When "Top Chef" runner-up Brooke Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts came to Playa del Rey in 2011 with The Tripel, they offered up a tiny gastropub that captured the imagination of that little Los Angeles beach town, and of Westsiders in general. Now, the culinary couple expands their empire with Playa Provisions, a four-in-one restaurant complex located right at the edge of the sand at the end of Culver Boulevard.
The pair took over a 7,000-square-foot space and installed different elements, designed to keep the folks in Playa del Rey (and beyond) coming back at all hours of the day and night.
Playa Provisions' luscious, seasonal lobster roll — Photo courtesy of Ryan Tanaka / Playa Provisions
Casual breakfasts and lunches are served up all day from the counter at King Beach. Meanwhile, homemade ice-cream at Small Batch awaits from 11:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. most nights. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. every evening, the duo offers up fine dining at Dockside. Plus, the late-night whiskey bar called Grain stays open until 2:00 a.m. seven days a week.
Chefs Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts, the husband-and-wife team behind Playa Provisions — Photo courtesy of Ryan Tanaka / Playa Provisions
Dockside specializes in seafood, with seasonal daily raw oyster selections, steamed jumbo shrimp, Dungeness crab and Maine lobster. Try their Shellfish Tower, and you may not need any other food.
But if you visit when lobster is in season, make sure to try the lobster roll, a luscious mouthful of flavors including pickled mustard seed, celery and crushed potato chips. Or start with a spicy bowl of ceviche concocted with albacore, rock shrimp, avocado, jalapeños and more delicious ingredients.
Playa Provisions is located near the beach in Playa del Rey, Calif. — Photo courtesy of Ryan Tanaka / Playa Provisions
Main courses range from delicate scallops revved up with chili oil; grilled wild Alaskan salmon covered in a cashew-kale pesto; and, moving away from the seafood side of the menu, a huge, juicy, 16-ounce pork porterhouse slathered in pistachio butter.
Sample some of the side dishes, too: the Dungeness mac 'n' cheese is just as decadent as it sounds, while the zucchini fries with tomato sauce are a fantastic twist on an old favorite.
And save room for dessert, especially the frozen banana sundae or the hula pie, made up of their house-made coconut ice cream, chocolate cookie crust, rum caramel and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts.
The frozen banana sundae at Playa Provisions is a perfect capper to a delicious meal — Photo courtesy of Ryan Tanaka / Playa Provisions
After your groaningly good dinner, retire into the back bar for a nightcap. At Grain, that means a wee dram of Scotch, a tumbler filled with Kentucky bourbon and even a taste of Japanese whiskey.
Those not enamored of the hard stuff will find wines and beers there, too. And if anyone is still hungry, there are cheese and meat boards served up, with three choices for $18.
No matter what time of day or night you visit, Playa Provisions is sure to have something to tweak your taste buds into a happy place. And it's no surprise that the crowd is forming at the beach to join in the experience.
Grain whisky bar, the back room speakeasy at Playa Provisions — Photo courtesy of Ryan Tanaka / Playa Provisions