While we're waiting for all the stars to align for our next big new post, we went ahead and made another one for you...
Most people come to Los Angeles and head for the beach, specifically they head in vast numbers to Venice and the great, old pier at the end of Route 66 in Santa Monica.
Admittedly, it is a great pier but there's one a little farther south that we enjoy more.
Go south on the 405 or 110. Get off at Torrance Boulevard and head west. Six and a half miles later, the road will end at the parking lot of Redondo Beach Pier. Go right in...parking rates are reasonable and, if you have a disabled placard, it's free on the weekends (show your placard to the attendant at the exit, they will have you sign a statement that you're not trying to cheat them).
Originally built in the 1890's, the pier developed its unique horsehoe shape when two neighboring wharves merged. It became very popular in the 1970's due to the large number of shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars perched over the water. In 1988, a large part of the pier burned to the waterline. A newly rebuild pier opened up in 1995. Only one business, Kincaid's restaurant, was built on the new section. The empty, concrete pier beyond Kincaids is the portion that burned down.
Still, it's quite a place to visit with a cluster of shops, eateries, and bars at one end and another section in the decidedly lower rent section officially know as the International Boardwalk surrounding the marina.
Two of our favorite restaurants are here. Tonight we're dining at Gambrinus.
Gambrinus is a very reasonably priced Russian restaurant named after a popular Czech beer. They have a number of beers available. The taps are a mostly American selection with a few premiums, with a couple of very good Czech selections. The bottled beer selection is a vast collection of European beers with special emphasis on Eastern European brews.
It's a tiny place, just 4 booths that will handle a wheelchair with another few tall bar tables and stools. It's right on the water in the marina and offers some good sea views. Tonight, there was also a very good jazz duo playing.
We like to start off with their dark Russian bread appetizer that's deep-fried and infused with garlic. It's wonderful.
For dinner, we'll each get an entree and pick from all of them, kind of like tapas. Tonight it's a tasty and delicately flavored fish and chips dish. Very tasty, I even liked it and I can't stand fish. Also, we had this pork kebab dish that featured pieces of pork cooked with what tasted like pickled tomatoes. It was also very good, especially the roasted potatoes that came on the side.
Our third dish was Pirozki, meated cooked in a puff pastry that was incredibly light and flaky.
After dinner, we walked around the pier checking out the various seafood stands.
For the kids, there is a large arcade featuring a Tilt-A-Whirl. Hollywood loves this location and films frequently here...it was featured prominently in Season 4 of Dexter.
A little further along, we get to the new part of the pier.
Here is our other favorite restaurant here, Kincaid's. Known for there melt-in-your-mouth prime rib, the food and service here is excellent. The prime rib is a bit on the pricey side though. Fortunately, they also have a chef who's a master at Southern cooking. The etoufee here is outstanding as is their version of chicken and waffles...which is better than Roscoe's in my opinion...and is only $21.
Further along is the old part of the pier.
It is dominated by Tony's, an old tiki bar that is popular with the tourists, especially the crow's nest bar on top. Unfortunately, the crow's nest is not wheelchair accessible.
Here is where you go into Tony's.
The beach is to the south ending at the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Seafood is very popular here. You can see that this area is very well-liked by the local Asian population.
Here is a peek into their kitchen.
There are a number of bars and nightclubs featuring live entertainment here but don't overdo it or you could end up here.
And that's our look at the Redondo Beach Pier, named by Tim as his favorite Southern California beach destination.
Redondo Beach Pier is at the western end of Torrance Bl. in Redondo Beach, California. It is also accessible by wheelchair accessible bus transportation via Metro line 130 (from the Artesia Transit Center end of the Silver Line), Beach Cities Transit line 102 (from the Green Line Redondo Beach Station), and Torrance Transit lines 3 & 7.
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