Circa

[Manhattan Beach]

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Photograph courtesy corazonymiel.com

The moneyed crowds of Manhattan Beach have lured another big name to the coast: Octavio Becerra, formerly of Palate in Glendale. In this loungy tavern Becerra—along with executive chef Bryon Freeze—channels the culinary melting pot of L.A. Note: If it sounds weird, it probably is. Stay on the straight and narrow and you’ll discover gems such as skewered prawns with Tunisian chili sauce or the expertly seared duck breast with grits. Elsewhere things fail to mesh. Steamed dumplings leave China for Provence with an overwhelming lamb filling. Asian-style fried chicken lacks the heat its name implies. The first-rate bar is its own draw. » 903 Manhattan Ave., 310-374-4422 or circamb.com

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