A relaxing lunch at Baleen

Chef Jesse Souza, Restaurant Manager Chris Schaefer and their wonderful staff hosted a casual lunch for some of us bloggers. We sat outside literally steps away from the marina on a sunny and slightly breezy day. It made for a wonderful atmosphere.

Starting off with an amuse buche of a soft baguette topped with smoked salmon, avocado, boursin cheese, capers, and arugula. I was very impressed by the soft bread. It really meshed well with the salmon and the cheese. This was compliments of the chef & wasn’t available on the menu.


This Chinese Chicken Salad was one of my favorites of several we were served that day. I’m a noodle fiend so I of course was more than happy to see some on the plate. The taste was very subtle and refreshing. The poached chicken was moist, mandarin oranges are always a welcomed addition.

What I loved about this Grilled Shrimp salad was that it was Panzanella inspired. If you don’t know, Panzanella, a dish I wish I knew about in college is simply a bread salad made with day old bread, garlic, tomatoes and olive oil. So yes I indulged in a few pieces of bread along with the shrimp that was cooked perfectly. Not a big fan of arugula but I was happy with just my bread & shrimp.

Now, I thought this was a unique twist on steak and potatoes. It had all of that heartiness with less of the guilt. Another spin on it? A salad that fills you up without the guilt.Eight ounces of hanger steak, romaine and arugula, smoato, radish, blue cheese and of course crispy red bliss potatoes. Keep in mind I only had a fourth of this and it was filling for me! A very generous portion.

First of all, let me say I really liked the presentation of the Baleen Burger. I’m not too big on burgers but I appreciated the flavor of the guacamole, chile mayo, fried onions, and of course bacons. I also had quite a handful of the fries served with aioli and ketchup.

This BBQ Pork sandwich was one of my favorites. The meat just melted in my mouth. I loved their homemade BBQ sauce which was sweet. Unlike most pulled pork I’ve had, this one wasn’t greasy which was a huge plus to me.

Shifting gears for a minute, here’s a breakfast item, the Huevos Redondos. It was a lighter version of its rancheros counterpart. The fried egg just oozed out when you cut into it. The black beans and romesco sauce were just enough to fill you without overdoing it. It’s a good way to start your day.

This fish taco was probably my favorite dish of the afternoon. The chef informed us that you get three when you order which is great because I couldn’t get enough of one. Unlike most fish tacos that use cod, this was red snapper which had a nice texture to it. The fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, and lime added to the refreshing flavor.

Ok I’ll be honest. By this point I was convinced they’d have to roll me out of there. I was so full. This is a hanger steak served once again with their homemade steak sauce that doubled as their BBQ sauce for the pork sandwich. I only had a few bites because I was so full but the little that I had was enough to tell me the steak was cooked well. The sweet steak sauce was a nice departure from the bold & spice ones I’ve grown used to. This steak is accompanied by a must try, their maple lemonade. The maple truly cuts through the tart lemon and the taste is subdued and good on a nice sunny day.
Finally for dessert we had Pain Perdu. A sweet baguette with maple syrup and accompanied by brown sugar marscapone and strawberries. To me, it was two desserts in one with the sweet toast and the marscapone and strawberries making a makeshift strawberry shortcake. Delicious can’t begin to describe.

We also had a lemon meringue which sadly didn’t photograph well on my camera but let me tell you it was delicious. The crust was sweet and the bulk of the pie was citrusy, not mouth puckering lemon which I appreciated.

I had a wonderful time and it was nice to sample just some of the highlights of their menu. They have a few specials which I’ll update in the next post. However I will tell you to come check it out. They have complimentary valet parking and are located right on the water. These factors combined with a good menu gives you nothing to lose!

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3 thoughts on “A relaxing lunch at Baleen

  1. Bianca,
    On behalf of the staff and management here at BaleenLA, we would like to extend a warm thank you for your post featuring our New Summer Menus. You were truly able to capture the details and flavors of each meal. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

    Kind Regards,

    Malia Osterbauer|General Manager
    Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club
    260 Portofino Way|Redondo Beach, Ca 90277

    • Thank you for yor kind words. I truly appreciate it. I really enjoyed myself and will be sure to return soon!

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