MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. June, 2013—The South Bay beach cities are known for surfing, sunbathing, bicycle cruising and now an up-and-coming dining scene. Shade, a boutique luxury hotel, just three short blocks from the Pacific, draws guests and locals to their popular restaurant zinc@shade. Their hip, sultry décor and open patio seating take full advantage of the year-round agreeable climate.
“At zinc@shade, there’s no need to rush to ‘catch’ breakfast or lunch because our extended hours menus support the more relaxed, low-stress lifestyle we subscribe to here,” said Owner Michael Zislis. “You will find, too, with our new menus, Executive Chef Chris Garasic and I always use the freshest, highest quality ingredients, and whenever possible, we use California meats, cheeses, local artisan breads, free-range eggs and locally sourced produce.”
Chef Garasic’s lunch menu offers a great variety of dishes: burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and soups and salads with his own tasty twists. His Tuscan grilled cheese is made with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and basil pesto. The truffle kobe burger is done with parmesan truffle oil, black truffle boschetto, Portobello mushrooms and wild arugula. Carne asada and cabo fish tacos reveal the chef’s knack for authentic Mexican cuisine honed at a prior job at the nearby Mucho Ultima Mexicana (also owned by Zislis). His baja ceviche tower and caprese cups are unique takes on each dish. The ceviche is shaped into a cylinder with guacamole and surrounded by a moat of finely diced vegetables. Chef Chris plays with molecular gastronomy by topping a mozzarella-filled tomato with balsamic spheres—little bursts of texture and flavor—for his caprese. Both the zinc chopped and the crispy calamari greek salads make satisfying guilt-free meals.
Garisic brings a diverse 20 year culinary background to zinc. After graduating from Western Culinary School in Portland, Oregon, he worked at places such as Trump National Golf Club and also as a private chef for a family who requested all vegan dishes. The position as private chef required eclectic thinking which he enjoyed. One of his creations involved almond cheese which he uses in Chef Chris’ “guilt free” vegan enchiladas with soy rizo, macadamia almond cheese, corn tortillas, guajillo sauce, black beans, and tropical slaw.
Chef Gerasic answers some questions:
How did you come up with the balsamic spheres for the caprese?
I wanted to do the dish but in a new and inventive way. One of my main strengths is to create new twists on classic dishes.
Why the use of whole wheat linguini?
For health reasons. The South Bay is a very health conscious area and I knew that there were not too many other restaurants offering the whole wheat pasta as an option.
What did you learn in your job as a private chef? Attention to guests and their needs. I also worked for a raw-vegan client so I had the opportunity to learn a completely new type of cuisine.
What’s your favorite kitchen tool? My knife
What restaurant or chef do you recommend? Waterloo and City in Culver City, Calif.
Which ingredient are you most excited about? Kobe beef- we use it in our truffle kobe burger—it’s just incredible.
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