If you grew up in Los Angeles, there are certain food-related things that you just wound up doing, or at least should have. Among them is a day at the beach followed by beer and food at Neptune's Net in Malibu. It's a day that, once completed, will make you love your friends, your life, and your city a whole lot more than you did when you woke up that morning.
Your day should begin relatively early, with a text message from a friend that simply says “Beach?”. You'll throw on a swimsuit, cram into the waiting car, then head north on the PCH, searching for that elusive, secluded stretch of beach (I have found such a beach, but sadly, am not allowed to reveal its location). If you forgot to eat before you left, and it's a weekend, stop at the Hows market on Trancas for tri-tip sandwiches.
Once beached, exhausted and now furiously hungry, it's time to drive further north (depending on your friends, the car stereo will either be blasting Neil Young's “Zuma” or a compilation of classic Necrophagist), to the biker nesting ground that is Neptune's Net. Neptune's, for reasons that cannot be explained, is always, always, a further drive than you think. But when you finally arrive, you'll be starving, and their clunky fried sampler plate, fresh steamed clams, and creamy, buttery clam chowder, eaten alongside a tall bottle of Newcastle or can of Steel Reserve, are certain to satisfy you. Normally, the food at Neptune's can be a bit under-seasoned, but that's why you swallowed all that salt water before you arrived.
Neptune's Net: 42505 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265, (310) 457-3095, https://www.neptunesnet.com/