Cakes and Wi-Fi: The ladies behind Corner Kitchen Cafe have taken over Mano at the L Place, transforming it from a semi-fine-dine into a casual all-day diner.
Look & Feel: This ground floor, high-ceilinged venue has a long marble counter stretched along the left, displaying various pastries and the cakes of the day. The dark wood theme and exposed ceiling paraphernalia give the space a European-style industrial-chic vibe.
Meet the Chef: Co-owner and chef Vivian Herijanto is very much in charge of the menu, and her qualifications include working at chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market (now closed) in New York City as well as consulting for restaurant groups in Hong Kong.
On the Menu: Mano Cafe offers a broad range of comfort foods, from fish tacos to chopped salads to fried chicken. You’ll see a bit of crossover from the Corner Kitchen Cafe menu, and a hint of Indonesian influence in some of the dishes (chef Herijanto is Indonesian). Cakes and coffee are also available, to go with the free Wi-Fi.
Jeng: The Balinese fish tacos ($85 for two pieces) might be dainty, but they come wrapped in scrumptious corn flour shells and are delectably seasoned. The fish chunks are accompanied with fragrant coriander, onions and tomatoes.
Not so Jeng: The peanut sauce in the gado–gado is too tangy, missing the spot by a mile. Even the generous combo of runny eggs, green beans, bean sprouts, potatoes and other goodies couldn’t save the dish.
Great For: If you’re looking for a cool and casual spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Corner Kitchen Cafe has got you covered.
FYI: Mano Cafe also runs Corner Kitchen Cafe, on Hollywood Road.
This writeup was based on an independent tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.