Video highlight: Monsieur Marcel
July 14, 2020 – LACA celebrates Bastille Day! Our President Mark Peterson visits Monsieur Marcel at the Original Farmers Market in our latest YouTube video.
LACA Chats with Maria Elena Castillo
July 6, 2020 – Meet Maria Elena Castillo, Chef Concierge of Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach and Marina Hotel. Maria Elena has been a concierge and a member of the L.A. Concierge Association for thirty years.
We visited Maria Elena last year at her hotel for our “LACA Member Spotlight” video series (available on our Facebook page) and wanted to catch up with her again this month to get her feedback and insights on Redondo Beach and much more!
What can visitors do if they wanted to “staycation” in Redondo Beach during the current beach closures? Go for a coastal drive in a convertible with the top down, or rent an electric golf cart thru E3 Vehicles. They’re street legal. Another simple way around the local area is by a simple beach cruiser. I like to recommend Marina Bike Rentals.
How is the current local restaurant scene in Redondo Beach? Majority of restaurants are open. Our Beach Cities have always savored the outdoor dining, now it is enjoyed at a distance with the same sunshine, so wear a hat and bring a good pair of sunglasses.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned during this coronavirus pandemic and quarantine experience? My appreciations have grown to the extreme when walking and a neighbor greets you from across the street or even a wave from a distant driver waves hello.
Why is the role of the hotel concierge more important than ever? Now more than ever hotels need to be ever so vigilant at welcoming our guests. The struggle is real for the concierge of today. The “Golden Rule” has always been embedded into our souls and we’re always going to make a stay ever so memorable.
What are your top 3 restaurants? Chef Melbas Bistro in Hermosa Beach. Their seafood is mouthwatering. Radici also in Hermosa Beach. I’ll order their Pappardelle Bolognese with a glass of Nebbiolo Ochetti…yum. Also, The Arthur J restaurant in Manhattan Beach. Their steaks are my forever favorite there.
In-N-Out or Shake Shack? In-N-Out and Shake Shack are very good burgers, but if you’re asking me for an incredible burger, check out The Standing Room. The one in Redondo is shared with a liquor store (wink, wink)…the burger is so meaty that you’ll want to be careful eating as the juices can come down to your elbows! The sweet potatoes fries are a great addition, always super crispy.
What are your 3 favorite movies? “My Fair Lady” (Audrey Hepburn), “The Changeling” (George C Scott) and “Three Days of the Condor” (Robert Redford). I know, all so different. very good question and I can honestly say, I just love movies like everyone else in LA!
What traits do you admire most in people? Strength and kindness in a person’s eyes, especially now when were wearing masks. Oh yes, we can tell if you’re smiling!
Your dog’s name is Buttercup. Tell us about her and the origin of her name? I adopted Buttercup as a retired show dog. I was told that she had a blood line that won Westminster and unfortunately for the past owners, Miss “B” did not show well. I was sold when the advertisement in our local paper said that “The dog loves a great hotel stay”. I thought, this could be the dog. Her show name was “As You Wish, Princess Buttercup”. Without a questionable doubt the dog lives for car rides in either one of the two convertibles. I think she prefers the Corvette over the Mini Cooper. Buttercup is a smart 12 year old bulldog (that’s 75 in dog years…she’d rather we not discuss her age). Honestly, this bitch is still going strong and is always in my prayers every night!
Where would you most like to live? I love LA and I’ll forever stay in LA county and my love for the beach communities is forever embedded into my soul.