Simmzy’s fuses SoCal influences with gastropub basics

All gastropubs, upscale offshoots of British pub culture, have one thing in common — good alcohol and high quality food. Simmzy’s in Manhattan Beach is no different, combining laid-back ambience and reasonably priced fusion cuisine to beachgoers.

Located two blocks from the Manhattan Beach Pier, this bustling gastropub features a wide selection of craft beers and a simple, yet delicious menu.

Upon entering, customers are greeted by a neon-lit Simmzy’s sign and a chalkboard for the wait list. The space is quaint, yet looks deceptively large — the back walls are covered in mirrors, creating the illusion of a spacious restaurant. On a busy weekend night, the restaurant is packed to the brim with little space to walk or sit between the merged bar and dining area. This setup allows for intimate conversations between two to four people, among the overall buzz that fills the place. There are no reservations, so expect a wait no matter what time you arrive. However, the service is splendid and the host will check up on patrons as they wait to be seated.

The dark wooden ceiling is lit by string lights that are dimmed, creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere while complementing the simple wooden tables and chairs. Subtle beach décor accents line the walls, reminding people that they are next to the beach — something unnecessary for patrons seated on the patio, who can look to their left where the ocean will pleasantly greet them.

The menu itself can be described as SoCal-meets-Britain street food, including kale salad, fish tacos and quinoa. The food is sourced by local seasonal ingredients by growers such as Tanimura and Antle artisan lettuces, Breadbar breads, Drake Family Farms goat cheese and Manhattan Meats sausage.

Popular appetizers include fries two ways — either covered with blue cheese dressing and garlic (Blue Cheese Haystack) or a combination of shoestring and sweet potato fries with sides of garlic aioli and avocado buttermilk sauce (Mixed Bag). The Mixed Bag fries were crisped to perfection but were greasy overall and the sauces lacked flavor, though ketchup was the best.

New seafood specialties include Tuna Poke and Shrimp and Rock Cod Ceviche. The ceviche was accompanied by two fried tortillas dusted in cumin, a new twist, but one that overpowered the acidic ceviche rather than complementing it.

Simmzy’s Burger is the average pub burger with onions, cheddar, lettuce and tomato — all for about $10. The meat itself was cooked to medium-rare, as requested. It does not come with fries, hence the popularity of the fries as an appetizer.

The Grilled Fish Tacos are a high point of the menu because they are made with fresh, wild-caught Oregon rock cod, succulently grilled to perfection. They are also topped with fried chile rings, which add a much needed textural difference and heat compared to the mild tomato salsa and avocado.

Simmzy’s is popular for its brunch menu, pairing breakfast scrambles made with organic cage-free eggs, sandwiches and burritos with Sangria and mimosas. There is also a kids menu for children under 12, welcoming all ages to the pub.

Drink specials are written colorfully on a chalkboard and include creatively named beverages such as “Woodchuck Gumption Cider” and “Epic Brainless on Raspberries.”

Simmzy’s is a great place to visit before or after relaxing on the beach with friends. It also is not a haughty gastropub that serves overpriced food. Students can easily visit this pub without breaking their college budget. A dinner for two with appetizers and entrees runs about $40 without drinks.

Simmzy’s has four locations around Los Angeles: Manhattan Beach, Burbank, Venice and Long Beach. A Huntington Beach location is coming soon.

A mere 25-minute drive away from campus, Simmzy’s Manhattan Beach is located at 229 Manhattan Beach Blvd and is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

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