Dine Around LA – Riviera Village Edition

March 15, 2019

Earlier this week, I attended the Riviera Village edition of Dine Around LA.

Dine Around LA is designed for hotel concierges from the greater LA area as an opportunity for them to learn more about various neighborhoods’ restaurants to better serve their clientele. There are half a dozen events each year in different areas of Los Angeles, and Dine Around LA works directly with restauranteurs to schedule these outings.

Our group consisted of concierges representing about 15 different hotels from the greater Los Angeles area, a few social media influencers and a couple of Los Angeles Concierge Association members who report back to the greater LACA membership. This event showcased seven establishments in the Riviera Village neighborhood of Redondo Beach.

We had anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes at each location, depending on the number of drinks and dishes served. Dine Around LA Founder, Mary Ann Borders, kept us moving in a timely manner without ever making us feel rushed. While the purpose of these excursions is to sample menu items from multiple restaurants, I enjoy the function of walking from place to place…. you get a much more intimate feel for the neighborhood than you would driving there or being dropped off by a ride share service.

 

Our group began our dining excursion at Gabi James, located in the former Zazou space on Catalina Avenue. The menu features Spanish and coastal French food infused with California soul.

We sampled an extensive beverage menu featuring house cocktails Bitter Mistress and Gabi James G&T. Draft choices included Honest Abe Dry Apple Cider, Estrella Damm Lager and Smog City WowPop Crushable IPA. There was also a well-curated selection of wines.

We enjoyed an assortment of tapas including Potato Croquettes, sauteed local dates, Queso Mahon (marinated cheese, YUM!) Gildas (anchovy, olive and peppers lollipops) and a generous charcuterie. The presentation was gorgeous and each bite was more delectable than the last.

Proprietors Sara and Adam and the staff are super friendly and take great pride in making sure their guests are comfortable and very well fed. Gabi James is located at 1810 S. Catalina Avenue, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Visit the website at http://www.gabijamesla.com/.

We ambled across the street to Turquoise Organic & Natural Mediterranean Restaurant, now celebrating their tenth year in Riviera Village. Proprietor Hameed Fatemi is hands-on in every aspect of this award-winning eatery and his enthusiasm for organic, all natural ingredients is infectious.

We started with a lovely pomegranate mimosa (I must learn how to make this!) served with flatbread and a delicious assortment of flavorful spreads – olive and walnut tapenade, hummus, tabouli and an organic yogurt seasoned with diced cucumber and mint.

We sampled a kabob made especially for our group, showcasing the various protein options: lamb, filet, ground beef and chicken, served with a side of saffron rice. This was followed by Persian ice cream featuring three flavors, pistachio, rose water and saffron.

Turquoise Restaurant is located at 1735 S Catalina Avenue, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Visit the website at https://www.turquoise-restaurant.com/.

We continued down Catalina Avenue to the King Harbor Brewery Village Tasting Room. Just opened last summer, this tasting room quickly developed a loyal clientele. We sampled three of their brews – the Tiki Hut IPA, St. Jameson Stout and Guava Lava – and each one had a completely different taste profile, so there’s something for everyone.

The King Harbor Brewery Village Tasting Room is located at 1719 South Catalina Avenue, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Visit the website at https://www.kingharborbrewing.com/village.

Further down the block, we stopped at The Rockefeller’s newest location. After much success in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, The Rockefeller took over the former Jonathan boutique space after a substantial renovation. They’re open all day and offer a breakfast grab & go menu, lunch and dinner.

We sampled a couple of wines and draft beer, and the addictive Truffle Mac & Cheese, followed by Seared Ahi Tostadas.

The Rockefeller is located at 1707 South Catalina Avenue, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Visit the website at https://www.eatrockefeller.com/.

We then strolled a few blocks over to Rock & Brews on the corner of PCH and PV Boulevards. It was perfect timing for a walk because we really needed some physical movement at that point….. there’s an art to pacing yourself on these Dine Around L.A. excursions! Full disclosure – I’ve been dining at Rock & Brews PCH since the day it opened and have eaten just about everything on the menu.

For our group, they served some of their most popular items – the Giant Soft Authentic Bavarian Pretzel with Spicy-Sweet Mustard and Bier Cheese, the Strawberry Fields Salad, a pizza and a sampler plate consisting of wings, poppers and baby back ribs.

Rock & Brews PCH is located at 6300 South Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Visit the website at https://www.rockandbrews.com/redondo-beach/.

Bettolino Kitchen was our penultimate stop. This third generation family restaurant pays homage to the culture of serving great food and drink with a modern touch. They reserved the bar area for our group with a buffet of chafing dishes. We began with a refreshing house-made soda featuring strawberries and basil!

We sampled the Beet Caprese (love the different textures), Tortelloni al Limone (divine) and Brussels Sprouts (these ain’t your mama’s Brussel sprouts!).

Bettolino Kitchen is located at 211 Palos Verdes Boulevard, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Visit the website at https://www.bettolinokitchen.com/. These photos are courtesy of Bettolini Kitchen – mine came out too dark!

Ten Thousand Villages was our final destination and the only non-restaurant on the itinerary. More than a store, Ten Thousand Villages is a global maker‑to‑market movement. It’s a way to shop with intention for ethically-sourced wares and to share in the joy of connecting with makers in ten thousand villages. As a pioneer of fair trade, they do business differently, putting people and planet first.

We were treated to a sampling of fair trade chocolates and coffees from around the world, available for purchase in store.

Ten Thousand Villages is located at 1907 South Catalina Avenue, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Visit the website at https://www.tenthousandvillages.com/redondobeach#fndtn-home.

If you are a restauranteur or concierge interested in participating in the Dine Around LA events, contact Mary Ann Borders at 310-941-0840 or visit the website at http://www.dinearoundla.com/.