Michi’s Hip and Trendy Restaurant & Martini Bar in Manhattan Beach (7/04)

Michi, located in Manhattan Beach, is a hip classy restaurant, bar, and hang-out spot. 11:30pm on a Friday or Saturday night and the restaurant is still pretty full while the bar is actually over its full capacity. If your looking for a lively place with good food and good drinks than Michi restaurant in Manhattan Beach is a great place to start. If you like Japanese food than you have to try this place. It’s not your ordinary Japanese restaurant. You are sure to taste something that you have not had before. In this city, with all the good Japanese restaurants, that is not an easy task. They are very creative in the kitchen creating many unique dishes and tasty sauces. Speaking of different, warm bread and olive oil is a starter for every table. The Mediterranean influence is not something you see everyday in Japanese restaurant.

For starters (besides the full sushi bar), we recommend the lobster enchilada among other wonderful appetizers. The sashimi Roll includes tuna, yellowtail, white meat fish, shrimp, pickled daikon paper, cucumber, avocado, kaiware sprouts and spicy sesame mayo all wrapped beautifully together and the spicy tuna tartar is great to wet the pallet. The sashimi roll is prepared with no rice or seaweed. The spicy sesame mayonnaise adds a slight sweet flavor to the sashimi. The spicy tuna tartar is served (non-traditionally) on individual wonton crisps topped with fresh slices of avocado, and smelt eggs. This dish is very unique, but filled with wonderful flavor. If you prefer more traditional appetizers You can get a steamed milk and gorgonzola soup with basil and ciabata crackers. The soup looked like a giant cappuccino, served with foamed milk on the top. The flavor and texture was decadent… The beet salad was also very unique, with beets and tomatoes cut into very small bite size pieces topped with a delicious gorgonzola dressing and candied walnuts.

The main dishes are not your average sushi restaurant style dishes. The green tea soba and tiger shrimp tempura with soy tomato fondue was very interesting and had a distinct taste. We did enjoy the uniqueness of the green tea noodles, and really enjoyed the flavor and texture of the beer battered shrimp. For those that enjoy a good smoked salmon, I recommend trying the house smoked salmon and grilled calamari with vanilla red wine and couscous. If you like scallops, try the seafood saffron paella (pronounced paeya) served with fresh scallops, shrimp, and rice. All dishes served had excellent five star dining quality presentations.

You’ll find more than just green tea ice cream for dessert at this sushi restaurant. If you like decadent desserts, like crème brule and chocolate soufflé your taste buds will be happy. If you still want to try some green tea ice cream, don’t forget to try cinnamon ice cream as well, or serve it on top of your dessert selection. If you’re even craving waffles, you can order those served with cinnamon ice cream and fresh berries.

Michi has a clean wood and metal decor it’s smooth cement walls lined with Japanese art. A nice setting for a meal or a drink, there is a full service martini bar as part of the restaurant and there is no shortage of good looking singles in this restaurant. Manhattan Beach is legendary for their good looking people and they have definitely found Michi. The bar area gets packed with people, but it is partitioned from the restaurant so it’s not one of these places where you feel someone standing over you drinking as you eat at your table. Michi is not the place for a quiet romantic dinner; It’s a place to talk loud, watch people, eat delicious food and pack yourself into the bar for a martini. Michi has a large martini selection including several fruit Sake martinis. If you need a little kick, try the espresso martini or the green tea martini.

If you live in the neighborhood or are visiting Manhattan Beach, Michi is not to be missed. Michi is located at 903 Manhattan Ave. and reservations can be made by calling 310-376-0613