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Mar 28, 2009 10:08 AM

Coming to LA for a week, looking for great beach bars/ restaurants.

Not looking for the show, looking for substance, I really want to find authenticity above all, and a beach setting would be ideal. Thanks for your response!

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  1. LA is not like other beach cities -- we have very few (if any) beach bars. And, there are only a handful of restaurants on the coast. Where will you be? Will you have a car? What do you mean by authentic?

    Beachiest restaurant would be Duke's in Malibu, I suppose. But there's also The Lobster, Catch, Gladstones, Moonshadows, Malibu Pier, Beachcomber. None are on the sand.

    13 Replies
    1. re: yogachik

      We do have one. Bob Morris has the Beach Cafe in Paradise Cove that allows you to sit in the sand and eat or drink (or both). Just be aware of how dangerous the PCH is if you over indulge in the drink category (and how vigilant the Sheriff is in busting DUI's - I'm talking to you Mel Gibson - on the PCH).

      1. re: Servorg

        Sunset in Malibu has Zuma beach at it's front door. And a very popular Happy Hour with the locals.

        1. re: MarlaPR

          They do have a view of the beach/water. How is the food? I have been a long time ago and it was okay but nothing I would drive out for unless I was going to Ventura or points north.

          Also, the food is actually pretty good at Malibu Fish & Seafood (very very casual) on the land side of the PCH.

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

          1. re: Servorg

            I'll second Malibu Seafood. Great food, good view especially from the top deck and very casual/beachy. There's no bar but you can bring your own alcohol.

            1. re: Servorg

              It's decent, not exemplary, but we took my mil last summer and she loved it - I believe we went for brunch.

            2. re: MarlaPR

              I eat at Sunset all the time and love it. It would be considered a real beach restaurant, but is about an hour north of Santa Monica (sometimes less).

              1. re: yogachik

                Not usually that far, unless there's particularly heavy traffic!

            3. re: Servorg

              Be sure to order their brandy alexander!

            4. re: yogachik

              Gonna stay near Manhattan Beach, with car, and willing to go anywhere. Not really necessary to be on the beach, looking more for a good vibe. What I meant by authentic is a place that has passion for the food they serve, not a chain restaurant, people who are attempting to nuture the soul with food (cliched I know, but fun to find).

              1. re: yogachik

                Actually, Duke's Barefoot Bar IS on the sand.

                1. re: perk

                  Not anymore it's not. They paved it.

                  1. re: yogachik

                    Oh no! That's so sad. It used to be a great little spot. I send people there all the time. Thanks for the info.
                    It just won't be the same.....

                2. re: yogachik

                  i ate at Duke's last night for the first time and was pleasantly surprised.
                  the fish was good, the portions large, the preparation was good, and the prices very reasonable.
                  i had the seared ahi and my date had the parmasean crusted branzino.
                  the sides that came with the fish were good.
                  we split a Cesar salad which was a good salad but not really a Cesar salad--good romaine and good quality cheese, but the dressing, although it was a good dressing, had absolutely nothing in common with a Cesar dressing--no garlic, no anchovy, no egg.

                  i was expecting vile food like the stuff they serve at Gladstone's, but the food was actually good.

                3. it's hard to find a beach bar that's not really touristy.

                  BUT - venice bistro on the venice boardwalk (cross street is rose) is, to me, the most authentic. it's across from the rasta guys/gals who play music, has a full bar, and variable food. according to one server the food/service changes often b/c the owner fires staff every 6 months or so b/c he's nervous they are going to sue him for something. they have a great chicken tostada sometimes.

                  the place next door (it's blue and on the corner - i don't know the name) has pretty good burgers and serves beer/wine.

                  another place that is beachy to me - but not right on the beach is kings head on santa monica blvd./second. full of locals - standard british pub. they've added a lot more flat screen tvs in recent years - but i still like it. though my so does not and thinks they have sold out. they have the BEST lamb samosas and scotch eggs. really top notch.

                  1. If venturing into Orange County is on your agenda, there is a great spot on the beach, within the confines of Crystal Cove State Park. The Beachcomber has good food, a full bar and sits right on the sand. At 4 or 5 PM (Saturdays) they announce cocktail hour with a bugle call and salute the martini flag, a throw back in honor of a 1930's ritual. It has been open about three years but was built in a 1920s or '30s era beach cabin. The only buildings on the beach in the immediate area are from the same period. The beach is hard to beat for beauty.


                    The same operators have a restaurant with the same name on the Malibu Pier; I haven't visited it but perhaps others on this board have information regarding its authenticity, location, food, etcetera.

                    1. I agree wholeheartedly with YogaChik that L.A. has few if any real beach bars worth a visit. Some of the other posters have suggested what options we do have. If you're in Manhattan Beach, down that main drag that leads to the pier, in the last block on the left is a tiny upscale Italian called Mangiamo. Last time we went wandering Manhattan Beach, we stopped in here for a nice cocktail. Looks like a good place for a sip of wine and people-watching. Menu looked good and I would go back - the service was very warm. Not a beach bar by any stretch, but is where you'll be.

                      1. Head South to Hermosa Beach and hit up some of the places on Pier ave., Mediterranio is one of my favorites. Also head a little further South to Redondo Pier and have an awesome meal at Izakaya Bincho. You will need a reservation for this one. They are open for dinner only. Call in the early evening to get a hold of them. If you do a search for Bincho, there are some great reviews.

                        73 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

                        Izakaya Bincho
                        112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JEN10

                          Agree, JEN10, sometimes going outside of LA, like south bay, is a great idea.