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Restaurants & Bars 1

TapaMeze in Manhattan Beach

librarygirlie | Mar 10, 2008 03:07 AM

Since TapaMeze (corner of Manhattan Beach Blvd. and PCH, where Chicago for Ribs used to be) just opened, I'll contribute a review. I have been in the South Bay for four years and generally find the food to be pretty uneven and bland.

I was pleasantly surprised -- the restaurant has a current special of 7 tapas/meze for $28 dollars. The dishes were really delicious -- we had babaganoush, a chicken skewer, lamb empanadas, duck confit, spanakopita, eggplant crostini, and outstanding tabbouleh. Everything was very tasty and fresh; the wait staff was really pleasant, and they were available to answer questions and give honest opinions about what to order.

I think I was even more impressed by the veggie options -- I love duck confit, but I am not sure I would rush to order it again as the sauce was heavy and the duck wasn't terribly moist. It was still delicious and I managed to polish it off! The babaganoush is too heavy on the tahina and did not really taste like eggplant, but the grilled pita served with it was good quality and the eggplant crostini were delicious.

The tapas/meze were definitely some of the best I've had in a while. I recently had lunch at Petros, and while the ingredients there were outstanding, the service was much better at TapaMeze. I've had lots of Middle Eastern appetizers at some of the Israeli restaurants up in L.A., but they are too far away for a quick trip.

It is definitely a place I'd return to -- I think the deal of 7 for $28 was a good idea. I'm not too sure I'd want to pay much more for what we ordered (7 tapas, two glasses of wine, and two desserts plus tip came to $70) and that might be one concern in operating a restaurant in the South Bay -- seems like people here are satisfied with cheap, bland food. Plus, the location gets no walking traffic.

The dessert I had was amazing -- tapioca panna cotta in filo dough -- it was warm and incredible. I would ditch the pistachio ice cream and replace it with good quality vanilla -- the pistachio flavor was too overpowering and it tasted fake.

I did not try the entrees, so I hope to return -- or hear other reviews!

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