I’ve never been to Los Angeles, but it’s alway been a dream to visit the place I’ve seen in so many movies and TV shows…I think I’ve mentioned my *slight* addiction to American teen drama. Ok, I’m not naive enough to think LA is all movie star glamour and beautiful people but as we drove down the highway into Malibu, the sky became clearer, the air became warmer, palm trees lined the roads and beautiful beaches filled with surfers came into sight. I was really, really excited!
The drive along the beautiful Malibu coast line marked the entrance into LA for us and it was the perfect place to stop for lunch at the ocean front location of one our favourite restaurants.
Mr S and I have visited Nobu Restaurants all around the world including the two in London, Miami, Mykonos and Melbourne! But, Nobu Malibu
is my favourite of all of them.
Just look at these beautiful coastal views…
And the stunning open plan restaurant.
I felt like I was one of the cool kids from 90210 or the OC.Every Nobu restaurant has a slightly varied menu so that the chef can showcase local ingredients and specialities so you can always try something new.
Mr S had a huge smile on his face, sushi and the ocean, two of his favourite things!
I love sushi and I’d happily eat it every day for lunch and dinner, but I think nowhere does sushi quite like Nobu and the lobster tacos above were totally divine. Crunchy taco shells filled with juicy lobster, one each wasn’t enough but we had lots more to come.
Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno. We nearly always order this, its so light with that perfectly balanced and delicious yuzu dressing.
Spicy tuna rolls are another one of our Nobu staples.
Another sashimi this time laden with gorgeous crispy artichokes. And the great thing about sashimi is it’s so light that you can order lots of it!
Rock shrimp tempura with ponzu was a more filling hot dish.
With a side of melt-in-the-mouth delicious aubergine.
And shrimp with lobster and a spicy lemon sauce.
After savouring the delights of Nobu it was back on the road into LA. There would be two parts to our LA visit with the first a stop off in Santa Monica staying at The Viceroy Hotel
The Viceroy is a cool and contemporary hotel with a buzzy vibe and restaurant, Cast, serving Global cuisine.
Our room was chic and classic.
We had a balcony but we were a little bit disappointed as we’d expected a beach view, but instead had a view of the road and beach was in the distance.
For dinner that night, the hotel had recommended Tar & Roses
nearby as one of the hot restaurants of the moment, with a reputation for excellent food.
The restaurant’s dark and sexy interior with it’s leather sofas and exposed brickwork put me more in mind of Buffy the Vampire Slayer then the OC.The menu at Tar & Roses reminded a little of our dinner the previous night at The Lark, as it featured hearty and rustic sharing plates and showcased local ingredients.
A fresh and clean ceviche started us off.
Followed some beautifully charred shishito peppers with a topping of bonito. The combination worked really nicely and it was one I’d not tried before. Bonito, dried fish flakes, is usually an ingredient in Japanese cuisine but it worked nicely with the Mediterranean peppers.
Wood-roasted clams with chickpea and chorizo vinaigrette. Tar & Roses have wood-fired oven that gave the clams that perfect smokey flavour that which was complemented nicely by the Spanish sausage. And just look at that hunk of bread… perfect for mopping up everything at the end.
The half chicken that we ordered was also cooked in the wood-fired oven and served with a tomato and bread salad. Mr S had been sad to choose the sea bass over the whole roast chicken served at The Lark the previous night but he perked up to see the dish on the menu at Tar & Roses, he suggested we ordered two of them to make the whole chicken (reminiscent of his favourite option from Nando’s) but I quelled his enthusiasm, after all we’d already had a feast at Nobu for lunch.
Finally trumpet mushrooms with chilli and a poached egg made a deliciously comforting and rather unique accompaniment.
We started the next day with a poolside breakfast at The Viceroy.
The pool at The Viceroy is very cool with sexy chic cabanas for hire. A word of warning though if sun bathing is what you’re after. The pool was pretty small and quite shaded by trees so it was difficult for a sun worshipper like Mr S to find a spot to lie in. However, I think the pool would make a great spot for an evening cocktail party as the cabanas certainly looked elegant.Next, it was time to explore Santa Monica Beach and channel another childhood TV classic set in LA, Baywatch!!!!
Giving Pam a run for her money?
Mr S and I strolled along the beach enjoying the gorgeous balmy climate and admiring the vast beaches of Santa Monica. I don’t think I’ve ever seen beaches so wide!
Mr S practiced for visiting muscle beach…
And we admired the 100 year-old Santa Monica pier before going to explore closer…
We were welcomed to the Hotel California…
Such a lovely place!
Then we headed to Shutters on the Beach
, a stunning beachfront hotel with a relaxed beach house feel. Shutters has two restaurants, One Pico for more high end dining and Coast, the more casual beachside cafe, perfect for our Baywatch fun day.
We shared bowl of clam chowder which hot and creamy and full of delicious pieces of fishes. And, as we’d had last night, a glorious thick hunk of toasted bread. Basically a bowl of heaven.
We also plate of fish tacos, which were to become a staple for us during our time in California. Can anyone recommend a great place to get fish tacos in London? I don’t think I’ve had them anywhere.
Mr S plumped for a burger, and we realised with shock that this was his first burger of the holiday but he needed some comfort food after England’s world cup loss. I reminded him that now that were married he’d have to share everything with me, and he grudgingly relinquished some of his fries.
While I pretended to be healthy with my tuna nicoise salad! We are all creatures of habit and you’ll notice fish tacos, seafood soups, burgers and tuna salads crop up quite a lot on our holidays.
After a gorgeous day of exploring Santa Monica we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a suave night out in Beverley Hills!