NOW CLOSED. My review will stay as this is my memory and a local hangout I enjoyed visiting. Lack of tourists and the economy does play havoc on the restaurant scene.
Fresh ocean breeze, sparkling blue waters and al fresco dining says The Beachcomber Cafe in Malibu, California. Surfers aren't the only ones enjoying Malibu. Patrons of the Beachcomber are having a good time, as well. Having wonderful views and delicious food from appetizers to desserts, this is a true California Dreamin' type of restaurant. The tables on the Pier side are a great place to watch the surf and get a tan while sipping on a Mai Tai or Pina Colada. Ah, California dreamin' on such a winter's day.
Of course, being in Malibu and on the pier to boot doesn't hurt the dream. The waitstaff is attentive and friendly, wanting to please your every desire. Tables on the outside dining area are interspersed with lounge chairs and low couches. This is dining Malibu style. The food is well prepared and a good choice of dishes are presented. A good sized bar with a private booth that can seat 10 is done in Polynesian decor and is called the Tonga Lei Room. Some of the cocktails offered will fit in this room like a crab in a shell. Having a tropica party, then the Tonga Lei Room is a good bet.
Favorite Dish: I just love appetizers and at the beach the type of eating done on outside table locations should be finger food. The calamari dish was one of the best I have had with extra large baby octopus tentacles in the mix with the calamari rings. The dish that took the prize was again an appetizer called Tiny Ahi Tacos. Made with fresh ahi tuna sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds and wrapped in a wonton skin done taco style (folded). Looking for a restaurant to have casual dining at the beach, then The Beachcomber Cafe at the Malibu Pier is for you when in the beach area of Los Angeles.
NOW CLOSED. Lack of being open all year round and the walk to the end of the pier may have doomed this domed location. The review will stay here as a memory. Bring your own lunch, if you want to eat out on the pier watching the surfer's in the water.
The All American Diner has come to the Malibu Pier. Ruby's Diner now has a Ruby's Shake Shack at the end of the pier in one of the domed buildings. It was a diner a long time ago when the pier first opened in 1938, but it was run down after the 1960's but brought back to its glory once again. Ruby's will help it out, for who can stand out on a pier in the ocean, smell that sea breeze and then get a wiff of hamburgers on the grill and not want one.
Inside the restaurant, is the 1950's decor with the old style ads hanging on the wall and even a gum ball machine. Little round stools at the counter make the good times roll again. Ruby's will close for the winter and reopen on Memorial Day, the last Monday in May. All the locals will be lining up come the end of May for the reopening of Ruby's Shake Shack.
Favorite Dish: Ruby's is noted for a great hamburger. No fooling around and no fast food burger. Besides a great hamburger, shakes are featured at the Malibu Pier's Ruby's Shake Shack. There are 20 different kinds of shakes and malts ready to please your taste buds.
We arrived at the Getty Villa at 11am and needed a snack to tide us over until we had lunch, of course you won't be eating here if not visiting the Villa. The Cafe is self service, you order at the counter and then someone brings the food out to you. There's a lovely outside patio where you can eat.
Favorite Dish: We ordered a Mediterranean plate with hummus, tabbouleh, mixed olives, marinated feta cheese and warm pita to split between us (around $10-11). Plenty of food for a snack or a lunch for one.
There are a bunch of seafood restaurants along PCH in Malibu, some of them in the pricey range such as Gladstone's, Chart House and Moon Shadows on the ocean side and the more casual places like Neptune's Net, Malibu Seafood and Reel Inn on the other side of PCH. We had been heading to Moon Shadows but after looking at the menu, we changed course and headed to Reel Inn instead.
The menu is both fresh fish and fried fish, I couldn't decide between fried shrimp and fried oysters so I asked if it was possible to get a combo plate. The terse answer was simply "no", I can't say much about friendly service here.
You order your food at the window and then go find a space to sit, either inside or outside on the patio and wait for them to call your name.
A few days later I went to a similar place, Malibu Seafood, also located on PCH. I preferred Malibu Seafood, the service was friendly, the prices more reasonable, the portion sizes bigger and the view nicer. Plus I was able to park for free, Reel Inn's small parking lot has a $3 valet charge although another review I saw said that you could park at the hotel next door for free despite the $8 parking charge sign since the hotel is closed.
Favorite Dish: I ended up ordering the fried shrimp ($15.95) which came with french fries, it wasn't an enormous portion and while the shrimp were decent sized they were a little overcooked. Still I enjoyed the meal, I liked the casual atmosphere and being able to sit outside especially considering I was going home to freezing temperatures. We also shared an order of oysters on the half shell ($8.95), 6 in the order, that came with a horseradish sauce.
I was heading south on PCH on my way to LAX and decided to stop for one more seafood lunch before going home. Malibu Seafood got better Yelp reviews than Neptune's Net or Paradise Cove so I stopped here for lunch. You order inside and seating is all outside, just like Reel Inn, Malibu Seafood is on the non ocean side of PCH but still with a nice view of it. Service was very friendly, you order at the counter, find a seat and then pickup your meal once they call your number at the outside pickup window. On a Monday at lunchtime it was busy but no lines.
Coming from the north, you can park on PCH, you have to cross traffic on foot but it's not that hard. If you want to park in their lot, you have to go further south and make a u-turn. Coming from the south there is a small parking lot, some of it appeared to have a fee.
Favorite Dish: I really wanted fried oysters since I didn't have them at Reel Inn but they were out so I got the fried squid ($9.95) instead and then added a fish taco ($4.50) since I hadn't had one on this trip. It was way more food than I could eat, the fish taco was very simple but good, topped with diced tomatoes and cilantro. The fried squid was a big portion, it certainly wasn't the best calamari I've ever had but was still tasty. The squid came with fries and there is malt vinegar on the tables.
In Malibu's Country Mart, John's Garden is a shack of tasty delights with a hippie vibe. It is founded by a local named John Musante who befriended mart founder- renowed fashion designer Fred Segal.
Since 1975, the Garden has been a success by offering comparably low prices for gourmet-style entree This would be seemingly hard to do in mega- expensive Malibu. Most sandwiches are under $10 and are quite enough for one person. If sharing, the portion size is perfect.
Meeting with sophisticated Bu standards, the sandwich and salad heavy menu is not run-of-the-mill. Try the Portofino sandwich with marinated grilled chicken, pesto and swiss on focaccia or the vegan-friendly Phoney Baloney that manages to satisfy. The salad variety includes classic American Cobb, Greek , Chinese and even Korean.
For a sweet tooth, there is a an amazingly selection of candy, snacks and drinks. Many, many thank yous to John's for having straight up banana shakes on the menu. No only banana-strawberry or some banana chocolate mix on menu options! Also, here one can delight on a southern California favorite that is not so easily to find here- the pure date shake.
There is an online order option here!
Come you all early- John's Garden closes everyday at 4 PM! Opens at 10AM.
Favorite Dish: Lox platter and banana shake- big flavor!!!
Housed in the only structure right on the beach in the near vicinity, Sunset Restaurant is a great place to watch the sunset and have dinner! Admittedly, I was here for a late lunch on a cloudy day, but I know that its west facing windows would make it great at sunset! The restaurant serves decent seafood, including tasty mussels.
The Sage Room is a small, family run restaurant at the corner of PCH and Kanan/Dume Road in Malibu, about six miles North of Pepperdine. Open every evening, owner Claudio calls upon recepies he learned from his Momma Rosa. Momma Rosa still comes back from Northern Italy several times a year to put that home cooked feel to the dinner. Her lasagna is to die for. Claudio also has a number of other dishes that that change throughout the year. The butternut squash is a big seller and most excellent. From Pizza's pretty much done any way you want them, to rib eye, salmon, salads.
Favorite Dish: The butternut squash ravioli and the spinach salad.
Malibu Seafood is a great place to have some fish and chips, an ahi burger, or some good uncomplicated seafood dishes. The place is a fish shack across the street from the water, and it's very fun, casual, outdoors and awesome. Order at the shack and grab a picnic table outside hear the drive. There's a covered area up the hill and more tables farther down. Beware that in the summer there is a long line to order and you'll be eagerly waiting for your number to be called. Parking can be a pain in the but too, so I only go to this place in the off season. This place DOES NOT serve alcohol, so if you want beer or wine, you'll have to bring your own which is no problem at all. One little quibble with this place....they have a big poster of a fishing boat at the order counter which says, "We don't serve breakfast, because we're out catching lunch." Well, BULLSH*T, most of the fish while pretty fresh and pretty nice is not local and is shipped in just like at any other place, despite being steps from the water. How do I know? I asked them what was local and the day I was there, "well....nothing." So, good place. Great stop. But don't expect the greatest sea food of all time or local fisherman dropping off their catch. It's still really nice to dip your toes in the water and hang out at the beach, then go across the street for a luscious bite.
Favorite Dish: The Ahi tuna burger is really tasty and they make GREAT fish and chips with nice big chunks of white fish and nice steak fry type fries. Mix the sauce on the burger with cholula hot sauce and you're in heaven.
The Ventura County side of Zuma Beach, Malibu on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) about 16 miles north of the Malibu Pier has the iconic Neptune's Net Seafood Restaurant with it's fame for great fried seafood and as a motorcycle riders rest stop along the PCH. You not only get lemon with your fried calamari, clam, or fish & chips, but the roar of motorcycle engines coming and going from Neptune's Net.
Even a Ferrari or two could be in the parking lot, as come one, come all, is the theme of this beach restaurant in business since 1958. On the weekends, there is a steady stream of customers lined up from opening till closing. Order in line, either the fried seafood and restaurant line or the steamed and seafood line. Find a table to sit down, and wait for your order number to be called for pick-up. Beach dining at it's most casual and finest.
Neptune's Net is also a great place to take out of state or out of country visitors for a relaxed lunch or early dinner. On September 20, 2009, VTer pbuyse2 (Pete) with his son Jonas from Ghent, Belgium, met with fellow local VTers Stephanie (Stephanie) former VT Director of Community along with Gerry, Steph's Hunka Hunka, as well as myself, travelgourmet (Larry) and my wife, Sue, with our oldest son, Jason. We spent 3 great hours of eating a variety of seafoods and talking about Ghent, California, and VT goodies that Stephanie so generously handed out to everyone. Oh yes, even a little drinking. Thanks Stephanie for being the super Director of Community for VT and best wishes for a long, happy, healthy marriage with Gerry. It was great to see Pete with his twinkling eyes and ready smile. Trust we shall meet again. As I stated earlier in this post, beach dining at it's most casual and finest.
Favorite Dish: Hands down the fried Calamari and Clam Strips are real palate pleasers and for the ocean air nothing beats the clam chowder and steamed lobster dish. Wash that down with a great beer or glass of wine and you have found the Malibu laid back style of living.
The wonderful restaurant caught our eye right away. They have two sides, with one with lovely indoor dinning and across is the patio dinning with an awesome vintage bar. We sat in the patio area which provided us with an awesome view of the ocean and wildlife. We really enjoyed the fish and chips lunch. We mentioned it was our 28th wedding anniversary and they brought us this wonderfu desert. That was truely special to us.
Favorite Dish: We had the DAILY FISH AND CHIPS Market the freshest fish of the day in our own crispy beer batter.
Ruby's Shake Shack specialty is old fashioned shakes, burgers and fries. Located on Malibu's historical pier. The restaurant is decorated in the classic 40s style and named for the owner's mom. It is not open during the winter time, but will reopen Memorial Day Weekend.
ALOHA! Hawaii dreamin' in California at Duke's Malibu restaurant right on the well known PCH. Named for the Hawaiian Kama'aina (native) and famous "Father of International Surfing" as well as Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist, Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968), Duke's Malibu has photos of Duke surfing and Hawaiian decor throughout the restaurant.
Hawaiian music and tropical flora greet you as you walk to the entrance doors of Duke's. Once inside, you forget where you are and you are immersed in all things Hawaii. A grass shack faux roof bar with bamboo decor and surf boards on the walls next to the dinning area and even an outside sand floor bar called "The Barefoot Bar", which is casual and laid-back, Hawaiian Style. The interior dining has windows the length of the restaurant looking out to the crashing waves and the blue Pacific Ocean. Yes, it's beginning to feel a lot like Hawaii.
Favorite Dish: Two things describe Duke's Malibu the best. One, their signature cocktail, Mai Tai, the libation sensation that lets you really get into the spirit of Aloha and dreamin' of Hawaii. The other is the decadent dessert that began at Duke's sister restaurant in Lahaina, Maui Hawaii, Kimo's restaurant, the famous "Hula Pie".
Duke's Malibu is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner with a Sunday Brunch that is "ono" (delicious). If you want the vibe of Southern California with the hint of Hawaii with your meal, then Duke's Malibu is where to be. Aloha oe.
The restaurant is set up overlooking the ocean which just sets a great mood. Very soft lighting with glass windows everywhere. Very fun during the day but a warm feeling at night with the ocean, light, and windows. It has cuisines from America, Italy, and French but puts it all together so well.
Favorite Dish: I loved the classy cheeseburgers, but any of the pasta was amazing! I did some dish switching.
Neptunes Net is a great stop-off of the PCH in Malibu to take in a beer and some fried seafood. Neptunes is not for those who are watching their cholestorol, as this place has the deep fried everything! You can sit at one of their many picnic tables inside and enjoy some shrimp while watching the sunset, and sometimes watch the stars- Jay Leno and other Malibu residents are known to stop in here while they take their Harleys out for afternoon drives.
Favorite Dish: I like the Negra Modelo. ha ha