I know, it is hot as heck out there. Despite Korean myth, the fans are on at night and I did not die. AC in the car is always on, and summer isn’t leaving without a fight. Thank goodness we have beaches. Gosh I love the beach. The people, the relax atmosphere, and the smell of the sea just makes me happy. And we all can’t forget that the beach is always like 10 degrees cooler than the city. Walking around Manhattan Beach, the Orange County beach of L.A., I couldn’t help but notice the growth of restaurants and eateries around here. One in particular, Lemonade, was an eye catcher. The bright colors and the casual/cafeteria style of everything made this a unique spot. Lemonade’s food and the interior design goes well hand in hand – It is fresh, vibrant and well, all that equals to something delicious and healthy. Usually healthy means bland, but they do a good job using fresh ingredients to make their dishes flavorful.
My favorite was probably the tandoori chicken. With chunks of mango, yogurt, coconut, and tamarind, the dish was sweet. The coconut flavor is prevalent in the dish and worked well with the tandoori chicken. More sweet than savory, the dish isn’t for everyone, though most would probably appreciate the different flavors. This is a must order if you are a tropical fruits kind of person.
The watermelon radish was unique. Never having tried watermelon radish before, I was intrigued. Filled with ahi tuna, snap peas, and sesame it was a healthy side. The snap from the peas and radish worked well with the tuna. The tender meat and the crunchy veggies made for a nice texture contrast.
The arugula salad was amazing. The mission figs and the blue cheese played nicely together as usual. The asparagus gave it a nice crunch to the dish. I am a sucker for blue cheese, and this was probably the reason it was my favorite of the bunch.
The orecchiette pasta was probably the least favorite of them all. The goat cheese was nice as was the asparagus. There was nothing special or unique about this dish, and this was probably the least healthiest of the bunch. The flavors didn’t really pop.
At Lemonade, one must get lemonade right? Not really, but it is pretty hard to resist. It’s like walking into a Porto’s and not ordering a dozen cheese rolls. That just doesn’t happen. I opted for the blood orange and ginger guava. The blood orange was a bit sweet as was the ginger guava. The sourness of the blood orange made it seem even sweeter. The ginger guava had a nice mellow flavor. I tried samples of the watermelon rosemary and cucumber mint — those were quite refreshing as well. Whichever flavor you get, it is sure to quench your thirst and keep you alive in this heat wave.
Filled with pastries and hot stews and roasts, they have almost anything that you would want in a nice hearty meal. Though I didn’t quite get the relation of the lemonade, pastries, cold dishes and hot pot dishes, everything seemed like it was made from the freshest ingredients. When I think of lemonade, I think of something refreshing and fresh. I guess all of their menu items translate into that exact motif. Everything is good eats without the guilt.