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Fresh fish in OC or LA and a nice beach nearby?

My daughter has asked for a day at the beach for her birthday. She would like to spend some time on a beautiful beach and than have some well prepared, not deep fried, fresh fish. We are just back from Tulum and her first choice was to go back to the beach in Tulum but since we can't do that we are hoping to find something fun in Los Angeles or Orange County. Any suggestions?

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  1. How old is your daughter? 6 or 16? How close to the beach do you want a restaurant? What kind of beach amenities do you need?

    I mean you could go to the Topanga County Beach and walk across the street to the Reel Inn in Malibu. Or the beach at the Newport Pier and go to the Crab Cooker.

    It just depends on how the day is going to go and what your expectations are for the day.

    4 Replies
    1. re: scottca075

      HI Scott!

      Thank you for your reply and the super suggestions! To answer your questions:

      -my daughter will be turning 15

      -the restaurant does not need to be on the beach. I think that she just wants really fresh, delicious fish

      - I would prefer no beach amenities; a natural beach without a lot of people. We will be going mid-week in January so I think that most beaches will be quiet. Tide pools would be fun!

      Thank you for your help!!

      1. re: sparklegem

        "Tidepools" and "without a lot of people" almost screams Little Corona Marine Refuge in Corona del Mar. "Big" Corona is the more well known and popular of the two beaches because it has a parking lot, but that makes it busy. "Little" Corona you have to street park at the the end of Ocean Ave and walk down a path to get to the beach, so that keeps Little Corona very local and pretty quiet.

        There are also tidepools in Malibu, Laguna Beach and Crystal Cove to name a few, check this link out.

        http://www.trekaroo.com/list/kid-frie...

        If you go to Corona del Mar, a section of Newport Beach, you still have the Crab Cooker, Bear Flag Fish Co. for low key (i.e. the kind of place you don't feel badly about going to after a day at the beach) fresh fish dinner or late lunch. For good upscale you have Mastro's Ocean Club Fish House just south of Corona del Mar and just above Crystal Cove.

        Start by looking at those and see if they fit. Happy birthday to your daughter.

        1. re: scottca075

          Thank you Scott! Little Corona sounds really nice. I am now thinking more about Malibu since it is much closer for us. The website that you linked suggests Leo Carillo for tide pools. Do you think that is a good option? If we go with Malibu do you have any suggestions for fresh fish in the 'Bu?

          1. re: sparklegem

            You could look at Duke's, it is pretty touristy, but the fish is fresh and they have Hula Pie, which I think is one of the five required food groups.

            Reel Inn is still a possibility, it is divey, but fresh and I have friends who love the Fish Grill, right by the Malibu pier, but I've never been so I can't comment too much on it.

    2. Fish Camp is across PCH from Sunset Beach, but no tide pools.

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      Fish Camp
      16600 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

      1. Any of the beaches in Laguna Beach (tide pools not so much though) followed by the House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer.

        1. Thank you so much for the great suggestions! I have narrowed our playing field to Malibu and would love some good beach, tide pools or restaurants with fresh fish suggestions!

          2 Replies
          1. re: sparklegem

            Grom Gelato in Malibu might be the perfect way to end your day. Real gelato from Italy (this is their only store in the US other than NYC). Wonderful fresh flavors await you. Just across the street from Malibu Lagoon State Park.
            http://www.grom.it/eng/index.php

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            Grom Gelateria
            3886 Cross Creek Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

            1. re: sparklegem

              I think Leo Carrillo is your best bet for tide pools in Malibu. I also think Malibu Seafood has the best fish. It's about a mile past Pepperdine. Closer to Leo Carrillo, but not as good as Malibu Seafood is Neptune's Net. Both are very casual.

            2. Thank you for ALL of the fantastic suggestions!! I think that we will spend some time at Leo Carillo, eat at Malibu Seafood and finish off the day at Grom Gelato!