Bluewater Grill in Redondo Beach
By Michael Hepworth
The reputation of restaurants in the South Bay even today remains questionable, but regular patrons of the Bluewater Grill in Redondo Beach (opened in 2001) don’t give a hoot about that as they continue to enjoy outstanding dishes created by local chef Brian Hirsty and his loyal team. A visit this week on a fairly busy Wednesday night was a complete revelation, with every dish selected turning out to be of the highest quality not only in the freshness and flavor, bit more importantly in the preparation and combinations on the plate. This is a place worth making the drive from Beverly Hills or the Westside if you are into seafood, if only to see what a creative chef and his team can do with every type of fish, the only exception being Orange Roughy, which is not on the menu. The restaurant has also gone through an extensive makeover, featuring a new color scheme, light fixtures, artwork, leather booths and china.
The influence of Asian fusion is everywhere to be seen on this menu, not a bad influence at all, and this highlighted by the current signature dish of Wild Alaskan King Salmon marinated in sake and soy, and glazed with molasses and roasted on a cedar plank with a ruby red grapefruit and lemon butter sauce. With the pick of the local suppliers and fishermen to choose from and almost 40 varieties of fresh fish every day, the kitchen can be really creative starting with the superb San Francisco Sourdough bread that goes perfectly with appetizers such as the calamari or the crab cakes, both a good yardstick of any restaurant. The butter also went through a rigorous selection process, and no wonder they go through 112,500 loaves of bread every year. The calamari was crisp and not rubbery at all, while the crab cakes did not over emphasize the fishy taste, which can sometimes be a problem.
The main courses I selected were the amazing yam crusted halibut from Alaska with Asian noodles, and a sweet chili glaze, and the blackened swordfish (harpooned aboard the Captain Hook) with roasted vegetables. Other menu standouts that I will try in future visits include the Mississippi Catfish, Australian Barramundi and the Golden Tilapia from Costa Rica . There is so much more going on here with the menu such as the signature Clam Chowder and the Lobster Bisque, and the Oysters Rockefeller, Mussels and Clams. The shellfish come from Puget Sound, and the lobster come from the fishermen in Redondo Beach . Current promotions are featuring the local harpooned swordfish, and starting on October 12 look for the local spiny lobster to be featured. Other upcoming events are the lobster challenge on October 14 pitting spiny vs. Maine vs. Australian, and Pacific Northwest Oyster and Wine tastings on November 11. They have also expanded the cocktail bar, and if the Pomegranate Martini is anything to go by, then these have to be some of the liveliest cocktails in town. Also it would be totally unfair not to mention the superb desserts at the Bluewater Grill that you need to try also, that is if you have any room left.
665 N Harbor Dr, Redondo Beach, CA 90277