When TLOML and I were living in Malibu we came down to the South Bay for drinks with a friend, and parked in the Metlox Center in Manhattan Beach.
I remember dismissing Metlox as really boring. It was all newly built, populated by bland chains (Le Pain Quotidien, Papyrus, etc) and I thought it was rather suburban. Provincial, even. I think we even said, with faint disdain, 'it's like we're not even in LA anymore'. Those were our salad days, of course, of cocktails at Moonshadows, date nights at Nobu, and brunches at Gjelina.
Fast forward five years and I finally get it. I understand the appeal of a branch of Le Pain, where I can get a decent mid-morning snack for me and Lady P.