Thursday, January 29, 2009


We took Jane to the Getty. Cannily we planned our visit to include lunch at their excellent "Main Cafe" where there are a variety of choices -- regional (Asian, Mexican) hot sandwiches, fries, onion rings, fresh salads, a daily double of soups, and "grab and go" sandwiches. A lot of the food is prepared to order ("Hold the lettuce!")

Portions are generous and plates are garnished with a sprig of parsley or a couple of spinach leaves. Richie and I had cheeseburgers which come with cole slaw ($11.90 for both of them) and Jane had a tuna melt ($7.95) with lovely, crunchy onion rings for the table ($1.95) Lunch for all three of us was $23.60 and money well spent. It's a big, sunny room with dynamite views. Added attraction: Putting your used tray on a conveyor belt and watching it disappear through a hole in the wall.

The Main Cafe, Getty Center 310-440-7300

It was Jane's last night in town and she wanted to have dinner "by the ocean so we can have a drink and watch the sun go down." Richie thought of Old Tony's, but I countered with the Chart House which is right on the beach (and, better still, has a big, free parking lot) so that's where we went.

We sat at the bar and watched the sun blaze across the horizon and the fire blaze in the bar's fireplace. I ordered fresh potato chips with Parmesan and white truffle oil ($3.99) to snack on with our drinks. They seem to be the latest rage locally and I wanted to try them. Here the Parmesan was scattered sparsely, only a few chips seemed "oily" (as in "laden with truffle oil") and they were just ... okay. We'll see how they heat up in the convection oven tonight.

We were moved to a window table (great view) and ordered dinner. Because their salad bar has caviar (side: $6.99; dinner $15.99) I ordered that and a bowl of lobster bisque ($7.99.) Jane had a Caesar salad ($6.99) and the crab stack tower on a bed of chopped, ripe mango with a topping of avocado chunks ($13.99) and Richie the shrimp trio -- coconut, scampi and grilled with seasonal vegetables ($26.99.)

Jane liked her salad and crab stack, "Oh, the mango just makes this dish! The crab seasoning is a little ... sweet." My bisque arrived with a scoop of lobster meat right in the middle. It was served in a cunning little steel bowl with a lid to keep it hot. Richie didn't say much about his shrimp then, but this morning he said, "I really don't think their food is all that good." Dinner was $67, the bar bill was ($73 - wines by the glass) for a total of $130 plus $26 tip.

Chart House, 231 Yacht Club Way, Redondo Beach 310-372-3464

Truth be told, we had better food at the Getty. But if you want a sunset beach view, the Chart House is the place to go. The Getty's ocean view is a little ... distant.

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