There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than heading to the coast, and thankfully there are plenty of stellar spots to sate your appetite while you’re there. Here are some of our favorite seaside eats in L.A.
Blue Plate Oysterette, Santa Monica
Few things beat slurping down oysters while overlooking the Santa Monica sunset swaddled in Mexican blankets at this popular eatery. If all the fresh sea air has your appetite hankering for something more substantial than a dozen hama hamas, try the shrimp cobb salad or the Baja-style fish tacos with grilled white fish, cabbage, and cilantro aioli.
Fishing With Dynamite
David LeFevre has made a splash with his collection of Manhattan Beach eateries, including FWD (pictured), the chef’s 33-seat homage to the sea, complete with New England chowder, lobster rolls, and Maryland blue crab cakes. It may a challenge, especially if you order The Mothershucker—an oversized seafood tower with more fresh shellfish than you can imagine—but at least try to save room for dessert, as his take on key lime pie made with keffir is out of this world.
Malibu Farm Restaurant, Malibu
It doesn't get more SoCal than a farm-to-table restaurant on the pier in “The ‘Bu” unless, of course, the place is actually owned by the farmer, as is with the newly opened Malibu Farm Restaurant. Chef/owner/farmer Helene Henderson serves her own produce and eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner service at her charming space overlooking the ocean, as well as wine, sangria and locally brewed beer. If you’re seeking something even more casual, they also have a counter service cafe at the end of the pier.
Latte art aficionado Christopher “Nicely” Abel Alameda opened his own uber-hip, pint-sized Venice coffee bar by the sea, drawing in locals with his unique flare for Spanish lattes, modern mochas, and cortados. The Yeastie Boys Bagel truck is known to park outside regularly, making for the perfect carry-away combo for a walk on the sand.
If you’re after something a bit more upscale, there’s perhaps no better place for seaside dining than Nobu Matsuhisa’s namesake sushi restaurant, especially if you’re into celeb spotting. With spectacular views of the Pacific and seafood to match, it’s easy to see why this is a favorite among locals and jetsetters alike.
Quality Seafood, Redondo Beach
Redondo Beach alone is unfairly oft overlooked. Ride your beach cruiser down the strand from Manhattan or Venice, then fill up on fresh seafood—or, if you’re the daring type, live uni—and cold beers before cycling back. If you get tuckered out along your return route, not to worry: stop at MB Post for a bloody mary recharge. That’ll do the trick.
Rosenthal Wine Bar, Malibu
“Rosé all day” could become your mantra when hanging out at this Malibu-based winery, whose tasting room is located conveniently along the Pacific Coast Highway. Bring a designated driver, obviously, and then head further up the coast to Malibu Seafood, where you’ll get great bay shrimp cocktails and ahi tuna burgers or Paradise Cove, one of the very few places where you can nosh on beach eats with your feet actually in the sand.
Krista Simmons is a culinary travel writer and native Angeleno; she covers the Southern California beat for Travel + Leisure. You can follow her adventures bite-by-bite on Instagram.
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