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Gladstones revamp?

samtron608 Sep 18, 2009 09:30 AM

i read a little note about Gladstones hiring some guy to revamp the restuarant......does anyone know abou this? hoping its a re-vamp of the kitchen! i want to love gladstones (mostly due to the location) but i cant justify the food with those prices.
hoping for info on this so called re-vamp....
anyone been there recently and seen any changes?


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  1. wutzizname RE: samtron608 Sep 18, 2009 09:34 AM

    It's not a revamp. Sam Nazarian of SBE (XIV, The Bazaar, Katsuya, etc.) is "taking over the management," which I assume is code for having bought a partial stake as opposed to the whole place. Given the M.O. of all his other properties, I would expect a pretty major overhaul. Though I don't imagine we'll see the new version for at least 6 months. Probably closer to a year.

    1. ipsedixit RE: samtron608 Sep 18, 2009 09:48 AM

      Does it really matter?

      You give Medusa a hair cut and she's still going to be an ugly bitch.

      Gladstone's is always going to be about Malibu and the ocean view. Nothing more, nothing less.

      6 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        samtron608 RE: ipsedixit Sep 18, 2009 10:12 AM

        well i hope they do something about the food too....i can always hope right?? haha

        1. re: ipsedixit
          Akitist RE: ipsedixit Sep 18, 2009 10:58 AM

          Hey, Ipse, there are tons of folks who wait long periods to get into noisy, crowded places in town to partake of mediocre food because it's "hip" to be there. Gladstones appeals more to those who like sunshine and a sea breeze. Don't care about a scene or if they're seen.

          You see reviews or inquiries on restos that are in spaces previously occupied by other restos, that took the space over from even others, all of which closed for one reason or another. Gladstones has endured, so they must be doing something right, even if it's not necessarily in the kitchen.

          1. re: Akitist
            ipsedixit RE: Akitist Sep 18, 2009 11:23 AM

            I don't think we are disagreeing.

            I'm not slamming Gladstone's for being a financial success. I'm just saying a revamp by the SBE group -- who are very financially savvy -- will not alter the quiddity of the place. Which, by all respects, is a place to see (the ocean view) or be seen (for the TMZ crowd).

            In fact, I think it's ingenious what Gladsone's has done. It has maximized it's natural advantages (e.g. location) and leveraged that into making the customer may a premium for what can arguably only be considered grub fit for the San Quentin lunch time crowd.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              J.L. RE: ipsedixit Sep 18, 2009 02:39 PM

              Oh, and once SBE is done with the place, the valet parking will prolly go up to $20 per car. BUT oh, there's the added privilege of walking through the paparazzi gauntlet...

              1. re: ipsedixit
                Akitist RE: ipsedixit Sep 18, 2009 08:29 PM

                We ate at the Malibu location once, needed lunch and were stuck in the area for a couple of hours. It was quite a while ago, but the food wasn't bad at that time. More recently (5 years ago?) we hit the Universal City Walk one, which was below mediocre and lacked the seaside charms of the original, and seems to be mercifully defunct. Made vande Kamp's fish sticks seem gourmet in comparison. I assume the 'Bu place has the same menu now.

            2. re: ipsedixit
              westsidegal RE: ipsedixit Sep 18, 2009 07:02 PM

              didn't richard riorden have an ownership stake?
              if that is still the case, i wouldn't expect much in the way of food improvement.

            3. katydid13 RE: samtron608 Sep 18, 2009 07:54 PM

              I went there for the first time about 3 weeks ago, and our waitress said they're opening a location in Vegas and "many changes are in the works."

              1 Reply
              1. re: katydid13
                Das Ubergeek RE: katydid13 Sep 19, 2009 07:56 AM

                A touristy, hyped-up restaurant with low-to-mediocre-quality food opening up a branch in Vegas? Talk about coals to Newcastle...

              2. h
                Hackenbush RE: samtron608 Sep 18, 2009 08:15 PM

                I dined at Gladstone's about a month ago. My party was the personal guests of former Mayor Riordan, who is either owner or co-owner of the place. Riordan even came by and sat with us for a time.

                The food was terrible and I was amazed. The clam chowder was full of clumps of flour. The lobster was caked with stale butter. There were shrimp that were utterly tasteless.

                I was amazed. If it's this bad when you're guests of an owner, what's it like when you're a stranger?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hackenbush
                  Servorg RE: Hackenbush Sep 26, 2009 11:31 AM

                  "I was amazed. If it's this bad when you're guests of an owner, what's it like when you're a stranger?"

                  You still get to have the bad food but you don't have to sit with some jackass who used to be Mayor.

                2. monku RE: samtron608 Sep 18, 2009 08:25 PM

                  Early Bob Morris days it was successful and consistently the highest grossing restaurant in Southern California and consistently in the top 5 in the US.
                  Spent a week there with another restaurant group taking notes and observing the phenom. The location and physical structure are perfect and a gold mine for anyone who runs it. Main problem we saw was they were so busy and the kitchen was so small and inefficient they couldn't do anything but throw food on plates to keep up. The menu was complex back then, but they were so busy they couldn't deliver. It became a mess back then and never surprised me they never got beyond those early years of success.
                  Think they eventually realized they didn't have to serve good quality food.
                  I wouldn't expect anything could ever make that place chow worthy.

                  1. n
                    Nradick RE: samtron608 Sep 18, 2009 09:07 PM

                    Anybody know that "Gladstones of Malibu" is actually in Pacific Palisades? Not trying to be picky, it just leads to a story. I lived right by there and knew a bartender and bar staff. They taught me that the best meal to eat there was breakfast. No huge crowds, beautiful surf, etc. They often would refuse food from the kitchen during the evening but load up on breakfast food as they were setting up to start the day.

                    Why do we not have better coastal restaurants here? I think we could do better with restaurants and bars around the Santa Monica Pier and the Venice boardwalk than we do now. Should we be satisfied with West Beach Cafe or The Lobster as the best places in these already built up areas? Gladstones seems unique because it's location isn't amenable to other commercial growth. And I'm not advocating any additional coastal development. But these other areas surely could support many more and better places. Or maybe I'm just dreaming.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: Nradick
                      monku RE: Nradick Sep 18, 2009 10:27 PM

                      Gladstone's of Malibu seems like it would attract more tourists than Gladstone's of Pacific Palasades.
                      Original name was Gladstone's 4 Fish.

                      Who or what is a Gladstone?

                      1. re: monku
                        handlertaper RE: monku Sep 19, 2009 07:44 AM

                        Gladstones stands for the GL in the telephone number which starts with GL4 or 454-In the old days, the prefix for 454 was GLADSTONES 4-that is the prefix for the phone numbers in the Palisades and Santa Monica Canyon (where Gladstones orignally was) where Marix TEX MEX is now. Get it..GL 4-FISH!

                        1. re: handlertaper
                          bulavinaka RE: handlertaper Sep 19, 2009 07:53 AM

                          Great bit of trivia - takes me back to the days when all of LA county was 213, the size of our population was comfortable, and the pace of life wasn't driven by Blackberry and Twitter... My parents' prefix as EXMONT.

                          1. re: handlertaper
                            JBC RE: handlertaper Sep 19, 2009 12:10 PM

                            Nice recap; however, when I pushed my memory recall function I came up with:

                            1) The Jetty was where Gladstones is now, and had a big fire.
                            2) Gladstone's was originally in the old Ted's Bar & Grill, just a couple of hundred feet east of Matrix Tex-Mex, and moved into it's present location after the fire.
                            3) The Jetty may have moved into the Ted's Bar & Grill location.
                            4) Or, or both,The Jetty moved into the space across from the entrance to The Getty, burned down and what was left was torn down and never replaced.

                            Not 100% sure on all of that, but I'm close.

                            1. re: JBC
                              handlertaper RE: JBC Sep 19, 2009 09:52 PM

                              bulavinaka, you are so correct about Gladstone's former location being where Ted's Bar and Grill used to be. Ted's had bouillabaisse( my parents loved) and fried chicken (I was like 6 and I loved it). And then Jetty's moved in when Gladstone's moved. Marix was in the former location of a Japanese restaurant! Anyway, Gladstones is really horrible now and hopefully a revamp will help.

                              1. re: handlertaper
                                ozhead RE: handlertaper Sep 21, 2009 04:36 PM

                                'Marix was in the former location of a Japanese restaurant!'

                                You can see this by looking at the architecture, particularly the roofline.

                        2. re: Nradick
                          katydid13 RE: Nradick Sep 19, 2009 11:47 AM

                          In my admittedly limited experience, restaurants with great ocean/water views have always treated food as an afterthought, if they've given it any thought at all. I've experienced mediocre-at-best food at waterfront restaurants on the Jersey Shore and in the Bay Area, not just in LA!

                          1. re: katydid13
                            bernardo RE: katydid13 Sep 21, 2009 12:51 PM

                            I used to like No-Name at Boston habor, but not Anthony's Pier4.

                          2. re: Nradick
                            Servorg RE: Nradick Sep 26, 2009 11:34 AM

                            "Anybody know that "Gladstones of Malibu" is actually in Pacific Palisades?"

                            Any good restaurants over near where the "Los Angeles" Angels play?

                            1. re: Servorg
                              malibumike RE: Servorg Sep 26, 2009 01:41 PM

                              Yes Gladstones if actually in Pacific Palisades, The Malibu border is a short drive up north at Coastline drive where the Getty Museum is.

                              1. re: malibumike
                                monku RE: malibumike Sep 26, 2009 01:50 PM

                                Who would know better than someone named "malibumike" ?
                                Google "Gladstones" and it comes up "Gladstones of Malibu" with Pacific Palasades as the city.

                          3. monku RE: samtron608 Sep 26, 2009 11:11 AM

                            Gladstones Get's A Makeover...... from the LA Times

                            1. a
                              asimen RE: samtron608 Sep 29, 2009 12:57 PM

                              We were there on Saturday. Most of the changes are cosmetic, nothing major, they have a new drink menu, etc. *BUT*: They did change the shrimp scampi recipe. It used to be incredible; now it didn't even taste of garlic. We called them on it, and the management was able to have the kitchen remake the dish to something approaching the old recipe. If any fellow hounds liked the old scampi at Gladstones, please help us lobby to restore the old recipe!!

                              1. Das Ubergeek RE: douglasmdr Oct 6, 2009 06:25 AM

                                Is anyone else but me thinking the words "lipstick on a pig"?

                                I'd love to read about how they're revamping the menu and hiring people who didn't just step down as chef de micro-ondes at Olive Garden Burbank. That might actually make me want to eat there.

                                I'm not normally so down on a restaurant but my last trips there (for family events where I wasn't given input into the venue) were irredeemably bad and have convinced me that without a full-on management or even ownership change, it will be S.S.D.D. (same slop, different d├ęcor).

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