Fishing With Dynamite

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m always on the lookout for a great reasonably-priced seafood restaurant. The mind-boggling question still goes unanswered: why aren’t these easy to find in Los Angeles?

Well, here’s a recently added restaurant that I’ve tried two times and loved on both occasions: Fishing With Dynamite.

Crazy name, yes. But wonderful. This 35 seat boutique restaurant is located in Manhattan Beach, just steps away from it’s sister restaurant MB Post. Owner and Chef David LeFevre started his career with Charlie Trotter in Chicago over seven years. He additionally worked in France and then spent two years touring Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, the Caribbean and Europe. On his return to the states, Chef LeFevre became Executive Chef at The Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles, earning a Michelin star. Phew – that’s a lot of accomplishments.

Fishing with Dynamite evokes Chef LeFevre’s summers spent on Virginia’s eastern shore. The vibe is casual, simple beach shack. But the food is anything but simple. On both visits, I tried the dozen fresh oyster selection. Oysters were fresh, briny and crisp. Take my word for it and choose the ponzu sauce to go with it – unique! Servers are knowledgeable about the different regions, characteristics and flavors of the oysters, and don’t mind taking time to share. Bravo!

I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but I consider myself to be a bit of a connoisseur of clam chowder. I wasn’t born this way but growing up in San Francisco, you tend to eat your fair share of clam chowder. This was hands down THE BEST CLAM CHOWDER IN THE WORLD. Really. Light broth, chunks of carrots, celery, potatoes, and clams … smoky bacon and homemade oyster crackers. You can actually see what you are eating – not a heavy, gloppy mess of blended STUFF. This dish alone justifies the 10 mile bike ride I took to get here.

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Grilled octopus with cranberry beans, tomato ragu, preserved lemons and olive tapenade. Sounds a little weird, right? Nope. Downright awesome and satisfying. The octopus is tender and charred. Add homemade french fries. YUM.

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The hamachi with ponzu, avocado, radish, serrano and shiso was refreshing and light while the black miso cod served over Japanese eggplant with adzuki beans, diakon, pickled ginger and Thai basil was warm and comforting.

Desserts. Key lime pie. About 4” round, ultra-thin and luxurious graham cracker crust, tangy and sour key lime filling with an Italian meringue piped beautifully on the top. And bruleed. Maple pudding with rosemary sandies, made with bourbon and candied pecans. I wish I could describe how luxuriously delicious these desserts were. And I am not a big dessert person. Make sure to order coffee, which comes with a paper sleeve to protect you from the heat. Which includes herb seeds. To plant in your garden. I KID YOU NOT. I have beautifully blooming basil in a pot in my backyard at this very moment thanks to you, Chef LeFevre.

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The service here is awesome, low-key and friendly – which I don’t say very often. This is a find, especially for Los Angeles. Give it a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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