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where to eat--PCH, beachside

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I have family in town from Italy, New York and Seattle this weekend and I would like to take them for a meal up the PCH, beachside (within LA County). Any suggestions?
Thanks!
Sonnet

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  1. There's a place in Malibu called Duke's. Well at least there used to be. Haven't been up that way in awhile. But Duke's was a great place. Usually very crowded on weekends. Great good and service. Duke's is about half way between the Santa Monica Pier and Pepperdine University.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Schudog

      Went to Duke's recently for the first time. The atmosphere inside brought Gladstone's to mind - sort of loud/rowdy bar beside loud/rowdy restaurant. We ate in the bar, (off of the full menu), so I don't know how my experience was swayed by that.

      They serve seafood mainly with a polynesian style, I don't know if it is supposed to be authentic hawaiian or just have a hawaiian aura. The food was good, and they listed all the fish available at the top of the menu and you choose how you want it prepared. This sounded great, except when I wanted (don't remember what fish) cooked a certain way, the waitress said, no, can only have it this other way. And they were out of several types of fish . . . anyhoo, I finally decided on something I wanted, some sort of baked white fish with some sort of hawaiian-ish sauce, and my companion ordered Cioppino (I think I spelled that wrong). I was slightly put off by the fact that MANY things on the menu were not available. And we were there early - I think it may have been like 6pm on a saturday evening.

      It was crowded, the wait would have been an hour if we hadn't chosen to eat in the bar.

      The food was really good - sorry I am coming up a bit short on the details, but my fish was properly cooked and the sauce was excellent. My companion's dish was mediocre as far as I was concerned, but he liked it.

      I would estimate that it is a tad overpriced for what they deliver, but it is on the ocean and has that "california" air to it.

      1. re: SusanB

        Duke's is owned/run by the same group that operates Kimo's and other restaurants on Maui, thus the Hawaiian theme. There's also a Duke's at the Huntington Beach pier. Great bar, where you can also dine. Friday nights there's a Hawaiian band. Sunsets aren't quite the same as on Maui, but it sure gets the weekend off to a good start!

    2. Whether it is or isn't what it used to be (chowhound opinions will certainly differ), I still enjoy the food and experience of the Reel Inn. I also think it might have an attractive duality for your visitors, capturing the California beach ambience, while also feeling much the same as the tried-and-true fish houses they'd have back home (Italy notwithstanding, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad ;) I was recently referred to Neptune's Net and, while even more informal and rustic than RI, I wasn't as satisfied with the outcome there. I'll be watching for the feedback on this one, gaining vicarious beachside experience...

      Kriss

      4 Replies
      1. re: Kriss Reed

        The Reel Inn is real bad. One of the worst places I've ever been to. I thought they would close down since their food is terrible. Maybe all those movie stars are so drugged out that they think the food at Reel is great.

        1. re: Schudog

          Disagree. Reel Inn has quality and plentiful food in a unique atmosphere.

          1. re: Muhlyssa

            I agree w/you, Muhlyssa. Very fresh fish always, good quality, and always more than I can finish. The place itself is the epitome of California beach casual.

            1. re: LBQT

              Do they still have Taco Tuesday at Reel Inn? They make Tacos from the fish scraps after cutting them into fillets. It was a ton of food for about 5 bucks. That was a couple of years ago. Don't know why I haven't gone back. Food is very fresh and high quality. Reel Inn on 3rd St Promenade is another story...

      2. I would suggest Puck's Granita. It has all of the visual excesses that visitors expect from Los Angeles, while having some very nice food. The brunch menu is suprisingly well priced. I recall a lobster club sandwich with some satisfaction. Alternately, 1.5 miles north of Pepperdine on PCH, there is a place (www.malibufishandseafood.com) which is outdoor, park tables, and still a lot of fun. Otherwise, in general window seating with an ocean view often means higher prices and a more tourist experience in Malibu. Malibu has never been suffered from too many good places to eat. Ma ché tristezza!