Baleen at the Portofino

I love to brunch (yes, it’s officially a verb) and I think LA is one city that loves its brunch. I mean it’s a reason to grab some cocktails at 10 or 11 am when it’s not football season.

I recently was fortunate enough to enjoy a brunch at Baleen restaurant in Redondo Beach. This was the brunch of all brunches. Not only did we look out onto the boats in the water, but the friendly staff was beyond accommodating and the food was spectacular. We started off with Maple Lemonade (yes, odd but it was perfect and I highly recommend it) and a mimosa with peach rather than orange.

For food, we started off with the steak salad and shrimp salad. What was so amazing about these salads is that they had croutons, but instead of the crunch of hard to eat croutons, they were soft and just crispy enough on the outside. A perfect pairing with the tender beef and shrimp. From there we tried the fish tacos, which were grilled and not fried and a burger that knocks any burger off the map. Yes, it’s the “Andrew Jackson” burger ($20), but well worth it. I personally, would call it the kitchen sink because it had everything on it but the kitchen sink. This juicy burger, which came with fries, was topped with coleslaw, braised beef short rib, sugar roasted bacon, burnt sugar bbq, sharp cheddar, fried egg, and fried onions. Yum.

For dessert (Still had room) Chef Jesse, is a genius. He created a bowl of fresh sorbet and fruit all in champagne. It was refreshing, sweet and gave you a little buzz. My personal favorite was the French toast (or Pain Perdu), which was created the old fashion way with a French toasted baguette, brown sugar mascarpone, and strawberries. I highly recommend Baleen for a quiet, relaxing brunch. You will be well fed and feel as if you had a resort vacation in a few hours. 260 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach; 310.372.1202; hotelportofino.com

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