Michael Zislis, Owner & Greg Hozinsky, Executive Chef
Zinc at Shade Hotel
1221 N. Valley Drive in Manhattan Beach | 310-546-4995 | shadehotel.com
A fixture in Manhattan Beach since 2005, Zinc is a contemporary lounge with a comfortable, beach-chic ambience located in Shade Hotel. The restaurant offers a little bit of everything: breakfast, lunch, tapas-style plates for dinner, weekend brunch, unique cocktails and an extensive wine list—with drinks served at the longest bar in the South Bay. Executive Chef Greg Hozinsky prepares food that highlights seasonal ingredients. “Not only do you get the best flavor and quality, but when you use local, seasonal ingredients, you usually get the best price,” he says. “This lets you offer an amazing product to guests for the best value.”
Chef Greg has always had a passion for food and cooking, especially authentic Italian, and he has been working in professional kitchens for about eight years. He started his culinary career attending California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He moved up the ranks in various San Francisco and Los Angeles restaurants and spent time as a personal chef in Beverly Hills before taking his position at Zinc three years ago, where he manages a kitchen staff of 12 to 14, depending on the season.
Owner Mike Zislis is a restaurateur and hotelier who stays at boutique hotels all over the world, which is why Shade is unlike any other hotel in the South Bay. He establishes relationships with hotel guests and bar patrons; it’s not uncommon to walk into the lounge and see him mingling with some of the locals or travelers here for their first time.
Do you focus on cooking with local foods?
Greg: “When it comes to cooking, I like to keep it fresh and simple, walking the farmers markets of Los Angeles and utilizing the freshest ingredients. If you’re using great ingredients, you want them to shine, and that’s what I try to achieve with every dish I create.”
Mike: “I am very passionate about local foods, and I encourage all my chefs to visit the weekly Manhattan Beach farmers market to ensure better quality dishes and fresher ingredients.”
Do you have an early cooking memory?
Greg: “I will never forget the time my mom came home, when I was in high school, to find pounds of homemade dried pasta hanging from the chandelier and coat hangers all throughout the house.”
What’s most rewarding about your work?
Mike: “It’s that it doesn’t feel like work to me. I love it so much, and I love taking care of people. One of my biggest passions is creating jobs for people who need jobs.”
What is one word that you most want associated with your restaurant?