MB Post won me at first bite

A trip to MB Post was a long time coming and to finally make it there was elating and exciting. A few days after my visit, the 2011 Eater Awards LA announced David Lefevre won Chef of the Year and I smiled knowing he full well deserved that accolade.

The restaurant is housed in an old post office. I love the brick walls and the general hustle and bustle of the dining room. The energy is pulsing and the open kitchen adds a certain je ne sais quoi to it.

Our servers — yes plural — brought out two wooden boards of goodies as our first course. The first was filled with the three breads on the menu.

Grilled Flatbread ($4) was a soft puffy bread served with harissa yogurt sauce. The sauce had a great kick to it and was a great first bite to what was yet to come.

The house-made (not that the others aren’t made in house) Fleur de Sel Pretzel ($4) was salty, warm and soft. Dipped into David’s nuclear horseradish mustard, this is exactly the sort of thing you’d want to munch on while enjoying a beer or two.

My favorite of the three was definitely Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits ($5). Everything is better with bacon but for someone who doesn’t like biscuits, I certainly found myself unable to stop after one bite. The accompanying maple butter added a touch of sweetness making it a salty-sweet delight. More please!

The other wooden platter was charcuterie comprising La Quercia Organic Prosciutto ($12) from Kathy & Herb Eckhouse, Iowa, Picante Salami ($10) from Christiano Creminelli, Utah, and Mycella Blue ($10) a cow’s cheese from Michael Staub Holm, Denmark. They were all equally good but I was especially enamored by the blue cheese.

You can order accoutrements to go with your charcuterie like Assorted Pickles ($5) which is insanely good for someone who loves pickled vegetables — ME! — and there included cauliflower, carrots, pickle, cippolini, with thyme and bay leaf to add an aromatic finish.

Apart from the pickles, there are Mustards ($2) — red wine, stout and pink peppercorns — as well as Fruit Spreads ($3) — persimmon-cranberry, plum-thyme, apple fennel — if you so choose.

An appetizer arrived next — Marinated Cucumbers ($8) but this isn’t your typical cucumber dish. The cucumbers are seeded and arranged like towers with a bed comprising Kalamata olives, peppadew peppers, chick peas, avocado, assorted cherry and grape tomatoes halves, pickled onions, and three types of chickpeas in a red wine vinaigrette all around them.

Japanese Hamachi ($12) was a refreshing mouthful with thin slices of yellowtail served raw with yuzu koshu and avocado. Puffed forbidden rice crisps added a beautiful textural component to an already perfect dish.

I was really excited to try Asparagus and Poached Jidori Egg ($12) with mushrooms but it was a little underseasoned and ended up being my least favorite of the night.

One of the specials of the evening was Hawaiian Walo ($15). Grilled over white oak with basil, Kalamata olive in a squash vinaigrette, this was our absolute favorite of the night. The fish was so moist and tender and the salty tart flavors of the dressing was so addicting we were very sad when it was all over.

If you’re a carnivore then the next two dishes will definitely please. Meyer Farm “Never Ever” Skirt Steak ($17) was cooked to perfection at medium rare and the red chimichurri sauce was exquisite! I think I prefer it over the traditional version.

BBQ Moroccan Lamb Belly ($14) is practically sinful. Caramelized harissa onions, Japanese eggplant and an orange puree gave the lamb a sweet coating unlike any other reminiscent of an insanely good char siu.

There was obviously no room for dessert as we were completely satiated after that feast! MB Post is one of those places where the atmosphere is great for a casual dinner, or a celebration, but what will keep you coming back time after time again is the amazing food!

MB Post
1142 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Tel: 310-545-5405

MB Post on Urbanspoon

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