The newly revamped BALEENkitchen at The Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach is quickly becoming one of the South Bay’s hottest spots to dine and imbibe, complete with updated environs overlooking stunning views of the King Harbor and Portofino marinas, as well as new menus, outdoor programming, live entertainment, daily specials and much more.
“The façade of BALEENkitchen recently underwent a refresh, so the management team decided the next step was to update the interiors since it was last done in 2011,” says Duane Rohrbaugh, general manager of the Portofino Hotel & Marina.
The vision was to create a local, fresh beach vibe that was fun, inviting and comfortable.
Restaurant and hotel ownership group Noble House Hotels & Resorts tasked in-house chief creative officer, Scott Colee, and interior designer, Erin Weiner, to bring its vision to reality.
Nautically Inspired Environment Focuses on Views
The result? A 3,480-square-foot, relaxed yet refined dining room featuring a nautically-inspired environment, accented by dark wood, shades of cream and blue, crystal chandeliers and a stately fireplace, along with an adjacent waterside patio highlighted by fire pits.
“Upon entering, guests will marvel at the breathtaking waterfront views and elegant design,” says Rohrbaugh. “The style of BALEENkitchen before the renovation was more of a men’s club style of design with darker colors and rich fabrics and leather, while the new design provides a light and airy ambiance and enhances the views.”
As for the culinary offerings, recently appointed Chef de Cuisines Vasili Tavernakis and Paul Dinulescu is now serving a series of new breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus showcasing seafood and assorted tapas.
A Backstage Look at the Menu
Among the offerings: seafood poke with salmon, shrimp, tuna, avocado, cucumber, wakame salad and soy vinaigrette; yellowtail snapper Hamachi with kohlrabi, Calabrian chile, hazelnut relish and citrus ponzu; and pan-roasted diver scallops with corn-truffle purée, pee wee potato, roasted mushrooms, lardons, blistered cherry tomatoes and jalapeño honey.
A Simply Grilled section showcases fresh shrimp, scallops, sea bass, filet of beef or hanger steak served with baleen steak sauce, chimichurri or caper remoulade. Still, other options include house-made pastries, “Huevos Redondos” and braised duck street tacos.
Also making its debut is the Chefs Table, a back-stage look at dinner service that includes in-depth conversations with BALEEN’s Chefs de Cuisines regarding their dishes and a range of menus starting at $65 per person.
Not to be missed is the lounge, featuring a happy hour and specialty cocktails inspired by Redondo Beach locales.
Think “I’ll Be Your Huckleberry”—with Maker’s Mark bourbon, blackberry, basil, lemon and ginger beer—and “Catch Me If You Can”—with Bombay Sapphire gin, watermelon, passion fruit, hibiscus, and allspice.
The Portofino Hotel & Marina
260 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, CA 90277