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Sep 6, 2013 08:09 AM

High end California/Mediterranean/Italian on the water or with amazing ambiance?

Looking for a place with excellent food and ambiance. Been to Geoffrey's, Moonshadows, Nikita. Where else? Nothing too quiet, prim and proper, either. Trying to stay north (easy access from SFV). Thank you!!

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  1. You might like the Carbon Beach Club at the Malibu Beach Inn.

    Have you been to Saddle Peak Lodge up in Malibu Canyon? If not that would be my first choice.

    1. The Sunset Restaurant....

      Wonderful warm ambience, right on the beach, and I like their fish dishes.
      Easy access through the canyon from the valley as it's further north up the PCH.

      5 Replies
      1. re: latindancer

        Beautiful spot for a wedding, which I did attend recently.
        I would not characterize the food as "High end." Food was low end of mediocre. Wedding on the beach in front of restaurant, while watching kids build sand castles was awesome.

        1. re: maudies5

          I agree, I think their brunch is okay, but lunch items were just mediocre. I wouldn't trek up or over there for dinner.....

          1. re: Dirtywextraolives


            That's where you and I disagree.
            The drive from the valley, over and through the canyon, is beautiful...
            Certainly, the OP is looking for excellent food and ambiance.
            I've covered the ambiance....can you think of excellent food north of Malibu, other than what the OP mentioned?

            1. re: latindancer

              No, I can't. Hence why I haven't offered a suggestion.....

              Yes, I agree the canyon drives are stunning & I take my out of town guests on them every time. We've tried the Sunset a few times, and felt the brunch was the best food. The lunch was just okay, but I agree, the ambiance is great, you can't beat being right on the sand. We just felt it wasn't worth the drive after that, as we live here, and know the drive well. And at night, it's just not very special as you don't get the view anymore.

          2. re: maudies5

            Frankly speaking, I *do* feel it's better than Moonshadows and the drive is beautiful from the valley.
            Just my subjective opinion, of course.

        2. Cafe Del Rey in Marina del Rey

          1 Reply
          1. re: Coribdx

            Don't think this will fit in with the OP's stated geographic preferences.

          2. The restaurant at the Getty Center would be a good choice. Their website says they're open until 9:00. Definitely valley convenient.

            If you want to do lunch, there's the restaurant at the Getty Villa in Malibu.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MarkC

              Getty is only open for dinner on Saturday evenings

            2. Not quite Italian/Californian/Mediterranean, but we had an amazing lunch at Nobu Malibu, which is on the beach with amazing views and great ambience -

              It is right next to Nikita.