Southern California’s South Bay has recently become one of my favorite cities. While I’ve lived here all my life (and only 15 minutes from the South Bay) I have only recently begun making the trek there for great shopping, dining and hanging. It all started with this blog post, and from there I was hooked.
So when I was invited to try out the new menu at The Rockefeller Manhattan Beach, I was pretty much game. What I love about the South Bay is that it’s super close to LA yet has its own distinct vibe, and that while it is a beach city, there is this down to earth, bohemian quality about it that sets it apart from Orange County. The Rockefeller encapsulates this vibe. It’s got this free-flowing indoor/outdoor feel to it, and while I’ve dined there with folks in their brunch best, I’ve also eaten with those in their bathing suits and beach cover ups. Because of that, I feel like The Rockefeller is an extension of my personality, which is why I like it so much!
The menu at The Rock ( when I love a place I give it a nickname so you know it’s real) is seasonal (which I love), so this particular menu is subject to change. What I love about the seasonal aspect of the menu is that you know you’re getting the freshest food for that time of year! It creates a memorable dining experience because you realize that you only have a limited amount of time for the experience. It’s like pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks but less basic bi*tch then pumpkin spice latte’s.
We all ate family style and started with the Chipotle Braised Pork Cheeks, which were made in a roasted tomato sauce atop creamy Polenta with Chimichurri and cilantro. I am a huge fan of Polenta and it reminds me so much of my childhood breakfast favorite cheesy grits. They’re so creamy with just the right lumpy consistency. The subtle Verde flavor of the Chimichurri was also a welcome surprise.
Speaking of a welcome surprise, the Citrus Burrata Brushetta was just that! Puglia Burrata atop a roasted garlic Crostini with seasonal citrus and crushed and toasted coriander made this dish a delight. This was one of those dishes you ask yourself how the flavors work so well together when apart they seem so very mismatched. No way would I have believed I’d like citrus on my garlic Crostini, but it turns out I do.
Between bites my friend and I enjoyed the house rose and a very refreshing Prosecco, they really did pair so well with every single thing on the menu! Keep in mind The Rockefeller is also open for bottomless mimosa brunch.
We ended our meal with two mains- the Chermoula Sea Bass and the Pan Roasted Chicken. Both entree’s were hearty but light (again how do they do that?). The Sea Bass was braised with Fennel and a side of wild pico rice and a red vinegar glaze with Fresno Chili ( I see you with your awesome chili Fresno!) and the chicken was seasoned with lemon, crushed almonds, and jaleppo pepper over cilantro rice with a side of green beans, red bell pepper and lemon char. I loved that the chicken while roasted had a lemony almost fried crunch. It was like lemon pepper wings but much more posh!
Special thank you to The Rockefeller Manhattan Beach for hosting such a beautiful night out! It will go down in my memory as one of my most enjoyable dining experiences in the South Bay!