Gladstone's of Malibu has undergone some changes, and if you take any stock in Leslie Brenner's scathing 2008 LA Times review, that can't be anything but positive. Last year, Sam Nazarian and his company SBE, (Katsuya, Bazzar at the SLS, and XIV) partnered with Gladstone's owner and former L.A. mayor Richard Riordan in an attempt to re-brand and revitalize the restaurant. They remodeled the interior, switched chefs, and set about improving the menu, as well as the quality of its seafood.
Gladstone's threw a party last night in honor of these new changes, and coincidentally set an unofficial Los Angeles record for Most Tanned Men Over 40 Showing Off Their Upper Chests In Dress Shirts. Bacardi-sponsored mojitos were everywhere at this crowded, beach-side party, while servers stood still, surrounded by patrons eager to get their hands on fried calamari, raw seafood, and small cups of ceviche.
Some visitors even sat down at the restaurant for an actual meal, where they were greeted with the new menu from executive chef Daniel Elmaleh, who has overseen the menus at Katsuya, Abbey Food & Bar, and Industry. The new menu will offer revamped versions of many classic ocean-view restaurant dishes, including curry coconut shrimp, steamed clams, and clam chowder, as well as a full raw bar.
Appetizers are generally in the $15-$20 range, with entrees anywhere from $23.95 (fish and chips) to $77.95 (NY strip steak with a lobster add-on). But if you're worried that each entrée won't be large enough to feed a family of four regular humans, you needn't: their public relations firm informed us that the new menu will be executed "without sacrificing the large portions patrons have grown accustomed to."
As for Riordan's continued involvement, a PR rep informed us that "on a day to day operation level, no, he is not involved, but in collaboration to maintain the legacy of Gladstone's, yes."
In addition to the revamped menu and decor, Gladstone's has also added a new clothing store, called 25 Park, in the back of the restaurant. The one thing not updated? The name "Gladstone's of Malibu," which we continue to find odd since, by our count, Malibu is still about 20 minutes further north on PCH.
Gladstone's of Malibu: 17300 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, (310) 454-3474.
This event offered comped cocktail snacks and alcoholic beverages, though the author partook minimally in food, and none whatsoever in drink. This was done partially in the interest of maintaining objectivity, and partially on the number of people looking for a free meal.
Noah Galuten can also be followed on Twitter via @ManBitesWorld.