Located among the lapping waves and pelicans in Redondo Beach, California is one of South Bay’s best kept dining secrets. Lined with palm trees and overlooking a quiet stretch of the marina, Baleen, named for a type of whale, feels miles apart from the bustle of Los Angeles, but chic enough to be a major player on the restaurant scene.
Underwater Light Show
Baleen has beautiful lighting design that creates an intimate atmosphere reminiscent of the sea. The first surprise to hit you are the menus. Long and heavy, their weight doesn’t prepare you for what you’ll find inside: a soft blue glow illuminating the food choices! Another stunning touch are the hanging lampshades that light up like TV screens displaying jellyfish dancing across their animated surfaces.
Contrasting all the water elements are an abundance of wood elements too. Sculpted chandeliers with wooden monkeys perched on carved tree branches accent the wood paneled walls and flickering central fireplace. All this light-play reflects off the many mirrored and glass accents in the restaurant giving off an enchanting underwater aura featuring a panorama backdrop of boats.
The house specialty, The Baleen, is a dreamy pink concoction of vodka, lime, and blueberries with a hint of lavender, accented with a single blueberry. In the mood for strawberries? Try Strawberry Fields, an elixir of rum, strawberries, and basil.
Baleen’s menu is rich with seafood dishes. Signature standouts include the Cane Sugar-Seared Ahi Tuna, a flavorful juxtaposition of tough and soft textures stacked amid a colorful presentation of sweet coconut rice and spicy pickled papaya salad garnished with avocado wasabi puree. The Oysters Rockefeller seem to melt in your mouth, accented with spinach, garlic and parmesan all topped with buttered breadcrumbs. Craving something hearty? The Lobster Mac and Cheese comes garnished with breadcrumbs and plenty of buttery lobster meat.
The Duck Carnitas, are a must try starter, served with semi-sweet cornmeal crepes in a burgundy-stained chipotle blackberry sauce accompanied by creamy apple slaw. The Filet of Beef “Oscar” special comes piled high with dungeness crab and paired with hash brown potatoes, asparagus, and lemon hollandaise sauce.
For the Sweet Tooth
A decadent way to finish the meal is with the Dark Chocolate Fondue for Two, featuring a spread of exotic fruit, including gooseberries and dragon fruit, primed for dipping. To make things even sweeter, the dish also comes with chocolate-chip cookies, and creative biscotti with subtle flavors like licorice.
The Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club
260 Portofino Way
Redondo Beach , CA 90277