Little Sister-DTLA/Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

Little Sister-DTLA/Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

What: Little Sister

Where: DTLA/Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

For: All Ages

One of my favorite restaurants to go for Southeast Asian cuisine (more Vietnamese centric, but still Asian-Fusion).  I had a restaurant a few blocks away from my office in DTLA, and I loved it so much that I had to take Ethan to the one in Manhattan Beach.

The Restaurant

The vibe of Little Sister is intimate and modern.  The lights are always down low, and there is a small dining area with tables and chairs.  A communal table that sits about twelve people is offered in the restaurant for guests that don’t mind sharing their seating area.  A bar area is available for guests to dine and drink on bar stools.  A full range of drinks are offered.

All of the dishes are made to be shared family-style.  There is a large amount of food that comes out on the plates, so I had to take food home almost every time.  The shaky shaky beef is a must have.  It’s perfectly cooked, has almost zero fat and the sauce is melt-in-your mouth delicious.  I personally love any type of the noodles.  You can check online for the menu that changes seasonally.

The Crowd

Little sister is a very popular restaurant, so it’s always smart to make a reservation.  The wait time can be up to an hour.  Patrons need to make sure that their entire party is present prior to being seated.  Reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant.  Seating is very close together, so it’s harder to get around if you need to get up and go to the restroom.


The food is a little more expensive for dishes.  Expect to spend a minimum of $20-$25 per person here for lunch and $30 for dinner, not including drinks.  Keep in mind that there’s a 3% surcharge added onto the final bill.

Little Sister Information

Manhattan Beach: 1131 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-2096

DTLA: 523 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 628-3146

Redondo Beach: 247 Avenida del Norte, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(424) 398-0237

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Little Sister, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing

The Shade Hotel-Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

Shade Hotel-Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

What: Shade Hotel


Where: Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

For: Ages 21+

Ethan and I came to the Shade Hotel twice, once for New Years and once for Valentine’s Day.  Both times we had a wonderful time and there were many things to do and see.  Unfortunately, we didn’t ever stay at the hotel, but we are planning on doing this for an upcoming staycation.  For New Years, they transformed all of the public spaces into a ‘Moulin Rouge’ theme with poker tables and an outdoor cigar lounge.

Ethan and Me at The Shade Hotel for New Years 2017.

The Hotel

The Hotel is very modern and upscale.  Each time we came here we dressed up very formally and didn’t feel out of place at all.  The hotel itself is only a few blocks from the bustling downtown Manhattan Beach nightlife and main street.  Valet parking is offered at the entrance. There is a rooftop Skydeck with bar and relaxation pool offered to guests.  With the location only 5 miles from LAX, this would be a perfect space for tourists to come and enjoy one of the nicest cities in the South Bay.

Zinc and Skydeck

During the summer there are pool parties on the Skydeck with a $20 cover per person.  The parties include hand-crafted cocktails on the rooftop, and bottle service is optional.   At night, the staff turns on the firepits at the Skydeck, and cocktails are served for guests to sip while lounging on the beautifully decorated deck.  Happy hours during the week are also offered, with drinks ranging from $4 to $8 each.  A DJ is hired on Friday and Saturday nights in the downstairs Zinc Lounge.

There is a main restaurant called Zinc that covers the Terrace and Lounge and offers small plates.  At the Lounge, I had appetizers on a Saturday night and sipped martinis at the bar while watching sports on one of the many TVs.  Cocktail tables and lounge chairs are in the Terrace and Lounge for guests as well.  A small dance floor sits in front of the DJ table.

The Crowd

Many parties seemed to be celebrating birthdays or special occasions.  As I said before, this is a place that you dress to the nines to experience.  The DJ’s music is a mix of Hip Hop, Top 40 and House.


The New Years party cost $100 per person and included appetizers, a champagne toast, gambling, tokens, etc.  I spent $15 on a small plate of food while sitting at the bar in the Lounge.  If you don’t go for Happy Hour, expect to spend $15 for one cocktail.

Shade Hotel Information

1221 N. Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 546-4995

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to the Shade Hotel, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing



The Strand House/Strand Bar-Manhattan Beach

The Strand House/Strand Bar-Manhattan Beach

What: The Strand House/Strand Bar

Where: South Bay

For: All Ages/21+ At Night

The Strand House and Strand Bar is the place that Ethan and I like to go to under certain circumstances (a) if there is a birthday/anniversary/special occasion, (b) if we’re trying to impress someone from out of town and (c) if we feel like going to a place that’s upscale and close to the beach.  Keep in mind that each time we come here we expect to spend upwards of $150 for the two of us throughout the night.

The Strand House Restaurant

The Strand House

To enter the restaurant, you check in with a hostess on the first floor where you’re also greeted with floor-to ceiling wine bottles leading you up a staircase into The Strand House. Brunch, lunch, dinner and desserts are served in the restaurant.  I’ve come for lunch and dinner.  For lunch I took a client who wanted to eat on the beach, and we ended up spending about $35 per person (excluding drinks).  He ordered the tacos which were laughably small (think two-bite lunch tacos) that left him feeling hungry.  We actually stopped for fast food on the way back to the office.  For dinner, you can expect to spend $35 to $60 per person (excluding drinks).  We sometimes order the pizza (thin crust and made with fresh ingredients) along with some appetizers to share.  Entrees range from $28 to $95 depending on what you order.

Restaurant Bar

There are indoor and outdoor seating areas at The Strand House.  I only sit outdoors when there isn’t too much wind chill.  Indoor seating offers you a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean.  There is also a full bar with bar stools upstairs if you want to just catch a drink and watch the sunset.

Dining Table Set Up

Strand Bar

Cocktails and bottle service are offered on the first floor of the Strand House (called the Strand Bar).  There is a main bar in the center of the venue that gets very busy later on into the night.

Main Bar

A small dance floor is at the opposite end of the entrance.  No drinks are allowed on the dance floor (we were reprimanded for this on numerous occasions).  A DJ booth sits in the corner of the dance floor.  The music is hit and miss here.  Sometimes we go in on a great night when they’re playing a mix of hip hop, top 40 and house music.  Other times we feel like we’re in a wedding reception or at a family reunion (oh well, to each their own).  We usually will end our night here after hitting a few bars on Manhattan Beach’s main street.

The Crowd

At 10:00pm there is security placed at the door to card guests and ensure they are 21+.  Depending on the event and time that you go, there could be a cover charge.  Re-entry is allowed provided that you have a stamp on your wrist or colored wristband (alternates).  There is more of an older crowd here, so this is definitely a place where you can avoid the college students (see: Cost).

Entrance to both The Strand House and Strand Bar


Lunch runs about $30 per person (excluding drinks) with dinner hitting anywhere between $35 to $60 per person (excluding drinks).  The cover charge has ranged from $10 to $20 depending on the event.  Cocktails are almost all $15 each.  Bottle Service costs from $350 to $800.  I don’t think we have left The Strand House spending any less than $150 on a good night.  Sometimes we can spend upwards of $200 on a special occasion.  If you’re looking for a place to impress visitors that is overpriced and by the beach, this is the place to go.

Strand Bar

The Strand House/Strand Bar Information

117 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-7470

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Strand House/Strand Bar, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing