The Legend Sets Sail in Marina Del Rey
I’ll never forget my final night in Maui. We were on our honeymoon and Mike treated us to a sunset dinner cruise. While I had always been nervous at the thought of being at sea, I adored the cruise. Any chance I get, I love being on a boat now. Mike? Not so much. We discovered he doesn’t feel so hot being at sea. Since that put a damper in any boat excursions I’d thought of for the both of us, I’d yet to be back on the water. Enter Marina Del Rey’s newest yacht cruise, the Legend.
I was thrilled when I was invited to be one of the first guests aboard the Legend. A yacht cruise boat led by Captain Skip and his crew. Whether you are looking for a day out on your own, a romantic night or even a day with the kids, the Legend offers cruises for all and not just for private parties. Read on to learn more about my wonderful night out in Marina Del Rey!
Discovering Marina Del Rey
Being a California native and LA resident for nearly 10 years, there are still many parts of this city I have yet to truly experience. Marina Del Rey and their gorgeous harbor are certainly areas falling into that category. Just next door to Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey is definitely becoming more than just the funky Fisherman’s Village and a picturesque place to head for a boat party in LA.
One of the best kept secrets to the community is definitely their food. From sophistication and marina views at Cast and Plow, to legendary dishes at Killer Shrimp, Marina Del Rey’s foodie scene is growing rapidly. Just last week, Aloha Poke opened their newest location in town-much to the happiness of the locals.
While driving to Marina Del Rey from the valley in the late afternoon made me nervous, I reached the Legend with time to spare. I often avoid Santa Monica since it feels “so far” from me yet, it’s completely doable. And worth it.
All Aboard the Legend
The Legend is a classic 70′ power yacht. Stately and nautical, I loved how welcoming Captain Skip and his crew were. Answering my questions about the boat and offering me a glass of wine as soon as I got settled. It was a gorgeous evening to watch the sunset.
What makes the Legend so exciting and unique is the fact that they’re selling individual tickets to the public. Just down from the Legend is the Duchess, also Captain Skip’s yacht which he rents out for private events. While a cruise on the Duchess would be a much larger ticket price and require you to round up a large group, the Legend enables individuals to enjoy being at sea. Perfect for someone like myself who loves solo time. It’d be a fantastic birthday with some friends, too.
The Legend is a great opportunity to see so many infamous landmarks of Los Angeles. Once it docks off from the harbor, you’ll embark on a 2.5 hour tour and cruise past the Venice Pier and Santa Monica Pier. You can catch a glimpse of the Venice Beach Boardwalk, and possibly even the LA skyline, Hollywood Hills and Century City. The Legend will then head up the Malibu Coast before turning back towards the Marina Del Rey Harbor. While we didn’t luck out on our evening, the Captain and crew are at the ready to announce when they see dolphins, whales and even an ocean sunfish-which is rare but still possible to see.
Cast and Plow at the Ritz Carlton
If after your cruise you’re feeling famished, look no further than the nearby Cast and Plow, located within the Ritz Carlton. Overlooking the bay, Cast and Plow has ranked among the best since its launch in 2014, including mentions from Gayot and Zagat.
With a New American menu, not only did I love that their gluten-free symbols were abundant, but also that they even include where many of their foods are sourced. Fruits and veggies are locally sourced from places like Maggie’s Farm in Agoura Hills and their seafood primarily comes from Kanaloa in Santa Barbara.
We started off with some decadent appetizers: charred carrots (grilled heirloom carrots, lemon chive ricotta, pistachio gremolatta), citrus cured tuna (with roasted corn, avocado crème) and a 63 degree egg (morel mushroom, sautéed spinach, Parmesan crisp). The winner among the first round at the table? The carrots. With their higher sugar content, carrots are already a sweet treat in my book. Add in ingredients like lemon chive ricotta, and this might as well be dessert. It was rich and a bit tart while the 63 degree egg surprised me. Savory and warm, it ended up pairing extremely well with my bites of carrots and the citrus cured tuna, which was an extremely light dish. I’d highly recommend the tuna if you’re planning on a heavier entree, and want a light bite to enjoy with a glass of wine.
Dinner on the Marina
While I admit we waited some time for our entrees, it was well worth the wait. For dinner, I was torn between the salmon and their vegan/gluten-free red quinoa bowl. The salmon ultimately won and it was an excellent choice. Accompanied with baby fresh greens, this could have been a very safe, simple dish. Instead, it was farm to table at its best. I also know I’m usually into something good when I am asked how I would like my fish cooked. Cast and Plow understands ‘medium well’ and the filet had the perfect shade of pink one looks for in a salmon. Flaky, subtle and full of flavor.
We all know I have a sweet tooth. Dessert was a show stopper at Cast and Plow. First off, I was impressed by the gluten-free offerings. While they’re known for an incredible selection of ice cream, I had to try the almond crumble with a dollop of vegan ice cream. Topped with fresh raspberries, I appreciated how well-proportioned this dish was, and that they offered a gluten-free/vegan dessert. I left Cast and Plow completely satisfied, instead of my often “I am going to keel over” feeling. Always a good thing, no?
Plan an Evening in Marina Del Rey
Book your sunset or afternoon cruise aboard the Legend HERE and don’t forget to make your Cast and Plow reservations. In addition to a terrific dinner, they also offer breakfast, brunch, lunch and a kid’s menu. Learn more about Marina Del Rey HERE.