April 6, 2013

Mar'sel at Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes

Terranea is quickly becoming one of my favorite places in Southern California. Not only is it a true destination resort complete with a nine hole golf course, but it also has a wide restaurant selection from a casual burger spot to an upscale restaurant serving California inspired cuisine.

During our most recent visit, we dined at Mar'sel, the upscale restaurant on the resort. Unless it's raining, there's no reason not to sit outside and enjoy the amazing view and sea breeze. There were plenty of heaters on the patio to keep us warm. One of my fondest memories from the evening was sipping on a glass of champagne and watching the vibrant sunset over the ocean. Onto the food...

Crispy pigs ear
The pigs ears were fried to golden perfection served with a tangy house sauce and light pickled vegetable salad. The crunchiness from the batter was a nice contrast to the juicy melt in our mouth pigs ears. The acidity from the sauce and the salad helped cut the richness of the pigs ears. It was a well balanced appetizer.

Pork cheek
The slow braised pork cheek was served over barley risotto, a beautifully poached egg and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. The pork was fork tender and the poached egg added a wonderful creaminess to the dish. We ordered this as an appetizer to share, but I would be happy to order it as an entree next time.

Mediterranean branzino
The branzino was beautifully presented with bright contrasting colors that popped on the plate. All the components respected the delicate flavor of the fish by not overpowering it. The brown butter gave the lean fish richness and the pomegranate seeds added bursts of sweetness and acidity.

Baked orecchiette
This was the heavy hitter of the evening. A generous serving of baked orecchiette loaded with spicy pork sausage, tomatoes and house ricotta. In true Italian fashion, it was finished off with parmesan. The best way to sum up this dish is: bold, flavorful, and filling.

We finished our meal with complementary cannolis, black coffee and an amazing view of the moon lit ocean. From the service, to the food, to the atmosphere, everything was spot on. This was a great escape from the often loud and cramped restaurants in the city and we didn't have to compromise on the quality of food. Definitely a great spot for a romantic getaway. 

6610 Palos Verdes Dr S
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

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