Rancho Palos Verdes: Happy Hour Crawl at Terranea

view from Terranea

view at Terranea


I love bar crawls. And I love happy hour. What if we combined the two and never have to leave a property? You can certainly do that at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.

happy hour at the Lobby bar

happy hour at the Lobby bar


First we hit up the happy hour at the main lobby. The bar may not be as well known as the popular locals’ hangout, Nelson’s or the fun sushi place everyone raves about, Bashi but it has its own charm with comfortable chairs and a pretty tiled bar.

We started out with a French 75 and an Old Fashioned which were only $8 each.

charcuterie plate at the Lobby bar

charcuterie plate at the Lobby bar


We also decided on a little nosh and got a couple of cheeses with our cured meats platter. I loved how they piled on the cornichons and we pretty much decimated this platter in minutes.

grapefruit ale at Nelson's

grapefruit ale at Nelson’s


As mentioned, Nelson’s is the locals’ favorite. We opted to sit inside at the bar though the patio looked inviting. I got a grapefruit ale (only $5 at happy hour) while we weighed our options for bar snacks.

wings at Nelson's

wings at Nelson’s


I liked how we were given whole radishes with the chicken wings. It’s a playful twist on the traditional celery and carrot sticks.

burger at Nelson's

burger at Nelson’s


The wings were great but things got a little weird when we decided to stick them into our burger (after we removed the bones, of course) creating a Foodbeast-worthy wings burger. Also that burger had a ton of burrata which we approved.

We wanted to linger but we’re on a happy hour crawl so on to the next stop!

wine and tuna tartare at Catalina

wine and poke at Catalina



Heading back to the property, we popped into Catalina which has a chic California vibe. Sensing this was a good time for a glass of wine and some poke, I settled into the patio and enjoyed the people watching.

This poke had a nice amout of avocado and seaweed salad. I joked that this would be called tuna tartare in the 80s but of course, the trendy food now is poke salad.

A note on the Catalina happy hour, I thought wine was the best deal at $6 a glass while cocktails were still full-priced. However, if you bought two cocktails, the second was half off.



Hitachino shochu cask-aged beer

Across the way from Catalina is the Asian hot spot, Bashi. We pulled up some stools at the bar. I got a Hitachino, one of my favorite Japanese beers but decided to try the shochu cask-aged beer.




We met several people who said the sushi was so good at Bashi. We wanted to try a little of everything so we got a rainbow roll. Maybe because it was happy hour but it wasn’t my favorite.




Instead, I enjoyed the hot foods more. The hoisin-glazed baby back ribs were great.

spicy wontons

steamed chicken dumplings


The chicken dumplings came with an extremely spicy sauce that got me with every single bite. Make sure you keep your beer handy.


Aviation at Mar'sel

Aviation at Mar’sel


Our last stop was at Mar’sel which I hadn’t been to in a few years. They don’t have happy hour but I wanted to check them out for drinks. We had some plates on their lovely patio.

seared tuna

seared ahi tuna


I didn’t think we were still hungry but everything sounded so great. We got the seared tuna which was supposed to come with crispy rice but maybe they meant rice crackers.

octopus at Mar'sel

baby octopus at Mar’sel


Seared foie gras, crab salad, fennel soup with clams… it all sounded so good but in the end we decided on the baby octopus with squid ink tortellini. Kissed by the ocean air, it was a little bit on the colder side but it’s possible we should have ate indoors as well.

crispy potatoes at Mar'sel

crispy potatoes at Mar’sel


On the other hand, we loved, loved, loved the crispy potatoes. That citrus aioli was just so great. It was hidden in the bottom of the bowl but once found, we made sure every bite had a swipe of garlic-y sauce.

White Negroni

White Negroni


Being outside for “happy hour” meant we saw some spectacular clouds porn. Terranea is just so beautiful.




One more bite at Terranea? How about the burrata with proscuitto. I’d love to come back for a full dinner another time but eating on the patio and enjoying some down time after our frenetic happy hour crawl was marvelous.

Who am I kidding? When’s the next happy hour bar crawl!?

Terranea Resort

100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275  —  (310) 265-2800

© The Minty 2015