I'm taking the family to the Getty Villa for the day and I'm looking for some lunch ideas that are appropriate for a 3 and 5 year old. It would be great if we could get a little bit of a view as well. We are going on a weekday if that helps with recommendations.
If you are driving up from the Santa Monica area (which I assume you are), my recommendation for an easy restaurant to do with a view would be Gladstones Restaurant. Its right on the water and very close to The Getty Villa you can sit outside, etc., however, the food is not spectacular and overpriced (you pay for the view).
Another option that has tons of character and is also close by, with a little bit of a view across PCH is the Reel Inn Restaurant. This is a classic roadside stop, with fresh seafood, tacos, etc. and a great casual atmosphere.
The above options are very close to the Getty Villa, these others are further up the coast, but may be worth taking a detour:
A better option than Gladstone's if you don't want casual like the Reel Inn is Duke's Malibu. It is right on the water and I think the food is better than Gladstones. There is an outdoor bar area with sandy floor that the kids might enjoy.
There used to be a Ruby's diner at the end of the Malibu Pier, which was great, because kids liked the food and the parents could watch the ocean and surfers. However, it closed last year and has been replaced with a more upscale spot... I believe its Malibu Farm Cafe which looks great, but not as kid friendly.
Now, if you don't mind driving a little further up the coast, one of the best kid and parent friendly places in the LA area is
Paradise Cove Cafe, which sits on a great little beach and one of the few places in LA you can get a meal on the sand, with great views of a little pier and cliffs.
Finally, if you end up making it to the downtown Malibu area (near the pier), and want to grab something quick, the sandwiches at the
Malibu Kitchen are fantastic (don't be afraid of the meatloaf).
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Brew has left a lot of great options. If you want to venture a little further north from the The Getty Villa i would add Malibu Seafood to the list. It's a, order at the window and sit outside on picnic benches, kinda place... so very kid friendly. Fish and chips would be good for the kids and you'll take down a fish taco or two i'm guessing.