While Baleen Kitchen, hidden inside the Portofino Hotel, is relatively unknown to those not living in the South Bay, it tends to be to go-to special occasion restaurant for Redondo Beach locals. I personally had only been for lunch more than 2 years ago but remembered liking it. For Valentine's Day, they've put together a 5-course menu for $85 ($115 with wine pairing). I got to taste three of the menu items as a preview.
There will be an amuse Bouche of Shaved tuna, chili tapioca, lime sorbet
Grilled maitake salad, avocado, haricot vert, heirloom tomato
Roasted black sea bass, grilled maitake mushroom, tender pea shoots, aromatic broth
The restaurant gets pretty full on Valentine's Day but they will be serving the menu in the hotel lobby as well.
If you are coming not on Valentine's Day or wanted something extra, there are a couple dishes to try. The first is the lobster Mac and cheese with white cheddar ($16)
The other dish I enjoyed was the Duck carnitas with cornmeal crepes and apple slaw ($15)
The cocktail menu here is mostly vodka-focused but I did enjoy the Mezcalero with Ilegal joven mezcal, aperol, and strawberries ($11)
260 Portofino Way
Redondo Beach, CA 90277