The Beachcomber

You can’t ask for a better view, at the base of the Malibu Pier, and the room’s cute, an upscale version of a crab shack with a fake fish on the wall. The food? A crapshoot. Mini ahi tacos that could do without the squiggles of chili-laced mayo, a clay pot chicken that could do without the smothering au jus. Grilled fish with rice or potatoes is a safer way to go, but note the asparagus—you’ll get the fibrous bottom white bit, but the tips will have been given to someone else. Put it behind you with one of the house margaritas or an order of the hot doughnut bread pudding.