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Beachhounds, I Need Your Help!

A friend and I want to capitalize on the pleasant spring beach weather we have been having this week. Help us find a vegetarian-friendly lunch place anywhere along the coast from Malibu to Venice. Something open and airy, no cavern-like Mexican or sports bars. Food must be vegetarian friendly but not strictly vegetarian. We like Thai, New American, Italian but not limited to it. No more than $20pp. Patio areas and/or ocean views a plus! Basically I want to feel like I'm at the beach. We arent driving from Koreatown to be in a cave.

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  1. Duke's in Malibu,
    The Lobster (but no outdoor patio),
    Abode's bar menu (sit on the patio),
    World Cafe,
    Beechwood (again, bar menu, sit on the patio)

    2 Replies
    1. re: yogachik

      the lobster 1) will most likely cost more than $20/pp and 2) offers relatively few vegetarian options

      1. re: yogachik

        Beechwood doesn't open till after 5pm. It would be a great dinner option.

      2. Where Washington ends and the Venice Pier begins there are a couple of outdoor places...sorry, can't remember the names. Can't miss them. Or, on the Boardwalk in Venice - Fig Tree Cafe. Or, drive up to Malibu Seafood Market and eat outside. They have salads, baked potatoes, french fries if you don't eat fish. Or,pack your own lunch and go to a beach area that you like with a blanket.

        1. 'rose cafe' in venice...not directly on the beach but has a great oceanview patio.

          'fig tree cafe,' 'sidewalk cafe,' on the waterfront cafe'..both on the venice boardwalk.

          places not on the beac [a couple of blocks away] but with a definite 'beachy' feel...'canal club' or 'james' beach' in venice.

          'back on the beach' in santa monica...directly on the beach/sand.

          'malibu grill' on pch ['duke's' doesn't really have any vegetarian options.]

          2 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I think Figtree Cafe is exactly what you're looking for. It's not life-altering food or anything, but it's definitely good, well within your price range, and right on the boardwalk.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Unless we're talking about a different place, the Rose Cafe in Venice does not have an oceanview. It's three blocks from the beach and there are so many trees around the patio, that there is no view. That said, it's a wonderful place to eat.

              Fig Tree Cafe and James Beach would seem to be the best bet if you want to be really close to the beach.

            2. The food served at restaurants on the ocean side of pch in Malibu is very average; you are paying for the view not the food. Geoffrey's is probably the best of the bunch in terms of patio dining and food, but you may be pressed to keep it within your budget if $20pp includes tax and tip. The food is barely average at Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, but if you stick to the salad bar or chilled shellfish you'll be ok. It's right on the sand and afterward you can walk or lounge on the beach. (I think the parking validation is for 3 hours.) Other choices in Malibu are Malibu Seafood (very casual with patio seating at picnic tables) and Taverna Tony's (Greek with lots of vegetarian options and a lovely patio, but no ocean view).

              1 Reply
              1. re: whatsfordinner

                the menu at paradise beach cafe is extremely limited in terms of vegetarian options.

              2. 26 Beach on Washington has a beautiful garden and great french toasts & salads. $10-$15 will fill you up for the day.

                1. cholada thai beach, across from topanga beach

                  1. Some good recs thus far...

                    Another idea would be to pick up food and picnic it down on the beach itself or at tables... Bay Cities Deli can make veggie and non-veggie sandwiches of course. You could pick up pastries and whatnot at the Tudor House. (Or, eat the fish'n'chips at Ye Old King's Head).

                    The restaurant at Casa del Mar might be too expensive, but it is lovely.

                    1. Cora's on Ocean would be perfect.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hrhboo

                        Coras is good, but not much of a beach view.

                      2. Someone else aleady mentioned BACK TO THE BEACH. If you want to really be right on the sand, that is the place to go and the only place I know of that literally has the tables placed right on the sand. And the menu is pretty broad.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: handlertaper

                          It's a broad menu of really awful food! Paradise Cove has tables in the sand too, with somewhat better food.

                        2. Thanks for all the recs! We ended up with a change of plans and not making it to the coast but I will keep all these places in mind when we do go. For the future this list will help a lot b/c I'm truly ignorant of the dining scene at the beach. I also heard they closed down the more casual restaurant at Shutters and are renovating it. Any word when that is supposed to reopen. I heard a few rumors about this summer? It seems that that would be a nice place albeit more than $20 a head.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: love2eat

                            'pedals' was my FAVORITE place for beachside brunch, and i was so bummed whne i tried to make a reservation there about a month ago and saw on their website that they were closed for renovations. however, friends who were staying @ casa del mar last weekend said they saw people sitting outside eating, so you might want to call the hotel to find out the scoop.

                            def. more than $20pp, but worth every penny [unless they've changed chefs and/or the menu...]

                          2. Could you drive a little further to Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, or Redondo Beach?

                            1. Cholada Thai on PCH just north of Topanga is great food, and inexpensive. This would be my first choice. They have a great papaya salad, and other good seafood and veggie offerings.

                              Back on the Beach is great as far is BEACH is concerned.

                              How about Malibu Seafoods? Great quality fish, beautiful views.

                              Other than that, if you like so-called "fine dining" I think Dukes, Chart House, and Moonshadows are pretty much the same thing - you're there for the view, not the food, although Moonshadows is a cut above the others. A step lower than these is Gladstones. The plus for these 4 is that they are right on the water and you can look right out into the surf.