Bite at the (Manhattan) Beach - Foodies and Craft Beer Lovers Rejoice!
Some of the South Bay’s finest establishments satiated the crowd last Saturday at the 4th annual Bite at the Beach. Upon arrival, each guest was given a plate and tasting glass to partake in the beer-and-food pairings by more than 20 local restaurants and 15 craft breweries. I approved of most of the pairings, but created a few of my own that better suited my palate. Simmzy’s mouthwatering sliders were given an extra kick of flavor when accompanied with King Harbor’s Tiki Hut IPA, just as Lil Sumpin’ from Lagunitas paired best with the tri-tip from Hotel Shade’s Zinc Lounge. I’ve gotta say, one of the most brilliantly executed pairings was the Chilled Pineapple Dashi from Barrans 2239. The cold soba noodles and bacon dish hit the spot with a perfect pairing from Bootlegger's El Chango lager, highlighting the refreshing summer flavors.
The most distinguished part of the event came from a collaboration between Absolution Brewing Company and Lisa’s Bon Apetit. Chef Oscar Gonzalez and his crew put together a perfectly curated four-course menu. My favorite was the exquisite Loup de Mer Saffron Vichyssoise with baby potatoes, a preserved citrus foam and tomato basil caviar paired with Absolution’s Purgatory Hefeweizen, which thoroughly brought out the best qualities of the dish. It was apparent that the favorite of the table was the Holy Ca-Cow Stout Ice Cream. This dark chocolate ice cream was infused with Absolution’s Holy Ca-Cow American Stout and sandwiched between lavender macarons. The flavor of the stout seamlessly blended with the dark chocolate. It was quite the show to watch the chef concoct the dish like a mad scientist with a penchant for fine desserts, as guests around the table “oohed” and “aahed”.
It certainly was a beer lover’s paradise, but there were plenty of other libations to choose. De Loach Vineyards showed off their Pinot Noir paired with cheeses, and a variety of ciders were provided by Rekorderlig, including their refreshing Strawberry-Lime flavor. The Strand Brewers Club also did a tasting of mead along with their fruitful list of beers, ranging from a delicious Blackberry Saison to a surprisingly flavorful Passion Fruit Tart Blonde.
The restaurants and breweries may have been the main attraction for most, but the event also offered up a few other perks for guests. Boxed Water provided H20 to event-goers, while the fine folks at NicaSlams Fine Nigaraguan Cigars showcased some of their premium brands from their smoke shop along PCH. Pressed Juicery also handed out fresh samples of juices to cleanse the palate, including shots of their refreshing Citrus and healthy Greens.
All in all, the event was a delightful experience. I left satisfied, with my belly full of some of the best food and brews in the South Bay. Thanks to the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce and all the sponsors. See you next year!