What to Eat at David LeFevre's Manhattan Beach Post, Open Tonight

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Photo: M.B. Post

David LeFevre's Manhattan Beach Post will open tonight for its first dinner service. Well, that was fast! The chef left Water Grill in mid-November, we discovered details about Manhattan Beach Post in late-February, and less than two months later, it's a stone-cold reality. So, what exactly is LeFevre bringing to the South Bay?

In this breezy, open space of recycled wood designed by SF Jones Architects (Spago, Obika) in a former post office, MB Post will concentrate on shared plates, hand-crafted classic cocktails, and beer and wine on a menu that's more fun and casual than the fine-dining chef's longtime Downtown gig. The menu is broken into different sections for breads, charcuterie, cheese and larders, vegetable, seafood, and meat, with a press release emphasizing that none of these are paltry sides, but dishes meant to stand on their own, even the house-made bread, which, for example, includes bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with Vermont maple butter and fluer de sel pretzel nuggets.

The larder section will hinge on the restaurant's handmade mustards, preserves, and pickles, while cheese and charcuterie will come with country bread baked in-house. Veggie dishes include yellow cauliflower with sultanas, mint, and caper berries, as well as "blistering" Chinese long beans with chili-pork and Thai basil. Seafood, as we know by now, should be a major draw here, seeing as LeFevre calls himself a "seafood geek" and notably ruled over a vast array of the ocean's creatures at Water Grill. Expect steamed mussels in green curry with Vietnamese sausages and sticky rice under "seafood," before you get to the "meat" section with such fare as grilled veal short ribs with spicy kim chi and promises of "less common cuts."

Mike Simms of Simmzy's and Tin Roof Bistro will assist GM Jerry Garbus in the drink offerings, with a planned selection of five prized drafts and twelve bottled, representing different styles and regions, plus 30 wines by the glass on a menu that is 100-bottles strong. And then there's the cocktails, which will find twists on classics like The Manhattan Avenue with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and sea salt, caramel, and vanilla bean bitters in a glass rimmed with bacon dust.

The restaurant, which will serve about 100 at a bar and dining room of communal and private tables and booths, will be open for dinner daily from 5:00 to 10:00 P.M., and until 11:00 P.M. Fridays and Saturdays. A website is up and soon-to-be-running. Reservations are accepted at 310-545-5405, while half the seating will be reserved for walk-ins.

Manhattan Beach Post, 1142 Manhattan Ave. Manhattan Beach. 310-545-5405.