Every blue moon Redondo Beach beckons: There’s the bike ride along the Pacific to Venice for lunch and back. And then there are the mai tais at Old Tony’s Bar on the Redondo Beach Pier. For more than 50 years, Old Tony’s has been serving up these beauties — extremely potent yet delightfully fruity, they’re shaken and stirred by a couple of grizzled old bartenders who look like they invented the punch back in the ’50s. They’re part of Tony’s charm, and so is the free glass the mai tai comes in. It helps that the old buzzards quickly fill up your dish of free salty snacks whenever you have a hankering for some more — which is often when you’re on your third mai tai. The view is a keeper — lending a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the pier, the crowds and, most importantly, the ocean. Sit back, enjoy a cocktail and try to figure out if the weekend musician is pulling an Ashlee Simpson by lip-synching old rock & roll medleys, or if he is truly serenading the mix of locals and tourists. But then, after two or three of Tony’s best, does it really matter?
210 Fisherman’s Wharf, Redondo Beach Pier, Redondo Beach, (310) 374-1442.