Newly landed on North Coast Highway in Leucadia, Manna is a “modern-day atelier” created by executive chef and owner Andrew Bachelier. Open Wednesday through Sunday, the neighborhood cafe will also double as a workshop space for the chef as he prepares to launch Chick & Hawk, his hugely-anticipated restaurant partnership with skate legend Tony Hawk.
Bachelier tells Eater that the latest timeline has Chick & Hawk arriving by the end of this summer, but its culinary team — including chef de cuisine Marlaw Seraspi (Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza) and bar manager Nick Sinutko (Campfire) — is already collaborating in the Manna kitchen.
Longtime friends, Seraspi and Bachelier met at the ahead-of-its-time Blanca in Solana Beach, one of the more than 12 North County restaurants that Bachelier has cooked in over a 22-year career. The chef, who also worked at Addison Restaurant and Cucina Enoteca, was most notably the founding chef of Campfire in Carlsbad and the now Michelin-starred Jeune et Jolie.
Bachelier departed Jeune et Jolie during the pandemic, and calls Manna an “unexpected blessing”, saying it’s been the creative outlet he really needed. His daytime menu for the cafe is designed to be nourishing “food as medicine”, with global plates that include overnight oats with ancient grains, beets and berries with spirulina coconut yogurt, blue corn chilaquiles in mole negro, and Turkish-style poached eggs.
Sinutko, who also managed the bar at Iris in Carmel Valley, has created non-alcoholic tonics and juices like a blood orange vanilla spritz and a horchata-like drink made with brown rice, five spice, and coconut. There’s also tea, as well as coffee from Steady State Roasting founder Elliot Reinecke.
Taylor Morgan Design custom fabricated furniture and other features of the restaurant, which currently operates for breakfast and lunch. Bachelier will be using Manna’s dining area, its 25-seat patio, for special events that could range from cooking demos to pop-up dinners that might include three-course, family-style meals on certain nights and exclusive previews of his menu for Chick & Hawk.
Bachelier tells Eater that he may eventually add a raw bar component to Manna, along with more seafood dishes and a selection of natural wine.