Italian food goes casual at Edo Bites in Manhattan Beach – Daily Breeze

Edo Bites sits in the middle of Manhattan Village’s many restaurants, surrounded by casual dining like California Pizza Kitchen, Corner Bakery and Islands, as well as slightly more upscale destinations like Mercado and Joey.

You walk inside and at first glance it seems like a delicious Italian take-out, just like the tasty Autogrills that can be found all over Italy. It is a good concept, when you need to collect food for the family. Although that notion can get a bit loose as you browse the menu.

While the prices are comparable to the adjacent CPK, the dishes can get quite upscale. Baked asparagus with poached egg and Parmesan shavings for breakfast. A Hollywood Farmers’ Market salad with heirloom tomatoes and burrata. A soup of borlotti and cannellini beans, and another of mashed broccoli with crème fraîche. A cooked “rolled” pancake filled with ricotta, green chard, porcini mushrooms and parmesan. It doesn’t look like a take out menu, although it does. And there is a reason for this.

Edo Bites, with a name that sounds Japanese, is the creation of Edoardo Baldi, owner of e. baldi Ristorante in Beverly Hills. Baldi grew up in Tuscany surrounded by food and great food. He moved to Los Angeles to work at his father’s iconic Santa Monica restaurant, the highly regarded Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi, which for three decades was a major celebrity destination on Channel Road a few blocks from the Pacific .

I guess e. baldi can be seen as the transition stage of Edoardo from high end Giorgio Baldi to not so high end Edo Bites. Prices are roughly comparable to CPK, except for menu sections like Edo Soups, which cost twice as much.

Otherwise, given the quality and commitment to locally grown ingredients, the prices in Edo aren’t crazy, although neither are Olive Garden prices. But then, it is not the Olive Garden. Not even close.

  • A grilled cheese panino, a caprese baguette, and a ham and brie baguette are some of the options offered by Edo Bites in Manhattan Beach. (Photo by Merrill Shindler)

  • It’s a Nutella croissant at Edo Bites in Manhattan Beach – you know, like the sign says. (Photo by Merrill Shindler)

  • Edo Bites in Manhattan Beach offers casual Italian fare in a casual setting. (Photo by Merrill Shindler)

  • There is a well-appointed outdoor dining area at Edo Bites in Manhattan Beach. (Photo by Merrill Shindler)

If you’re showing up for breakfast – or lunch or dinner, for that matter – there’s a lovely outdoor patio in front of Edo, with lots of people watching a weekend packed with shoppers. The oddity of going for breakfast is that the restaurant doesn’t open until 11 a.m., which may be fine for those sleeping after a night on Manhattan Beach Boulevard. But for many of us, by then, we are ready for lunch. And maybe a nap too.

With the exception of baked asparagus with poached eggs, the breakfast menu isn’t especially Italian. There is a seasonal fruit salad (with “Harry’s Berries”), vanilla yogurt with homemade granola, a waffle with fresh berries and an avocado toast. There are also homemade pastries, which seem to change as the baker – or Edo – wishes.

It wasn’t until you wandered over the lunch and dinner menu, the same either way, that the Tuscan factor kicked in. And indeed, as a decidedly laid back concept, to eat well in Edo, you don’t have to dive into the bigger main courses. Baked eggplant topped with lots of Parmesan is a fancy treat, a dish we’ve also had before, along with Edo’s tomato sauce. And it is also a very good tomato.

Beef meatballs are just plain fun – verrry juicy, with lots of beef flavor. There is smoked salmon on toast. And sea salt fries. The fries are crispy, that’s all I ask. Just like Jidori chicken fillets are wet. Small blessings, much appreciated.

There are three small pizzas – pizzettes – one of which is made with mild stracciatella and fontina cheeses and truffle oil, which is a pretty fancy affair. Pizza is also used to make a sandwich of prosciutto, mozzarella, lettuce and tomato with aioli – a very fine dish for lunch or dinner. Or breakfast too, I guess.

There are more sandwiches, both on French baguettes and rustic ham and brie bread, grilled cheese with pesto, turkey breast and avocado, tuna and lemon aioli . Oddly enough, the prices of the main courses are not higher than those of salads or sandwiches. They include lasagna made from green chard pasta – pretty, but a little original. Sweet baked ravioli, macaroni and cheese with fontina and white cheddar. Fish tacos with branzino. Mashed chicken cutlet with capers.

I prefer to save calories and dive deep into desserts – chocolate truffle gelato to die for! A classic torta della nonna with lots of custard. Tiramisu and chocolate mousse. So forgiving. So good. So nice to sit on the outdoor patio, people watching … shopping. And, of course, very good for breakfast.

I’ve long argued that breakfast requires dessert, unless you’ve had pastries. Then, not so much.

Merrill Shindler is an independent Los Angeles-based food critic. Send an email to [email protected]

Edo Bites

  • Evaluation: 2.5 stars
  • Address: Manhattan Village, 3180 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach
  • Information: 310-545-0045;
  • Food: Casual Italian dishes in a casual setting at the Manhattan Village restaurant cluster.
  • When: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day
  • Details: This South Bay branch of a small chain – along with other locations in Beverly Hills, The Grove, and Palisades Village – is the work of upscale chef Edoardo Baldi. baldi Ristorante in Beverly Hills.
  • Prices: Around $ 24 per person
  • Suggested dishes: 5 breakfast dishes all day ($ 8 to $ 14), 6 antipasti ($ 8 to $ 15), 3 pizzettes ($ 12.95 to $ 14.95), 4 soups ($ 12.90), 4 salads ($ 14 to $ 16.95), 8 sandwiches ($ 13.50 to $ 15), 9 Main courses ($ 14.25 – $ 16.75), 5 desserts ($ 6 – $ 10)
  • Credit card: MC, V
  • What do the stars mean: 4 (World class! Worth the trip from anywhere!), 3 (Very excellent, if not exceptional. Worth the trip from anywhere in Southern California.), 2 (A great place to go for a meal. Worth the trip from anywhere in the neighborhood.) 1 (If you’re hungry and it’s nearby, but don’t get stuck in traffic.) 0 (Honestly, not worth it. speak.)

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