“It’s by the ocean… it’s Los Angeles at its best,” says restaurateur Michael Chow about why he decided to bring an outpost of his famed Mr. Chow franchise to the Malibu Country Mart (in the former Nobu space). Like its sister locations in Beverly Hills, London, Miami and New York City, the restaurant, which opened this spring and was designed by Chow himself, exudes high-gloss glamour with its white-on-white décor, a glass-topped bar and an open kitchen where diners can watch chefs preparing classic Mr. Chow dishes, including crispy beef (pictured below) green prawns, chicken satay and Ma Mignon (3835 Cross Creek Road; mrchow.com).
Nobu, meanwhile, has relocated a few miles down the road to a tony beachfront development (pictured right) owned by Oracle honcho Larry Ellison. Designed by local architecture firm Studio PCH, the minimalist 6,000-square-foot space comfortably seats 220 and boasts a lovely, sun-dappled patio. Already a popular spot for dinner—Britney Spears and Robert Downey Jr. are regulars—the restaurant recently launched a lunch and brunch menu. Highlights include truffle steak and eggs, Malibu “Takumi” burgers and pastrami salmon crispy rice—a sushi bar by way of the deli counter indulgence. (22706 Pacific Coast Highway; noburestaurants.com)