HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Graduation Dinner - I have reservations for Moonshadows... should I look further?

  • a

Hi All

I've been browsing this site for a while now but this is my first posting, I'm hoping you can help.

I'm a grad student from Kenya over at USC and will be graduating in a few weeks' time. My parents are flying in for the ceremony (and my brother is coming from San Diego) and the four of us are hoping to celebrate with a great meal in a good restaurant. It's an important evening not only because of the occassion but because I want the meal to be one of the highlights of their trip to LA.

There are certain factors to take into account...
1 - preferably seafood but the food has to be as good as it can get for the price - we're all food lovers and taste is definitely the most important criteria
2 - nothing too crazily expensive - $50-70 per person (exc. drinks)
3 - nowhere too stuffy or formal
4 - an ambience that will make the meal memorable (I'm leaning towards an ocean view but am flexible)

I currently have reservations for Moonshadows but am not sure if I should be looking further.

Can anyone help? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Welcome to the board! You might want to start on these two posts as a primer - they might be of help. Moonshadows used to be all about the view when I was in high school - the food was not a very serious consideration. However, it sounds like the new ownership is much more serious about making this place more of a dining destination. With that said, you'll find a fair amount of alternatives that might be worth comparing. The view from Moonshadows on a nice day or night is quite magical - nothing but ocean, sky, and coastline.

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/391291
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/82529

    Good luck and hang in there - only a few more weeks!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bulavinaka

      yes, look further!!! the food is HORRIBLE. very bland and medicore, ESPECIALLY for the price. the view is amazing but if u guys are food people, stay AWAY from here. I hear nobu's food is good. allegria's food is okay (better than moonshadows), duke's is great for lunch (very good salmon, best blt sandwich Ive ever had, amazing salads, delicious desserts, etc) plus they have a great view too.

    2. I'd consider the Lobster on the pier for a great view and pretty good meal.

      Up the coast, you could hit Geoffrey's, instead of Moonshadows.

      I'd also recommend the new Abode.

      If you wanted to come inland, I'd say for good seafood options Providence or Grace.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        Based on your requirements, I second The Lobster. Geoffrey's is a great second choice.

        1. re: Ogawak

          I'll third The Lobster. Although, you can't beat that view at Moonshadows, it actually makes the food taste better. In Moonshadows defense, I have had some great meals there - it's just that it's inconsistent - but when it's good, it's great.

          Also, Catch in Casa del Mar - it's just another one to throw in the ring.

      2. I went to Moonshadows a few weeks ago. I thought the food and drinks were mediocre. My dirty martini tasted awful. I would not want to go there with family for a nice graduation dinner. I do think it is a decent place to go for the view and for chatting with friends. I would recommend a place with a nicer interior and better food for a graduation.

        1 Reply
        1. re: katkoupai

          Just as an additional note, by "food" at Moonshadows, I actually meant the calamari appetizer, which was decent. We only had apps and drinks. Some friends got something called a Long Beach Iced Tea. I thought they meant Long Island Ice Tea, but I was wrong. It was a pink drink that tasted pretty good (the best of what we ordered there). The dirty martini was not good and the mojitos were nothing special. The view was lovely. We sat outside on the patio, where they have the cushions and mattresses. These seemed a bit dirty to me, but my cousin thought they were fine.

          We almost went inside as it grew darker outside, but inside the restaurant smelled musty to me (dank and damp). I would actually prefer to dine inside at Duke's in Malibu, near a clean window, with a good view.

        2. Moonshadows has a great view, a nice atmosphere, and a varied history as to food. When the new ownership came abroad a couple of years back, the food was quite decent, and much better than it had been before. I haven't eaten there recently though, and if taste is the most important criteria, then I'd say you could do better.

          I actually wouldn't vote for the Lobster -- in my experience I haven't thought much of the view or ambience. I've only had the lobster there, and it is not a bad place to eat lobster.

          1. No, no, no to Moonshadows! The ocean view can't be beat, but there is nothing else to recommend this place. The food goes from mediocre to worse, and even the comfort/decor are bland. I second Geoffrey's. What about the Getty Center? I haven't eaten there in a long time, maybe someone who has can chime in. The view is fantastic.