So where do the locals go? Many of them crowd into El Galleon (411 Crescent Ave., 310/510-1188, daily 11 a.m.–9 p.m., $10–30). It’s easy to get to since it’s part of the walk-only area on Crescent Avenue, and the porch has a fabulous view out to the harbor. The large menu speaks to hearty American diners with lots of aged steaks, chicken dishes, and fresh fish.
Lighter eaters can peruse the selection of salads, soups, and seafood appetizers. For a major feast, take a look at the prix-fixe menu, which offers a hearty four-course dinner for about $70 per person.
The dessert menu offers a few unusual treats, plus a wide array of sweet and strong coffee drinks to round off your evening. El Galleon boasts a full bar and a fun vibe, and live karaoke runs into the night. If you prefer an earlier evening, happy hour is 3–6 p.m. each evening.
For a more serious upscale dining experience, get a table in the dining room at the Catalina Country Club (310/510-7404, www.visitcatalinaisland.com, $30). You don’t need to be a member to enjoy a refined dinner here, or at one of the Country Club’s two more casual dining venues.
Unlike most of the rest of the island’s restaurants, here you’ll be served some high-end California cuisine, complete with a focus on organic and sustainable ingredients.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition