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I need some suggestions for lunch somewhere between LAX and Malibu. Our final destination is Pasadena, so I know this takes us a bit out of the way, but I do so love the PCH!!! Any suggestions are welcome...........mainly looking for sandwich, salad,seafood.........casual!!


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    1. re: russkar

      Neptune's Net at Ventura County Line

      1. re: russkar

        what do you like at gladstone's?

        1. re: budlit

          Ocean Air
          Ease of Parking
          Drinks are OK and they have $10- corkage for wine if you bring some.
          Food is Hit and Miss. Oysters, Fish Sandwich, Choco Cake are good, otherwise beware!

          1. re: russkar

            more miss than hit.......... possibly the worst meal I have ever had (at least the worst LA meal) was at Gladstones.

            1. re: Maxmillion

              The only good thing about Gladstone's is their location. For a much better Gladstone's experience, try Duke's further north on PCH. Great food, drinks, cleaner.

      2. Malibu Seafood or Paradise Cove.

        5 Replies
        1. re: malibumike

          Malibu Seafood! A bit far up, but fun and *very* casual outdoor tables.

          1. re: malibumike

            I would strongly disagree going to the restaurant in Paradise Cove. Besides the fact that you must pay to get into the parking area, the food is mediocre and not worth it. The clam chowder brings back terrible memories of a night I wasn't fond of. However, the fact that it is located on the beach is something positive.

            1. re: lmk33

              The breakfasts are great and you cant replicate the surroundings.

              1. re: lmk33

                The restaurant validates parking for 3 hours. You're right the clam chowder is awful and the food in general is mediocre, but you can't beat that beach!

                1. re: lmk33

                  Yes, definitely mediocre food at Paradise Cove with a not-so-mediocre price tag.

              2. Duke's is really pleasant for lunch. Great views, good food if you like fish. They also have salads, burgers, fish sandwiches/tacos, etc. at lunch. It's probably about $12-15 pp for lunch which for the view isn't bad. Paradise cove is nice too and right on the beach. But, we've had better luck easily getting a table at Duke's on summer weekends, vs. an hour plus wait at Paradise Cove. Both are a little on the expensive side for lunch, but very casual.

                1. Drive up PCH, then head over Topanga to Saddle Peak Lodge, then continue over the canyon into the valley over to Pasadena!

                  EDIT: Sorry this suggestion wasn't casual, but so worth it!!!


                  Taverna Tony (you can come here casual)
                  Figtree's Cafe

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    Not Topanga Canyon -- Malibu Canyon Rd. to Piuma Rd.

                  2. Malibu Seafood is good. Or, if you want something closer to LAX so you can hop on the 10 and head east, you can try Back on the Beach. I confess I haven't been here yet, but its right on the beach - literally - in the sand. I'm sure they'll have the sandwich - salad - burger menu that's casual and inexpensive. It's on PCH just north of the California Incline, just south of the contruction they're doing at 415 PCH.

                    Another favorite place of mine is Cholada Thai - great Thai food on PCH just north of Topanga Canyon Blvd.

                    Or go for a little pricier and try Charthouse, Moonshadows, or Dukes - these, too, are more about the view than the food, but I think they're way better than Gladstones.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gsw

                      I haven't been to Gladstones in a long time but the seafood is fresh and the location is right on the beach. I always got the raw oysters. It can be a bit of a scene.

                      1. re: gsw

                        I've read bad review of Gladstone's, but had a memorable lunch there (while my car was being fixed down the road). Don't remember the food, but the sea air, seagulls, full tummy were great for de-stressing, and the silly foil animals they packed the leftovers in were kicky. Ain't just food that makes the meal.

                        1. re: gsw

                          Back on the Beach is a great lunch place, salad, burgers etc (the breakfast pasta is delicious), literally right on the beach, I mean the tables are set in the sand :)

                        2. Duke's is the best for casual - eat outside in the Barefoot Bar and order from the bar menu.

                          If you don't have to eat on the ocean side of PCH, then go to Allegria for an amazing lunch. Or, if you want a taste of what it's like to live in Malibu, then go to the Country Mart and eat at John's Garden or order to-go from Tra di Noi and sit in the park, or get great Mexican from Howdy's.

                              1. Malibu Seafood on PCH past Pepperdine. Great view and cheap food. Check out their website. Good sandwiches and fish and chips and clam chowder.

                                1. Absolutely Malibu Seafood! It's just north between Malibu Canyon and Kanan. Definitely out of the way (good luck with PCH traffic in the middle of the afternoon), but you can eat outside on the patio....not uncommon at all to see dolphins swimming around. They've got inexpensive fish plates, awesome fish/chips, good chowder, and the ambiance beats the "touristy" feel of Gladstones, the stuffiness of Geoffreys or Moonshadows. Dukes is fun but doesn't give you the unique coastal Malibu feel.

                                  Neptune's Net is another good pick, but this is wayyy out of the way for you.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: lumberg

                                    my vote is also for MALIBU SEAFOOD. it's not too far out of the way. NEPTUNE'S NET is great, but too far.

                                    our perfect day is lunch at MALIBU SEAFOOD, grabbing coffee, shopping or hanging out by the playground at the MALIBU COUNTRY MART, going to the strip of beach between malibu lagoon and the ocean adjacent to the adamson house (at about 5pm you can watch the steelhead and tidewater goby jump out of the water every 30 seconds and the heron go after them), then take malibu canyon road up past pepperdine to the 101, head south, and go to pasadena from there. it's a great loop. we do it all the time!

                                    if you're going on a weekend, brunch at SADDLEPEAK is worth considering. otherwise, they're not open for lunch.

                                    buen provecho and have a great time.

                                    1. re: revets2

                                      revets2..can you be very specific as to where this patch of area is to view the heron and goby...it sounds grea.t.but i'm not too familiar w/ the area...thanks

                                      1. re: fhong

                                        just north of the malibu pier, look for the historic adamson house. worth the tour with loads of no longer manufactured malibu tile. the same lot you would park for the adamson house is the lot for the beach just north of the house.

                                        alternatively, you can enter the parking lot across PCH from cross creek and that will get you there too.

                                  2. Malibu Seafood. You sit at a weathered picnic bench, looking across PCH at the ocean. Great fish & chips, too. Not your place if you want sit-down service or want to be indoors.

                                    IMHO Gladstone's isn't worth it, unless things have changed. Crowded, hard to get a table, parking a hassle...

                                    Malibu Fish & Seafood
                                    25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: salutlemonde

                                      I was at Gladstone's last week and parking was easy and the wait for a table was 2 mins.

                                    2. The Lobster at the foot of the Santa Monica pier. The Dayboat scallops with lobster hash, best mojito in town and a view this native Angeleno never tires of. Definitely save room for desert. Great for drinks on the patio too. Definitely one of my favorite lunch destinations. I usually go twice a month for lunch with friends.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: gaylenwaydelich

                                        I've heard many good things about The Lobster. Is is in the same vein as The Hungry Cat, meaning do they do things traditionally or put their own spin on classics, IE: the lobster roll?

                                      2. Reel Inn is good fare. Not sure how it compares to Malibu Seafood (apparently best at sunset -- NB -- BYO)

                                        Reel Inn
                                        18661 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
                                        just W of Topanga Canyon Blvd

                                        Malibu Seafood
                                        25653 Pacific Coast Hwy
                                        Malibu, CA 90265-4550

                                        Someone mentioned (here on the boards) that the view is nice from the top patio and that this could potentially be a romantic setting if you bring a table cloth, some candles and a bottle of wine.

                                        I know that's not necessarily pertinent to your specific lunch request, but I'm just adding all the info I have at hand!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Maxmillion

                                          I think Malibu Seafood is better than Reel Inn. Both display their fish in a case and the fish at MS appears to be fresher.

                                          1. re: Maxmillion

                                            MALBU SEAFOOD has better food quality, IMHO, than REEL INN. it's worth it to go the extra miles, but if you have less than stellar weather, REEL INN is mostly indoors.

                                            no candles and tablecloths at MALIBU SEAFOOD. it's so windy, it might knock over the heaviest hurricane and there are umbrellas at most tables making it difficult for tablecloths. i guess you could bring placemats, but it may not dress up the plastic baskets, paper plates, and plastic silverware much. it is, however, BYOB!

                                            1. re: revets2

                                              Malibu Seafood has an enclosed or tented patio, that is comfortable even in winter and has a better view than the lower patios. It's up the driveway above the open patios. My book group meets there sometimes. We bring a tablecloth, candles, wine, glasses and sometimes flowers.

                                          2. Another recommendation for Malibu Seafood and Duke's. I would add Coogie's in the beautiful Ralph's shopping center. You won't have an ocean view but the food is light, delicious and if you sit outside on their patio, you can people watch.

                                            Duke's Malibu
                                            21150 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

                                            Coogies Beach Cafe
                                            23755 Malibu Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

                                            1. i second Back on the Beach....it's not that far out of the way...i can't imagine driving from LAX all the way to Neptune's Net of all places and then getting back in the car and driving to Pasadena

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: JE33

                                                Hmmmmm. I live in Pasadena but I guess you're right. It's hard to imagine doing all of that driving and no payoff except a meal. We make a day of the beach up there and then eat at Neptune's Net. I would say that the drive isn't even half as scenic going on the 10 to Back on the Beach as going North to NN. Part of the fun is the drive.