Home is Where the Heart is at Manhattan House

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Manhattan House
Manhattan House

If home is where the heart is, then you’re going to fall in love with Chef Diana Stavaridis’ newest dining concept, Manhattan House.

This farm-to-table eatery is a comfortable and cozy neighborhood spot that focuses on supporting local community artists, breweries and farmers, even growing its herbs and vegetables at the local Pacific Elementary School in order to promote food sustainability.

Manhattan House bar
Manhattan House bar

While the loving local vibe is there, those who don’t live in the South Bay are going to equally be able to appreciate the decor, fare and ambiance at Manhattan House.

Inside you’ll find a heavy amount of aged cedar—reclaimed from Hollywood Bowl seats—used to construct the bar and support a custom poured concrete top. Three windows along the restaurant’s west wall flood the space with natural light, brightening interiors. Rustic wood, industrial metal fixtures, and natural colors are enhanced by historic local photos of the area.

Local peach burrata toast

Now, for the menu. “Chef D” as she’s called, has has created a menu that will feature a variety of brining, fermenting, pickling, smoking and preserving techniques, bringing all preparations in house. If you aren’t familiar, Stavaridis’ is the former chef of BLD; she has also worked with Michelin Star Chef Giles Epie at Citrus Etoile, Chef Gregory Marchand of Frenchie’s and at River Cottage with food sustainability pioneer Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The menu changes daily and seasonally, but already many local residents have their favorites (as do we).

Grilled lamb meatballs

Start off with Burrata Toast laden with English peas, fava beans and pistachio as well as Carrotology, a vegan dish comprised of baby rainbow carrots, carrot hummus, pistachio dukkah and roasted lemon, and the Beet Carpaccio, a vegan and beautifully presented take on the traditional beef carpaccio utilizing garden-grown veggies instead of meat. In fact, vegans will be delighted to find that they have many options here at Manhattan House, as restaurant owners Jeffrey Kirshenbaum, Brett Schwartz, Adam Hersh and David Topkins have clearly accepted and honored LA’s ever-evolving food climate of organic, healthy eating.

Seafood Bourride
Standout items on the menu of larger plates come the cooked to perfection Mary’s Roasted Chicken, served on an earthy wooden board, soaked in white wine pan jus, pickled red onion and fermented red chili sauce. Note: be frugal with the chili sauce—it’s hot, hot, hot!  Our favorite dish of the evening was the Black Eyed Pea Fritter, a gorgeously prepared confection of black eyed peas and vegetables served in an African yellow curry sauce with peanut chili relish.

House made bread
Now, what to wash down your meal with? Manhattan House offers up ten taps of seasonal beers from local breweries and a few craft bottles, but you’d be remiss to check out the cocktails created by Kerry Donnelly,  who helmed the bar at The Palm Steakhouse in Manhattan as well as Fish Bar in Manhattan Beach. The Hollywood Bowl is a serious and fun affair thanks to its use of bourbon, fruits and champagne, while the Thriller is something you must try because it’s flavors are so unexpected (it’s made with El Charro Resposado tequila, kumquat, serrano chili and lime).

At the end of the day, this is a spot that locals and visitors alike will love for its homey vibes, amazing location and diverse, sustainable fare.

Beet Carpaccio
Beet Carpaccio
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