by Mar Yvette - 482 Reviews - 150 List
Whether you're looking for a romantic meal above the waves in Malibu or a seafood shack in the South Bay, we've got you covered with our quick hit list of LA beach restaurants. Because nothing beats dining out with views of glistening water, a spectacular sunset and even a little sideshow--if you're in Venice, of course. (Photo: Gladstone's Malibu)
Updated: August 04, 2010
Okay, okay. So we know the food here won't win any awards of any kind. But going out to eat is about much more than just the food. Case in point: this place. Every day beachgoers, skaters, tourists and locals clamor for an outdoor table overlooking the boardwalk. Why? Bikini-clad girls, roller-skating guitar players, dreadlocked wild men and sundry other "only in Venice" types provide an excellent sidewalk show.
Destination dining in the Marina? And how. This upscale restaurant is where to go for daily dayboat specials, a good bar scene (happy hour happens every day 3pm-7pm and 9pm to close) and sublime harbor views. And don't forget the jazz guitarist Thursday-Saturday nights.
As the name implies, this little San Pedro gem is located right on the landing. Outside, it's pretty honky tonk, but inside guests enjoy candlelit dinners in a romantic setting. The ultimate splurge? Choose your lobster, then enjoy the mighty crustacean while overlooking the Pacific.
This Redondo Beach Pier mainstay might not have killer views (it's located on the lower level next to the arcade, which is kind of a bonus if you like arcades), but that doesn't stop crowds from coming here to feast on everything from clam chowder to fresh crab--newspaper-lined tables, steel claw crackers and bib included.
Once only available to overnight guests, the restaurant at David Geffen's Malibu Beach Inn is still one of the best-kept secrets in the 'Bu. Sit outside on the dining deck to hear, feel and see the waves crash right below you while feasting on tasty coastal cuisine.
Never mind the nightmarish parking situation on the weekends or the throngs of flip-flopped folks getting in your way. Just order a drink (or two) and a few apps, grab a seat on one of the Adirondacks on the sand and relaaaax ... this is is one of the few places in LA where you can legally drink on the beach.
Yes, folks, it's true. This former hot mess is on the brink of becoming a bona fide beachside dining option ... for locals! Since SBE took control in 2010, the revamped menu has become just as good as the views from the swanked-up space. Clam chowder, shrimp tempura (a la Katsuya), more fresh seafood instead of fried crap and killer drinks are all here for the taking. Oh, and those gold foil wraps for your leftovers are still here. Some things never change.
This glorified roadside shack along PCH is ground zero for Harley riders on weekends, so if wind-weathered bikers and the women who love them aren't your bag, stop by on a weekday for fish-and-chips and other creatures from the sea.
Now that this fetching, low-key, seafood-centric restaurant inside the Casa Del Mar hotel has taken on a more affordable and approachable version of itself, it's a beachside dining must. Try the grilled fish of the day and the walnut meringue dessert. The views through the huge windows are incredible.
We know what you're thinking: Really? Yeah, really. Its location at the entrance of the Santa Monica Pier might make it tourist trappy, but this unofficial historical landmark offers some solid fare thanks to chef Collin Crannell who knows how to work a lobster as much as he does a peach.