There’s a certain feeling of ease to Love and Salt that fits in well with its Manhattan Beach surroundings. As calm as the ocean breeze that blows from the waves within view of the entrance, this restaurant is a place of fresh simplicity: large windows bring in light that illuminates a cozy dining space, and a curved ceiling meets at a sky-light routinely void of clouds. A long communal counter stands in the center of the room, and it divides a modern bar on one end and a group of small tables on the other. Despite this casual distinction, the muted blue and gray tones throughout the restaurant – which are detailed by minimal copper and red shades – unite it all. And since this is a place where menu items can be shared between seats, such intimate unison only seems fair.
Come in after a day on the sand for an Italian menu that has been reimagined for California appetites. Start with the popular warm English muffins, which have been homemade with rosemary and sea salt, and then move on to sautéed cauliflower leaves served with soft mascarpone polenta. Later, divide the roasted mushroom pizza topped with fontina and thyme, and then scoop up the bucatini pasta with fennel sausage. Through it all, sip on red or white wine sourced from Italy. Even if it’s early in the evening, that’s just fine. This is a place where you can simply take it easy.