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Rehearsal Lunch in Malibu w/ Ocean View??

We're looking to have a rehearsal lunch (instead of dinner) in Malibu for our families who will all be visiting from out of town. We'd really like to take them to a spot where they can see the ocean since they don't get to see it often. Ideally, it should be able to accommodate larger groups (we're expecting around 35 people).

I know there's a few great restaurants along the PCH (Nobu, Gladstones, Duke's, etc.) but our budget is set at $2K. Anyone know of a place along the beach that can fit into our budget? We're willing to dip into Santa Monica if that's what it takes - although the closer to Malibu the better since that's where the wedding will be. Thanks!

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  1. With your budget Duke's might work for you. Wonderful views.

    1. Duke's is a good idea. You might check with the Chart House to see what they could do for you http://www.chart-house.com/locations/...

      1. When I tried planning an event at Duke's several yrs ago (4+), I remember being a little surprised at how expensive it was (given the food style/quality, which is totally fine for an event like this). You should probably be okay, though, if you stay away from providing any alcohol.

        Have you tried Paradise Cove? http://www.paradisecovemalibu.com/bea...

        A bit further north than the other places you've listed, but that actually might be a plus. Parking on-site, a beach that you can access easily right out in front, and a bit more isolated than the other places (again, I think that's a good thing). I only went there once ~8 yrs ago or so, but I remember the food being good enough for a rehearsal dinner.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ilysla

          Is that the place with the port o potties?

          1. re: ilysla

            I don't know if this would be tacky for a rehersal lunch but maybe if you had a buffet service for lunch it might be less expensive than allowing everyone to order from the menu. You could control the food costs.

            1. re: bringiton

              Can't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure I was looking at a set menu. I don't think allowing 35 people to order off the menu is a good idea....

              To the OP, you might also see if Annenberg Beach House can accommodate you. The ambiance is much more corporate meeting, but perhaps they'll have better pricing? And it's right on the beach.

          2. I've lived about two miles from Malibu for the past 13 years.....so if you find someplace on the water that accommodates that budget please let us know....

            Not sure Paradise Cove is what you're looking for, it's super casual, as in it's on the sand....and I believe the rest rooms are port o potties....could be wrong, but you might want to inquire.

            Other options could be The Sunset at Zuma Beach, Reel Inn, or Malibu Seafood. The first may not fit your budget, and food is a bit lackluster..... Reel Inn is okay, but across the street from Topanga Beach, again super casual. Malibu Seafood is basically a fish shack, across the street from the water but still offers great views. But super casual, as in you order at a counter and sit at picnic tables, not really ideal for large parties..... In fact scratch that rec..... Malibu Beach Inn is an older roadside bar that has decent live music at night....across from the Malibu Pier. Very casual and food is okay, nothing earth shattering.....but at least they have a bar, if that matters to you. Dukes would probably be at your budget limit, but the 'nicest' you could get at that price. Moonshadows is okay, but I've only ever drank there, so don't know about the food, or if they even serve.

            Prices will not get any better if you go south to Santa Monica. Hope that helps, best of luck.

            15 Replies
            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              Paradise Cove has real bathrooms. I had breakfast there a few weeks ago. Great place to take visitors for the on-the-beach experience. But, if that's still too casual for the rehearsal lunch, a perfect venue, in terms of atmosphere and location, would be Nikita, but I doubt that the budget can be accommodated there. And, actually, I'm not even sure they do lunch.

              1. re: Wayno

                I wonder which place I am thinking of then.....

                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  Not sure. Again, I only went there once several yrs ago. Can't remember if I had used the restrooms, but, if there port o' potties, I definitely would've mentioned it in my post! (and definitely would've have recommended it for a rehearsal dinner at $80/head!)

                  1. re: ilysla

                    Paradise Cove definitely has real bathrooms. Pretty decent option, actually, if the budget works.

                    The Sunset is actually a really good option within your budget and needs parameters.

                    1. re: whatsfordinner

                      THANK YOU! I thought I was losing it there for a bit!

                      1. re: whatsfordinner

                        and, i might add, they are the cleanest port a potties i've ever seen.
                        cleaner than a lot of regular ol bathrooms i see.

                  2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    Malibu beach Inn is temporarily closed. Soon to become a Casa Escobar, which might work. Don't know when they are reopening though.

                    1. re: budlit

                      Oh really? Is that related to the Casa Escobar in SaMo, do you know? Thanks.

                        1. re: budlit

                          We love the one on 25th.... They are very sweet people.

                      1. re: budlit

                        Casa Escobar is open, and replaced Malibu Inn, not the hotel across the street, Malibu Beach Inn, which is very much open.

                      2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                        Malibu Beach Inn's Carbon Beach Inn dining room is a great place for your group. They will take good care of you.
                        It has spectacular views, literally ON the water. 310.456.6444


                        They boast:
                        Unwind after work on our oceanfront terrace with Carbon Beach Club's lobby menu daily from 3:30-5:30pm.

                        ...so you could probably work something within budget during those hours...

                        1. re: VenusCafe

                          Great idea! Especially if they can work within OP's budget....

                        2. We had a nice Sunday breakfast/Brunch at Geoffrey's on PCH.

                          1. Geoffrey's, though it may be too much $$$

                            1. Back to the Beach in Santa Monica is right on the sand.

                              1. I'm going to revisit, and re-raise(?), Nikita as a possibility. They do serve lunch on Fri, Sat and Sun. If you stick to their excellent (and upscale) pizzas, and probably pastas, you may be well within the budget. Drinking a lot may knock you over it. Maybe. But, the physical setting is unsurpassed; the food quality is quite good; and the ambience is very modern and trendy. You should check it out.
                                Oh yes, their bathrooms are really nice, too.

                                1. The Sunset. It's far - at Zuma - but has everything you seek.

                                  1. To the OP, you've gotten quite a few good suggestions, so I hope you report back with your ultimate selection and then how it worked out. Since waterfront spots in Malibu are always on the to-do list when out-of-towners visit, your feedback will be interesting. Good luck.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Wayno

                                      Sure did! Wrote a whole report down at the bottom. Thanks for your help!!

                                      1. re: ramrams

                                        Yup, I read it right after you posted it. Thanks for doing that. Even though I live quite close by, I wasn't aware of Kristy's, but I'd like to try it out and definitely would like to hear how the food turns out for your event. Good luck!

                                    2. I had two holiday celebrations in December in this area.

                                      My office Christmas party at Gladstone's. The food was inedible, and my Sprite tasted so foul, it was undrinkable. (We were in a back room, with a non-plumbed bar, and they were pouring from plastic jugs that made everything taste horrid.) I would have rather sat at a bus stop, with my coworkers, and eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

                                      Maybe too far south--Seasons 52 (Santa Monica, on Ocean Ave and Colorado) has good food, and a really spectacular view, flexible spacing, and healthy menu choices.

                                      1. You could actually do something really fun at Malibu Seafood. Rent out the patio. Put out some butcher paper.

                                        1. Thank you everyone for the recommendations! I didn't want to respond until I visited all of them in person! After a long hunt, 3 weekends, and many food minimum calculations later, we've decided on The Sunset! In case you're wondering/interested, here's why:

                                          Duke's: In order to fit 35 people, we would have needed to use the Ocean Room which has a $2K food/drink minimum plus a $500 room fee (not including valet, grat, and tax) which would have brought us close to $3K, well over our budget.

                                          Nikita: Considering the beauty, breathtaking views, and quality, the prices actually weren't as bad as I thought they would be. However to fit at least 30 people, there would be a $3000 food/drink minimum which again, is well over our budget.

                                          Geoffrey's: This was even more ridiculous than Nikita. They wanted to charge somewhere around $100pp. That's close to what our venue (Calamigos Ranch) is charging for our WEDDING! And that was the only option they gave us for private dining.

                                          Reel Inn/Malibu Seafood: We looked here, but as we figured, it was just a little too casual for what we needed. We'd like to make some speeches and hand out gifts so these weren't really the places for that.

                                          Paradise Cove: I loved it here! It's so fun and a great place to bring out-of-towners! But unfortunately they don't do private dining at all. And they won't close off any area outside. And since the restaurant is primarily booths, we couldn't even accommodate that many people in one area comfortably. Bummer!

                                          Gladstones/Chart House: I didn't even check here, to be honest. Given the prices of Duke's right next door, I couldn't imagine they would be even close to our budget.

                                          Malibu Beach Inn: I have yet to hear back from the catering manger about pricing/food options but given they told us on site that the patio would be considered a buyout, I doubt that will be in our price range (the interior can't fit 30 people)

                                          Kristy's Wood Oven: This is a fun spot we discovered on our own! It ended up being a tight race between this place and The Sunset. The owners are super nice, they are extra accommodating, and you cannot beat the prices, view, and service. If I ever have another event in Malibu, this is where it will be.

                                          The Sunset: We came here last (right after Kristy's) and it took my breath away. We didn't even plan it but we came here right at sunset! It was magical. I know my family will be thrilled. I was worried about pricing but I emailed the catering manager and she responded promptly with the prices and who would have guessed - the room rental and food prices (INCLUDING valet) came out to 2K exactly! right on budget!!! We might even shave the guest count down to 30 instead of 35 so that with tax included, we can be right at our budget. We couldn't be happier with this decision. What a great recommendation.

                                          Thanks so much everyone! This was all extremely helpful and I know we will have a great rehearsal lunch because of it! I attached a picture of what the beach looked like just as we were approaching The Sunset. Beautiful!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ramrams

                                            Thanks for the report back! Please let us know how The Sunset works out for you (I've never heard of it). Good luck!

                                            1. re: ramrams

                                              UPDATE! Just heard back from Malibu Beach Inn - they want to charge $115/pp for lunch and $165/pp for dinner not including beverages, taxes, or gratuity. Oh and the terrace wouldn't be private, we'd have to share it with other guests.

                                              No, thank you! The sunset it is!!! :)

                                              1. re: ramrams

                                                I had a feeling the Sunset would be ideal. It's such a beautiful spot, too.