Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunshine, Serenity and a Sea View

Two different friends had raved about Nelson's in the Terrenea resort, located on the site of the old Marineland on the Palos Verdes cliffs.

They sighed over the impossible beauty of the sunset...and they also said the food was good, so I looked up their menu and it was reasonable. I'd expected "glass of fresh tomato juice, $50."

Richie's brother Charlie and his wife Rosalind always want to see new places on their bi-annual visits and, frankly, I thought this would blow their socks off, sight unseen, because I already know how lovely that area is and like it.

Terrenea drops from road level, down about three tiers to, in Nelson's case, the cliff edge. Parking is $5 and it's the first thing you do. Then you go through the lobby of the hotel (?) down stairs to a path which winds along, always downward. You pass another cluster of buildings - the condos? and finally you arrive at the bottom and Nelson's which has a 2/3rds wrap-around terrace.

We elected to sit in the sun, but quickly changed our minds and scuttled over to a table in the shade. There they ordered mango margaritas ($11 each) and we couldn't resist the nostalgia of a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer ($3/pint.)

Drinks in hand, Richie ordered the New England clam chowder (see above - and yes, the garnish is croutons and chopped green onions)and he also got the shrimp tacos
$12. Charlie went for the crab cake $9. Rosalind the seared ahi sandwich $15 with sweet potato fries $4. I turned greedy and got the pair of shrimp tacos and the pair of pulled pork sliders with cole slaw $7. (But I didn't eat the pork buns or the taco shells.)

The portions were generous, the food was good and the view sensational. From our shady spot we looked across the sunny patio to the distant ocean. To see the shore, it's necesaary to get up and walk over to the fence at the cliff's edge. A formation of pelicans, all in a single line, flew past at eye-level to us, cliff level to them.

Having eaten our fill, we were grateful for the golf cart shuttle service that whisks you back to the top and the parking lot.

The big deal is go to Nelson's for the sunset. I liked it just fine around 1 p.m. with few other customers. The serenity was sensational!

The food tab was $66 (divided between four people for a cost of $16.50 per person) and the bar bill was $28 for a total of $94 before tax and 20% tip.

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