I first learned about this restaurant in Manhattan Beach (Los Angeles) in a January 22, 2014 New York Times review. It is amazing that such a tiny restaurant in a beachy little neighborhood received coverage from the premier East Coast cognoscenti.
First and foremost, Fishing with Dynamite is a knockout—East Coast meets West Coast for superb service either at the tiny bar (where we loved sitting) or at a table. The place is lively and even the manager chatted with us, offering his views on this new restaurant’s mission and philosophy in a down-to-earth manner. I really expected it to be good but not phenomenal, a kind rather than an accurate review for a novelty venue.
The menu is divided into Old School and New School with all the expected offerings on the Old School side: New England clam chowder, Maryland blue crab cakes, steamed clams. But the New School—OMG!! Grilled octopus with cranberry beans, a date-tomato ragu, and preserved lemon/olive tapenade. Then hamachi with avocado, serrano, and apple pear ponzu. The grilled sword fish was served with yellow peaches, fennel, capers and mint. Yum, yum and did I mention the oyster sampler platter —and you can name the six oysters so we ordered the small extra sweet ones: kushi, pacific gold, and I forgot the name of the other petite one our waiter suggested. All extraordinary with two sauces: mignonette with a zest of citrus with either sriracha or tapatio as well as a fabulous non-classical ponzu sauce.
The chef, David Lefevre, worked with the famous Charlie Trotter of Chicago fame for ten years before running the fabulous Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles. Now the Water Grill has lost him to Fishing with Dynamite. Served with a lighthearted flair—we didn’t try the “Mother shucker”, the wine is also served in two glass sizes: 3 oz and 6 oz and the selection is superb, especially for such a tiny bit of heaven. Dynamite indeed!
Make a reservation at Fishing with Dynamite, 1148 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 tel. (310) 893-6299