A Seaside Destination for Your Next Anniversary

Escape to this Southern California foodie destination for a romantic getaway.

When you think of a relaxing getaway, lounging by the pool, a visit to the spa or enjoying one too many cocktails may come to mind. But for couples who love to eat, food—and good food at that—is definitely a priority. Well, we found a place where you can have it all, with a particular emphasis on the dining part.

  1. terranea cliffs to ocean
    Photo by Terranea

    Terranea Resort is a Mediterranean-style destination on the Palos Verdes Peninsula of Southern California. The property was formerly home to Marineland, California's first major theme park, so it's only fitting that an “adult" amusement park was built in its place.

    beige guest room

    And even with breathtaking views of the area's rolling hills, rocky coastline and the Pacific ocean, we found that's what taken a hold of our attention is the resort's focus on quality dining.

    terranea at night

  2. grapes in hand
    Photo by Terranea

    Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra oversees the resort's eight restaurants, from the Pan-Asian restaurant Bashi to mar'sel, which serves classic California cuisine with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients—including ones Ibarra grows and produces himself.

    Just a few miles south of the resort you'll find Catalina View Gardens, where he grows fresh seasonal crops, like heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons—you name it. The produce can be found in dishes throughout the resort, particularly at mar'sel and infused in cocktails served in the lobby bar. As for produce and meat that's not produced at the gardens? He makes sure its all sourced from local So-Cal farms too.

    honeycomb

    The property also hosts Ibarra's bee hives—which not only create honey for the resort, but pollinate the Catalina View Garden plots as well, contributing to the resort's focus on ecological sustainability. In that same effort, Ibarra set up an onsite sea salt conservatory, where his team produces salt from the Pacific waters using a natural evaporation process. You'll find the freshly made salt on the rim of your margarita glass (see the recipe below). The best part? You can bring salt home with you—visit the resort's coffee bar/bakery/store Sea Beans, to buy some—we recommend the smoked or lemon options.

    And if eating at one of the restaurants isn't quite enough to satisfy your foodie needs, Chef Ibarra also offers a bi-monthly dinner series, where you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the culinary experience the resort has to offer as you join Ibarra for a three-course meal with hand-picked wine pairings.

  3. The Recipes

    Photo by Terranea

    Meyer Lemon Margarita

    Ingredients:

    • 1.5 oz Don Julio Blanco
    • 1 oz Limoncello
    • .5 oz Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice
    • .25 oz Dash of Honey
    • Rimmed with Local Sea Salt

    Mix and serve on the rocks!

    Ocean Water Poached Southern California Halibut with a Meyer Lemon

    poached halibut

    Ingredients:

    For the Fish:

    • 1 cup ocean water
    • 2 cups fish stock
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 5 whole black peppercorn
    • 1/2 bay leaf
    • 1 branch of each: parsley and thyme, bundled
    • 1 tbsp white wine
    • 4-6 oz halibut filets
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp espelette/ezpeleta pepper powder


    For the Vegetable Quinoa Paella:

    • .7 oz olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 3/4 cup quinoa
    • 1/4 tsp saffron
    • 1 tsp Spanish paprika
    • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
    • 7 oz tomato, diced
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    • 4 oz red Kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 & 1/2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
    • 1/4 cup English peas
    • 2 oz jarred artichoke hearts, cut in chunks
    • sea salt, to taste
    • crushed black peppercorn, to taste
    • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
    • 1/4 oz. EVOO

    For the Sofrito:

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
    • 1/4 cup zucchini, diced
    • 1/2 garlic, chopped
    • 8 oz tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
    • 1 pinch oregano
    • crushed black peppercorn, to taste
    • 1 tbsp white wine
    • 1/2 tsp parsley, chopped


    For the Meyer Lemon Sauce:

    • 2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
    • 1/2 garlic clove
    • 1 sprig fresh thyme
    • 1/2 shallot, chopped
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 4 tbsp sweet butter
    • 3 whole peppercorns
    • sea salt, to taste


    Directions:

    Step 1: Prepare the Broth
    In a shallow pan, over medium heat, add ocean water, stock, garlic cloves, bay leaf, parsley, thyme and white wine. Bring liquid to simmering point, let cook for five minutes, set aside, hot.

    Step 2: Make the Quinoa Paella
    In a large colander, rinse quinoa. Then, in a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté onion and garlic and peppers for one minute. Add quinoa and saffron, then cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in paprika, cumin, tomatoes, beans and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Place zucchini over quinoa and cook another 5 minutes or until quinoa is cooked. Once cooked, stir in English peas and artichokes. Let it rest for 5 minutes, covered. Garnish with parsley and olive oil.

    Step 3: Make the Sofrito
    While Quinoa is cooking: In a skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add white wine, reduce half way then add zucchini, pepper, oregano, sea salt and peppercorn. Cook until slightly reduced, stirring to a semi dry consistency. Set aside, keeping warm.

    Step 4: Create the Meyer Lemon Sauce
    Over medium heat, add olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and shallot and cook for 3 minutes. Add white wine, reduce liquid to half. Add butter, small pieces at a time until sauce has emulsified. Remove from heat but keep warm.

    Step 5: Cook the Halibut
    Bring sea water mixture to a gentle simmering point and carefully place the four halibut fillets in liquid. Allow to cook for three minutes before removing pan from stove. Keep halibut fillets immersed and covered for four more minutes. Then, using a slotted spatula, transfer halibut fillet to a paper-lined platter; pat dry.

    Finishing Touches: Scoop Quinoa Paella in the center of the plate, place halibut leaning on the paella. Spoon fish with Meyer lemon sauce, top with a dollop of sofrito, add chopped parsley, drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), garnish with Meyer lemon segments (2 on each fillet) and sprinkle with Espelette/Ezpeleta pepper.