The reviews on this restaurant have been mixed so far. Frankly there are not many fine dinning restaurants in the South Bay and when I heard that Mark Gold was going to open a restaurant in Manhattan Beach, I was so happy! Having eaten at restaurants where he previously cooked at over the past 10 years, I was looking forward to Chez Soi.
Given the mixed reviews, I was somewhat reluctant to eat at this restaurant. Last Friday evening, I had to make reservations for 6 people at short notice and was happy that they could accommodate the last minute reservation for 7:30pm.
Here are my thoughts on this restaurant. The restaurant is much too large to support a fine dining format in the South Bay. There is a very nice lounge which probably attracts a much younger crowd. Here is probably problem #1. The people who are attracted to a beach type lounge will not appreciate the type of food typically found in a restaurant like this.
Problem #2, the servers are not very well trained. Probably part timers unlike servers on the Westside, West Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire or downtown LA restaurants. The service was very spotty at best.
The positives: Mark's cooking is as good as ever. I think beside MB Post, there isn't another restaurant in the South Bay that comes close for this level of cooking. Everyone in the party enjoyed the dinner tremendously. The bartender who did the mixed drinks (did not get his name) was very good. We ordered cocktails at the bar before dinner and was impressed.
Given the challenges I listed, I am not sure if this restaurant will survive. If not, I look forward to dinning at the next restaurant that Mark will be associated with.
Any thoughts or comments?
PS, the fried chicken was as good as Eva!