So you're going to the beach for the day. And you want a fun meal after all that sand and sun. Sure, we know you probably have seafood in mind, another overpriced lobster roll perhaps? Let us steer you in a different direction, to Little Sister in Manhattan Beach. Chef Tin Vuong's ode to the foods of Southeast Asia might not be what you expect from a beach restaurant, but in many ways it's far better. You'll sit under the back-wall mural of a machine gun spewing vivid butterflies and eat Vietnamese crepes and Myanmar curries and Sichuan noodles and Balinese meatballs. This is not cute American food with Asian accents; there's a purity of intention that shines through. Dishes are boldly spicy where appropriate, unapologetically funky, and bursting with flavor. There's loud rap music on the sound system and waiters with plenty of requisite hipster attitude, but the food is the best kind of surprise. —Besha Rodell
1131 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, 90266. (310) 545-2096, littlesistermb.com.