DineLA @ Catalina Kitchen – 1.23.11
Posted by Shannon on 01/25/2011
Sunday afternoon. Cruised down PCH (pacific coast highway) from Hermosa Beach to Palos Verdes. The Terranea Resort owns Catalina Kitchen. Lucky for me a few factors fortuitously intersected:
- The inaugural day of DineLA 2011
- Two of my closest friends (Seattle / OC based) serendipitously right next door at the Trump resort
- An overdue IOU to celebrate Michele + Steven’s nuptials
Thus, near last call for a lunch seating at Catalina Kitchen, our hostess graciously seated us after we rushed through the Terranea lobby to make it just a hair before 3pm. We were seated outside on the sunny terrace w/ a terrific view of the Pacific Ocean. Our waiter was attractive and witty, helping us select the best options from the prix fixe menu.
To start, I ordered their Margarita – elderflower liqueur , smooth, not typically a fan of anything w/o vodka. This is my new go-to, but only at CK.
Appetizer: Tuna Tartar with avocado, a dash of sweet chili sauce and very thin toasted pita strips w/ EVOO and salt seasoning. Fresh tuna absent of the fear-inducing “fishy” flavor that could signify food poisoning in your horizon.
Main: Salmon w/ frisee and orange butter sauce. Sure, the dish looks fluffy and simple. Somehow locating that narrow window of salmon prepared just before overly done/dry and too fresh and deeply pink in color. The frisee could have been steamed a bit softer, but a quick dip in the orange butter sauce provided a crisp, citrus contrast that rounded out the dish when combo-ed in one bite.
Dessert: Creme brulee cheesecake – this dessert is a CK menu staple since first opening its doors. The vanilla bean bespeckled creme brulee layers atop a rectangular cheesecake slice. A baci cookie spikes the piece, and a berry sauce streak decorates the majority of the plate. I enjoyed the crackle of the burnt sugar, but the baci cookie was a bit chewy… signifying to me that it had been sitting in the fridge gathering condensation to reduce its cripness.
Overall: $22 for a three course meal that would’ve been more than $40 (sans margarita). Refreshing sunny ocean view, over-the-top level of laughs with Tiffany+Michele+Steven, and a yummy meal at a bargain. Cheers to DineLA 2011... mazal.