Because every Angeleno loves to eat, even if he has to valet, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.
You’re here because: You’ve got a big group with a wide range of preferences. SocialEats is more high-end food court than anything else, boasting options from David Chang’s Fuku fried chicken, Adelaide Coffeebar coffee, Supertoro bento boxes, Street Noods night market noodles, Cada Vez Spanish Tapas and Petit Harvest bistro options. The only downside is having to make a decision.
You’re dining on: At Fuku, set to open within SocialEats next month, the spicy fried chicken sandwich will be king on this side of the 405 — do yourself a favor and enjoy the combination of spicy and savory via the habanero chicken and Martin’s potato bun.
Tarantula Hill Brewing Co.
You’re here because: As temperatures continue to climb from July through October, proper refreshment becomes more vital than ever. At Thousand Oaks’ first craft brewery, you can combine your well-earned beverage with options like pizza or ice cream, and even live music and comedy acts in the evening.
You’re dining on: With 20+ “guest taps” available, you’ll be spoilt for choice, but do as the Tarantulas do and go with their Thousand Oaks blonde ale or Razzbury Park — a blonde ale with a crisp raspberry finish. Tack on a margherita pizza and plop down at one of the communal tables to take in a true summertime meal.
Broad Street Oyster Company
You’re here for: Continuing our summer eats theme, finish off your next beach trip to Malibu with a stop by Broad Street Oyster Company, a former pop-up that’s found a summer home right off the PCH. Truly, what goes better with a day at Carbon Beach than a tray full of sweet and savory West Coast oysters?
You’re dining on: Oysters, oysters and more oysters. Traditional tastes pit the brinier, larger East Coast options with their sweeter, smaller West Coast brethren. While we’re partial to the Pacific varietals, you really can’t lose here. Once you’ve gorged yourself on as many mother-shuckers as you can, top it off with an outstanding lobster roll that treats the bread with the same level of deference as the lobster itself.
The Pier House / Cartolina
You’re here because: For 70-plus years, The Venice Terrace has been a local treasure that’s one of the last bastions of good food and drink at non-tourist prices. However, nothing lasts forever, and The Terrace closed its doors for good in February. In its place are two spots — The Pier House and Cartolina — from the same folks who rehabbed the Venice Whaler and Slice of Venice Pizza. Change is inevitable, and there’s not much to do but embrace it.
You’re dining on: If you’re there to enjoy the sea breeze and the sunset, head to The Pier House for small bites like oysters, crab legs, the blue crab cake and their frito misto calamari. If you’re as red as a lobster from a long day at the beach, Cartolina offers up takeaway in the form of true Italian-style pizza. We’re partial to the Diavola, which leans spicy thanks to salami and Calabrian chilies.
Swingin Door Texas BBQ
You’re here because: The only box left to tick on your summer culinary cruise is barbecue. What better way to check it off your list than with the authentic Texan variety found at Swingin Door? With meals available by the plate, via sandwich or by the pound, Swingin Door is guaranteed to put you in a very pleasant food coma when all is said and done.
You’re dining on: When it comes to Texas, the answer is tri-tip. You’ll encounter big flavors thanks to the mesquite wood and perfectly burnt ends. Be sure to grab a pile of garlic herb fries and cornbread to complement your meat. There’s also no shame in adding a beef brisket or pulled-pork sandwich. Stress eating happens.
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