With summer just around the corner it’s easy to say that Los Angeles is a beautiful city.
As the sun shines a little brighter and the heat increases beyond a temperature that is acceptable, it’s clear to see that this city has a lot to offer to both tourists and locals. As a resident, I spend a good amount of time exploring various areas in search of amazing food. Pasadena, Echo Park, Downtown Los Angeles, and Santa Monica are a few locations where I’ll frequently park my car in hopes of discovering delicious plates. While there are places that I know well there are others which I haven’t devoted enough time to understanding. One perfect city is Redondo Beach. To familiarize myself with the food in the city, I took advantage of a dinner invitation to Bettolino Kitchen and decided to see what I would discover.
Before any plates arrived to the table I sat across from a few other guests in attendance. A few introductions, a couple of laughs, and some cocktails across the table were the best way to begin. Since I knew the drive back home would be a fairly long one, I decided to opt out of any liquor. Instead, I took a glass of water and gave my full attention to the food that began to arrive.
The first plate was the Watermelon Panzanella ($8). The green salad of arugula and onion sprouts came with cubed watermelon, cucumbers, feta cheese, herb croutons, and was lightly drizzled with shallot vinaigrette. Reading the menu alone I found the salad paired some of my favorite ingredients together nicely. The juicy watermelon combined with soft and sharp feta cheese, alongside the flavored croutons were a delicious combination. Placing all of that on top of the fresh greens gave a salad that was best to start the dinner.
Following the salad was the Gnocchi di Piselli ($19). The beautiful plate held a collection of green pea infused potato dumplings that were sprinkled with an Italian fennel sausage. Falling on top of that were sun-dried cherry tomatoes, a Parmesan fondue, and English pea sprouts. I’ve come to love gnocchi even more as I’ve visited many restaurants and the gnocchi served here was incredibly delicious. I loved how tender yet delicate the potato dumplings were and the way they aligned perfectly with the rich and sausage. The two together offered a mouthwatering flavor combination that was easily enhanced with the tomatoes, Parmesan, and pea sprouts. This was a perfect dish and one that made the long drive completely worthwhile.
The main dish to the evening was the Guancia ($28). The dish took a cauliflower and potato mash with sautéed Brussels sprouts and sat them underneath a 4-hour braised veal cheek that was covered in a red wine sauce. I loved how bold and rich the veal was as it inhaled the wine sauce. The moment I put my fork into it, the meat pulled apart and released a single amount of steam that drew me in for a first bite. That bite quickly turned into a second and then a third in which I fell in love with the flavor of the veal. Taking up mounds of the soft mash only made the veal taste better and the lightly seasoned Brussels was the right amount of green needed for the plate.
Looking for the best way to end the evening, I was served a plate of Ricotta & Almond Cheesecake ($9). The dessert had an almond biscotti crust with a ricotta cream cheese cake and an orange zest and orange mint sauce on the side. I loved how soft, sweet, and creamy the cake was and that the crust had a gently nutty taste. What made it incredible was the mint sauce that I swirled the cake in. It was a thin and lightweight sauce that didn’t take away from the cake, but merely added a refreshing cool minty flavor to it all.
While I’ve spent a lot of time in familiar cities that are somewhat close to me, I’m glad I went a bit out of my area to Redondo Beach. Dining in Bettolino Kitchen and tasting the plates served from the hands of the chef was a great way to spend the evening. From the fresh salad to the creamy dessert, and each plate in between, I liked that I have a new place to go whenever I make the trek down to Redondo Beach.
Address: 211 Palos Verdes Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Phone: (310) 375-0500
Hours: Sunday to Thursday – 11:00am to 9:00pm and Friday & Saturday 11:00am to 10:00pm.
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Nice location
- Friendly staff