Everyone talks about a room with a view, but isn’t a restaurant with a view just as important? We think so, and believe there’s nothing better than gazing out at the ocean waves while enjoying a gourmet meal. Here are our picks for the best restaurants with ocean views in Los Angeles and Orange County.
1. Nikita Malibu
Nikita Malibu feels like a home away from home, with its inviting bubinga wood decor, its 7,000 square foot floor-to-ceiling windows and its incredible views of the Pacific. Go for the view, and stay for the amazing fare you’ll find from Italian chef Salvatore Sodano and perfectly paired wines courtesy of sommelier Renee-Nicole Kubin at Larry Ellison’s Malibu hot spot.
2. Nobu Malibu
Much fanfare was made when Nobu Malibu opened at the end of 2012, and the hype hasn’t stopped. When paired with the magical ambiance of Malibu, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s chic Japanese concept has become one of the hautest (and hardest to get) reservations in town. Though this glamorous spot is hopping at night, we prefer dining when we can fully appreciate the majestic ocean views at lunchtime or at sunset.
3. Studio at the Montage Laguna Beach
“Studio” at The Montage Laguna Beach is anything but. This intimate, award-winning Craftsman-style eatery sits atop a bluff in Laguna Beach, and thus, offers panoramic views of the ocean and shoreline below. Whether you sit on the patio or inside the eatery, you’ll be treated to those same epic views while enjoying the exquisite, perfectly prepared French fare with California influences.
4. Raya at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
One of the first things you’ll see upon entering the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is the awe-inspiring ocean view from its lobby restaurant, Raya. This casual concept by Chef Richard Sandoval showcases Pan-Latin Coastal Cuisine prepared with sustainable seafood, local produce, natural and organic meat and Chef Richard Sandoval’s signature Latin flavors, but is also a great place to enjoy teatime, happy hour drinks or breakfast. We prefer to wake up and check out the view from Raya when the resort itself is waking up. The view—150 feet about sea level—is even more amazing when you’re the only person up to take in its splendor; you’ll feel like you’re in your own special world.
The views from the Terranea resort in Rancho Palos Verdes are among the best in Los Angeles, which is why we just had to include its delightful eatery, mar’sel, on our list. Set overlooking the Pacific Ocean with stunning views, mar’sel at Terranea offers the ideal location for an elegant dinner or relaxed late night bite. Located just south of Los Angeles on the verdant Palos Verdes peninsula, mar’sel (a play on the Spanish word for “sea” and the French word for “salt”) offers a decidedly inventive twist on California cuisine with its seasonally rotating menu that features of locally sourced ingredients including citrus and herbs grown in the resort’s garden, as well as hand-ground chocolate and farm-fresh eggs.