Out by the Redondo Beach Pier, along Fisherman’s Wharf, stands an aesthetically better than usual pierside restaurant on the outside. However, it’s what you discover inside that matters most, and this one is worth the drive. Just 35 minutes south of Los Angeles (10-15 min from LAX), my Publisher and I made our way down. We were not expecting to be impressed, but that’s exactly what happened.
The experience began the moment we walked into Kincaid’s Restaurant with it’s welcoming decor. It is definitely above par for a pier restaurant, which also has a bar lounge and outdoor patio. Greeted by Lora Cawelti, one of the managers, we were escorted to a table by a window. Though, anywhere in this classic American dining establishment are scenic views of the Riviera and Palos Verdes in the distance, the Pacific Ocean, and the marina.
Both Lora, and our attentive server Devin took time to walk through the menu, pointing out signature dishes, and offering up personal recommendations. Let the fun begin!
The Cocktail Concoctions
I must be having a thing for St. Germain as my eyes instantly locked on the Elderflower Martini. Belvedere Pure Vodka, St. Germain liqueur, naturally, fresh sweet and sour, topped with a splash of Hendrick’s Gin. It is a deliciously strong, yet elegant drink. For a refreshing, breezy quencher, I sampled the Blueberry Crush, made with Stoli Bluberi Vodka, muddled blueberries, and fresh sweet and sour. I doubt you could be steered wrong with any cocktail on the menu.
The Apps (as in food, not the software...)
O M G! I couldn’t pick a favourite. They were all very scrumptious.
A signature dish. Toasted Macadamia Nut Encrusted Brie Cheese perfectly paired with fruit compote blended with orange-blossom honey and a balsamic reduction, and thin sliced, slightly crisp Granny Smith apples. A simply exquisite combo spread over crostini.
Spicy Ahi Tacos
I had envisaged a fried mini taco shell with some manner of tuna. Instead I was amazed at seeing Ahi sashimi crusted with minced corn nuts (odd, but it works) taking the place of a tortilla shell, enwrapping spicy tuna, fresh avocado in a spicy aioli, a pinch of tobiko caviar for the finishing touch, and drizzled with cilantro oil. The fish - super fresh. The balance of flavours and texture - just right. The piqaunce - medium. I could eat the entire plate myself.
I truly appreciated the presentation efforts made by Kincaid’s and their staff. When I initially saw a large soup-plate bowl brought to the table with only, and what turned out to be, butter poached lobster meat, I thought we received the wrong item. Then Devin arrived with a saucière in hand, and carefully poured in the bisque made with crème fraîche and fresh herbs. It is a rich, velvety soup thoroughly infused with lobster flavour.
New England Clam Chowder
Like the lobster bisque, the solid bites of clam, potatoes, caramelized leeks, and bacon were first presented alone, with a server adding in the cream chowder at the table. It was excellent, plus not too creamy, and not over salted.
Grilled Teriyaki Tenderloins with sweet soy glaze, spicy pineapple, and daikon sprouts on a bed of sticky rice. I’m not a big meat eater, but this would convert me. They really put the “tender” in tenderloin.
Seared Fresh Jumbo Scallops in a lemon butter sauce topped with ahi tuna tartare, sprinkled with crisped capers, on silky truffle oil mashed potatoes. Prepared to perfection.
Grilled Jumbo Prawn Scampi served with bacon leek tomato relish, and a scallop-butter sauce potato purée. Another hit.
Oven Roasted Crab and Artichoke Dip, which I had no problem foregoing the crostini, delighting in the generous mixture of crab and artichoke.
What to choose? Everything on the menu reads appetizing, but one of the most requested items is Kincaid’s Rock Salt Roasted Prime Rib. As you’ll see from the pic, we requested a thinner cut to keep our waistlines from expanding, ha! It is a carnivore pleasure, accompanied by silky truffled mashed potatoes with broccolini, herb jus, and spicy horseradish.
Cajun broiled yellowtail fish, tempura stuffed chile relleno with salsa on a bed of spicy spanish rice.
And yes, there was room for...
Key Lime Pie like you’ve never had before, equally layered with a silken pudding-like key lime filling, and a firm whipped cream to complement, in a thin graham crust, accompanied by a cool mint sorbet.
Burnt Crème. Creamy delicate custard encased under a thin sheet of torched caramelized sugar, just crisp enough to crack apart the moment your spoons bears down with the slightest of pressure.
Chocolate Indulgence, and you’ll agree too once you see the pic below. A densely light decadent chocolate. Is that possible? Apparently. Dark chocolate cake layered with chocolate fudge, and house-made thick milk chocolate sauce drizzled over the cake by Devin, at the table, to finish it off. The richness tempered with a light vanilla bean ice cream. I ate the whole thing, as well as the left over sauce.
In lieu of wine, I sampled the Taylor Tawney 10 year aged port dessert wine, that matched up well with the varying sweet treats. Next time, I plan to explore the wines from their wide selection of domestic and international brands.
While I can’t speak for the multiple locations across the country, Kincaid’s Redondo Beach doesn't give the impression of being a restaurant chain, which surely lends to its local feel. Virtually all the items on the menu are made from scratch, prepared in-house by Executive Chef Bert S. Agor, Jr., and his talented team, a rarity for even a small chain. When comparing prices to the portions, the cost is quite reasonable with uncompromising quality, and you will leave more than satisfied.
Thought: Considering that areas of the marina are lit up in the evening, outdoor views can be taken in when dining late night. In fact, twilight hour is quite breathtaking.
Bottomline: What comes to mind is Aspen meets coastal when I think of Kincaid’s Restaurant, a fish, chop, and steakhouse, for it’s warm, friendly staff, comfortable decor, and upscale food served in an unpretentious atmosphere. Bonus, panoramic oceanfront. It is casual elegance at it’s best.
500 Fisherman’s Wharf
Redondo Beach, CA
Ph: (310) 318-6080
Breakfast: Sat & Sun 11:00am-3:30pm
Lunch: Daily 11:00am-4:00pm
Dinner: Mon-Sat 4:00pm-10:00pm, Sun 4:00pm-9:00pm
Lounge: Mon-Thurs 11:00am-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm, Sun 11:00am-10:00pm
Happy Hour: Daily 3:00pm-6:30pm, and from 9pm 'til close.
Kincaid's Absolut Bloody Mary Bar Weekends from 11:00am 'til 3:30pm. Build your own masterpiece with assorted pickled goodies, house made garnishes, and the freshest vegetables. Finish it off with over 25 different hot sauces ranging from mild to insane. $10 for your first, and $3 refills.
Features & Notes
Ask the staff about gluten free options
It is a non-smoking restaurant. Large parties of 20 or more can be accommodated
Parking is conveniently located adjacent to the restaurant. Tickets are validated
For more information, please visit Kincaid’s website www.kincaids.com
Stay connected. Follow them on facebook and twitter
Published on Sep 02, 2012