We've come to know David LeFevre for his seafood ways at Water Grill, where he was executive chef for six years. He left last fall to open his own place in the South Bay, Manhattan Beach Post (M.B. Post for short), which should debut next month. But he never promised us lobsters. Instead, think pork jowls.
LeFevre says he'll still feature seafood at his new restaurant, but more like pale ale-battered halibut cheeks. "I love seafood," says the chef. "But there are a lot more ingredients, more things that I like to cook and eat."
That would be Devil's Gulch rabbit, some great buffalo mozzarella that he just discovered, and seasonal greens and produce he'll find at any of the local farmers' markets (there are at least three he can hit during the week). For the dishes, flavor influences come from everywhere: Vietnamese lacquered pork jowl with green papaya and mint; rabbit confit with grilled figs and sage; blistered Chinese long beans with chili-pork and Thai basil; and freshly baked breads like bacon-cheddar buttermilk biscuits with Vermont maple butter.
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"I just want the products to inspire me," says LeFevre. He's also really excited to cook behind the line again, to be involved in every detail. And he expects to be there every night, he promises.
The space will have a "social house" vibe with several communal tables, a bar for hand-shaken seasonal cocktails, and small but well-curated craft beer and wine lists. There's lots of reclaimed wood, exposed rafters and cement floors, all sort of weathered yet chic--which makes sense considering it's just a hop and a skip from the sand.
The chef has lived in Manhattan Beach for six years, which is why he chose to open this new project there.
"I'm not shy and that's how my restaurant's going to be," LeFevre says. "But it won't be a place where kids are doing shots with loud lounge music playing in the background. It's for people like me who want to have this kind of food, great food, at an affordable price."