Easy Reader Staff

Growing Wild: Best Flower Shop

Growing Wild: Best Flower Shop

Manhattan Beach native twin sisters Lee Hoven Bakos and Lisa Hoven Gallien always dreamed of running their own business. Growing up, their parents instilled in them a love of gardening and the two worked at a local flower shop as Mira Costa High School seniors, then as business majors at Pepperdine University. In 1991, their […]

 Richard Foss

Handel’s: Best ice cream

Handel’s: Best ice cream

Handel’s bare-bones walk-up stand isn’t fancy, but there are nearly always people standing outside eating because they couldn’t even wait to get to nearby benches.

 Easy Reader Staff

Trader Joe’s: Best Grocery Store

With more than five locations in the South Bay, it’s hard to drive anywhere without finding a Trader Joe’s close to your home. Trader Joe’s began as a small chain in the 1950s, under the name Pronto Markets. Today, the Trader Joe’s has evolved into a foodie’s playground with kind, helpful employees in Hawaiian t-shirts, […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Gumtree: Best Gift Shop

Gumtree: Best Gift Shop

This darling shop, inside a 1911 craftsman bungalow with an adjoining café, invites visitors to stroll the wooden floors and admire an eclectic style that is chic yet laid back, with jewelry, scarves and accessories from designers such as Chan Luu, Catherine Weitzman, Wendy Mink and Dogeared. Cozy sections include a “living room” with an […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Stars Antique Market: Best Antiques and Collectibles

Stars Antique Market: Best Antiques and Collectibles

Stars Antique Market’s cramped, but homey corridors makes you feel like you’re rummaging through your great aunt’s attic or basement, or maybe making a guest appearance on an episode of TLC’s “American Pickers.” The antique haven houses over 65 eccentric antique dealers, with enormous selections of fine vintage jewelry, timeless furniture pieces, and funky trinkets. […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Ocean Bar: Best Dance Club

Ocean Bar: Best Dance Club

Most dance clubs can get a bit claustrophobic. Alcohol, smoky air and hot bodies can be a bit much. Luckily Ocean Bar is an open-air club where you can shake your thing with an ocean breeze on your face. If you’re feeling especially swanky, go for bottle service and grab a seat near the fire […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Baja Sharkeez: Best Sports Bar Food

Baja Sharkeez: Best Sports Bar Food

Baja Sharkeez is a beach cities institution.

 Easy Reader Staff

Adam DeRitter: Best Bartender

Adam DeRitter: Best Bartender

Adam DeRitter was born and raised in Manhattan Beach and has found a happy home for himself behind the bar at Rock n Fish in his hometown.

 Easy Reader Staff

Mangiamo’s: Best Martini

Mangiamo’s: Best Martini

Mangiamo’s martini list is nearly as long as its food menu

 Easy Reader Staff

Ortega 120: Best Margarita

Ortega 120: Best Margarita

Ortega 120’s Day of the Dead decorations and old school movies projected onto the wall make for a fun daytime or evening atmosphere. Their $5 happy hour margarita is a surprisingly large size and their $2 tacos are perfect for an afternoon treat.

 Easy Reader Staff

Baja Sharkeez: Best Happy Hour

Baja Sharkeez: Best Happy Hour

Baja Sharkeez’s Mexican fare has no business being as good as it is for bar food at a popular party spot, yet it never disappoints.

 Easy Reader Staff

Palmilla Cocina y Tequila: Best Cocktails

Palmilla Cocina y Tequila: Best Cocktails

Lest you think that Palmilla is only a place for tequila, take a gander at their extensive cocktail list.

 Easy Reader Staff

Jimmy Erickson: Best Server (male)

Jimmy Erickson: Best Server (male)

Think of a server who can handle bartending an engagement party of over 20 rowdy guests while managing checks, taking drink orders, and serving tables, while also tending to guests outside of the engagement party — all the while with a smile on his face. Meet Jimmy Erickson.

 Easy Reader Staff

Natalie at Old Venice: Best Server (female)

Natalie at Old Venice: Best Server (female)

I almost choked on my iced tea when I asked Natalie at Old Venice Restaurant in Manhattan Beach how long she had worked there and she said 15 years. She looks about 20.

 Easy Reader Staff

Simon at Oki Doki Sushi: Best Sushi Chef

Simon at Oki Doki Sushi: Best Sushi Chef

Simon has been behind the sushi bar at Oki Doki for 10 years. The location is unassuming – it’s in a strip mall on PCH – but the sushi is top rate, and chefs like Simon make the dining experience a pleasure. His knife skills are impressive and he’ll make you laugh while you watch […]