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Eater's Journal: mar'sel

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Here we have a new installment of Eater's Journal, wherein we discuss some of our recent meals because, hey, we eat too. Disclaimer: This is just a recent one time visit evaluation, in no way is this a multi-visit full-on review.

We have been meaning to check out the new Palos Verdes resort Terranea since it opened two and a half months ago and finally made it over to the property’s fine dining destination, mar’sel. It’s actually not as far as one might think and after hopping off the 405, the drive along the coast is quite pleasant. First thoughts: liked the dining room which is on the smaller side but large doors and an abundance of windows that look out on to the ocean make the room feel bigger than it is. The central fireplace adds a cozy touch, as do the pretty vaulted wooden ceiling and other wooden flourishes. First and foremost, the service was impeccable without that awkward flock of hovering waiters that can sometimes accost a table. Menus came right away as did warm bread and room temperature Plugra butter. On this evening the dining room was halfway full with what appeared to be mostly well–dressed resort guests (except for one garishly dressed woman who appeared to have just stepped out of Vegas in a too tight sparkly number) and a small birthday celebration a few tables away.

The menu, organized by chef Michael Fiorelli, is market-driven and on the pricey side, but hey, it is the resort’s fine dining restaurant so no shocker there. Overall pretty straight forward California fare with some Italian influences, not too simple and nothing overly complex. One bite of the sweet corn soup with mini croque madame, gnocchi with La Quercia prosciutto and English peas, or the duck confit makes us wonder why we haven't heard of chef Michael Fiorelli and why LA food bloggers haven't trekked out to give this place a taste. Overall, very good meal with thoughtful wine pairings. On the downside, didn't love the crudo of pacific hiramasa a tad on the fishy side and desserts didn't leave a lasting impression, but in all fairness that could be attributed to one too many glasses of wine. Chances we'll go back: If in the area and feel like splurging.
·EaterWire: Terranea Resort's 8 New Restaurants, Rose Cafe Opens Back Patio [~ELA~]

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