“Best seafood in LA. So cute. Difficult to get in to. But worth the wait.” – says apparently everyone I’m friends with that has been to Fishing With Dynamite, and with a review like that it’s a crime I waited as long as I did to finally snag a seat at Manhattan Beach’s latest treasure. Admittedly, I was fooled to think the drive to Manhattan Beach would be such an event, a hassle even, and sadly that’s what partially kept me from jumping the gun sooner, as I suspect might be the same predicament for many of you. Well, after what I saw, smelled, experienced, and tasted last weekend… Fishing With Dynamite could be all the way in Riverside for all I care and it’d still be worth driving to; but the good news is it’s in gorgeous Manhattan Beach (which let me remind you is still in LA county) and it’s time you payed a visit.
Located in the heart of prime Manhattan Beach hangout/shopping territory, Fishing With Dynamite sits pretty on the corner of 12th and Manhattan Blvd, tempting passerbys’ with their seaside urban rustic decor and “oysters” sign branded on the side of their building. The dining room may officially be the most deceivingly tiny room I’ve ever had the pleasure of dinging at in LA, but believe me it only adds to the appeal and charm. Regardless, for such a small place, the Fishing With Dynamite esthetic livens and warms the space with a variety of complimentary design elements such as “seaside-chic-chachskies” (as we’ll call ’em) and hanging pieces of artwork; most of which consists of incredibly motivating quotes like “don’t give up the ship”, and “let it go” – which is now a song stuck in my head. The simple truth is that Fishing With Dynamite is up-to-date, it’s trendy, and it’s frustratingly adorable – it’s exactly what you’d hope to find in a gorgeous setting like Manhattan Beach.
pssst… there’s a celebrity chef in there... Chef David Lefevre, chef of (almost) next door neighbor and ultra local hot spot MB Post, has taken it upon himself to grace the beach city of Manhattan with a concept dedicated to offering some of the freshest seafood you can find in Los Angeles, and offering a variety of ways in which each item comes prepared. The menu can be simply broken down into “raw”, “old school”, “new school”, and lastly the ever delicious and ridiculously Instagramable “after school” dishes.
Now, I’ve never been an oyster person, but when you’re at “the best place in LA to get oysters”… you do as the oyster people do; and let’s just say, I get it now. (and I’m not just saying that, I’m not that nice so thanks FWD!)
Both the “old school” and “new school” items are easily sharable as the menu leans a bit towards the tapas end of the spectrum, so the suggestion is to order a few plates from both sides. I should hope you suspected that “old school” is just another way of saying “classic”, so expect to find dishes such as fish n’ chips, clam “chowdah”, crab cake, and my favorite, the shrimp po’ boy. “New school” offers a few, perhaps slightly less caloric, options where you can taste the main star of the dish in a more simple and true to form way; such as grilled octopus, Mediterranean white sea bass, and the hamachi (which was another favorite).
If you leave without dessert… turn your ass around and go back, because I had the privilege of trying all three that were made available that day on the menu and let me tell you, Fishing With Dynamite may be an excellent beachside seafood spot, but great Odin’s raven do they know how to make a mean dessert. Or three for that matter.
Remember it’s a tight squeeze and Fishing With Dynamite is “literally everyone’s favorite seafood restaurant in LA” right now, so get on OpenTable stat to make your reservation. Take the trip to Manhattan Beach and Fishing With Dynamite, trust me you’ll be glad you did.
Fishing With Dynamite: 1148 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 Hours: Sun–Wed 11:30am–10pm, Thursday – Sunday 11:30am–10:30pm, bar later. Call: 310.893.6299 Reservations: opentable.com