Sunset Drinks

Three favorite South Bay spots to bid the day adieu

Count epic nightly sunsets among the South Bay’s many natural charms

There are more than a few places where you and your friends can clink glasses while watching the sun set the world aglow. Here, three of our favorites.

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography by Paul Jonason and Courtesy of Zislis Group


BALEEN Lounge at Portofino Hotel

A glowing fireplace and wide-angle views of the boat-filled harbor set an elegant, mellow mood, with a menu of cocktails and seasonal bites helping things along. The Noble Sunset, a blend of orange vodka, Campari and champagne, is a signature drink, along with the Kentucky Buck, a perky blend of Wild Turkey, strawberries and ginger beer. There’s also a slew of whites, reds and bubbles by the glass, and a half-dozen local beers on tap, including favorites from Smog City, Strand and Absolution. Happy hour is every day from 3-7pm, with a menu that includes crispy calamari, beet-quinoa salad and warm fish tacos served with salsa and avocado.

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StrandBar at The Strand House

With front-row views of the ocean and pier from its floor-to-ceiling windows, this popular Manhattan Beach haunt serves martinis spiked with tangerine, Thai basil and other flavorful twists. Popular cocktails include the Sunset over Manhattan, made with clementine vodka and fresh tangerine juice, a nice accompaniment to a zesty plate of Hamachi Crudo. During the week, StrandBar opens at 4pm—it’s located downtown, on the ground floor of The Strand House, so get there early to claim the perfect spot. There’s plenty of them if you’re sunset-gazing: Post up along the big sidewalk windows to enjoy ocean breezes and people watching, or settle into intimate lounge stations facing the beach, and watch the sunset work its magic, turning the room to hues of gold.

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R/10 Social House

Tucked into the corner of Redondo Beach harbor, this easygoing two-story space is decked in glossy planks of wood and named for local buoy R/10. The under-the-radar spot is ideal for meetups over rounds of Golden Mules (Moscow Mules with homemade ginger shrub) or Blackbeards, a vodka concoction made with blackberries, ginger and egg white. There’s a curated collection of craft beers, from Scrimshaw Pilsner on tap to imported bottles of Belgium pale ale, and the wine lists leans heavy on California producers, with a nice Methode Champenoise sparkling brut available by the glass. “Social hour” is every day from 3-6pm, and features tasty share-ables like jidori chicken skewers, oysters or pork cracklings sprinkled with malt vinegar. While there, feel free to spread out—the spacious place has seating to suit your mood, from the fresh-air upstairs balcony to the friendly ground-floor bar.

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