Sea of Love

Rendezvous and recipe inspired by the Pacific

The lure of the ocean draws lovers each Valentine’s Day to Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. With the holiday falling on a Tuesday this year, couples can turn their celebration into a full month of romance. Fortunately this innately amorous resort will offer a few new surprises to up the allure.

Extend your stay with Terranea’s Romance Package, including luxury oceanfront accommodations, sparkling wine and strawberries, a rose petal bath and daily breakfast for two at catalina kitchen. Rates start at $625 per night. Book with promotional code: ROMANCE. For couples traveling with little ones, Tide Pool Kids Club offers 20% savings Monday-Thursday and 10% on Friday-Sunday, when mom and dad dine, golf or have a spa treatment together throughout the month.

The spa will offer a couple special treatments geared toward pairs who like to pamper. With the TRANQUIL WE, you can both float in a copper tub while taking in aromas of orange blossom and vanilla, followed by a cocoon wrap of tranquility to nourish, calm and harmonize the body. A full face, neck, body and scalp massage is incorporated for complete bliss, providing a silky and balanced feeling. The 90-minute treatment for two is available for $295 per person.

With the new Youthful Renewal, love isn’t the only thing making you glow! Look your best for dinner with your special someone with an effective facial that helps to reduce the signs of aging. The service incorporates essential oils and powerful, natural extracts to promote cell renewal, stimulate collagen, hydrate and reduce inflammation to promote a more youthful appearance. The 60-minute treatment is $210 per person. Extend the treatment to 90 minutes for $295 per person.

If you want to get even closer to the sea, you can enjoy couples yoga overlooking the ocean as the sun sets on the 14th at 5 p.m. Breathe fresh air into the relationship during Partner Nature’s Gym offered February 11 and 18 at 4 p.m. A two-hour partner coastal hike also makes for an intimate outing, allowing you and your loved one to journey along the coastline and hopefully see a whale breach the water. Fortunately, February is a prime time in grey whale migration, so you won’t want to miss this seasonal opportunity.

mar’sel, Terranea’s signature restaurant, will offer a five-course prix fixe menu ($145), as well as a limited à la carte menu, created by Chef de Cuisine Andrew Vaughan. The prix fixe menu highlights include treasures of the sea, like caviar and burrata, butter poached lobster and grass-fed beef tartare.

On Valentine’s Day, the newly renovated catalina kitchen will offer a three-course menu featuring dishes such as oysters, foie gras, prime filet of beef and white truffle mac and cheese.

Excite the taste buds at bashi, Terranea’s contemporary Asian restaurant with a chef-driven menu including grilled octopus, wagyu short ribs, crispy Atlantic lobster tail and more.

If you’re lucky enough to book a Villa or Casita at Terranea, you can also cook up some romance with a little quality time in the kitchen. This salty-meets-sweet take on a signature soufflé hints at the ocean without overpowering the dish. Warming ginger adds just a touch of heat to spice up the night.

One dessert. Two spoons. The venue is up to you.

Salted Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Strawberry, Ginger Chantilly Cream
Makes (1) 16-ounce or (2) 8-ounce soufflés

Ginger Syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon peeled, fresh, grated ginger (2-inch piece)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Ramekin Prep
Butter inside of a 16-ounce ramekin, dust with granulated sugar. Tap out excess sugar and chill.

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or bread flour for a “chewier” texture
1 ounce unsalted butter
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips 62% cocoa, slightly melted
4 fluid ounces whole milk
1 deseeded, scraped vanilla bean, seeds only
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks

3 large egg whites, room temp
pinch, cream of tartar

pinch, natural sea salt (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
powdered sugar
Strawberry & Ginger Chantilly Cream (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400º. Combine ingredients for Ginger Syrup.  Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Strain liquid and reserve. Should yield approximately 1 tablespoon of syrup. Save ginger pulp for Chantilly Cream recipe below.

In a medium saucepan slowly whisk the flour into the melted butter, making a blonde roux paste. Cook about 3–4 minutes without browning. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips to a warm (not hot) mixture. Stir until fully combined and the chips are completed melted into the base.

Scald milk and vanilla by bringing to a near boil and remove from heat. Add ginger syrup. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until fluffy and pale in color. Slowly add a small amount of hot milk to the egg mixture and then mix the two mixtures. (This prevents the egg yolks from scrambling.) Combine with chocolate roux mixture. Reserve. Can be made a day in advance. Warm over a double broiler until batter stirs easily.

Whip egg whites in a clean bowl on medium until frothy. Add cream of tartar and whip until stiff peaks form yet meringue is still glossy and not dry. Whip ¼ of the meringue into the room-temperature soufflé batter until mixed throughout. Carefully fold in the rest of the meringue (leave visible streaks of meringue). Transfer batter to a piping bag. Pipe into prepared ramekins, with a circular motion. Make sure that the top 1/8-inch of the inside rim of the ramekin is clean by taking a thumb around the top inner edge to remove the butter and sugar. This allows the soufflé to peak and rise with ease. Smooth top of soufflé with a wet finger or back of a wet spoon.

Turn oven temp down to 375º after the first 4 minutes. Bake soufflé on a sheet tray on the middle rack of the oven until it rises 1 inch above rim, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with sea salt. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with Strawberry & Ginger Chantilly Cream and vanilla bean ice cream.

Note: Oven temps may vary. Place soufflé away from hot spots and resist opening the oven door until they have risen. If the soufflé is not done inside, turn the oven up 25º and reheat until it rises and is cooked through.

Strawberry & Ginger Chantilly Cream
Whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar or powdered sugar. Once the cream starts to thicken, add the ginger pulp. Continue to whip until thick peaks form. Fold in 3 to 4 finely diced fresh strawberries. Add additional sugar to taste. Reserve under refrigeration until ready to use.

Success Tips
Clean the mixing bowl and whisk with white vinegar and water and dry completely before whipping egg whites.

Make sure egg whites are room temperature and free of any egg yolks before whipping. Buy a container of pure egg whites for perfect, no-hassle meringue.

Don’t overmix base, and carefully transfer mixture to the piping bag, or the soufflé mixture will deflate and not have enough structure to properly rise.

Undercooked soufflés can be reheated for a few minutes to rise again if they are still warm from the oven. Leave the oven on. Turn it up 25º in case you need to pop the soufflé back in for a couple minutes.

If the top surface is cracking, your oven might be too hot or you may have cooked it too long. A dusting of powdered sugar and Chantilly Cream can solve most soufflé imperfections. Enjoy!

For more information about Terranea Resort’s Valentine’s Day dining events, please visit,

Written by Darren Elms & Kara Mickelson