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Sep 9, 2012 01:49 PM

Last Night @ Duke's Malibu

We had to run out to a client of my wife's business on Pt. Dume last night, so I took the opportunity to make a quick reservation for Duke's on Open Table just before we got on the road. It's always a bit of a crap shoot for me trying to estimate an arrival time at the restaurant, but I went with 8:15 PM and that turned out to be just about right (with a 15 minute wait for our reservation - which was only about 6 minutes past our reservation time).

I'll say that I was pleasantly surprised about the gracious service, the quality of the food and the taming of absolute pandemonium by the valet guy's in the parking lot on a busy, warm summer night on the beach.

I thought the food was really solid, if not spectacular. My wife started with the Maui onion soup and she loved it. I began with the poke taco appetizer. These are 3 little taco's in some sort of lacy, deep fried shell with aw Ahi dressed with shoyu, Maui onions and wasabi aioli - all set on some nicely ripe avocado used to anchor the taco shells to the plate. I added the avocado to the top of the Ahi. Really quite delicious.

For mains I had the banana leaf shrimp and fish done with sake ginger sauce and sizzling sesame oil. I chose a side of rice. Fish and shrimp were both beautifully cooked (and even the rice was cooked perfectly). Very moist from the steaming but with plenty of flavor. My wife chose to have prime rib and added their coconut shrimp with mashed potatoes. Also quite nice with a very generous and perfectly rare piece of prime rib.

I think Duke's does a very credible job of being a good alternative to Roy's, and their location on the water in the old Sea Lion space gives them a leg up on the two Los Angeles Roy's branches (Woodland Hills and downtown Los Angeles).

One other note. Coming home after dinner, maybe 9:45 or so, we went by Gladstone's. There were so many cars waiting to get into their parking lot it looked like a sig-alert on the 405 Freeway. Man, they must just be printing money there.

Including two Kamekazi's up and one iced tea, with tax the bill came to $112, plus tip. I thought the amount was very fair for what we had.

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  1. Incredibly Gladstone's serves about 6,500 to 7,000 meals per week during the summer, but none for me thank you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      I've got to say, I was curious as to the remodel, and took my parents there for lunch about six months back, mainly because it is convenient & in my 'hood. Still pricey, but it was actually decent. Don't know who started the rumor that it doesn't even serve fresh fish, that it's all frozen, because it's simply not true. Can't recall exactly what we ordered, but I know my Mom & I both had a fish dish. Pleasantly surprised, and the remodel really opened the place quite a bit, the patio is actually quite nice. Decent enough to take people from out of town, but personally I would stick to lunch time.

      1. re: wienermobile

        From Wikipedia ...."Gladstone's sells 35 tons of crab, & 65,000 lobsters reach year. and Gladstone's is one of the top 10 biggest grossing restaurants in the United States.".

      2. thanks for the review...I am a fan of the Roy's iin Pasadena and enjoy both the food and service but it would be nice to visit a place with similar food on the beach....what's in a kamikaze?

        2 Replies
        1. re: foufou

          Vodka, triple sec and rose's lime juice. I like them ice cold and up. The ones they served last night were in a BIG martini glass. The certainly didn't cheat on the amount or the taste. I probably didn't need that second one, but I sucked it down anyway...

        2. Thanks for the review. I have long thought that Dukes was underrated. Great spot to have a bite after a day surfing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

            (another buckeye fan) i agree. i used to live right across the street, and i walked there a lot at sunset and sat in the barefoot bar for a snack and glass of wine. nothing like being right on the ocean. and the food was better than expected. i wouldn't make it a destination just for food. but there are times you just want to be near the waves....and it really fits the bill.

            1. re: perk

              +1. I used to attend large-ish annual work dinners there for a few yrs. As you say, it's not a destination for food, but it's perfectly acceptable (if rather pricey.... but you expect that, given teh location) and you can't beat the view.... How lucky to be able to live across the street!