Circa
Circa
  • Address:
    903 Manhattan Ave
    Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
    Neighborhood:
    Manhattan Beach / Hermosa Beach
  • Cuisine:
    International
    Price: $30 and under

Circa

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.circamb.com/
  • Phone: 3103744422x
  • Hours of Operation:
    5pm-11pm Tuesday & Wednesday
    5pm-12am Thursday
    5pm-2am Friday & Saturday
    Our craft cocktail bar is open until 2am on Fridays & Saturdays.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Unspecified, International
  • Executive Chef: Bryon Freeze
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 9th Street
  • Public Transit: Complimentary Ocean Express trolley service is available from LAX area hotels to various stops in and around Manhattan Beach. For more information, call 310.642.7851.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: The city of Manhattan Beach offers valet parking Thursday-Saturday on Manhattan Avenue, both North and South of the pier; metered street and lot parking is always available (credit cards and quarters accepted, and please read all posted signs).
A word from Circa
Circa, a 130-seat restaurant in Manhattan Beach, is a collaboration between owner Michael Zislis, Executive Beverage Directors Julian Cox and Josh Goldman, with operating partner Luis Villaneda. The menu is designed for sharing and focuses focus on bold international flavors that are inspired by the global flavors that make Los Angeles a vibrant culinary epicenter. The space, designed by Larry Drasin is steampunk vintage industrial with warm, casual interiors offering a number of vintage accents, and features a prominent lounge area with Chesterfield leather sofas, exposed brick walls and moveable doors that, when opened, fill the space with breezy ocean air. For the late-night crowd, the space transforms into a cozy lounge with music open until 2am on the weekends.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Circa reviews from OpenTable diners
38 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food4
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
vibrant bar scene (20)fit for foodies (16)neighborhood gem (15)good for groups (14)hot spot (11)special occasion (5)late-night find (5)romantic (3)great for lunch (1)kid-friendly (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • We will Circa back!
    Bobkolo
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Great table on the window, excellent service all evening. Food is worth going back for. Eclectic wine vintages that paired well with the meal.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • very good restaurant.
    BrianVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    the menu had some interesting and very good options. small plates set-up well for sharing among our group of 3. Good bar scene and cocktails menu. Service was excellent. Place starts to get busy/loud around 8.30/9.00pm which made it a little difficult to carry conversation around the table. But we knew that was the scene and was not a problem. Will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • the left coast is different
    NJnNY
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We loved the food at Circa, the menu is very interesting, but the laid back attitude of our server was disappointing. A small champagne coupe is not a Martini glass, especially at these prices. The scope of the dessert menu (2 choices) was underwhelming. The planked shrimp w./ dates and the roasted little peppers as an app were great. The charred Octopus and the shrimp Ravioli were also wonderful. Churros for dessert were OK. We would definitely eat there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Easy, great service.
    HBgal
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The location on Circa is great, located on the edge of downtown Manhattan Beach you can avoid some of the crowds and chaos, yet still pop down for a post dinner stroll along the strand. If you dine on the earlier side you can definitely enjoy a romantic quiet dinner, but the bar starts hopping around 9pm, nothing crazy, just fun and a little harder to hear. The drink menu is interesting and the food menu offers enough of a variety to please most at the table. We ordered a charcuterie plate, it was the perfect size and delicious. Both the steelhead salmon and black olive gnocchi with Dungeness crab were really tasty. It is definitely one of our go to spots for a relaxed enjoyable dinner for 2.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food for sharing
    MikeBVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Good food for sharing. Service was a bit disorganized. Bar scene was, well, a scene.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Early to arrive.
    RogersVIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Interesting drinks with tasty food to match. We were the first in the restaurant but had to motion the server to come over. The hostess did not give us the happy hour menu and the server would not change the bill like the rest of my table. They need to get servers that like serving people. It shows. So I paid triple and they get a 3 for one price. I will not go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My Favorite in Manhattan Beach!
    PersonalFav
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    My fiance and I were in from Columbus and we visited this resturant twice for their amazing bartender, creative drinks, fun atmosphere, and delicious food. This place becomes a dance floor on weekend nights so come early or enjoy the fun! Entrees are a bit small so order several a piece and share!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dine LA
    goodeater
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    They had a good menu for Dine LA week. The only complaint I have is the waiter seemed overwhelmed and was working all the table so he wasn't the nicest of waiters. I think they must have been understaffed that night and I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Parking was a nightmare and both me and my friend spent over a half an hour looking for parking. I wish they had valet during the week in the summer
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hit the spot
    bchmama
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Our group of four dined at Circa mid-July 2014. We were seated promptly at a great table near the back that offered ample people watching. The server was friendly and attentive. My only complaint was that it took longer than expected for the bartender to prepare our cocktails. I loved the Russian Spring, though! Refreshing and delicious. We ordered a bunch of items from the snacks menu. The brussel sprouts were fantastic and had a tasty sauce on the side that added a bit of zip. We tried almost every item from this section of the menu, and it was honestly all pretty tasty. The place had an energetic vibe. We'll definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was delicious!
    cindyh
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Our family of four enjoyed everything! The meatball subs were delicious!!! Order them!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • it felt off this time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Compared with previous visits (in last year) this time it was almost empty. What's going on?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OK
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Just another small-plate place. Meatball subs were good. Brussels sprouts were excellent. The two desserts sounded boring so we skipped them. Service was adequate but not observant. (We were a party of 4. Kitchen cut a bruschetta into 3 servings, probably the standard way to plate it - but waiter should have told kitchen to cut it into four pieces.) Classic martini a disappointment. Served in a small champagne-coupe-style glass. Olives are not pitted -- and are served in a small ramekin beside the glass -- therefore, presentation is sorely lacking. Half the fun of a martinis is the elegant glass, the gin-soaked olives. Cocktail menu is imaginative. Wine pours generous. Space is nice -- like the big windows and bar seating.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of our favorites
    uscneurofaculty
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The food is interesting and delicious. The service is excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Won't last - overpriced, < average
    KobiDanVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Circa was on the to do list - decent reviews, great location & good atmosphere but was wildly disappointed. The drinks sounded creative but were just OK. Minus the sparse buratta the meatball starter was not very good, almost like they cut a six inch subway sandwich in thirds and gave you just two overpriced pieces. The crab roll was nearly a mirror of this - two small pieces, & not much flavor for the $19 they charged. The one highlight was the fried chicken spring roll - not a lot of chicken but did have a lot of flavor. Entrees - The flank steak was ok but the seabass wasn't worth finishing. We didn't order dessert but the table next to us had the churros and said it was like eating sugary tree branches. Never again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Too bad.
    Matz
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    The food was excellent but the blaring music will keep old time Manhattan Beach residents like us from returning. We eat out often, at least once per week, and look for new restaurants, don't mind the expense of good food but loud noise, particularly loud music such as we experienced Sunday, will discourage us from becoming regulars.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 23 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service3.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 199 reviews are from the Circa reviews archive.
  • great small plate items
    steveo
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    We were seated promptly and the server went over the menu. By looking at the restaurant's description it is not apparent that items are "small plate" or tapas style. That being said, the price range on open table is per small plate. Not a big deal, It did give me an opportunity to try a couple of items on the menu that were very good. Service was good, the server checked to see if anything additional was needed or if we needed more drinks. One note, their menu does change, so the one on open table may not be current.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    It took 10 minutes for a server to come take my drink order, another 10 minutes before he brought me the glass of prosecco, then I realized it had no bubbles left. It took yet another 10 minutes to get it replaced. By then I still had not got my food, that I ordered at the same time as my drink...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loud and Unnerving
    pablo
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    I'm not sure why the trend is to make things so loud that the environment is uncomfortable, but that's where we are. This place takes it up a notch further to the threshold of pain. I wish I had brought ear plugs. Food was fine, but the whole experience was a little unnerving. Had I known this place was so nuts with the volume, we would never have come here. I don't think we'll be coming back. Decent drinks and competent food is not worth the noise and hearing damage.
    Special Features:
    Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Foodies Delight/Great Cocktails
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    This is one of my favorite restaurants. The food never disappoints and the cocktails are always innovative with fresh ingredients.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great but noisy
    curtnotkurt
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    The food and service were great - it was just a bit noisy. Went here for my mother-in-law's birthday and could hardly hear her. I like the vibe, but the casual couch area in the middle was a bit weird. Our 4-top was right next to a couch so it felt like the people sitting there were part of our party. I wouldn't call the noise level Energetic. Just Loud.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really great food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/9/2014
    So, this place has really great food! Seriously great food! I did not expected it. I've heard so much about the cocktails but the food was also really impressive. Really well done Circa. I will be back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love..love..love..this place!
    TCeeee
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    I love the ambience, the food, the service and especially the drinks! From the bartenders to the servers, we have always had a brilliant experience at Circa. We love the atmosphere and the low key vibe. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Local gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    One of the best restaurants in the area. Great food and good cocktails. Atmosphere is lively as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We were very disspaointed
    NickVIP
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    We were very disspaointed in the quality of the food and wines at Circa. We will probably not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, very friendly service!
    Bella
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Perfect evening. Delicious food! The mediterranean flat bread & kale salad were both delicious! The churros were fresh & warm. Outstanding service! Our server, Taylor is very professional yet a very genuine person. We are definitely going back for more!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our server was extremely helpful
    Smorgan
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    Our server was extremely helpful in explaining the menu and the best way of sampling a good assortment of small plates. The wine by the glass options were very good. As an east coaster, I was glad to find the Finger Lakes dry Riesling one of the choices. I took my sister her for a milestone birthday on a Wednesday evening. The restaurant was relatively quiet; we had great seats; dessert held a candle. the only downside is the lack of on street parking. It was hard to find and is metered until 9 PM.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GOOD FOOD POOR SERVICE
    thebeachkidVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    First time we've eaten here since the change. The food was inventive and good but the servers made us feel like we were being rushed out the door even though it was a 5:00 dinner and a mostly empty restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Specialty crafted cocktails
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Specialty crafted cocktails were great! I'd probably go back just for those. Food was ok. The beet salad was probably the most flavorful item and the one I recall eating a few days later. The prawns weren't that great. Lacking flavor and only with the chili sauce was it tasty. Duck tacos were very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dine LA HIT!
    Debby
    Dined on 1/29/2014
    After a week of hitting fun spots around town for Dine LA, my friend and I descended on this gem. I was initially attracted to it online for it's menu and the reviews about the bar. We were not disappointed! We arrived 15 minutes early and had the bartender fix us a few drinks. He surprised me with a deliciously refreshing Kentucky Buck. We were seated right on time and ordered right away. While everything we ate was tasty, I have to say that the Thai Kale salad and the Butternut Squash Gnocchi were OUT OF THIS WORLD. The churros hit the spot for dessert, too. The menu is certainly reasonably priced enough for us to go back outside of Dine LA week. And we can't wait!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Manhattan Beach Gem
    VivSVIP
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    I tried Circa and loved the food. Portions were nice. I did not have that over stuffed feeling. Food was prepared immaculately. Presentation was great. Service was marvelous. I certainly will go back to this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for Dinner before Forum
    Pebble
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    We needed a place to eat before seeing a show at the Forum last weekend. The menu had a great selection and the food was delicious. The wine list had a good selection of reasonable choices. If you're older you may need a flashlight to read the menu but once you get that done it's a nice experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Menu needs to mature.
    FoodEater
    Dined on 1/21/2014
    Ambience is exceptional. Relaxed central couch seating, leather bench wrapped walls, dark gradient color scheme and dim yet adequate lighting lend themselves to achieve a comfortable, contemporary American lounge. Original takes on classic drinks along with innovative house creations lead to a well developed list of craft cocktails served out of a large, visually striking bar. Menu is balanced but needs to evolve. For instance, the sliders are great in concept yet fall short in flavor. The shortrib slider was prepared perfectly, but tasted odd in combination with the bbq sauce. The chicken slider.. let's just say I left hungrier than I would've liked. Simply not good. Sirloin was great though! Overall I would recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yum!
    cher
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    First time diner and really liked the place! Had the brussel sprouts and beet salad. Both were excellent! Loved the sauces. The atmosphere is very appealing. Went on a Saturday night and it got a little too loud around 7:00 PM or so. Overall a great experience. I've already recommended to friends and will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • If you are looking for a quiet
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    If you are looking for a quiet dinning experience this is not the place for you. Food is ok.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    Food, drinks and service... All great! We have nothing to complain about! Loved it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful space, food needs work
    KatlVIP
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    The renovation of this space turned it into a homey Italian restaurant lounge with leather couches and charming exposed brick. They kept the garage doors in the front to open it to the sidewalk in the summer. I appreciate that the staff knew the menu - that's become rare these days. But the food quality and flavor just aren't there yet. On a limited menu, I expect high quality/organic ingredients and/or terrific flavor. There was neither. Portions are meant to be small, so that's fine, but nothing was delicious.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Too expensive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 12/4/2013
    Better value at other nearby restaurants like Strand House, MB Post, Mangiamo's, etc. food was average and too expensive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was good
    HeatherVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2013
    My first experience at this restaurant wasn't great but this time it was much better! The food was tasty and excellent service.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good but too expensive!
    Ars1977
    Dined on 11/19/2013
    Great location, great food (albeit very small portions) and good service. Happy Hour was excellent and reasonable, however, as soon at Happy Hour was over - prices were outrageous. I am willing to pay for good food and ambience however I truly felt the prices were ridiculous. Unfortunately I won't go back just for that reason.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A very good dinner
    Shannie
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    We had a delicious and relaxing dinner at Circa. The service was excellent too!!! We loved the potato crusted halibut, crab cakes. My personal favorite was the Kale salad. We also, liked the more adult atmosphere with the low lighting and trendy interiors. We all will go back again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.