If you plan to woo your beloved on Valentine’s Day from dawn ’till dusk, why not start with breakfast? The South Bay is the perfect place to linger over breakfast by the beach. Here are three restaurants for pancakes with your precious: two casual and reasonably priced, and one so fancy your Valentine will say, “be mine” before lunchtime.
Martha’s 22nd St. Grill, Hermosa Beach
This popular spot on the Hermosa Beach Strand is a great place to sit outside and enjoy the beach vibe. It is casual, with cheap plastic chairs and tables, so make sure your date isn’t the high-maintenance type. But the next-to-the-beach location, good food and friendly service make up for that. There’s something to please everyone, with homemade muffins, pancakes and French toast, every egg dish imaginable, plus health-conscious choices, too. Please note: You will have to wait, probably for a long time. This will give you plenty of opportunity to hold hands and chat with your Valentine. Afterward, stroll on the strand or hit the beach. Martha’s is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 310-379-0070.
Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, Manhattan Beach
Just a few blocks from the ocean and easy to find in downtown Manhattan Beach, Uncle Bill’s has been a landmark in this town since 1961. Look for the crowds waiting on benches on Highland Ave. and you’ve found the place. It is a pancake house – buttermilk, buckwheat, blueberry, multi-grain, cinnamon apple, macadamia nut – the list goes on. Choose from good French toast, breakfast wraps, egg dishes and omelettes. This family-owned place has real beach charm, situated on the corner of a “walk street” with a view to the beach from its outdoor tables. Uncle Bill’s is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. www.unclebills.net. 310-545-5177.
Catalina Kitchen at Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes
Take a drive out to the beautiful Terranea Resort, perched above the ocean on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, for a pull-out-the stops Valentine’s Day breakfast. Whether you sit indoors or out, you’ll enjoy the view overlooking the pool, coastline and ocean. Sip pomegranate juice and feast on farm-fresh berries, chocolate croissants, and vanilla cinnamon French toast. Feed your date the Monterey omelette, with asparagus, chicken breast, spinach and Gruyere. Or, pretend you’re a healthy eater and go for the homemade granola. Don’t worry; you can walk it all off, following the hiking trails around the Terranea property. This is a great spot to utter that first “I love you.” Catalina Kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Reservations recommended. 310-265-2836.