M.B. Post

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Destination restaurants have never been one of the benefits of beachside living—until now. The chef who brought Water Grill its Michelin star, David LeFevre, has turned his talents away from the power lunchers and toward the underwhelming Manhattan Beach food scene. LeFevre’s fine-dining chops help elevate a menu of ingredient-driven small plates. Asparagus spears paired with a poached egg and chanterelles find the sweet spot between al dente and mush. Fries, thick as a corncob but tender as butter, stand tall in their paper-lined cup. A side of blistered green beans is given a Chinese flair, and caramelized medallions of pork cheek sit atop a Vietnamese green papaya salad. In the afternoon the windows open to the sidewalk to draw the sea air and the eyes of locals eager for outstanding cooking close to home. » 1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach (310-545-5405 or eatmbpost.com). D nightly. Full bar. New American  $$

Photograph by Misha Gravenor

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