Re-Discovering REDONDO BEACH – “Endless Summer!”
Looking out the two-story window watching majestic Sailboats go by reminds me of being in Italy…only I’m at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach…located only minutes away from LAX. The seaside King Harbor resort hosts international travelers to embark on their “Endless Summer” while the locals enjoy the quiet, opulent surroundings overlooking Palos Verdes and the famous Redondo Pier & Boardwalk.
After checking in on Thanksgiving afternoon with my Mom, I took a journey on the beach cruiser along the harbor to the pier. Much to my surprise, I found Quality Seafood Fresh Fish Market (since 1953) a block long- row after row of tanks filled with hundreds of varieties of Oysters, Clams, Lobster & fresh fish. I chose the Shrimp Ceviche while watching people with huge platters of crab legs and other seafood feasts. Mom said she would eat here every day if she lived here! She chose the Shrimp Cocktail. www.qualityseafood.net . (Seafood Snack Bar, Food to go & Casual Outdoor Ocean View Patio dining)
Our 80 degree Fall Thanksgiving Day was filled with families walking along the pier, taking photos, and enjoying the calm, beautiful weather. I imagine myself being on the set of “Boardwalk Empire” from days gone by as I stroll by the local shops, each with their own scent of flavors.
When I came back to the Portofino, I was greeted by GM & Sommelier Patrick Sauliere from France who opened Laurent Perrier Champagne to toast the holiday! We shared Wine Appreciation stories and talked about our favorite wines from France. Contact Patrick at www.tastingprousa.com It was then time for a relaxing Jacuzzi before dinner, where I met several new international travelers, all seeking the summer atmosphere.
Finally it came time to enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner at Kitchen Baleen, the Portofino’s signature gourmet restaurant, overlooking King Harbor with the boats all lit up for Christmas. Our dinner was prepared by Chef Richard Crispin including the traditional Herb & Butter roasted Turkey, complete with homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. I simply chose the Grilled Wild Salmon served with herb gnocci & lobster sauce with the wine-pairing option, topped with warm Pumpkin Crème Brulee for dessert. The local servers spoke about the upcoming re-development of the Redondo pier and the new 600+ condos & townhouses replacing the now defunct power station.
My Mom and I strolled into the Baleen Lounge after dinner, while I was sipping a French Sauterne, to watch live music including a male keyboard player and a female bass player…very unique listening to Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes” while the guests sang along. Nice ending to a delightful dinner & memorable evening. The Lounge also offers live music Thursday through Saturday with Happy Hour every night, wine tastings, Oysters & Bubbles. Come see local Baleen Lounge performer Lindsey Harper’s powerful sultry voice every Thursday at 6pm.
The hotel lobby overlooking the ocean boasts a Coastal Living décor with 2 story French Windows, a fireplace, white leather furniture, full bar and crystal chandeliers…a perfect setting for intimate conversation or quiet reflection. Our luxury suite overlooking the water has a private balcony, full mini-bar & refrigerator, terry cloth robe & slippers and a large bathroom, perfect for both Mom and Me.
The Portofino Hotel & Marina hosts 180 boat slips, a conference & ballroom and 161luxury hotel rooms and suites, perfect for weddings, anniversaries, corporate events and other memorable celebrations.
Re-Discovering Redondo Beach in 2014 from 1982 when I first moved to LA, living in Manhattan Beach, reminds me of the Dreams & Aspirations I had back then. Now, 32 years later, Redondo Beach is still the same, as I reflect on my own life, my 2 beautiful daughters and spending time with my Mom…Family Values. This is the Ultimate place to entertain your family or just have a romantic weekend getaway, as well as meeting so many interesting new people…knowing that we are “Thankful” for our experiences in life that give us purpose and meaning and to “Re-Discover” ourselves along the journey!
The Portofino Hotel & Marina, 260 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 (310) 379-8481 www.hotelportofino.com , a NOBLE HOUSE Property www.noblehousehotels.com
Honorable mentions: Uncle Stavros Café, featuring Authentic Greek Dining, family-owned since 1969, where everything is homemade. 201 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 (310) 379-2001 I love the Flaming Cheese Saganaki…OPA!