With a little less than a week to go, I have successfully tested, at least once, every recipe for the next Dinner at Eight. I have delivered one of everything to Jill so she can assess her pairings. I have used all of the leftovers to deliver lunches to various folks around Hollywood and I still have a refrigerator that is fecund with said food.
And so I grabbed up Nastassia and headed to Manhattan Beach to finally sample David Lefevre’s kitchen skills at his, highly praised, M.B. Post. My interest was piqued about Lefevre after I tasted but only one dish a few months back at the Test Kitchen reunion. The downstairs of the townhouse (Sotto) had Steve Samson & Zach Pollack hosting Walter Manzke, Nancy Silverton, David and Matt Molina (Mozza). And some cat named David Lefevre whose last job was executive chef at Water Grill.
When I scrolled down the menu, I surprisingly whipped past all of the chef’s-who-I-was-geeked-about’s dishes and became fixated upon Lefevre’s Braised Pork with Crispy Gnocchi, Summer Squash, Bianco Sardo. Without minimizing any of the other chef’s dishes or skills, as the meal in its entirety was remarkable, that braised pork dish, without hesitation, stole the show. And I was not alone with this opinion.
My friend, Emma, and I were also fortunate enough to be seated at the two spots that gaze directly into the kitchen, smack in front of Lefevre’s station. We both thoroughly enjoyed watching him and having some light banter towards the end of the evening (during which we both promised to hit up his new spot, M.B. Post posthaste).
Cut to last night.
It’s not too often I stray from my Hollysphere, but I am rarely a pantywaist about doing so. I guess I just need the right partner to be down with me. Enter Nastassia, and a perfectly pleasant and lovely drive from my Canyon to the most perfect parking place right next to our destination in Manhattan Beach. Easy breezy.
We were shocked to see the place straight up bustling at eight o’clock on a Monday night. Regardless, our hostess was able to seat us immediately at one of the smaller communal tables.
I look around. I dig it. It’s happy. It’s warm and comfortable. It’s confident. It reflects no affectation. I’m surrounded by flip flops, suits, no make-up, lip jobs, cute boys, frat-types, darling dresses, jeans, button-downs, tee-shirts, regulars and newbies alike. And, hey, it’s in an old post office!