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I had originally thought about going to the famed Spago for my birthday celebration. However, I just did not want to drive the distance that day, so I decided on Mar’sel – an intimate and elegant restaurant up on the beautiful Palos Verdes Hills.

It was probably over a year ago that I had dinner there, and I remembered how spectacular the view and food were then. But believe it or not, it was actually the unforgettable muffin/bread that brought me back here for a second time.

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For the evening, the Oxtail Bolognese that I had ordered as appetizer had plenty of tasty shredded strips of meat mixed in with the pasta. I devoured the dish in no time since I was quite hungry to begin with. The Steamed Black Bass was deliciously moist and came with an incredibly luscious sauce. My friend’s Lamb Shank was quite large, as expected, flavorful and satisfying.

The entire wait staff was great – attentive, friendly, knowledgeable, and yet never imposing.

Usually I don’t get very full at this type of high end restaurant, but I was this time, probably due to the fact that I had almost 3 rounds of the warm delicious bread with lots of butter beforehand.

Dessert would have been a desirable ending to the wonderful meal, but I was already filled. As difficult as it was to do, I had to say “no, thank you”, to the waiter when the question was asked. Maybe next time.

Mar’sel – 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, Ca 90275  tel: 310-265-2800

$15- $32 appetizer, soup, pasta.          $30 – $120 entree

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