MANHATTAN BEACH, CA — The Manhattan Beach installment of the popular Source Cafe opened its doors last Thursday. Patrons of The Source Cafe’s original location in Hermosa Beach on Pier Avenue know what a standout the cafe is when it comes to eating healthy, nourishing foods and grabbing something good to drink.
The new Manhattan Beach Source Cafe boasts a beautiful, chic, relaxing vibe. Its interior design and architectural stylings make it a must stop for anyone wanting to chill, sip coffee, eat lunch or breakfast, or have a Turmeric Tonic, one of the Cafe’s best known beverages. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the interior of the restaurant is not open for indoor seating. But the culinary team is offering many of its dishes and beverages to go, for breakfast and lunch.
Chef Amber Caudle and Pastry Chef Cindy Van Pelt are once again in top form, elevating The Source Cafe into a diner/meeting place for all times of day and all kinds of reasons. They’ve added a dinner menu that will roll out once the restaurant gets breakfast, lunch and the pandemic a bit more sorted out. Plans for the Manhattan Beach location were in the works long before anyone had heard of COVID-19 but the duo has definitely had to modify their opening plans to meet current standards.
Some of the new things the Manhattan Beach Cafe will have that aren’t available in Hermosa Beach include a curated selection of organic beer and biodynamic wine; Chef Amber’s famous Turmeric Tonic on tap, and a spiked version available; kombucha on tap; adaptogen-infused cocktails and mocktails; a dry Turmeric Tonic mix so you can make the beverage at home, and everything The Source Cafe serves is gluten- and dairy-free with several vegan, keto and paleo options. Chef Eric DeSimone has also come on board at the MB location and adds his talents and insights to the site’s dishes.
On a weekday prior to their opening, Manhattan Beach Patch was treated to several tastes and a tour of the new cafe. While there’s no doubt the indoor dining and bar experience will be amazing, the food is worthy of acclaim. With their outdoor dining area yet to be created, Chefs Amber and Eric had a quaint table for two set outside the back door leading to the parking lot. Already on the table was a large bottle of Chef Amber’s Turmeric Tonic.
Every dish was a divine taste; and servings are large enough to split in many instances. The Banana Bread Toast brings together a flavorful banana bread, tahini orange maple butter, caramelized banana, and coconut pecans. The Bowl, a dish of white sweet potato, cauliflower, greens, avocado, pistachio cilantro pesto, and dukkah, quickly became my favorite with its simplicity and complexity, a merging of ingredients at once healthy and flavorfully melded. It’s a combination no one other than Chef Amber could dream up and it is absolutely delicious and filling. The 3 Ways Beet Salad reveals how good a root vegetable can be in raw, pickled and roasted form when mixed with arugula, almond ricotta, citrus, herbs, and dukkah. And if you’re not the type of person to eat this kind of food, two dishes will make you think otherwise. The Cassava tacos are out of this world, made of cauliflower, mole, pickled red onion, micro cilantro, and a choice of cauliflower or chicken. The Bison Burger, which includes a special aioli, red onion, bibb lettuce, tomato, avocado, pickles, and a paleo bun is another winner, however, it is not available to go since it’s best eaten in house while it’s warm and juicy. The dessert Budino is yet another example of Chef Van Pelt’s way with natural, healthy ingredients that combine to make terrific tasting sweets. Budino is a heavenly, healthy mix of chocolate, lions mane, maca, mesquite, sea salt, baru nut maple butter, and nibs.
In other news, Chef Amber has a cookbook in the works and is very excited about it. She’s the kind of chef who did not train in an official culinary school, instead just paying attention to the cooking techniques and cuisine in restaurants she worked in. Here on-site culinary training in a Southern Italian restaurant in Fort Collins, Colorado, exposed her to a cuisine she found enticing and she “fell in love with the simplicity and passion of Southern Italian cuisine.” Once her own health was challenged, shed decided to let food be her nourishment, from the inside out. She has personally witnessed and experience the “rejuvenating and restorative powers of fresh, whole, nutritious food,” all of which have been the hallmarks of her two cafes.
The Source Cafe Manhattan Beach is located at 924 North Sepulveda Boulevard, tucked between India’s Tandoori and The Big Wok. Parking is available in the rear. Online ordering is available. Call (310) 921-8505 to reach the Manhattan Beach Source Cafe. MB hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.