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(Money no object) Best Fish/Seafood restaurant in Santa Monica or Malibu

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Hi Guys,

Need a recommendation for a big-spending relative of mine. He is visiting LA from Europe and wants to spend some money in the flashiest seafood place in LA and has asked me to help him out.

I am not one who generally enjoys fish in restaurants (and I don't think he knows the difference between good and bad fish) -- I prefer ones that I freshly-caught myself -- but no matter -- your tips are most appreciated in advance.

So, ambiance and location and view are most important with the quality of the food being secondary.

(Sad, I know).

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  1. Not really on the Westside, but Providence is probably what you want...

    If sushi is not a problem, then Urasawa, with its Rodeo Drive locale, limited/exculsive seating, fantastic presentation and princely prices, may fit this bill.

    Urasawa Restaurant
    218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    2 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      So, ambiance and location and view are most important with the quality of the food being secondary.

      Providence fits none of those criteria, unfortunately.

      Beaurivage, The Lobster and maybe Geoffrey's might be more in line with what the OP is looking for.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Alas, sad but true... Maybe the restaurant Studio at the Montage in Laguna Beach may suit OP better, though definitely a schlep from the Westside...

    2. Catch at Casa del Mar fits the bill.

      2 Replies
      1. re: yogachik

        Second on this. Food is solid, view is stunning.

        1. re: Pei

          Had our wedding reception at Casa del Mar, so I know this hotel quite well...I agree the food will not disappoint and the location is just right. I'm a bit of a lobster fanatic, so I also would have to give my props to the Lobster!

      2. I'd steer you towards the Lobster- "ambiance and location and view" are all top notch as you are quite literally dining upon a ledge that slopes down into the ocean (and has a nice view of the well-lit SM pier at night), but the restaurant also has an intelligent (if slightly small) wine list and your relative can splurge away on 3-4lb lobsters until the night's end. And, they do make one hell of a good lobster. A 4lb lobster and a bottle of Coche-Dury? That is luxury in the best possible sense.

        1. For flash, ambience and a terrific view of the ocean, I also recommend The Lobster. I think he will enjoy the grilled lobster.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ogawak

            I agree on Lobster - can't get much better in terms of view and ambiance And the food is good too. I haven't been to the newly renovated Gladstone's in Malibu - can anyone comment? They too have a great view and location, but the mediocre food and outdated decor of the previous incarnation of this restaurant was not something I would recommend to people.

          2. Let us not forget Nobu in Malibu

            11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: gdodgerfan

              Let us not forget that the getting there may not be half the fun given the current state of the PCH.

              1. re: Servorg

                Nobu is a great idea for "ambience" that is if you're looking for the Hollywood Malibu scene. And the food is good.

                Melisse has the best food, yes, but the ambience is very upscale. Some nights are sedate, but some are surprisingly lively.

                11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

            2. If view is important you are not going to find very good seafood or much of anything "flashy" in Malibu or SM.
              Melisse is the flashiest, and has excellent seafood, sans view in those locales.

              1. Moonshadows for the ambiance! The view from the tables at the window is fantastic!!!

                1. How about Capo? No, it doesn't have a view and isn't really a seafood restaurant, but it is expensive and has a really nice atmosphere.

                  1. Girogio Baldi on Channel right off PCH in Santa Monica is an Italian restaurant that serves some very delicious (and expensive) seafood--langoustino, lobster, branzino. These seafood dishes are usually grilled to preserve the original flavor--no fancy sauces, just plain freshness. Sometimes they make lobster raviolis too.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: fdb

                      Make that, "They [ALAWAYS] make lobster raviolis..."

                      1. re: fdb

                        just a note that the correct spelling is Giorgio Baldi...and i don't know that i'd recommend it for this particular situation - it's got that dark, romantic thing going on, and the service can be atrocious, particularly if there are celebs in the house for the waitstaff to fawn over (which is often the case).

                        i like the Nobu Malibu suggestion.

                        Giorgio Baldi Ristorante
                        114 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

                        Nobu Malibu
                        3835 Cross Creek Rd Ste 18, Malibu, CA 90265

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I know I am late to the party, but for any lurkers that need the info:

                          Giorgio Baldi is actually a good rec, although ghg has it right, it is dark, but you're sitting on top of each other, and it's a solid celebrity hangout. Order the whole lobster special, that would have impressed the OP's friend, at $90 a pop, and this was before the recession.