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Gladstone's in Long Beach--A Disappointment

We just had dinner at Gladstone's in Long Beach. We have not been to the original, so I can't compare it. However, the Long Beach branch has a typical "chain" restaurant appeal. The only thing it has going for it is the location--it is at the new Pike area and there's lots to see and do in the area. We got a window table with a nice view of the lighthouse, however, in general the atmosphere is like a circus. The lofty ceiling makes the noisy level almost unbearable. There are kids...lots of kids everywhere. (Sorry, when you are paying $28 for an entree the last thing I want is kids running by the table.)

We started with the fried calamari, which was tender and tasty. Not greasy at all. We both ordered glasses of chardonney. My glass smelled like cottoncandy. At first I thought it was a sweet wine but then I realized that their birthday "cake" is a big wad of cotton candy. The water poured the wine into a clean glass.

For the main course, I had fettuccini with lobster, shrimp and crab. The sauce was average--it could have used a little dimension, however, there was a good amount of seafood and it was real crab. My husband ordered a salmon special that was supposed to be seared salmon with a basil sauce. He got baked salmon with your typical mango salsa. We didn't notice the slip up immediately until I made a comment that his seared salmon was pretty overcooked. He realized he didn't get what he ordered and we told the waiter. The waiter said sorry, he must have punched in the wrong entree. That's it.

I wasn't expecting the best seafood restaurant in the world but based on all the koodos for the Malibu location, I was expecting something better than what we got. I guess for $28 for an entree, you can't expect that much.

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  1. I think your third sentence says it all. Purely for the tourists who come from places where there is no ocean.

    1. I don't know whether the Mods are going to put this on the new Chain board or not....

      I think the Malibu branch is all about the locale. I've eaten at Gladstone's in Malibu, in Universal City, and last year at the new one in Long Beach---just another piece of mediocrity with a view. I do not believe anyone in a Gladstone's kitchen is a more competent cook than what you'd find in a school cafeteria. And, yes, we were a party of 10 or 12 in the LB branch and two or three orders were completely screwed up. The corporation is simply not concerned with your good dining experience.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Mrs Fang

        We had a very similar experience with the Gladstone's in Malibu... Mediocre food at best, and the atmosphere is more "family sportsbar" than we'd like.

        1. re: Mrs Fang

          It is our understanding that Gladstone's is a local chain in the Southern California area, so discussion on the L.A. board is fine with us. We'd like discussion of any chains that span more than one local board on the new Chains board.

          Thanks.

          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            I didn't realize Gladstone's was a chain--we wouldn't have gone. I only thought there was Malibu and Long Beach.

            As we ate this average food, all we could think about was the wonderful seafood we get at Woody's in Newport and we were sorry we didn't go there. Woody's is so original and fresh, small, quiet and friendly. Best of all you get the food you order!

        2. Gladstone's is known for it's great views at the Malibu location. That one became popular, so they opened up other locations. They definitely aren't known for their food.

          1. I can see nothing has changed in the 10 years since I "HAD" to eat there. Gladstone's is ONLY good for a drink, a bar app too simple to screw up (Hopefully?), and the view.

            All REAL food consumption MUST be done elsewhere!

            1 Reply
            1. re: JBC

              We go to Glad's in Malibu for drinks and then an appetizer or two on the patio for the view. The food to me is awful, drinks are quite good. Besides the drinks, my other favorite part of Gladstones is the sea creatures they make out of tin foil for leftovers.

            2. For those of you that are speaking of Gladstones Malibu, it is actually in Pacific Palisades, the Malibu border is actually aboout a half a mile north.

              1. I don't think anyone on Chowhound would have "kudos" for Gladstone's either in Pacific Palisades or in Long Beach. Great views, yes. OK drinks, sure. But the food is singularly awful. Better choices abound.