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Visiting King Harbor

With summer just around the corner, many of us are already heading to Redondo Beach and King Harbor to enjoy swimming, surfing, snorkeling and taking long walks along the beach for a good dose of sun and salt air. Located at the southeast corner of Santa Monica Bay, just north of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, King Harbor is situated in a unique location, where we can indulge ourselves without breaking the bank.

When you arrive at King Harbor, you will find ample parking at King Harbor Marina. After finding a suitable spot, download the PayByPhone app, enter your location number, select parking duration, confirm payment and go have some fun!

Take some time to walk around the harbor, taking in the many yachts and interesting shops lining the boardwalk. You will find several restaurants inside and outside the marina area, most of them of superb quality and reasonably priced.

A favorite eatery among locals is Captain Kidd’s Fish Market & Restaurant, located at the southern end of King Harbor with its popular ocean view patio, where you can dine while watching yachts and fishing trawlers pass through the adjoining canal.

At Captain Kidd’s you can select from a variety of bread bowl soups, including clam chowder, fish and chips and a variety of fish filets. If you have never heard of margaritas on tap, this is where you will find them, along with a variety of wines and beer. Live oysters, clams, lobster and crab wait to be prepared for your lunch or dinner, along with a wide variety of fresh fish, including ahi tuna, swordfish, tilapia, yellowtail, halibut and more.

Bluewater Grill, also located on the water inside King Harbor, offers dockside dining in a nautical setting with large, antique photos of fishing boats and coastal scenes from early Redondo Beach history. Start off your savory culinary experience with a Bluewater Grill signature cocktail, such as a smoked old fashioned with Elijah Craig Smoked Bourbon or perhaps a coconut margarita with Real del Valle 100% Agave Blanco Tequila and coconut cream. An appetizer of your choice of sushi will whet your appetite for the main menu, which ranges from a variety of fish selections to lobster, crab, steaks, pasta and much more than can be listed here.

Also located right on the water inside King Harbor Marina is Riviera Mexican Cantina, a “vibrant and authentic dining destination” where you can sip your favorite style of margarita and munch on your choice of hors d’oeuvres, or “socialitos,” while awaiting your choice of entrée from a robust menu of Mexican cuisine.

Socialitos include shrimp taquitos, guacamole, quesadillas, sopes and one of their house specialties, the Baja Shrimp Cocktail. For the main course, choose from Riviera’s list of traditional entrees, from their shrimp chile relleno to slow-braised carnitas, roasted chicken, grilled Mexican sea bass and skirt steak with avocado, pickled onions, queso fresco, adobo sauce and molcajete salsa.

Baleen Kitchen at the Portofino Hotel and Marina is another popular waterfront establishment in King Harbor, offering a luxurious, waterside “chic fine dining experience.” Ranked as “one of the top 10 best restaurants for waterside dining in L.A.,” Baleen Kitchen boasts an eclectic selection of cuisine, which you will enjoy after starting with their Knotty Happy Hour, daily from 4 to 5 p.m.

Baleen Kitchen Executive Chef Hung Quan is ready to accommodate your lunch appetite from an eclectic selection of soups and “shareables,” including truffle fries, artisanal avocado toast, ahi tuna tacos, cod Reuben, or perhaps something a bit lighter, like a Caesar salad or seafood poke bowl.

While enjoying cocktails before dinner, come in for Knotty Hour and enjoy wild mushroom flatbread, grilled chicken wings, or parmesan-truffle fries with a glass of wine, a Marina Margarita, a draft Absolution “Cardinal Sins” Red Ale or one of the many other libations waiting for you. Baleen Kitchen’s dinner selection ranges from Swordfish Vera Cruz to Tagliatelle Bolognese, Miso-Glazed Black Cod or a Baleen Burger with bacon, white cheddar cheese, guacamole, heirloom tomato and crispy onions.

If you are arriving by boat, Portofino has guest slips with enough room for two or three vessels, depending on size. The cost for a two-hour stay is $25. Make sure to call by phone or VHF Channel 16 before making final approach to the dock.

On International Boardwalk at the southern end of King Harbor is a landmark restaurant known to locals since the early 1950s: Quality Seafood. This gem of a restaurant and fish store has had its ups and downs, having been forced to move some years back when the marina went through some major structural changes.

Today, as always, Quality Seafood is known for its wide selection of fresh ocean fish sourced directly from coastal fishing vessels. Whether you prepare it at home or enjoy Quality Seafood’s menu of creative fish lunches and dinners, they are committed to living up to their motto, “Fresh fish is quality fish, and Quality’s fish is fresh!”

If you are looking for a quick, mid-day snack, try Quality Seafood’s oyster bar, where you can choose from a long list of fresh oysters, clams, mussels, cockles, sea urchins, crabs, periwinkles and conchs and watch a professional shucker prepare your meal of succulent shell fish. All shellfish are alive up to the moment they are steamed for your order. They also offer many types of fresh fish, including red snapper, halibut, rock cod, striped bass, Chilean sea bass, mahi mahi and the list goes on.

Many more fine bars and restaurants await your discriminating tastes in Redondo Beach and King Harbor Marina. Enjoy the whimsical atmosphere of boats and small shops and make sure to enjoy a good meal as well. There is plenty to see, do, eat and drink for the whole family in King Harbor and Redondo Beach.

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