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Gabi James Happy Hour in Redondo Beach.

By: Maren Swanson • February 24th, 2019

Redondo Beach sunset.

The drive to happy hour in Redondo Beach is a fantastic precursor to finding reduced-priced cocktails and dishes in the South Bay. Let me explain, and of course, forget about the annoying traffic for a minute. It happens during that time of day when the sun starts to set and swaying palm trees pop up in your commuting eyeline. The sky starts to turn orangey-pink, the scent of the ocean filters in your window, and you to think... I could live here.

I arrived at Gabi James restaurant on a day just like this. The sun was almost set, and I ran out of my meter-parked car and headed close enough to the beach so I that I could snap a shot of the perfect palm tree profiles on the purple-hued horizon. It was magical.

Gabi James restaurant in Redondo Beach.
Gabi James happy hour menu.

Moments later, I entered the doors of the red, neon-lit labeled building and proceeded to grab a seat and a nearby bar table. The bar was completely full, so it was the only option I had. I was waiting for a friend to arrive, so I scanned the happy hour menu and ordered the “cocktail of the day.”

“What is it?” I asked. The woman before me replied, “We don’t have a name for it yet, but it’s made with mezcal, kumquats and vanilla simple syrup.” SOLD! Turns out the use their own local-grown kumquats to make the drink – delicious. While I sipped on my cocktail, they brought by crispy house made potato chips to nosh on.

Gabi James happy hour cocktail.

When my friend arrived, we ordered the Potato Croquettes, Mixed Olives, and Jamon and Crispy Calamari. I even got a Gilda. Ask what it is. I read the description and then procedded to order it out of complete curiosity. It’s an anchovy lollipop! To be honest, I probably wouldn’t order it again on its own, but I think it would be a fantastic garnish for a brunch Bloody Mary.

Did I mention the cuisine was Spanish meets coastal French? Co-owner Sarah had stopped by our table and explained the theme of their restaurant and name. She describes the environment as, ‘A place to eat, conversate and enjoy yourself.' Sara is full Italian, but her dad grew up in Southern France, plus she has family on the Spanish side. Her roots are planted in this restaurant and it shows on the menu.

Gabi James restaurant in Redondo Beach.
Spanish Jamon at Gabi James.
Grilled Bread at Gabi James.

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