Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
At El Zocalo Mexican Steakhouse, the sounds of sizzling shrimp and chicken fajitas mingle with the horns and strumming guitars of banda and mariachi music. Servers add sight and smell to the sensory party by carting out colorful plates of parillada meat grills. The menu's grilled meats complement a sizable selection of seafood—lobster and salmon, to name a couple. But they also pair nicely with refreshing provisions such as cocktails and buckets of beer sourced from a 21-and-over sandbox.
Organic, market-fresh ingredients abound at Saladish, where oven-baked potatoes offset an epic build-your-own salad or wrap option replete with 8 proteins, 55 toppings, and 18 high-end dressings. Thai-peanut or feta-cheese vinaigrettes cascade over morsels of portobello mushroom, soybeans, basil, and sprouts within custom-made creations that are crammed with more vitamins and minerals than a dietician's fanny pack. Four types of oven-baked potatoes make an ideal sidekick to each feast, as do the five types of gourmet tortillas—including jalapeño cheddar and garlic herb—that accompany each handheld wrap. For drinks, Saladish offers a variety of freshly made organic juices, including apple, carrot, and Green Machine, which combines a number of tasty fruits and veggies.
The first challenge that players must face at The Links at Terranea takes place before teeing up their first shot: banishing all preconceived notions about par 3 courses. Golf Magazine is among several publications that have heaped praise on Todd Eckenrode's masterpiece-in-miniature, listing the course at number 2 on its rundown of the best par 3 destinations in the country. For good reason, too. The nine-holer winds through a 102-acre stretch of oceanfront perched way out on the furthermost tip of the Palos Verdes Peninsula with the azure waves of the Pacific extending to the horizon in nearly all directions and where Catalina Island can be spotted on clear days.
Covering 1,239 yards from the back tees, the course comprises holes ranging from 104 yards up to 173 yards, forcing golfers to juggle nearly every iron in their bags as opposed to just that one club they hit a hole-in-one with that time. The longest hole, fittingly nicknamed "Catalina," points in the direction of its namesake isle far off in the distance. The shortest, though, dubbed "Boomerang," leaves golfers in something of a pickle should they find themselves putting from the wrong end of the boomerang-shaped green.
The course's short setup makes it a natural choice for skilled golfers polishing short game fundamentals or beginners shying away from longer tests. The resort also furnishes golf skill and fitness classes staffed by PGA pros to help with improvement, as well as three pools, a spa, and several tennis courts to foster an atmosphere of relaxed luxury.