Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This Restaurant Has a Bocce Court!

Tin Roof Bistro, 3500 N. Sepulveda, Manhattan Beach tinroofbistro.com

Richie dropped me off in front and went to park the car. I looked around me with interest ... a low building with a sprawling front veranda with comfortable-looking chairs and tables. Between the veranda and the street was a long strip of raked sand. "Must be getting ready to sod it," I thought. It wasn't until we were seated and looking at the menu that I realized! "That's a bocce court."

Bocce Hour - 4 to 7 p.m. daily $2 off drinks, pizzas and salads - in the bar or Bocce Court area only.

Nothing shabby about the interior either -- banquets running along with walls with tables and chairs in front of them, subdued light, much of it from the spacious windows. Our server said the restaurant was supposed to reflect a Napa Valley winery.

Richie ordered a Simmzy's Berger with Tillamook sharp cheddar, sweet onion chow chow and aoli ($9.50.) I was hungry and the "fish and chips" appealed - homemade jumbo lump crab cakes, Napa cabbage slaw with chili vinaigrette, shoestring fries and tartar sauce ($21.50)

We ordered a draft beer - a traditional Belgian wheat beer; light, slightly cloudy (not wildly appealing in looks) with a spicy aroma (missed that part) and a big lemon back taste (got that.) ($12 for two.)

Our plates arrived and the plates were well filled. The crab cakes were big and round (like a meatball) the shoestring fries took up a third of the plate and the "slaw" the rest. Composed of chopped curly cabbage and red and yellow peppers, marinated in the vinagrette. The flavors were sweet and a little hot. Richie's burger was more than juicy. Our served passed him paper napkins, remarking "That's a two napkin burger!"

Future visits will allow me to explore such as: Pizza Bianca with figs and bacon ($12) or Baby Golden Beet salad (sugar and salt baked beets, goat cheese, shaved fennel, hazelnuts, red onion - and hold the arugula) for $10.25 A dessert caught my eye -- Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with a walnut and sea salt brittle and tangerine ($6.50)

Lunch and two beers came to $47.47 and I tipped $12 - that's how good the service was.

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