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malibu recommendations visiting from Toronto

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Hello all
My boyfriend and I and his family are visiting Malibu to celebrate his Mom's 60th birthday in May.
We are staying fairly far north in Malibu (I think up by Leo Carillo State Beach).
I would appreciate any recommendations for hidden gems in Malibu proper and closer to our area.
We are a pretty diverse group of eaters -- one vegetarian, steak and seafood lovers -- so I'm more interested in places that you guys personally love.
Also, any places with a view that shouldn't be missed would be great to know about.

My boyfriend and I are planning on treating the whole family to brunch on one of our days -- are there any great brunch spots, that aren't too pricey but still communicate special in someway -- great view, neat location, atmosphere etc.

Also -- (sorry my list goes on and on!) but any recommendations for good happy hours in the area?

Any help at all would be greatly appreciate!

(Given our location we are prepared to drive!)

Thanks again!

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  1. I always enjoy Allegria, right in the middle of "downtown" Malibu: http://www.allegriamalibu.com/

    4 Replies
    1. re: ozhead

      Pretty sure Allegria has closed. There's a steakhouse there instead.

      1. re: perk

        Bummer about Allegria. It was a good place. Oh well.

        1. re: ozhead

          It's now Charlie's, which, though not particularly offensive, is kind of meh -

          http://www.charliesmalibu.com/

      2. re: ozhead

        Allegria's closed - now replaced by a place called Charlie's. Can't recommend it b/c I haven't been yet, and don't trust the one reviewer I did read. Anyway, they also don't have their full liquor license yet. There's also a new place by a known chef, can't recall his name, called Terza or La Terza(?) that seems to have gotten decent reviews on PCH as well. All of these places are south of you.

        Places I can recommend:
        Malibu Seafood - fish fry shack with really fresh fish and right on PCH

        Geoffrey's - very nice brunch, Awesome view, but you're paying for it. Also a good star sighting place.

        Duke's & Chart House - former a divey place, latter a chain, both have decent happy hours and the same view as Geoffrey's except right on the beach as opposed to elevated. Both right on PCH.

        Taverna Tony's - family-style authentic Greek place run by a Greek family. Very yummy and consistent food, on Civic Center dr off of PCH. Also good for spotting celebs.

        Sunset - up by Zuma right on the beach, went for brunch with the MIL, she loved it, I thought it was all right, nothing special, and don't know if it's still there.

        There's also some spots in the strip mall where Ralph's grocery store is that the locals tend to like, can't recall the names, but other CH locals can probably vouch for them.

      3. We like Sage Room in Malibu at the corner of Kanan Dume Rd and Pacific Coast Highway for fresh Italian food. No view. Small, charming local place. Outstanding service.

        www.sageroommalibu.com

        -----
        Sage Room
        28915 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

        1 Reply
        1. re: scrappydog

          Completely agree with this rec! Sage Room has wonderful Italian food, and a very large and diverse menu. We love this place. And, the service is wonderful as well. No view, but well worth it and imo the best in Malibu.

        2. Neptunes Net, just north of Leo Carillo. This is a seafood dive. The food is inconsistent, but the atmosphere and people watching is usually very good. Busy on the weekends. It is across PCH from a pretty famous surfing spot, so at times it feels as if you are in the movie Endless Summer circa 1965.

          1. There's a new place on Point Dume called "Sunset" that I hear good things about. It's got a great location....just across from the beach...and it's been a series of places. But I've heard the newest incarnation is quite good. It's always been a terrific space, so I hope the reports are accurate!

            8 Replies
            1. re: perk

              Sunset is by no means new, but they do have a new menu and a great happy hour - and on Tuesday nights, they have a 2 for 1 drink special and $5 wine carafe.

              Tra di Noi is my favorite restaurant in Malibu, now that Allegria is closed. Taverna Tony's is always fun. Barrel is always very, very, good.

              1. re: yogachik

                Nice to know re: Sunset's happy hour specials - will take the MIL next time she's in town.

                Where is Barrel? Never heard of it?

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  It's in the Ralphs shopping center.

                  1. re: whatsfordinner

                    Ok, what kind of food? Find that I don't venture into the shopping center ever since Granita left, and I do my food shopping further south where I live!

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      I haven't been, but it's a wine bar with some small plates.

                      1. re: whatsfordinner

                        It's a fantastic wine bar and the food is outstanding (yes, it's true). I've had great meal after great meal there. Everything under $20.

                        http://www.barrelmalibu.com/

                        1. re: yogachik

                          Oooo, may have to venture up PCH and check it out with the GFs. Thanks, yogachik!

                          1. re: Phurstluv

                            I think you are getting really good advice here. Sage room is cozy and special. If you want to drive further Terra has terrific food. Geoffrey's for for bunch is pricey buy drop dead views and extremely special. Malibu Seafood is a favorite, we have a house account, can be crowded for lunch on the weekend, but worth it. Taverna Tony's Is fun. Have a blast!

            2. Neptune's Net. At "County Line". On PCH! Who cares about the food!

              1. My $.02:

                The only place that is anywhere near Leo Carillo is Neptune's Net. The crab/lobster/clams from the "fresh" side are very good (but pricey); the stuff from the "fried" side is a little sad. Either way, you'll eat outside on the porch amongst the surfers and, on the weekend, bikers.

                Sage Room isn't too far away. I have found them to be inconsistent; try the pork osso bucco, but skip the pizzas.

                Malibu Seafood is the next closest. But you can't get anything there that you can't get at Neptune's.

                Malibu dining options are limited. You may want to consider driving up to Oxnard for some decent Mexican.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bjartmarr

                  These are all fabulous! Thanks so much!! You've definitely given me lots of ideas and places to look into!

                  I think I'm definitely going to try and get a reso for Geoffrey's -- it looks just amazing!

                  Thanks again!

                  1. re: Bjartmarr

                    Neptune's Net definitely for the scene, but they don't do grilled fish just seafood. Malibu Seafood has a much different selection.

                  2. If you like Greek, go to Taverna Tony's, it's right in the center of Malibu's shopping area. The food is VERY good, always consistent, and the pour a great drink. Sit on the patio, you can't go wrong.

                    1. Hey There..I am a fellow Canadian from Montreal now living in LA. I used to frequent and rather enjoyed Tony Tavernas in Malibu off of Cross Creek road. They serve Greek/mediterrenean cuisine and is great if you are a lamb lover. There is a special ethnic vibe there with live entertainment on Tuesdays(used to be if not now) and even a live belly dancer. There is quite a nice bar scene as well and have heard of the Hollywood crowd hanging there at times. I highly recommend this place for good food and a different ethnic vibe. There is also the distinguished NOBU for Sushi lovers also very top notch, but have never been and so cant comment. Enjoy your time here!!

                      1. Hey, its me again, fellow Canadian...Geoffreys has good food, but dissapointing rooftops in the middle of your ocean view if seated on the patio..Pricey too...dont miss MOONSHADOWS..you can dine on the deck or the outside one row barstool bar, where you are sitting on top of the rocks with the splashing ocean waves crashing under your feet. You can also sit on the patio deck..or lie down on their comfortable lounge chairs. The ocean view is the best!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: MIsabelFolgado

                          I agree great ocean view, but not for the food!!! Drinks and nibble, sometimes on the weekends they have live music.

                          1. re: MarlaPR

                            I was dragged to that place many, many times by family and MS is amazingly consistent at serving up an underwhelming meal. Agree, drinks & view only. Never for food. I've had better food at Malibu Seafood, Duke's, Paradise Cove, possibly even Gladstone's!

                        2. my favorite place in malibu for brunch is a little restaurant called Terra. their brunch menu is delectable with incredible dishes like eggs benedict with crab or pancakes with blueberries & lemon ricotta. (it's soooo good!) they also have a fabulous dinner menu that seems to change seasonally and they grow all of their own leafy greens on the property. i think that is incredibly cool, especially since the quality of the salads was superb. the interior is charming and the staff has always been good to us. since you asked about happy hour, they have *very* good discounted drinks. i can't remember what the prices were exactly during happy hour but i can tell you that i was surprised (in a good way).

                          have a great trip to sunny southern california and happy eating!

                          -----
                          Terra Restaurant
                          21337 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

                          1. sunset restaurant right on the south end of zuma beach was fantastic the one time i went; my lamb dish was delicious, as my wife's halibut...highly recommended, pretty views