When it comes to making a positive first impression, the Sunset Restaurant doesn?t dawdle: it greets guests with a sprawling view of the Pacific horizon. Located on a secluded chunk of Zuma Beach, and just a few steps or somersaults away from the ocean, the restaurant continues to stun patrons throughout their visits by surrounding tables with equally stunning coastal views. In Sunset?s pristine, white dining room, large windows look out onto the beach while dates and groups sit down to plates of seafood pasta, grilled filet mignon, and wild langostinos flown in from New Zealand. Away from its casual dining spaces, the facility also boasts elegantly decorated bars and private event rooms for hosting special occasions, including weddings.
Borne from founder Aharon Klein's love of grilling and seasoning ocean-fresh seafood, Fish Grill sizzles a menu of wraps, pastas, and sandwiches starring juicy fillets of fish amid old-fashioned nautical d?cor. Chefs seal in succulent flavors by searing every fillet over smoky mesquite at a clean 1,000 degrees?roughly the temperature at which oceans melt. Each tasty dish of trout, tuna, salmon or ahi arrives tailored to the diner's tastes and prepared under the 3,300-year-old guidelines of kosher dietary law.
When you’re in love, few things are more beautiful than your mate. One exception may be a panoramic view of the Pacific. During brunch at Geoffrey’s Malibu, every seat offers an eyeful of ocean. The menu is just as impressive, with items such as herb-crusted salmon and sautéed sea scallops in a pomegranate reduction.
Let the warm red and gold hues of La Finestra's décor pique your light lunchtime appetite for a Caesar panino with chicken breast, romaine, Caesar dressing, and parmesan cheese ($10) or a cup of handmade pomodore tomato soup with lemon and garlic ($6). La Finestra, Italian for "The Finestra," really excels at dinner fare. As the evening lights of LA simmer, whet your palate with antipasto La Finestra, a platter of imported meats with cheeses, roasted red bell peppers, and marinated calamari ($12, $18 large); or decorate your date-charming chompers with a rustica salad of radicchio, arugula, endive, mushrooms, and shaved parmesan ($7, $10 large). The veal scaloppini marsala comes basted in wine with fresh-chopped tomatoes and mushrooms ($22)—and is hard not to refuse to refuse if you haven't yet refused concurrent offers from the ravioli aurora (stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach and drizzled with pink sauce, $15) and the thin-crusted pizza portofino (with mozzarella, gorgonzola, and caramelized onions, $15). La Finestra's friendly, accommodating staff will do their best to prepare your pizza any way you wish.
Whether they're seated in an oversized booth in the dining room or splitting a plate with nearby pelicans on the outdoor patio, Killer Cafe grants its diners picturesque views of the sparkling marina. Eggs benedict and buttermilk pancakes are among the caf?'s morning fare. These dishes can be accompanied by fresh-squeezed juices, fruit smoothies, espresso drinks, and brunch cocktails. Later in the day, the menu is filled with loaded salads, and hearty burgers and entrees to indulge appetites from morning until late night.
Josiah Citrin is one of the country’s premier chefs, a startling accomplishment for someone who never even went to culinary school. After graduating from Santa Monica High School, Josiah took off for Paris instead, where he spent the next three years working in the kitchens at Vivarois and La Poste. Upon returning to LA, he snagged a spot at Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois, and later worked beside Joachim Splichal at Patina. In 1996, Josiah returned to Santa Monica to open his first restaurant, JiRaffe, a California-French bistro, to great success. But his longtime desire to open a fine-dining establishment inspired him to sell JiRaffe and start afresh with Melisse. Josiah opened Melisse shortly after being named one of the world’s Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine, and since then, his restaurant has maintained a highly distinguished standing. In addition to boasting two Michelin stars, Melisse is regularly awarded inclusion on lists such as The Elite Traveler’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World. Josiah brings his stellar talents to the kitchen each day, personally guiding his chefs and taking trips to the Santa Monica farmer’s market for seasonal produce. Melisse is named for an herb indigenous to the Mediterranean, which speaks to the menu’s seasonality, contemporary French inspirations, and strong swimming abilities. Everything is prix-fixe: the standard menu has featured dishes such as Wagyu beef tartare and wild king salmon with stinging nettles, while the vegetarian tasting menu might have broccoli with egg yolk and braised yuba. Guests, particularly those dining in the two private rooms, can also go carte blanche, trusting the kitchen to surprise them with elegant dishes such as soft poached egg with caviar and lemon crème fraîche.