Jimmy's Kouzina, Manhattan Beach

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For authentic Greek food, you must try Jimmy's Kouzina. Brother and sister Andrew and Natalie, along with their mom Julie run this restaurant, named after their late father Jimmy. I almost teared up after hearing about their story. Their dedication to serve day in and day out, since they were children is quite remarkable.

Speaking of remarkable, their food was tasty and clearly made with love. No cutting corners. 

We started off with the Saganaki, which is imported Greek cheese made from 100% sheep's milk, served flambé at tableside with their fresh-baked bread rolls. This was quite a show and also very tasty. Forget counting your calories and order this. 

Next, we wanted something healthy so we ordered the Traditional Horiatiki Salata. It sounded authentic and had a box around it on the menu which told me this is important, so had to get it. Right? Plus it gave us the opportunity to try their dolmades without having to order that as a separate dish. They don't call me smarty pants for nothing.

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Next, my friend Stephanie, also the birthday girl, wanted Shrimp, (and birthday girls should always get what they want) so we ordered the sizzling shrimp Kritikos. This dish consisted of 6 shrimp sautéed with Kalamata Greek olives, tomatoes, and garlic, baked in the oven with feta cheese sprinkled on top. This is the dish I thought of when I said they don't cut corners. I thought it was really tasty and done well. Oh, and birthday girl liked it too.

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The moussaka was an interesting dish I saw on their page before going and I had to try it because I happen to find bechamel sauce so appealing. Also, I usually always order moussaka if its on the menu. I can tell that if you like moussaka, you will like this. One thing you might not be used to is what I think to be nutmeg in the beef and the bechamel sauce. It's not bad, but it's not a spice I grew up eating so I can only take it in small quantities.

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The lamb chops were tasty and seasoned well. I would order this again.

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The pizza had an interesting Greek twist to it, instead of tomato sauce they use olive oil. My friend ordered the Venice pizza and I just knew that I would regret having the carbs if it didn't have pepperoni and tomato sauce so I quickly at the last minute requested they make an exception, which they did thank god!

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Thank you for the wonderful evening Jimmy's Kouzina!!

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