Hi guys, hope you have been enjoying my recent posts on my trip to California. I am currently sitting here reminiscing that this time last week I was spending my last day in LA sitting by the sea in Malibu before heading out on the first leg of my road trip to San Francisco. The road trip began as we traveled for two hours up the coast from Malibu on Highway 1 to Santa Barbara. The scenery was amazing and I absolutely loved driving on the coast, it was a spectacular drive and so unusual to glance to your left and see the Pacific Ocean.
Malibu is my other favourite place to be in LA you can read about the other happy place here, this is because my zen place is always to be by the coast and listen to the waves. In Malibu you can watch the surfers and paddle boarders which I find fascinating. I have decided I am going to try to master paddle boarding this winter in Dubai. If you saw my first attempt at paddle boarding I think you would be very skeptical about my attempts to conquer this activity but, I will keep you updated on that situation later.If I ever I wasn’t going to live in Dubai you would find me up in the Malibu hills over looking the ocean (yes, this is my dream).
If you’re in Malibu I would highly recommend going to Gladstones for lunch or dinner. The location is fantastic right next to the Ocean where Sunset meets the PCH. Sitting above a very un-populated beach; either come and sunbathe prior or after your lunch. I would suggest after, so you can eat as much as possible and then fall in to a food-coma lying on the gorgeous California beach. While I was at Gladstones I indulged in the shrimp taco’s which were delicious and somehow had a taste that lingered on your tongue for hours and even made me crave more days later. I also recommend the cobb salad which to me is quite an American salad as I don’t find it on menu’s elsewhere, do you? The cobb salad was given its own Gladstones twist which makes it less heavy and a light summer salad, how LA! I could go on and on about Gladstones but, I think you have to go and try it for yourselves.
After our lunch there was no chance to sunbathe as we had to jump in the car and head to Santa Barbara, As I have already said and will tell you lots of times how great the scenery is. Once we reached Santa Barbara we took a walk along the beach and you can see the pictures here. This is one of my favourite things to do when I am in Dubai but the great thing on the West Coast is that the beaches go for miles. so you can walk your heart out.
Santa Barbara is a quaint Oceanside town with a laid back atmosphere where life is happening but, at a slower place than elsewhere. So, come up-to Santa Barbara kick back, enjoy the scenery and indulge in good food and super friendly people. When your bored of the beach and harbour head to the town and walk in and out of the little shops and boutiques.
While I was in Santa Barbara I stayed at a beautiful hotel called Oceana Santa Barbara. Located on Cabrillo Boulevard; its the perfect location for the beach and harbour area but also only a short walk to the town centre. The hotel was re-designed in 2008 but what I loved about the design was the mix of the Mexican/Spanish influence and the colonial look. Gorgeous seating areas are located sporadically throughout the property under palm tree’s and blue skies what more could you ask for? Beach cruisers are complimentary for two hours and I wish I would have had time to indulge in an exploratory bike ride at a slower pace than city biking in Amsterdam.
Once again I have another food recommendation for you; Toma. An absolutely wonderful restaurant where most ingredients are sourced locally. Speaking of locally sourced products if you’re looking to try some good California wine there is plenty to try here at Toma. As for the menu, there are traditional Italian dishes on the menu but, each has their own individual twist. Toma has recently re-opened 8 weeks ago and outside the restaurant the decoration is beautiful whilst the interior is inviting and cozy. The staff is very friendly, we didn’t have a reservation and yet they couldn’t do enough to accommodate us furthermore, they are so knowledgable of their food as well as the local area that eating at Toma is a real dining experience. Head here for dinner and I assure you won’t be disappointed.
All I can say as I type this post from London is, I wish I was back on the West Coast exploring Malibu and Santa Barbara all over again. For the foodies who read the posts this is really the place to go if you’re looking to indulge in some extraordinary dining experiences. As soon as I can be back I will be.
I wore: Pants: Zara, Top: HM Nederland, Scarf: Mille Rostock
Do you have other great restaurants to recommend in this area? If so write them in the comment box.
So Santa Barbara and Malibu are definitely ‘Sojustnice’
Ciao for now xx