M.B. Post – David LeFevre and his Social House

by Franklin on February 26, 2013

Manhattan Beach might possibly be the best beach in all of Los Angeles. Yeah, Malibu is where it’s at if you are rich and famous, but besides nice cars and huge houses, you aren’t left witch much. I guess Manhattan Beach is unique in that it is a great beach town. With much to see from shopping and unique eateries, the beach has grown to be one of my favorite destinations. Just to make this beach even more sweet, they have M.B. Post. More of a hang out spot than a sit down restaurant, M.B. Post is hip and relaxed.

Chef and ownder David LeFevre started off cooking as a child helping his mom. After working in various restaurants, LeFevre enrolled at the notable Culinary Institute of America. From then, he worked at renowned restaurants in Las Vegas and Chicago. He then traveled to France and hone his classical skills in some of the world’s most distinguished kitchens. He traveled to different countries like Singapore, Bangkok, Stockholm, and Tokyo to diversify his spectrum. LeFevre was recruited as Executive Chef of the Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles. It was under his time there that the Water Grill received their Michelin Star. Now at Manhattan Beach Post (M.B. Post), chef David LeFevre stated his own restaurant offering a rustic menu with artisanal dishes designed to be shared — a gastropub on the beach. A Manhattan Beach resident, he brings the neighborhood a Social House where guests come for dinner but stay for the spirited and engaging atmosphere. M.B. Post was recognized as James Beard Awards finalist as the “Best New Restaurant.” — A great accomplishment nonetheless.

The wooden benches and tables with the wooden walls all are modern yet rustic. Not having designated tables, but more of a “everyone sits together” on a bench was relaxed and fun. The atmosphere was dark, and the kitchen was in full view from patrons. I had the pleasure of sitting right in front of the kitchen and was watching the chefs at work. The bar is usually packed and rowdy with drinks in everyone’s hands. What I love about this place is that the menu changes daily. I don’t know if I was seeing it right, but the menu seemed like it was written by hand. I know that seems a little crazy, but it is. M.B. Post had a gastropub like feel to it, and the small plates are meant to be shared.

We started things off with the bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with maple butter. These biscuits were probably the most delicate biscuits I ever had. It was crisp and flakey on the outside, and the inside was warm and fluffy. Filled with salty bacon and cheddar, this savory biscuit was complimented perfectly with the subtly sweet maple butter. I am not really a fan or sweet butter, but this overly savory biscuit (not that I’m complaining) was a perfect vessel for something sweet.

The white oak grilled sword squid was perfect. A secret fan of squid, I love it all, from fried calamari, to grilled dishes like this one. The cooking process with use of white oak gave it a nice subtle smoky flavor. It wasn’t on the chewy side at all. It had a nice clean flavor that was complimented with the acidic lemon curd. Acidic flavors from lemon and lime are always welcome in seafood dishes. It kept the flavors very vibrant and light. Interestingly, the marinated gigante beans gave it more substance and meatiness. Not a true fan of beans, the combination of squid and beans was genius. The beans were just as important to the dish as the squid.

As our red meat protein, we ordered the BBQ Moroccan lamb belly. At first bite, I instantly remembered this dish. Did I have it before? Why was it so familiar? Then, it hit me! I first tasted this dish from David himself at the 2012 Los Angeles Food and Wine Grand Tasting. the funny thing is, at the grand tasting, I remembered the lamb was really salty. This time around at M.B. Post, the lamb was near perfect. It was salted just right, and the harissa, caramelized onions, and Japanese eggplant flavored the meat quite nicely. The complex flavors and the tender, near fork tender meat was a bite that was unforgettable.

M.B. Post, fits so perfectly in this beach town, Manhattan Beach. The vibe and ambiance of the restaurant all fit in perfectly. Driving down Manhattan Beach Blvd, and looking at all there is to shop and eat, M.B. Post is probably the coolest place to hang out. They have an interesting relationship with each other. M.B. Post isn’t what it is without the beach, and Manhattan Beach won’t be the same without M.B. Post. The food is amazingly delicious, and the “Social House” aspect of it all makes a destination to meet up with friends. Chef David LeFevre and his team is doing a great job. It was awesome to see him again at the restaurant walking around. After our meal, I said hi, and he seemed to remember me from LAFW. Chef David plans to open another restaurant in Manhattan Beach this spring. Called Fishing With Dynamite, the 30 seat restaurant will feature classic east coast seafood with the relaxed feel of the west coast. I can’t wait to try that when it opens.

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