Pacific Plates: The Best Ocean-View Restaurants in Los Angeles
Photo By: Lisa Romerein ©Copyright Lisa Romerein
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Photo By: Herve Grison www.hervegrison.com ©herve grison 2008
Photo By: Ryan Tanaka ©2014 Ryan Tanaka
Malibu Farm, Malibu
It’s hard to imagine a better place to eat organic, local California cuisine than Malibu Farm. With a restaurant and a cafe on either side of the pier, Malibu Farm offers two options in one scenic setting. The restaurant, on the beach side of the pier, serves healthy fare for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Over the sea, at the pier’s end, Malibu Farm Pier Cafe serves lighter breakfast and lunch options, including quinoa oatmeal, farm-fresh scrambled eggs and kale Caesar salads.
Photography courtesy of Malibu Farm
Go to: Malibu Farm
Terrazza Lounge, Santa Monica
Located inside Santa Monica’s Casa del Mar hotel, Terrazza is a bastion of seaside salumi, serving enough prosciutto, pecorino and Grana Padano to seemingly transport diners to the Italian Riviera. The menu swerves back stateside with the well-rounded craft beer list and all-American brunch options like pastrami hash and buttermilk waffles.
Photography by Lisa Romerein courtesy of Hotel Casa Del Mar
Go to: Terrazza Lounge
The Strand House, Manhattan Beach
For a palm-fringed pierside pick, head to The Strand House across from the Manhattan Beach pier. In addition to contemporary Californian fare, the restaurant offers elevated takes on comfort classics, including mac ‘n’ cheese, pizza and glazed doughnuts. In addition to a beach-friendly cocktail menu, The Strand has a wine list full of formidable selections from around the globe. All are best enjoyed while overlooking the bright, sandy beach.
Photography courtesy of The Strand House
Go to: The Strand House
Geoffrey’s Malibu, Malibu
Geoffrey’s Malibu is an approachable fine-dining destination with incredible sweeping views of the vast blue water. Located just off the Pacific Coast Highway, the Malibu restaurant arranges tables under outdoor patio umbrellas, which are the best seats in the house. Brunch service goes beyond basic with decadent orders of challah French toast, shiitake omelets and lobster quiche. The establishment dates back to 1948 and has hosted Old Hollywood royalty, including Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.
Photography courtesy of Geoffrey's Malibu
Geoffrey's Malibu: Geoffrey's Malibu
Whiskey Red’s, Marina Del Rey
As its name suggests, Whiskey Red’s is a choice spot for sampling whiskey while enjoying a great view of the Marina del Rey’s calm waters. Grab a seat outside next to a fire pit to watch the sunset while sampling one of the infused seasonal whiskeys, like summer peach. If that doesn’t satisfy your whiskey tooth, order The Whiskey Burger with whiskey barbecue sauce.
Photography courtesy of Whiskey Red's
Go to: Whiskey Red's
Venice Whaler, Venice Beach
Despite its prime spot next to the bustling Venice Fishing Pier, Venice Whaler is a laid-back, seemingly hidden gem. The upstairs deck has great views of the beach happenings, which are best observed with a cocktail in hand. The food menu covers a broad swath, including California classics like fish tacos and avocado toast, and pier-perfect fried fare, including fish and chips. Brunch is particularly popular, and many walk off their chicken and waffles with a stroll over to Muscle Beach.
Photography courtesy of Venice Whaler
Go to: Venice Whaler
The Penthouse, Santa Monica
Most of LA’s best ocean-view spots are at sea level, but The Penthouse restaurant in Santa Monica is a step — actually 18 stories — above the competition. The restaurant perches high atop the city on the penthouse level of the Huntley Hotel. Elegant and modern, The Penthouse lives up to its name with beautifully crafted food and 360-degree views of the ocean and the Los Angeles skyline.
Photography courtesy of The Huntley Hotel
Go to: The Penthouse
Celebrities and sushi come together at Malibu legend Nobu. The luxurious seaside haunt is beloved by rappers, actresses and power players alike, and has priceless views to satisfy the elite clientele. In addition to a fantastic sushi selection, Nobu offers culinary staples and innovations with its two menus, Nobu Classic and Nobu Now. Early risers should arrive in time for the Malibu Breakfast, which offers dishes like Shiso Santandagi, 48-Hour Braised Short Rib “Steak and Eggs” and Wagyu Fried Rice.
Photography by Henry Hargreaves courtesy of Nobu
Go to: Nobu Malibu
The Lobster, Santa Monica
At The Lobster, not only is the ocean in full view, but so is all of the fun on the Santa Monica Pier. Families will love the hearty seafood dishes and sandwiches as well as the giant Ferris wheel backdrop. This historic restaurant is a perfect place to refuel after a family excursion to the pier. Things may have changed quite a bit since dishwasher Mateo Castillo worked his way up to owning The Lobster in 1950, but diners can still count on massive hunks of the namesake lobster and a postcard-worthy view.
Photography courtesy of The Lobster
Go to: The Lobster
1 Pico, Santa Monica
Housed in the 5-star hotel Shutters on the Beach, 1 Pico is a beachside restaurant that draws diners beyond hotel guests with its sandy views and artful dishes. Like any good beach spot, 1 Pico serves an array of seafood in addition to other upscale internationally inspired plates like ricotta tortellacci pasta and New Zealand rack of lamb. Toast to good health with a cold-pressed juice or specialty cocktail.
Photography courtesy of Shutters on the Beach
Go to: 1 Pico
Mar’sel, Rancho Palos Verdes
Terranea Resort offers an oceanside escape that feels worlds away, and rightfully so; the sprawling 102-acre property sits removed from the chaos of Los Angeles in leafy, tranquil Palos Verdes. Terranea even maintains an herb garden yielding fresh ingredients for Mar’sel, the resort’s California-cuisine restaurant that overlooks a perfectly manicured lawn and the endless blue horizon of the Pacific Ocean. Perk up the patio dining with charcuterie and caviar, paired with a selection from the French and Californian wine list.
Photography courtesy of Terranea Resort
Go to: Mar'sel
Cafe del Rey, Marina del Rey
Marina del Rey is home to thousands of boats and lots of great restaurants. While Cafe del Rey may not offer views of sandy shores, this dockside restaurant has a different ocean view worth noting: the marina. Cafe del Rey matches its surroundings with a nautical feel that pairs well with the California fare available for brunch, lunch and dinner. Sample fresh catches at the raw bar, then keep an eye out for seasonally driven desserts.
Photography courtesy of Cafe del Rey
Go to: Cafe del Rey
Playa Provisions, Playa del Rey
Playa Provisions may be the most-fun ocean-view spot on our list. With multiple concepts under one roof, the Playa del Rey hot spot can cure your caffeine craving, impress whiskey connoisseurs and keep kids entertained with craft ice cream at its various spaces: King Beach, Grain, Dockside and Small Batch. Even without its beachside location, this place would be an ideal place to spend a beautiful day.
Photography courtesy of Playa Provisions
Go to: Playa Provisions