The Historic Gladstones Restaurant in Pacific Palisades

Situated on the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway at the corner of Sunset Boulevard, Gladstones has been a beloved dining destination in Pacific Palisades for decades. This historic restaurant offers more than just exquisite seafood and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean; it embodies the rich legacy of its former owner, the late Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan.

Gladstones Legacy Group was founded by the dedicated staff and management team of the original Gladstones Restaurant. Their mission is to uphold the high standards, cherished traditions, and the legacy of Mayor Riordan, who had an immense love for the City of Los Angeles. His contributions, from building the Walt Disney Concert Hall to preserving the Original Pantry Cafe, are lasting symbols of his commitment to the city.

Gladstones is more than just a restaurant; it’s a landmark that offers a genuine taste of the Southern California experience. With its prime location directly on the beach in Malibu, it provides guests with not only a culinary journey but also a visual feast of stunning ocean views and iconic sunsets.

 

A Culinary Journey: The Menu

Gladstones offers an extensive menu that celebrates the bounty of the ocean and the land, making it a paradise for seafood lovers and connoisseurs of fine dining. Starting with the raw bar and chilled shellfish, diners can indulge in seasonal oysters served with shallot mignonette, or the jumbo prawn cocktail with cocktail and tartar sauce.

For those who enjoy a mix of flavors, the ceviche, featuring seasonal whitefish marinated in ajillo lime, cucumber, cilantro, onion, and avocado, served with tortilla chips, is a must-try. The tuna tartare with sesame seeds, wontons, and avocado is another standout, offering a delightful blend of textures and tastes. For a grand experience, the Sunset Seafood Tower and the Malibu Seafood Tower provide a lavish assortment of the freshest shellfish and seafood.

sunset seafood tower

The appetizer section features a variety of enticing options. The sourdough loaf with whipped butter is a simple yet satisfying start, while the Gladstones Steamer Pot, filled with littleneck clams in a white wine and garlic broth with fresno peppers and basil, offers a hearty beginning. The fried fisherman’s platter, crispy calamari with marinara sauce, tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, and Maryland crabcakes with remoulade and a frisée and watercress salad round out the options, each bringing its own unique flavor to the table.

For a more substantial bite, the sandwiches at Gladstones are a perfect choice. The brioche lobster roll, served with house-made kettle chips, and the ahi tuna sandwich with blackened tuna, arugula, avocado, and aioli, are both packed with fresh ingredients. The grilled chicken sandwich with marinated chicken breast, roasted red pepper, arugula, and garlic aioli, and the classic burger with butter lettuce, onion, tomato, house dressing, and aged white cheddar, provide satisfying options for a hearty meal.

Soup and salad lovers will not be disappointed with options like the world-famous clam chowder, available in a cup, bowl, or bread bowl, and the Manhattan style fish chowder. The wedge salad with cherry tomatoes, crumbled gorgonzola, bacon, iceberg lettuce, shaved radish, garlic croutons, and blue cheese dressing, and the kale Caesar salad with kale, romaine lettuce, shaved parmesan, and garlic croutons, are both refreshing and flavorful.

The California salad, featuring mixed greens with fresh California-sourced vegetables and seasonal fruit in a house vinaigrette, and the shrimp & crab Louie with jumbo shrimp, crab, bacon, and an iceberg and romaine blend, are perfect for those seeking lighter fare.

The ocean fare section of the menu offers dishes that highlight the best of the sea. Diners can inquire about the catch of the day for a fresh and seasonal option. The Gladstones Clambake is a Southern California tradition, featuring 1-lb. Maine lobster, snow crab legs, clams, mussels, shrimp, linguiça sausage, corn, potatoes, and seasonal vegetables. The surf & turf combines filet mignon with a lobster tail, served with mashed potatoes and French green beans, and can be upgraded to a ribeye.

Other seafood delights include a 2 1/2 lb. lobster with mashed potatoes and broccolini, linguini & Manila clams with pancetta and chili flakes, shrimp scampi with garlic and white wine, spice-crusted ahi with mashed potatoes and green beans, and the classic fish & chips with beer-battered cod and house-cut fries. The shrimp taco plate, Alaskan king crab legs, lobster mac & cheese, whole roasted branzino, and lobster risotto offer further decadent choices from the ocean.

From the land, Gladstones offers equally impressive dishes. The filet mignon, served with house-made green peppercorn sauce, grilled asparagus, and a loaded baked potato, is a luxurious choice. RJ’s ribs provide a hearty option with half or full rack baby back ribs, mac n’ cheese, and cole slaw.

The handcut ribeye, served with demi-glace, sautéed green beans, and mashed potatoes, and Mary’s roasted half chicken with French green beans and mashed potatoes, are both standout options. The steak sandwich, featuring grilled sirloin cap steak with arugula, caramelized onion, garlic aioli, and blue cheese on ciabatta, can be enhanced with avocado for an extra indulgence.

Complementing these main dishes are a variety of sides, including Brussels sprouts with jalapeño bacon jam, mashed potatoes, sautéed French green beans, grilled corn on the cob, hand-cut Kennebec or sweet potato fries, sautéed asparagus, sautéed broccolini, and baked potato. These sides add an extra touch to any meal, ensuring a well-rounded and satisfying dining experience.

No meal at Gladstones would be complete without a sweet ending, and the Mile High Chocolate Cake is the perfect choice. This triple-layer devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream frosting is a decadent treat that provides a perfect finish to your culinary journey at this iconic restaurant.

 

An Iconic Ambiance

Gladstones offers an ambiance that is both inviting and iconic. With options for indoor and outdoor seating, diners can choose to enjoy their meals with an unbeatable view of one of California’s best beaches. The outdoor patio is especially popular, providing the perfect setting to watch golden sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. The casual yet elegant setting makes it an ideal location for everything from romantic dinners to family gatherings.

Embracing the Southern California Experience

Mayor Riordan’s vision for Gladstones was to create a place where the charm and essence of Southern California could be experienced by all. This vision is carried forward by the Gladstones Legacy Group, who ensure that every visitor receives a warm welcome and exceptional hospitality. The menu, crafted with fresh, high-quality ingredients, reflects the diverse and vibrant culinary culture of the region.

Conclusion

Gladstones is more than just a restaurant; it’s a historic landmark that continues to capture the heart and soul of Southern California. With its rich legacy, breathtaking location, and outstanding culinary offerings, it remains a must-visit destination for anyone traveling through Pacific Palisades. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a meal at Gladstones promises not just delicious food, but an experience steeped in history and natural beauty.

David Christopher Lee

Editor-in-Chief

David Christopher Lee launched his first online magazine in 2001. As a young publisher, he had access to the most incredible events and innovators of the world. In 2009, he started Destinationluxury.com, one of the largest portals for all things luxury including 5 star properties, Michelin Star Restaurants and bespoke experiences. As a portrait photographer and producer, David has worked with many celebrities & major brands such as Richard Branson, the Kardashians, Lady Gaga, Cadillac, Lexus, Qatar Airways, Aman Hotels, just to name a few. David’s work has been published in major magazines such as GQ, Vogue, Instyle, People, Teen, Men’s Health, Departures & many more. He creates content with powerful seo marketing strategies.

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