Today is: Sunday, July 14, 2024

Catalina Restaurant Review

Catalina Restaurant, located in Redondo Beach, California, offers ocean-front dining that almost borders the sand. While an appropriately-themed menu offers both classic and contemporary coastal cuisine. The extensive selection of fresh fish and grill
menu offer additional tempting selections from fresh shellfish to seared steaks.
An extensive beverage list offers a range of refreshing options, including
wines by the glass, bottle, and you can also bring your own wine.


An experience at Catalina Restaurant is nothing short of stunning, with newly-appointed Chef Arthur Martinez’s culinary talents delighting the eyes, nose, and palate. Delicate creations based loosely around a “fusion” theme take seafood to new heights, weaving ingredients together in subtle harmonies. With an emphasis on freshness, the menu is constantly changing, although certain themes thoughtful pairings, light and healthy preparations, and careful attention to detail remain constant.

An intimate and welcoming atmosphere, composed of bold forms, clean lines,
and gentle colors, offers a hint of understated elegance; the perfect
stage for Chef Arthur Martinez’s cuisine to shine.


The restaurant proper offers an open, airy setting and comfortable vibe, while a separate bistro bar is a gathering place for locals, with an outstanding wine selection and a renowned happy hour. While talented Ruben Pires, the owner, manages the front of the house, Chef Martinez returns to the kitchen, putting together an array of refreshing, modern American cuisine that melds regional flavors, incorporates global ingredients, and doesn’t hesitate to play up comfort food favorites. 

We had the pleasure of having Ruben Pirez, the owner allowing us to try one of
their special wine reserves: The Urraca Merlo – Primera 2005 and the Mondavi
Solaire 2003 from Paso Robles, both were amazing with our courses.

Ahi Tuna Carpaccio

We started with a selection of amazing appetizers; we wanted to try the Ahi Tuna Carpaccio, The flavors of the ahi are subtle, a Nicoise Olive Vinaigrette lending a slight savoriness to the light, refreshing dice. The swath of bright vinaigrette is the
most surprising flavor on the plate, an enjoyable and feisty blend of fingerling
potato chips. It is a modern, alluring way to start a meal.

             Seared Scallops                       White and green Asparagus Soup

Also the Seared Scallops, with English Pea Risotto, Applewood Smoked Bacon
on a toasted Pine Nuts, was truly deligthful and very light, the scallops
were cooked to perfect and the risotto was to die for!

We could not miss the Duo of Soups: White and green Asparagus Soups,
with Lemon Oil, refreshing and a great way to start your meal!

Mixed Lettuce Salad

The Mixed Lettuces, is a well-loved classic salad, one of several signature dishes
that pepper the Catalina's menu. "We tried to take it off [the menu]," Chef
Martinez explains, but it was so requested, he added it back on. It's no
surprise the salad is a stunningly unique medley of unexpected
flavors that come together harmoniously.

King Salmon, with White Asparagus

When it comes time for our entrees, the King Salmon, with White Asparagus, Fiddlehead Ferns, Carrot Sauce on a Tangerine Oil, wins us over. The presentation
is both playful and delicate a thick slice of this delicious King Salmon rests atop a bed of delicious vegetables. Spread on the fish, the kick of the Tangerine Oil is tempered, blending perfectly with the rich fish and the Tangerine flavor.

Dry Aged Bone-in New York Steak

My guest’s entrée was the Dry Aged Bone-in New York Steak which is contemporary comfort. The presentation is again playful and colorful,
and I love the Baby Shitake Mushrooms, a delicious entrée.

Duo of Lamb: Grilled Double Rib Chop

Then we also got to taste their out of this world Duo of Lamb: Grilled Double Rib Chop, Braised Cheeks, Spinach and Feta Cheese Strudel, Preserved Lemons, and Moroccan Olives. The unmistakable scent of rosemary wafts up from the plate in a fleeting moment of enticement. "We steep the rosemary in the jus, but then pull it
out at the last moment so guests don't know where the smell is coming from,"
Chef explains of the enticing aroma. The lamb slices through easily, the pale
pink meat lending an unmistakable gaminess that marries exceptionally
well the flavors of the olives and the feta cheese.

As we put down our forks we realize the band has commenced from the adjacent room, and the soulful voice of Janette Pires is filling the room with a lively, lighthearted energy. Not wanting to leave, we order dessert. It is a smart decision. The Chocolate Fondant is a gooey, decadent treat, a large ramekin filled with a lava-filled
chocolate cake. The crisp top gives way to reveal creamy, molten
chocolate studded with raspberries. It is decadence at its peak.

    Chocolate Fondant                          Passion Fruit Crème Brulee

The triumph of dessert, however, is a much simpler concoction: the Warm Beignets, filled with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Straberry Dipping Sauce. It's impossible to understate the excellence of this flavor it is real, honest, and unrivaled. Each bite
is an ideal last bite. Also, another winner is the Passion Fruit Crème Brulee,
with Shortbread Cookies, that without a doubt one of the best in town!

As we sit back, we relish in the now-packed dining room, relaxing among the rich voices and warm, melodious sound that fill the space. We feel taken care of and secure, and are thankful that Catalina’s was part of the forward-thinking businesses that helped transform the entire Redondo Beach area into a paradise!

For map and location click Here!

For more information please visit their website at

Article by: Mary Adams
Photos by: Chris Marx

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