22 January 2007

Lunch at Gladstone’s Malibu, CA

One of the things that made lunch at Gladstone’s in Malibu so enjoyable was the prelude. My wife and I were heading to Los Angeles for a couple of days vacation before a convention. We were leaving on a Monday morning flight. Naturally, it snowed Sunday night. So I got up early and cleared the driveway.

We had ordered a cab. But with the snow, we called and asked him to come a bit earlier. When he arrived, I don’t think he’d ever driven on snow before. We certainly didn’t expect the driver to take chances. But this was ridiculous. We made it to the airport, got our luggage checked, and got through security. We had time for a quick bite and a cup of coffee before our flight left.

Arriving in L.A., we got our rental car and found our hotel in Marina del Rey. We had decided to stay near the ocean and the beach, which also was reasonably close to our planned attraction for the trip – a visit to the Getty Villa in Malibu.

We got checked in and then started our drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. I’ve written before how I’m not a big fan of Los Angeles. My main complaint is that the city is too spread out, nothing is close, and the traffic is generally horrible.

At this point, we still hadn’t had anything to eat except for a half bagel at the Minneapolis airport. So as we neared Malibu, we started looking for a place to have lunch. That’s when we spotted Gladstone’s. The sun was shining brightly (though the temp was a bit chilly). The patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean was too inviting to drive by. So we pulled in.

The restaurant is a bit of a tourist draw. We didn’t have trouble getting a table. (It was, after all, 1:30 p.m.) There was a steady stream of customers arriving all the way through our lunch. They have the location, and their menu prices show they know it. The main problem is that many of the menu items really are dinner items that cost $20-$30. A bit steep for lunch; also more than we wanted to eat at midday.

But we were just so glad to be there, away from the snow and the ice, that we didn’t let it bother us. And best of all, the food was very good. My wife had a Cajun fish taco, served with black beans and Spanish rice. The fish was very fresh and lightly battered. The beans were very tasty and had crumbled white cheese of some kind on top. The rice was a little spicy, but not overwhelming. I had an Ahi tuna sandwich. It was coated with sesame seeds and done very nicely – not too rare, but also not overdone and dried out. The sandwich was served with tangy coleslaw and home-fried potato chips.

We both ordered a glass of wine. My wife had a pinot grigio and I had a sauvignon blanc. Both were very good and nicely complimented the fish. They also were not at all expensive. So we sipped our wine, enjoyed our lunch, got all of the travel stress out of our systems, and went to the Getty.

I thought the Getty Villa was a very unique museum. If you go, you should take one of the free orientation tours because it explains the whole concept of the place. The villa is modeled after actual Roman ruins. In a way, the villa is the artwork and provides a venue to display the fascinating collection of ancient artifacts. It was a great start to our vacation.

1 comment:

selva said...

i like to stay once again in this Alpine Peaks restaurant , i have never feel such a restaurant in my life, i found the meaning of relax there. i like to take family too in my next journey, i think they too will like me