By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea…
Ocean breezes combined with a playful sun and breathtaking views of the cragged coastline painted the scene for lunch at Gladstones Restaurant in Pacific Palisades, one the best outdoor dining spots in Southern California.
A hostess scoured the deck for tables while eager diners waited in line in the fresh sea air to be seated. It was business as usual at this decades old restaurant. Much has changed since it opened over 40-years ago, but the inviting setting is still the same.
The once funky establishment has taken an entire new look thanks to a renovation by Sam Nazarian, founder of the luxury hospitality group sbe. And so have many menu items created by corporate executive chef Daniel Elmaleh. The accent is on fresh ingredients with choices ranging from classic seafood dishes to super-sized salads, burgers and more for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
Once upon a time the sweeping views of the beach and ocean were the main reason to visit Gladstones. But now the food shares the billing. It’s really good and not exactly cheap. But the fine food combined with the fantastic view and setting makes it worth every cent.
Lunch and dinner menus are identical and include a Raw Bar where you can get ceviche, oysters, shrimp, and lobster. Fish lovers can also order the signature Iced Seafood Tower piled high with shellfish.
Starter options include a delicious clam chowder (Gladstones Famous or Manhattan Style); crab cakes prepared with arugula and fennel; steamed Littleneck clams in a garlic lemon broth with grilled crostini.
Pasta lovers will rejoice at the offerings but fish is king here. A fact recently validated by a tender tasty swordfish smeared fresh tomato salsa. A seared tuna ahi was also as good as it gets, perfectly prepared with just the right amount of pinkness in the center. Carnivores can skip the surf and go straight to the turf with cheeseburgers and steaks accompanied by La Brea Bakery breads. And dessert lovers should save room, the sweet treats are to diet (sic) for.
Gladstones is located at 17300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Pacific Palisades; 310-454-3474; It is open Monday through Thursday from 11 AM to 9 PM and 11 Am to 10 PM on Fridays, 9 AM to 10 PM on Saturdays, and Sunday from 9 AM (there’s a brunch) to 9 PM. Happy Hour specials are daily from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM.
Prices range from $6-25 for lunch and $12 to $12to $40 for dinner. Cocktails are $14 and glasses of wines range from $7 to $17 (gulp!).
Even though it’s a little dreary in Los Angeles these days, the ocean views from Gladstones are still phenomenal. Go take a walk on the beautiful beach after your meal.