Longtime locals will remember Nobu as being nestled in the corner of Malibu Country Mart, but while the world-class restaurant’s location has changed, its quality and creativity haven’t budged a bit. Still one of the city’s top restaurants—and one of the region’s best sushi restaurants—Nobu currently features prominently along PCH with a spectacular view of Surfrider Beach. Along the water is the perfect place to celebrate Nobu Matsuhisa’s inspired sushi and seafood-centric menu, whether it be crab cakes topped with an uni bernaise, the artful salmon kelp roll or the legendary black cod with miso. Reservations here are a must, as is a seat on that stellar oceanfront patio.
“Malibu tends to astonish and disappoint those who have never before seen it,” author Joan Didion said in The White Album, “and yet its very name remains, in the imagination of people all over the world, a kind of shorthand for the easy life.” The water may not be as turquoise as Newport Beach, nor the sand as pristine as Carmel by the Sea up north, but the built-up, carefree surfers’ mythos around Malibu continues to make the coastal city a playground for bikers, surfers, Jonah Hill and people who just want to go to the beach.
As for restaurants, Malibu offers some of the freshest seafood—surprise, surprise—but there’s so much more than yellowtail jalapeno sushi at Nobu Malibu and fish ‘n’ chips. On the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll find some of L.A.’s most iconic coastal dives and patios by the water, as well as fantastic pizza, Thai food, and Mexican takeout. Here’s our guide to eating through Malibu like a local. (We hope you brought your appetite, and maybe some sunscreen.)
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