Growing up in Playa del Rey, there weren't many food options near the beach. There was the Shack for greasy burgers and fries as well as a few casual Italian options, surprisingly and sadly, most are still there. If you wanted anything more unique, you had to head north or south. Enter Chef Brooke Williamson and her husband and fellow chef Nick Roberts to save the day. They brought creative fare and craft beer to Playa del Rey in early 2011 with the opening of Tripel. Locals couldn't get enough, packing Tripel on most nights. Luckily, Williamson and Roberts expanded a few years later with Playa Provisions, giving many another great option for beachside dining.
And options they did indeed provide. The space has been converted into a something for everyone location. There's a casual cafe serving breakfast and lunch. You can also choose to pop in after a full beach day and enjoy some homemade ice cream, or wait for the sun to go down to partake in a cocktail in the back-room whisky bar. I went with yet another option of eating dinner in their sit down dining space for some fun starters and fresh seafood.
I wish we had been sat outside in their open air patio, but instead, we were sat in the middle area where the bar is, as well as the noise. It was painfully loud when we arrived and the host acknowledged the noise level and said they were working on putting in some sound proofing, but the noise did lessen as the evening went on and the happy hour crowd left.
The starters made up for the noise as deliciously, interesting plates arrived. A light, but crispy deviled chicken skin was spiced, stacked and pickled, providing a great range of bold flavors. You're going to want and need two plates of these since they only come 3 to an order.
Spaghetti squash hush puppies had a perfectly cooked, crisp exterior that gave way to the soft squash inside. A duo of dipping sauces both worked, but my heart was with the Old Bay mayo.
Large, broiled sardines arrived whole and in tact with and zesty chimichurri sauce and dusting of pomegranate seeds. You do need to work around the bones, but as long as there's enough sauce, you're in business.
No butter was spared in the making of the lobster roll, but luckily there was no skimping on the lobster either. Large chunks were spiced with pickled mustard seed as well as crushed potato chips and chopped celery, giving every bite a nice crunch.
The ceviche bordered on a seafood salad with many julienned vegetables sharing the stage with the fish, lime and large pieces of avocado.
We figured dessert should also include seafood so we went with Brooke's signature dungeness crab mac 'n cheese, and we weren't disappointed. It was rich and cheesy with a little bite. The perfect ending for a seafood dinner by the beach.
119 Culver Boulevard
Playa del Rey, CA