physically integrated. The summer will likely involve lunch at MB Post (the Nooner menu is offered on Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 and from 11:30 on Fridays starting tomorrow) followed by a quick beach jaunt — my favorite kind. Or better yet, someone can linger over a fine cocktail and truffle honey laced fried chicken at MB Post while other adults take the kids down to the ocean.
1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach
Cuisine: American, Market-Driven
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.