Just In Time For Summer, An Essential Guide To Malibu

shutterstock_1113105095Photo Credit: loucina kouyoumdjian/Shutterstock.com

How to experience the best of Malibu in the best way possible: the haute way.



Nobu Ryokan

Find absolute serenity at the Nobu brand’s new 16-room hotel, Nobu Ryokan, which is located on Malibu’s fabled “Billionaire Beach.” This property is unique, ethereal and very, very private. The staff await your arrival the moment you pass through a private wooden gate bearing the Nobu logo (even if, yes, you’ve made a long journey in your hybrid—there are two Sema Connect Charging Stations on site). As conceived by co-owners Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro and film producer Meir Teper, the property is modeled after a traditional ryokan, or a Japanese inn, but with a cool, purely SoCal feel, with minimalist materials of teak, bronze and limestone throughout to create the feeling of Omotenashi, the Japanese art of hospitality. The Japanese serenity is strong here. You’ll find tatami mats, shoji screens, hand-crafted teak soaking tubs beneath skylights and even a room with its own Zen garden. It’s hard not to love a spot where you can wake up to the sound of the crashing ocean waves and spot dolphins frolicking from your patio, where you can order room service from Nobu (which, conveniently, is just two doors away and the hottest scene in L.A.).

Nobu Ryokan, 22752 CA-1


The Malibu Beach Inn is the OG. This stunning Carbon Beach property, formerly owned by billionaire David Geffen, recently underwent a refurb, so expect to Zen out in a room that fits its locale perfectly: think white oak furnishings and a blue and grey color palette that suits regardless of whether it’s a beach day or June gloom is still rearing its misty head. Each room features a Dean and Deluca appointed mini bar, private balconies, Bellino linens, Bamford products, remote-controlled Toto toilets and, yes, even binoculars for star-gazing. Plus, what other hotel do you know of that always has fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies on hand for guests, hm?

Malibu Beach Inn, 22878 Pacific Coast Hwy.




Nobu Malibu
Nobu Malibu

Nobu Matsuhisa. Billionaire’s Beach. Robert De Niro is an owner. Nobu Malibu, The crown jewel of the Nobu culinary empire is also the hottest spot in all of L.A., hands-down, no contest. It’s swarming with Kardashians, and every A-list celebrity you can think of. Need we say more?

Nobu Malibu, 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy.



Artist, designer and trend-setter Michael Chow was being selective when he opened the doors to the second Los Angeles outpost of his world-renowned Chinese cuisine brand Mr. Chow in 2012, and the result is absolute perfection. The all-white decor adds an elegant touch to this beachy community, while the carefully curated artwork (including some of Chow’s own) provides a beautiful backdrop for some of the best Beijing duck you’re likely to find anywhere.

Mr. Chow, 3835 Cross Creek Rd.



Malibu Farm, the gorgeous eatery that literally packs Malibu Pier on the daily serves up farm-to-table cuisine showcasing the best of L.A. Founder Helene Henderson sources breaks from La Break bakery, brioche buns from Rockenwagner bakery and her gluten-free options from Raising Hearts; coffee is local Santa Monica brand Caffe Luxxe; tea is the kosher and organic Charles and Company; chicken is from Jidori (the company, not the preparation); cheese comes courtesy of Pomona-based De Stefano; and eggs are free-range from Farmers Hen House. You can thank Henderson later for your intro to L.A. eating 101.

Malibu Farm, 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy.



Geoffrey’s is one of our favorite spots for lunch. Surrounded by waterfalls and tropical plants, this Mediterranean-style, ambient local favorite proves itself time and time again to be the romantic centerpiece of the Malibu food scene.

Geoffrey’s, 27400 Pacific Coast Hwy.



Malibu is endlessly low-key. Case in point, you’ll even find some celebrities wearing flip-flops to Nobu, of all places. But sometimes you need a little something extra, and that’s where Mastro’s Ocean Club fits in. This eatery is all about sophisticated ambiance. It’s an occasion spot that sports gorgeous glassware, white linen tablecloths, an attentive waitstaff in somber attire and seafood towers loaded with lobster and caviar. Come here to celebrate that something special.

Mastro’s Ocean Club, 18412 Pacific Coast Hwy.



Because of its location at the very tip of Zuma beach, The Sunset isn’t always a spot that receives its due attention from the masses. But we’ll tell you this now: you shouldn’t miss it. The Sunset is one of our favorite places in all of Los Angeles, a little slice of beach-front heaven with killer food, great cocktails and ambiance for days. Our favorite time to go: sunset, of course. It’s in the name for a reason.

The Sunset,  6800 Westward Beach Rd.




Little Beach House might just be the most exclusive Soho House location ever (unbelievable, right)? Nestled in between Nobu and Nobu Ryokan, this members-only club is the perfect place for star spotting… if you can get in, that is. Soho House members are not guaranteed membership here: they have to be vetted by Malibu locales. The members who are approved access enjoy added perks like hiking through the vineyards of Saddlerock Ranch, foraging at Point Dume and discussing solar energy and “postmodern environmentalism” with a sustainable energy consultant. Other features of the 10,000 square foot club include a plethora of contemporary art, ocean views, a meat and seafood-heavy all-day dining menu and a sitting room.

Little Beach House, 22716 Pacific Coast Hwy.


13Photo Credit: Cafe Habana

There’s a lot to love about Rande Gerber‘s Cuban/Mexican hot spot, Cafe Habana: namely, karaoke night. If karaoke isn’t your jam, maybe it should be: any given Wednesday, you’ll see Gerber, wife Cindy Crawford and a slew of their A-list friends (Bono! Sean Penn! George Clooney!) belting their hearts out. Or maybe just sitting, sipping Casamigos… you know, the tequila company Gerber and Clooney just sold for $1 billion. Ever heard of it?

Cafe Habana, 3939 Cross Creek Rd.





The Malibu Lumber Yard and Malibu Country Mart are your one-stop shops for everything in the ‘Bu. Shopping, dining, beauty—you name it, it’s there. At the former, you’ll find Alice + Olivia, AllSaints, Intermix, James Perse, Maxfield and Cafe Habana, while the latter hosts Ron Herman, Planet Blue, Oliver Peoples, John Varvatos, the fabulous Cie Sparks Salon, Mr. Chow 5 Point Yoga and Sun Life Organics. See what we mean?

Malibu Lumber Yard, 3939 Cross Creek Rd. & Malibu Country Mart, 3835 Cross Creek Rd.



While Malibu is chock-full of amazing restaurants and shops, it’s light on the beauty. Thank your lucky stars for CURE, though, which offers everything (and does everything well). Have a massage—hot stone, sports, pregnancy, or otherwise; a HydraFacial, diamond tip microdermabrasion; a wax; laser hair removal; IPL; fractional resurfacing treatments; Botox; Juvederm; and PRP in an absolutely stunning setting, with rooftop where you can yoga your heart out while gazing out at the Pacific.

CURE, 22741 Pacific Coast Hwy.