Hungry Harbor

Bar and bites go bayside at R10 Social House.

Everybody needs a local watering hole on the water, but can’t we eat a little better while we toast those views? Enter R10 Social House, a jauntily nautical new spot on the Redondo Pier named for the deep channel buoy around which a mix of creatures, human and marine, like to congregate. R10 is meant to be just that—a gathering place where folks of all feathers can find something delicious.  

This “something for everyone approach” works in theory, although it does present a conundrum: Is this Social House a jumping bar with great food or an aspiring restaurant with fancy drinks? It really depends on what expectations you bring along with you. 

R10 occupies two levels, and while the top floor has the better views, it also doubles as the dance floor. The building itself is a bit labyrinth; we initially didn’t realize there was an upstairs at all, as the downstairs bar and dining space felt cozily complete.  

For those looking to party, the plush couches and weekend entertainment make the second level the place to be. The downstairs bar and dining area are much calmer if your goal is to have a civilized cocktail and conversation.  

Seasonality is the goal at R10 Social House, so expect to find a mix of whatever veggies are freshest from Chino Farms served alongside the prerequisite fries. Little Gem lettuce makes an appearance, as do local oysters and yellowtail, whereas the PEI mussels are delicious but hardly native to Redondo. 

We loved the addictive fried olives served with a tangy black garlic aïoli, and the cheeky “three little pigs”—a trio of wild boar sliders with tomato-bacon jam—disappeared quickly. For those with more substantial appetites, the culotte steak was a nice choice, although the Wagyu beef claimed on the menu wasn’t borne out in tenderness on the plate. 

The cocktail list exhorts you to trust the house, and on this point you should. What nouveau cocktail list is complete without something bourbon and bacon? Here it’s the “Speck of the Devil,” whipped up with Templeton Rye, maple syrup and a little speck for salty counterpoint. 

The “Navy Grog” was a zesty rum potion enlivened with grapefruit and a spiced syrup of winter fruits. Also present was the sommelier’s best friend, Fernet Branca, which at R10 appears in a “Secret Handshake” with tasty homemade cherry cola. 

Beers run the gamut from basics like Stella on tap to treats like Old Rasputin stout and Scrimshaw pilsner. And the wines are also surprisingly thoughtful, with great sips like A to Z chardonnay from Oregon—a steal at $7 a glass—to the Walt Blue Jay pinot noir from the Anderson Valley for $68 a bottle. 

Service is cheerful and wryly attentive, and while the early crowds have them scrambling, it’s my hope this charming newcomer will settle into the success it deserves.

 

Local Label

Uncorked in Hermosa Beach debuted their first label with the help of estate grapes from Happy Canyon Vineyards in Santa Barbara. Pier Avenue Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 is 75% cabernet, 10% cab franc, 10% merlot, 3% petit verdot and a touch of malbec. The bottle proved so popular, the shop ordered a new label for a late spring delivery. But how did this one taste? We poured a glass for a couple local wine enthusiasts and requested a review.

“I’m a sucker for a big, fat red. This is fruit-forward and appealing from the very first sip. I’d pair this with a charcuterie plate with smoked Gouda, blue cheese, a really sharp cheddar and some delicious cured meats.”
— Hannah Lee, Manhattan Beach

“This wine is easy to drink. It’s robust, smooth and dry with a warm finish. There’s a subtle note of blackberry that adds a hint of a tartness, and it would go great with a steak or really any red meat.”
— Tim Crowley, Hermosa Beach

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