(credit: Jeanne Fratello)

>> CBSLA Special Section: LA Food & Wine Festival

by Jeanne Fratello

The Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival made a stop in the South Bay this weekend with a special luncheon at Manhattan Beach’s most-talked-about dining hot spot, MB Post. Chef David LeFevre, joined by guest chefs Casey Thompson of Brownstone and Lincoln Carson of Mina Group, created a fall menu to showcase seasonal flavors from Weiser Family Farms paired with an adventurous selection of New Zealand wines.

MB Post – a critics’ favorite and a new darling on the L.A. restaurant scene – bills itself as “a social house.” It features enormous sliding glass doors that let in the beach air and natural light, along with communal tables and meant-to-be-shared dishes that create a relaxed, conversational feel. That’s why it was no surprise that the luncheon was a lively affair – with New Zealanders pouring wine while local food enthusiasts sampled an array of freshly harvested creations, shared across long reclaimed-oak tables.

The scorecard:


(credit: Jeanne Fratello)

Hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi with pickled ginger, shiso (an aromatic Japanese green), and yuzu koshu (pungent sauce made from the yuzu fruit)

Served on small sticks, LeFevre’s bite-sized treats brought together an exotic variety of flavors all in one lusciously smooth bite. These sublime little morsels were paired with Quartz Reef NV Methode Traditionnelle – an elegant sparkling wine from New Zealand with apple and lime notes.


(credit: Jeanne Fratello)

Bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits

It wasn’t on the official event menu, but it wouldn’t be a trip to MB Post without LeFevre’s popular biscuits, served with maple butter. These biscuits were so perfectly tender and flaky they practically melted in your mouth (and to be honest, they didn’t really need the butter). They did quite a disappearing act at the table, with hardly a crumb left in sight.

First Course:

Squash custard with chanterelle mushrooms, port salut, and shrimp toast points

This creamy custard created by Thompson hit just the right balance of richness without being too heavy. Served with buttery-crisp shrimp toast points, it was perfectly paired with a dry Spy Valley Wines Riesling that hit lime and floral notes.

Second course:

(credit: Jeanne Fratello)

Rutabaga, baby Brussels sprouts, empire apples, pine nuts, sage, duck confit, and bourbon maple syrup

LeFevre’s regular dining menu has one category called “Eat Your Vegetables,” and after this course, no one needed any more urging. Presented in a cast-iron roasting dish, these fall vegetables were roasted to perfection. The baby Brussels sprouts – mild, tender, and just barely sweet – were an instant crowd favorite.

Third course:

(credit: Jeanne Fratello)

Wine-braised beef cheeks with Nantes carrots, salsify (a white root vegetable), and German butterball potato puree

Beef cheeks are one of the toughest cuts of meat, but when LeFevre braises them to perfection, they are transformed into the tenderest morsels, with a luxurious texture that’s practically creamy. The tiny carrots added just the right hint of sweetness to this hearty and comforting fall dish. Serving as a mellow companion to the beef was a Villa Maria Estate Reserve pinot noir from New Zealand, a dark and smooth wine with soft cherry and clove notes.


(credit: Jeanne Fratello)

Red velvet cake with cocoa nib ice cream, spiced candied pecans, and milk chocolate

Lincoln Carson created this indulgent finale that brought together a range of textures in perfect concert. A delicate, crumbly cake was paired with melt-in-your-mouth ice cream, creamy milk chocolate ganache, and spicy-crunchy pecans. Alongside the cake was a Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling, a concentrated floral sweet wine. Most at the table felt the wine was too sweet along with the dessert, but tasted alone it had a bright, honey-like flavor.

MB Post

1142 Manhattan Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA
(310) 545-5405
More Info

Monday – Thursday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Friday – Saturday: 5:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Sunday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Jeanne Ponessa Fratello blogs about food at Jolly Tomato and South Bay happenings at South Bay Sparkle.


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