Even those lucky ducks who live in the South Bay can't go to the beach every day — some days, there's work. Or networking. The only real solution in such beautiful environs is to do your networking with the beach still in view. Mangiamo Ristorante & Bar is firmly planted in the best parts of both worlds: It's a high-end Italian restaurant, with cocktails and a wine list to match, as well as a great spot for a laid-back drink — you can actually see the ocean from the small bar along the front window. (There's also a more normal, curved bar facing the bartender, if you just can't stand the Pacific.) At happy hour, which runs weekdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m., wine by the glass and all well vodka martinis are half-off, meaning you can get a martini for just $6 or a nice pinot grigio for $4.50. The small plates are much better than the stuff you might associate with beach-view dining: One recent Tuesday, we found tiger prawns in a garlic sauce and a goat cheese bruschetta. 128 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach. (310) 318-3434, mangiamorestaurant.com.

—Sarah Fenske

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