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Feb 24, 2009 12:14 PM

Best clam chowder on ocean between MALIBU & SM

I want to take some friends from out of town for lunch on the weekend with an oceaview. Everyone loves chowder.

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  1. Gladstone's on PCH in Pacific Palisades. Good Clam Chowder and you can't beat the view!

    Gladstone's Malibu
    17300 Pacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jaytizzle

      Yes, Gladstone's has a tremendous view and great location, and it is a fun place for a drink on a sunny ocean day. But as far as food goes, I am hardpressed to find anything nice or anybody to say positive things about it -- mass-produced, overpriced, and disappointing.

      The new Santa Monica Seafood just reopened after being remodeled, on the S/E corner of Wilshire at 10th, with convenient parking behind it. Their clam chowder is rich and excellent, and while their new fullservice cafe has no view, they will sell the chowder nicely packaged to carry out. You can then head the few blocks over to the park overlooking the shore and find a bench, but the homeless there might interfere with your enjoyment. So either head just south to the pier, a bit further to the Santa Monica or Venice beaches and boardwalk, or head north in the other direction towards the Palisades, up to Sunset, and eventually to Topanga and Malibu.

    2. Gladstone's used to be good when Bob Morris ran it but he sold the place and now it's more of a tourist trap. The clam chowder is almost as good as it used to be (it's Bob Morris's recipe or close to it) but the place has a terrible feeling of making you wait in the bar just so you'll buy drinks, then rushing you with their table service. A lot of the tables don't have much of an ocean view.

      If you want to drive up Pacific Coast Hwy a little past Pepperdine, you can go the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, which is the place Bob Morris now runs. It's a much friendlier place and if they aren't crowded when you go, you should be able to get a table with a good ocean view. I think all the food there is superior to Gladstone's.

      They of course have the Bob Morris clam chowder which I think is wonderful. I have friends from New England who think it's too thick and that good white clam chowder should be thinner. I'm happy either way.

      1. Highly recommend Malibu Seafood on's very basic -- outdoor tables (with ocean view) but great seafood of all kinds and really good chowder

        6 Replies
        1. re: JPomer

          I second Malibu Seafood. Very basic, yes. But the food is good and it's right off PCH. BYOB, which is also a huge plus.

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

          1. re: fatassasian

            I'm going to have to give Malibu Seafood a third! A malibu marvel!!

          2. re: JPomer

            Could you possible please explain just exactly *where* along PCH this is? As far as I'm concerned, traffic moves so fast along this highway I can never find anything at all to eat along the stretch; it's one long blur of tourist trap blended into another. I'm sure this isn't true so I'd really appreciate a description of the location; addresses just aren't visible and certainly aren't intuitive. I remember places to go by recognizing them in my minds-eye and nabbing them when next they flash ... iykwim (I know that marks me as a real chow-whiner; real hounds get in a car and go straight *to* the place!)

            1. re: aliris

              Link for Malibu Seafood:

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

              1. re: aliris

                It's on the land-side of PCH, about a mile past Pepperdine. The sign has a giant lobster. I love their clam chowder.

                Paradise Cove and Gladstone's chowders are way too thick -- you could turn your bowl upside down and it would not spill out.

                1. re: aliris

                  Going North, pass Pepperdine (That's the gigantic green lawn on your right - you can't miss it). Go down to the bottom of the hill, and Malibu Seafood is in a little shack on your right. There's a big sign. If you get to the 76 station (also on your right), you've gone too far.

              2. Beleive it or not, The Charthouse has great White clam chowder. Suppsedly "Award winning". IMHO better tasting than Gladstones or Malibu Seafood. And its right on the beach, great view. On PCH just south of Topanga.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ollie

                  chart house or paradise cove.