Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Urban Eats @ Second Story, Manhattan Beach

I blogged last week about my stay in Manhattan Beach and I also had a chance to check out the retro dining room inside the The Belamar. It was an unexpected surprise from the usual typical burgers and Caesar salad fare that I was expecting from a hotel restaurant. Second Story (on the second floor, of course) was a cozy space with big booths and episodes of Charlie's Angels playing on the TVs. The sharing plates menu featured comfort food favourites and a California take on hearty entrees.
My lobster tail and seared ahi tuna salad was everything I would ever want from a salad. Big chunks of warm seafood with grapefruit and orange wedges. It was healthy and indulgent at the same time and you can't beat the presentation.
Tea Forte iced tea and our amuse bouche for the evening (above). Chef Vania Almeida is originally from Brazil and has been with the restaurant for almost five years. Prior to her current post, Almeida cooked at the Trump National Country Club.
Taco Night is every Tuesday and these are the gourmet tacos served up at Second Story for a mere $2. Filet Mignon steak taco with crispy fried onions (right), tempura-battered halibut taco with slaw (middle) and chicken taco with peppers (left). The fish taco was by far the best I have ever had. The tempura batter made it light and crispy and inside the fish was fresh and flaky. It was definitely one of the highlights of the night and washed down with a $4 Corona.
The Achiote Marinated Skirt Steak ($22) was served with pasilla chile risotto, sautéed corn, oven roasted salsa. The presentation was beautiful and the steak was perfectly cooked.

Warm bread pudding for dessert
Second Story runs some great specials all week including $4 happy hour, 1/2 price wine on Fridays and daily entree deals. Its a great value in a super hip dining room and exceeded my expectations for a hotel restaurant.
Second Story Restaurant, Manhattan Beach - Inside The Belamar Hotel

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