I cannot express the extent of what a wonderful time I had at Baleen Kitchen. Tucked away in the marina off the coast of Redondo Beach, across from the Portofino Hotel, you will find one of the chicest waterside restaurants in LA. The second I walked in, all I could see were the picture perfect views from the windows stretching the length of the restaurant. There is no other way to describe it other than to say that you just have to see it for yourself.
That day in particular, the weather was as perfect as it could get. Warm but comfortable weather, clear blue skies. It is the perfect backdrop to any occasion. I had the pleasure of taking my best friend for a real foodecall experience and I know this is one dining experience we will never forget.
Right when you walk in and go up the stairs, you have all your dining tables to the left, with a fireplace in the back of the restaurant. To the right is a lounge and bar area. I'm told they have a happy hour Monday thru Friday from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and even offer live entertainment on select days.
Now on to food and drink.....
I ordered their bloody Mary and Sangria. The bloody Mary was incredibly spicy. Truly a kick in the mouth so proceed with caution! The Sangria was not your average sangria, it had different liquor in it, with an added touch of carbonation. More on the sweet side. I loved the bar area and loved the presentation. If I lived closer I would totally come here just to grab some drinks. But if you are visiting for the first time, you DEFINITELY want to go while there's still sunlight.
The Noble Garden was an overall really good salad. I loved the ingredients like the walnuts, beets, and most importantly the bleu cheese. I would totally go back for this.
As an appetizer I ordered the duck carnitas. I thought this was rather unique. Its not everyday you see duck on the menu, and in general was just done differently than how I'm used to seeing it. I loved the thin cornmeal crepes. On the side was chipotle blackberries and apple slaw, which added a touch of sweetness and an air of fanciness. If you're looking for an appetizer, I would recommend this for its uniqueness and bang for your buck.
At Baleen Kitchen, they have a mini tapas menu. I ordered the Baleen Slider, the Ahi Tuna Tacos, and the Lobster slider. All were delicious, but if I had to pick just one, no doubt my vote goes to the Ahi Tuna Tacos. LOVED these. I could probably eat 5 in one sitting.
Of course, can't go anywhere without ordering the Mac & Cheese. Theirs happens to be Lobster Mac & Cheese....hello! Great for sharing.
For one of the entrees, we ordered the Steak Frites and Orrecchiete pasta. The steak had chimichurri and bernaise sauce with a side of arugula salad and my fave, truffle fries. The orrecchiete had a meatless bolognese type sauce with soyrizo, topped with dollops of goat cheese. The orrecchiete I believe is a good option for those that want to go meatless, but in general I'm not a huge fan of soy rizo. If I had to choose just one entree to recommend, it would be the steak frites.
The ultimate showstopper was dessert....3 of them to be exact. And all three were amazing!! The apple tart was fresh, homemade, and had this delicious cinnamon ice cream on top, drizzled with a sweet and salty caramel sauce. The key lime pie was probably the best key lime pie I've ever had. Even though I'm not a huge fan of key lime pie, this one was done really well. Of course, my favorite has to go to the chocolate lava cake. Especially with the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to make it just perfect.
All in all, I would recommend this place if you are looking for a really nice place to go for Sunday Funday, brunch, a date, business lunches, birthdays, mother's/father's day, and even a venue for a rehearsal or engagement dinner. Its upscale, classy, and definitely worth a visit. Check em out and let me know your thoughts! Until next time foodecallers!