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This popular seaside bar and restaurant is really several places in one. Located just steps from the beach along Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island, El Galleon is a big tourist draw with its airy patio and come-as-you-are, welcoming vibe. With several big-screen TVs (including a 65-inch plasma HD set), the restaurant also doubles as a hardcore sports bar that brings in a crowd of loyal locals, especially in the late afternoons and evenings, when the joint turns into a hopping karaoke bar. There's also a bluesy, jazzy feel to the place, with Mardi Gras beads dangling from ornate chandeliers, and artwork and figurines of legendary musicians evoking New Orleans. The upstairs mezzanine is used as banquet room and offers a more private respite from the hubbub in the main room. On top of all that, the bar serves a wide selection of German beers and fine European wines, as well as Bloody Marys that are infused with milk from Catalina's herd of wild buffalo. Not to be outdone, the restaurant proffers a wonderful mix of tropical specialties (such as the applewood-smoked luau plum barbecue ribs), continental fare (Polish kielbasa) and, not surprisingly, given El Galleon's beachfront setting, a wide range of seafood, including shrimp cocktails, oysters and French-fried calamari. Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. daily. All ages. Open daily.


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