Has this ever happened to you? You show up at a holiday event, find a seat, “enjoy” your banquet chicken, and…suddenly realize it is literally the last place on Earth you want to be. Apart from inside the middle of an active volcano. Interestingly, this has now happened twice to my husband and me. The first time, we schmoozed for about an hour then went to the hotel steakhouse. This time, we drove about twenty miles north for a date at Terranea Resort. Hey, why waste a good babysitter?
Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes must be paradise. Though only a few miles from the bustle of downtown Los Angeles, the 102-acre resort feels like a true getaway. Maybe it’s the private peninsula and coastal bluffs, or maybe the sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Besides the traditional adult-friendly amenities of spa and golf, they also supposedly have a fantastic kids’ program, waterslides, a splash pad, and S’mores Nights. We have wanted to go for a long time, but could never quite justify the price tag.
Having now seen Terranea, though, both my husband and I rethought the price justification.
Date at Terranea: the Lobby Bar
Terranea has not just one restaurant, but eight dining options. In all honesty, since we were on the lam from our holiday event, we did not make it farther than the Lobby Bar. With both indoor and outdoor seating with full service, we could choose where to rest based on the weather. On a balmy December LA day, we clearly chose to sit outside so we could watch the sunset. Initially, we planned on one drink and then head home to relieve the babysitter. The ambiance quickly convinced us to stay longer.
There is something about the way light refracts through a glass that makes me relax, whether it is a glass of iced tea or a flute of prosecco. The drinks at the Lobby Bar do not disappoint. While we visited, they had their special holiday drinks on offer. The Jolly Old Saint Nick was a mix of bourbon, sort of a boozier old fashioned. My husband actually found it a little strong, but really loved the signature Catalina Buffalo. A take on whiskey/ginger ale, the Catalina Buffalo is composed of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Araceli Marigold liqueur, ginger beer, and lemon. I enjoy wine a little more than cocktails, though I was intrigued by the peppermint white russian. The prosecco and house chardonnay complimented the food perfectly, and helped set that “date”-like tone.
They also have several local breweries on tap, including Firestone 805 (a particular favorite of mine).
Simply put, delicious. The limited menu whetted our appetites to try one of the other restaurants at the resort. We enjoyed the wagyu beef nachos and a meat-lover’s flatbread. From our vantage point at the center of the Lobby Bar’s outdoor patios, we also saw several people enjoying the Korean-style chicken wings, a brussels sprout salad, and a burger with cambozola and port-wine/bacon onion jam. I wish we had room for dessert.
Impeccable. My husband and I really aren’t that particular about service. We just want to have a good time with our family. Still, we notice when people go above and beyond. Terranea has some wonderful staff.
Costs are to be expected at a fancy Southern California coastal resort. The food started around $14 per plate. Cocktails were $14-17, wine about the same, beer a little cheaper. That being said, they do have happy hour specials Monday-Friday 4-6 pm. Keep in mind you may also need to pay for parking, unless you do a ride share service like Uber or Lyft.
Sunset at Terranea
Sunset is an event at Terranea. Fortunately, with it being winter and all, sunset happens at the very reasonable 4-5 pm hour. I think I will let the pictures speak.
Call the Babysitter
Honestly, my husband and I don’t get out much together for dates, so we splurged a bit. Terranea has so many options, though, I have a feeling we will be back. Any of the restaurants (or the Lobby Bar if you also get stopped by the view as you enter the hotel) would also be great for a girls’ night or family event. The hotel itself seems very kid-friendly. We encountered a lot of families with babies to teens, who all seemed to be having a good time.
Please leave a comment and let me know, where do you like to go for dates with your partner? Do you like fancy places or something easier? There are days my husband and I have even just gone grocery or holiday shopping as a date.
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