Friday, August 5, 2011

Dock for Lunch at Baleen, Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club (Redondo Beach, CA)

Not so long ago, Redondo Beach in my mind consisted of a crowded beach and the pier (which has Izakaya Bincho and Quality Seafood, both great). Enter Baleen Los Angeles at the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club, a much quieter, less touristy spot away from the pier.

The Chefs Burger at Baleen
The Chef's Burger
The restaurant's layout seems a strange one when you walk in. Instead of a big dining room, there's only one row of tables, all of them provide a view of the marina and yachts.
Baleen recently launched a new lunch menu. I wasn't able to come to their media lunch so they invited me over on another day - a beautiful Saturday afternoon, perfect for dining al fresco by the water. Judging from the customers coming in while I was there, seems like this is the spot for local residents to have their casual lunch and family reunions.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cocktailing at Next Door Lounge with Joseph Brooke (Hollywood)

Hollywood's latest bar, Next Door Lounge, isn't exactly next door to me but with The Edison's alum Joseph Brooke behind the bar, it is certainly worth a visit. Joe Brooke joined the team right before the lounge opened, so while he's added his concoctions on and revamped some of the drinks they already had on the menu.

Next Door Lounge is owned by the same man as The Corner, but unlike the casual comfort food joint, Next Door Lounge is aiming for a sophisticated speakeasy feel. When I checked out the place with LA OC Foodie and e*starla, I got to really take in the space during the quieter early evening, and it's beautiful.

The cocktails are mostly $12, with a couple that run $14 (one of them also happened to be one of our favorites, the Volstead and Vice made with Ilegal Mezcal Joven, Pernod Absinthe, cucumber water, agave nectar, lime juice). Yep, we love smoky drinks.

Here are some more of the cocktails I liked:
The Dame Next Door (Canadian Club 12 yr, dry vermouth, clove-infused pineapple gomme syrup, pineapple juice, pasteurized egg white, angostura bitters)
Dame Next Door
See the key-shaped bitters sprayed on the drink? That's the Next Door Lounge logo.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mohawk Bend, Echo Park's Newly Opened, Extensive Watering Hole.

If you were keeping tabs on who has the longest list of beers on tap in LA, you might want to add Mohawk Bend to the list. Opened yesterday, this bar in Echo Park carries over 70 beers on tap, all but five are dedicated to California craft beers. They have a full bar which is also all-California, and a full dining menu.

70 Beers on Tap
For owner Tony Yanow and GM Paige Reilly, this isn't their first venture in California beers. They opened Tony's Darts Away in Burbank which also has a California-only beer list, and a local brewery is in the works.

The space was a theater, more than 20 years unoccupied. As you enter, you will see the open kitchen on the left, and the bar on the right.

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