Portofino’s Restaurant In Redondo Beach Is South Bay Sexy
There are fire pits by the dock where you can kick off the sandals, put your toes in sand and have drinks overlooking the still harbor.
Inside, there is a fireplace providing a perfect glow to a room that is tastefully appointed with big booths and tables with chairs so cozy after sitting down you just want to toss out the anchor and not set sail for a while.
It’s BALEENKitchen, and PubClub.com names it the Most Romantic Bar in The South Bay.
Take a date to Baleen and you can’t go wrong; in fact no matter how much you may have fumbled in the past it’s sure to all disappear in the flickering flames of the fire pits or the soft ambiance of the bar.
Take a booth inside and you’ve got a tranquil view of boats in King Harbor. Sit at a table and you are in visual range of the fireplace, always a mind-settling scene.
Even sitting at the bar is cool; the lights above it have surfing videos illuminated on the fixtures.
Baleen’s bar area – the restaurant is on the other side and also downstairs in the two-level building – is really a lounge. The lighting is low but not dim, and the level of conversations from others usually is as light as the outside breeze.
There is a rather modest selection of draft beers but it does have an extensive selection of spirits. Among them are hard-to-find rums; this, of course, is a nod to Baleen’s nautial location. And skippers and sailors love rum.
And here’s something else to like about Baleen; while it’s most definitely classy, it’s also casual. Go in on a Saturday night and there will be a small band playing, possibly some well-lubricated people from a wedding party that spilled over from the adjacent Portofino Hotel attempting to dance, and boat owners tossing down a few dressed in t-shirts, shorts and sandals.
The crowd is mature – this isn’t exacty Sharkeez – with most patrons in the 35-50 age range. This is due in no small part because many of the nearby Hermosa and Redondo Beach singles have yet to find out about it.
Baleen is tucked away a couple of blocks off Harbor Drive and past Joe’s Crab Shack, a location that’s not on the youthful people of Hermosa’s usual social path.
That’s also what helps make it so romantic; it’s like your own discovery and there’s a good chance your date never knew such a place even existed.
It has live music Thursdays (6-9 p.m.), Friday and Saturdays (9-midnight). Happy Hour is Tuesday-Sunday from 3-7 p.m., with $4 Bud Light drafts and house red and white wines, plus small menu items. On Tuesdays, tacos are $2 and margaritas are $5, and Thursdays the wine is half-price and there’s even a free wine tasing from 6-7 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays there is an all-you-can-drink, build-your-own Bloody Mary bar for $14 that goes until 2:30 p.m.
Baleen Kitchen: 260 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach. (310) 379-7329
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