Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club offers guests an authentic SoCal lifestyle experience in a casual, nautical-chic environment, inviting them to relax and let loose, embracing their “endless summer.” As Los Angeles’ only waterfront hotel, the 161 guest rooms feature private balconies perfect for viewing awe-inspiring sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. A recent $11 million renovation offers guests the perfect place to kick off their shoes, let down their hair and do as much or as little as they please.
On a recent stay-cation to the Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club in Los Angeles, I had a chance to dine in the fabulous Baleen restaurant. With more than 17 years of fine dining experience at high-end coastal destinations, native New Englander Jesse Souza was appointed in May 2006 as executive chef at seaside Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club, owned and operated by Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Leading a staff of 30, Chef Souza is in charge of culinary operations for the premier freestanding BALEEN Los Angeles restaurant and bar, oversees in-room dining, the Living Room Lobby Lounge and banquet operations for 8,000 sq. ft. of picturesque event space. Chef Souza keeps things fresh with seasonal and special occasion breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, ensuring a new culinary experience upon each visit. The seafood-centric cuisine incorporates local and sustainable ingredients, taking traditional delicacies and giving them a twist to create new classics, such as Duck Carnitas paired with cornmeal crepes, chipotle blackberry, and apple slaw, as well as his signature “Hole-in-One” brioche topped with asparagus and mushroom salad, reggiano, truffle vinaigrette and an over-easy egg.