Islands Summer Menu and #Giveaway

islands giveawaySummer is here, which means it’s time for beach fun, fruity drinks, and burgers cooked to juicy perfection. At Islands restaurant, you can get all of that and more with their new summer menu…and to celebrate the seasion, we’re doing a special Islands giveaway (Islands beach towel, Islands BBQ kit, and $50 Islands gift certificate) for our readers over at our new site, DigMB.

heat wave burgerHere’s the summer menu that inspired the giveaway: Islands’ special Heat Wave burger is a sizzling and spicy treat with diced green and serrano chiles, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and pepper jack cheese. It’s generously sized, and paired with Islands’ bottomless fries, it’ll satisfy any post-surf appetite.

Also for happy hour (3 pm to 7 pm), you’ve got plenty to choose from to wash down that burger. This year’s new drinks include Hand-Shaken Strawberry Daiquiri, shaken and poured the old-fashioned way. Other new drinks exclusive to happy hour include the Spicy Mango Shandy made with mango, Coors Light and a dust of cayenne pepper; and the Hapa Bourbon Tea with Maker’s Mark, passion fruit and mint. Looking for something fresh and different? Try the Makaha Maggie, made from Islands’ custom-made grilled pineapple infused tequila, Grand Marnier, lemon and lime juice, fresh crushed pineapple, and agave nectar with a cinnamon sugar rim. If you’re hungry at happy hour, you can also try the new Hawaiian Sliders: mini versions of Islands’ popular pineapple-topped burger.

beach cruiserSummer bonus: All summer long, any time you go to an Islands restaurant, you can be entered to win one of these beach cruisers (one per restaurant). The drawing will be held on happy hour at the end of the summer on Friday, September 5.

Want to win our Islands gift certificate/BBQ kit/ beach towel giveaway? Head on over to our post at DigMB and fill out the Rafflecopter widget there. Good luck, and enjoy the summer!

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Father’s Day in the South Bay

He helped you learn how to ride a bike, he bought you your first surfboard, he taught you how to fix a flat tire, and you want to get him…a tie? No, no, no South Bay sons and daughters. There’s a lot more you can do to honor Dad this Father’s Day in the beach cities.

First, get him outside for some fun activities:

MB5K dadsManhattan Beach 5K – Father’s Day edition: Get Dad out and running on the flat wet sand under the iconic Manhattan Beach Pier. The race starts at the lowest tide point – at 7:13 am on Sunday, June 15. The top five finishers in each of 28 divisions will win one of the race’s World Famous Cookie Medals. Nepotism note: The race is sponsored by our “better half” and all-around great dad – Dave of Manhattan Beach Confidential.

Father’s Day Volleyball Tournament: The city of Manhattan Beach is sponsoring a recreational beach volleyball tournament beginning at 9:00 am on the south side of the Manhattan Beach Pier on Sunday, June 15. Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are all encouraged to play. Proceeds from the registration fees go to benefit Project Fatherhood.

Terranea Team Golf Championship: The Links at Terranea holds its 3rd annual golf championship game on Sunday, June 15, where teams of five compete in an 18-hole event.  Prizes, lunch, and music are part of the day’s festivities.  The playing format is a five person scramble and teams must use two tee shots for each player. The cost is $80 for Links Card holders and $99 for guests. For more information and to reserve your spot, contact The Golf House at 310.265.2751.

Next, fill him up with food and drink:

NelsonsWeekend Beer Dinner at Nelson’s: On Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15 starting at 5:00 pm both days, Nelson’s Restaurant at Terranea is hosting an outdoor beer event with local breweries featured and gourmet street food pairings. Reservations are required; the cost is $65 per guest. Call 310.265.2702 for reservations.

Beer Brunch Cruise: Hornblower Cruises is offering a two-hour Father’s Day Beer Brunch Cruise at noon on Sunday, June 15 featuring a “macho” brunch, free-flowing drinks, and a complimentary souvenir pint glass for dad. The cost is $72 for adults and $43.20 for kids ages 4 to 12 – with additional tax, landing, and service charges.

Cookout at the Manhattan Beach Marriott: From 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 15, there’s no need to fire up the grill: The View restaurant at the Manhattan Beach Marriott is offering a Father’s Day cookout outside on the lawn, featuring a hearty buffet, a “dude food” station, and a craft beer garden serving frosty suds. The cost is $30 for adults $50 with unlimited beer, and $15 for kids 12 and under.

Feast at Samba Brazilian Steakhouse: Samba Brazilian Steakhouse is offering an all-you-can-eat Father’s Day Feast on Sunday, June 15 with your choice of 10-12 cuts of meat carved table-side, unlimited sides and salads, and a glass of champagne or beer. The cost is $55 for adults and $20 for kids ages 4 to 10.

Prime Rib at Paul Martin’s American Grill, El Segundo: For the whole Father’s Day weekend, Paul Martin’s will be offering a 3-course prime rib dinner special for $25 per person. The special includes all-natural prime rib with mashed potatoes, organic green salad and house-made ice cream.

Free Meal for Fathers at Wahoo’s: Fish tacos, anyone? On Father’s Day weekend, June 14 and 15, you can treat Dad to a free meal at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. Ask the cashier for a Father’s Day flyer.

Free Flight at Barsha: On Father’s Day weekend, purchase a wine or beer flight and get a free flight for Dad.

 

Pitfire Pizza

Downtown Manhattan Beach has welcomed a cozy new restaurant: Pitfire Pizza. If you love wood-fired pizzas (or if you have never tried one before), you are in for a tasty treat.

pitfire exteriorPitfire Pizza, which is in a total of seven locations around Los Angeles and Orange County, is designed as a community-friendly restaurant with a neighborhood feel. (At our most recent visit, we ran into two different friends while there.) Its food is all hand-crafted, organic and local whenever possible, and cooked to perfection in a 630-degree wood-fired oven. Kids feel right at home here and they’re encouraged to order off the regular menu and/or create their own pizza. According to co-owner Paul Hibler. “If we can create sustainable pizza and Italian dishes that combine organic ingredients at an affordable price the whole community can enjoy, then our mission is accomplished.”

burrata piePizzas are crafted in individual sizes that are plenty generous for one, but perfect for sharing. At a recent visit, we enjoyed the burrata pie (made with burrata cheese, tomato sauce, wild arugula, caramelized onion, hazelnut, and a drizzle of pesto) and a seasonal roast pumpkin pizza (made with sage-roasted winter squash, brown butter, braised chard, fontina, toasted pepitas, and pumpkin seed oil). The verdict? They’re so tasty you may not even want to share.

Want to read more? Check out our full story on Jolly Tomato.

Pitfire Pizza, 401 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach. Open Monday-Thursday 11 am to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday noon to 10 pm. Price ranges: Pizzas, $8.95 to $10.95; Pastas, $8.75 to $10.95; Salads, $3.50 to $11.00. Phone: (310) 359-9555.

Barsha Wine Giveaway

barsha giveawayHow healthy is your lifestyle? The Blue Zones Project of the Beach Cities would like to make it healthier – and more fun. With its new campaign, Wine @ 5, they’re asking adults to look for a friend and a glass of wine around 5pm each day, to connect socially, “downshift” and “belong.” The medical benefits of a little wine are a nice bonus.

To promote Wine @ 5, they are sponsoring a very cool giveaway – a massive gift basket from Barsha, the new wine store on Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach. The gift basket, valued at $200, is chock-full of good-for-you goodies including wine, coffee, tea, and chocolates.

To enter, all you have to do is take the Blue Zones pledge for healthy living. A winner will be drawn at random from all Manhattan Beach residents who sign up during the month of February.

That’s it – you’re done! You’re on the road to a healthier lifestyle already. And now that you’ve got a glass of wine in your hands, stop by and visit the lively community of readers at Manhattan Beach Confidential, the official host of the giveaway. Here’s to your good health!

Leafy Greens Salad Bar

So you’d like your family to have a healthy dinner, but you just got home from work, your fridge is empty and you don’t have money or energy for a sit-down restaurant where the kids are just going to wind up eating burgers and fries. What you really need is a quick, healthy stop that has a little bit of something for everyone. That’s the main premise of Leafy Greens, a new family-friendly salad bar in downtown Manhattan Beach.

“Our idea was ‘Keep it simple'” says Rich Weber, co-owner of Leafy Greens, which sells only salad bar items and soup (no sandwiches or other entrees). “Part of the concept was that we just want something that people can eat every day.”

Weber and his wife Laura were frustrated with the lack of quick, healthy lunch or dinner options in the area. Laura came up with the concept and then spent three years developing the plans and working on logistics until finally opening in August 2012.

Leafy Greens offers what most of us can’t maintain in our own refrigerators – a complete selection of ready-to-eat fresh veggies every day. “The concept is, it’s almost impossible to keep this stuff fresh at home – or you end up getting sick of it,” says Weber. At the salad bar, you can also choose other more unique treats – black figs or Japanese udon noodles, for example – that you might not necessarily have on hand at home.

Our big question: Will kids go for it? We kid-tested the salad bar with an admittedly small kid sample, but the response was surprisingly positive. Our young tester went straight for the kale in the leafy greens line, and then picked up pieces of waffle-cut carrot slices, bell peppers, baby corn, black beans, peperoncini, olives, grapes, cubes of cooked chicken, and slivers of tortilla strips. It’s fair to say that his meal was far more adventurous than something he would have picked out for himself (or found in the fridge) at home. Added bonus for kids: The counters are fairly low and accessible so most little ones can get a pretty good view of the array of choices.

Weber notes that Leafy Greens offers local and organic ingredients whenever possible; the selections vary depending on season and availability. Most of the items are single ingredients but there are a few prepared salads. The avocado/tomato salad – a customer favorite – was a real standout.

Also, there are no desserts for sale at the store, which is fine, because the salad bar itself was such a food adventure, our kid tester forgot to ask about dessert. Go figure.

Leafy Greens Salad Bar, 308 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. 310-376-2502. Open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm daily. Salads are sold by weight at $7.95/pound; soups start at $2.95. Seating available.

World Famous Pumpkin Race

Have you seen any decked-out pumpkins racing down hills recently? It must be October, because the World Famous Pumpkin Race is just around the corner and everyone’s getting their pumpkins in top racing form.

The 22nd Annual World Famous Pumpkin Race Festival is scheduled this year for Sunday, October 28. The festival begins with the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk activities beginning at 8:00 am. Then, from noon to 6:30 pm at the Manhattan Beach Pier, it’s pumpkin racing time. The open qualifying rounds (single elimination) will take place from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and the semi-finals and finals will begin at 4:00 pm. Throughout the races you can enjoy family activities and Halloween-themed festivities.

New to the pumpkin races? All you need is a pumpkin, two axels, four wheels – and a little creative flair. You can make your pumpkin ahead of time (pumpkin race kits are available at Grow Produce for $20) or can buy the pumpkin racing kit on-site and get help installing the axels from a pit crew of experts at the RaceGenius booth. Then you just line up to race, wait for your heat, and let your pumpkin fly down the hill.

One last word of advice: Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to super-charge your pumpkin with a hidden turbo engine. The dreaded Mallet o’ Justice stands ready to bring Cheater Pumpkins down.

World Famous Pumpkin Race, Sunday, October 28 at the Manhattan Beach Pier, noon to 6:30 pm. See www.pumpkinrace.com for more information.

Photos via World Famous Pumpkin Race

TEDx Manhattan Beach

As parents, we often wonder: How we can support our children in finding that “thing” that inspires and excites them? How do we help them find their passion and purpose? The TEDx Manhattan Beach conference, titled “Journey to Purpose: Dream, Educate, Thrive,” will explore these topics and more on October 13.

 

The full-day conference aims to bring dynamic, leading-edge thought leaders and educators together to share their ideas and expressions about purpose – how to define and find purpose, and its effect on the human mind, spirit and well being. Speakers include John Hall, the autistic CEO of a multimillion-dollar company, and Emma Doyle, a sixth-grader with a passion for cake decorating.

Early bird tickets are on sale for $115 from now through October 7. After that, ticket prices go up to $125.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading” that began as a conference bringing people together from technology, entertainment, and design. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDx Manhattan Beach is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that was founded as part of Leadership Manhattan Beach and is now a volunteer-run, stand-alone, not-for-profit organization.

The TEDx Manhattan Beach conference will take place on October 13 from 9am to 5pm at Manhattan Beach Middle School, 1501 North Redondo Avenue, Manhattan Beach.

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