The South Bay beach cities are known for surfing, sunbathing, bicycle cruising and now an up-and-coming dining scene. Shade, a boutique luxury hotel, just three short blocks from the Pacific in Manhattan Beach, draws guests and locals to their popular restaurant [email protected] Their hip, sultry decor and open patio seating take full advantage of the year-round agreeable climate.
“At [email protected], there’s no need to rush to catch’ breakfast or lunch because our extended hours menus support the more relaxed, low-stress lifestyle we subscribe to here,” said Owner Michael Zislis. “You will find, too, with our new menus, Executive Chef Chris Garasic and I always use the freshest, highest quality ingredients, and whenever possible, we use California meats, cheeses, local artisan breads, free-range eggs and locally sourced produce.”
Chef Garasic’s lunch menu offers a great variety of dishes: burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and soups and salads with his own tasty twists. His Tuscan grilled cheese is made with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and basil pesto. The truffle Kobe burger is done with Parmesan truffle oil, black truffle boschetto, Portobello mushrooms and wild arugula. Carne asada and Cabo fish tacos reveal the chef’s knack for authentic Mexican cuisine honed during a prior position at the nearby Mucho Ultima Mexicana (also owned by Zislis). His Baja ceviche tower and caprese cups are unique takes on each dish. The cylinder shaped ceviche gets its shape from the addition of guacamole, is topped with diced pineapple and surrounded by a sea of colorful finely diced vegetables. The caprese is topped with balsamic vinegar pearls adding little bursts of delightful flavor and texture to the dish. Both the zinc chopped (see photo) and the crispy calamari Greek salads make satisfying guilt-free meals.
Garasic brings a diverse 20-year culinary background to zinc. After graduating from Western Culinary School in Portland, Oregon, he worked at suck places as Trump National Golf Club and as a private chef for a family requiring all vegan dishes. The position as private chef demanded eclectic thinking, which he enjoyed. One of his creations involved almond cheese, which he uses in Chef Chris’ “guilt free” vegan enchiladas with soy rizo, macadamia almond cheese, corn tortillas, guajillo sauce, black beans, and tropical slaw.
An Interview with Chef Garasic of [email protected]:
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE BALSAMIC SPHERES FOR THE CAPRESE?
I wanted to do the dish, but in a new and inventive way. One of my main strengths is to create new twists on classic dishes.
WHY THE USE OF WHOLE WHEAT LINGUINI?
For health reasons. The South Bay is a very health conscious area and there are not many other restaurants that offer whole wheat pasta as an option.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN YOUR JOB AS A PRIVATE CHEF?
Attention to guests and their needs. I also worked for a raw-vegan client so I had the opportunity to learn a completely new type of cuisine.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOL?
WHAT RESTAURANT OR CHEF DO YOU RECOMMEND?
Waterloo and City in Culver City, Calif.
WHICH INGREDIENT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT NOW?
Kobe beef- we use it in our truffle Kobe burger it’s just incredible.