When the weather gets cool, the surf gets big and the traffic on PCH dies down, Malibu once again belongs to us, free of the tourist hordes in their rented Aveos. And so we crank down the top, crank up the Suicidal Tendencies and bomb up the coast to Neptune's Net, which may be a barracuda-toss north of the county line, but represents what many of us secretly still believe the L.A. coast to be — kind of a bad-ass place, with almost enough parking, bathrooms vile enough to scare off the squares, and seafood, trawler-nets full of seafood, fried more or less expertly, piled onto boatloads of crisp French fries, and consumed at long, communal picnic tables with a good-enough view of the ocean and almost enough cover from the rain. (For the love of God, do not get the fish tacos.)
You want elegant accompaniments? You pump cocktail sauce, tartar sauce and Tapatio sauce from massive vats into pill cups. You want a side? The clam chowder is industrial strength. If you're a gourmet, you'll probably ignore the fried-seafood side of the restaurant and go straight for the live-seafood side, where you can get steamed clams and lobsters at only about twice what you'd pay in the San Gabriel Valley. But as far as I know, the parking lot of New Capital Seafood does not fill with choppers every Sunday afternoon, and its beer selection does not include tallboys of both Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Bud Lite.