By Bill Dudley

Next time you are anywhere near Redondo Beach Pier, head toward the Portofino Hotel. Once you arrive, look east, and there is Baleen Kitchen.

L.A. Zagat has named Baleen one of the Top Ten Restaurants for waterside dining in Southern California, and with good reason. I stepped into Baleen the other night, for what I thought would be a short visit. I stayed 3 1/2 hours sampling the an excellent array of fine dining.

Whether it’s Lobster Mac & Cheese appetizer, a Surf & Turf First Bite of roasted scallop, an entree of Sushi, Ahi Nicoise, or Filet of Beef, you won’t be disappointed. Spanish born Executive Chef Richard Crespin must have tapas in his genes, as he weaves a very interesting combination of Asian, French, and Spanish cuisine. Excellent service and a wide arrange of choices make Baleen a worthwhile stop at any time of day.

Baleen Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also have live entertainment in the lounge Thurs-Sun, happy hour 3-7 p.m. every day, and a very reasonable Sunday Brunch at a bargain price. Restaurant manager Jeff Middleton added greatly to my positive experience at Baleen. He was raised in Torrance, and is self taught in the dynamic world of enticing cooking. Jeff recently returned to Redondo Beach, after a 10 year sojourn in two cities also well known for seafood, Seattle and Portland.

Founded in 1889, The Redondo Beach Pier is re-developing to an even more diverse community. Next time you’re there, stop in Baleen Kitchen for a truly unique dining experience. For more info, and some tasty dining pics, go to


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