It's a shame that Beaches, which occupies a prime piece of real estate in happy Manhattan Beach, is such a disaster. PIty the poor tourists who've spent the day soaking up the sun in this cute little town, only to be left with a bad taste in their mouth--literally. I'll try to keep it short, but the list of complaints is long. To begin, the place has a strange, multilevel design--necessary because of the steep hill--but the result is a ton of wasted space in the cavernous reception area. You might not notice, though, since the smell of stale beer from the downstairs bar could grab your attention first. The upstairs dining room tries to take advantage of the view, but the room is tired, worn, and exceptionally dark at night (probably to keep your mind on the view and off the food). The whole place could use a good scrubbing, but this is the kind of establishment where the smell of ammonia would be left to linger despite complaints. And then there's the food. Ahhh, the food. I don't know what's going on in that kitchen, but the quality is downright embarrassing, and the recipes have bland, odd characteristics that one would only hope to find in the senior center where you've stashed your witch of a mother-in-law. Whatever you do, don't try the Seafood Caesar, I beg of you. It may sound like a good idea (""Hmm, I like seafood! I like Caesar!"") but should be a lesson in making a simple dish unrecognizable--the taste, the presentation, the very idea of the thing would be laughable if you weren't expected to pay for it. While Manhattan Beach isn't known for its food, there are plenty of places along that hill that are at least true to themselves. Once you've eaten at Beaches you'll long for the simple pleasures of a decent burger, a visit to the Copper Kettle, or heck, a sandwich from Subway. They'll be worth the climb.
Pros: The view.
Cons: Everything but the view, and even that's better from outside.