The Veranda

Best Seaside Watering Hole, January 2006

Take a sipping tour from Malibu to Huntington Beach, and you’ll find a bit of a skank factor along the water—you fear Britney Spears could stick a finger in your mojito at any moment and dab a bit behind each ear. We prefer flirting in the opulent, tropical library-esque setting of The Veranda at the Hotel Casa Del Mar. At night, however, you might notice the looker with smart-boy frames, not the 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows facing Santa Monica Beach and the Pacific. The bar is the social center of the hotel, which was built in 1926 and restored in 1999 to the tune of $50 mil. Filled with brocade couches, potted palms, fireplaces, and jazz on the weekends, the Veranda also offers drink-and-nibbles specials during the week. Alas, the view has done little to improve pickup lines, which on a recent night included “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”