A Trip To Neptune's Net, Malibu, California

A Trip To Neptune’s Net, Malibu, California

On weekends, many of us cruise north of Los Angeles up the Pacific Coast Highway in search of a little solitude and glimpses of undisturbed nature.  In this nature, there is a place where road-hardened bikers flock to a fish shack enticed by a thin, golden-hued alcoholic beverage.  They convene upon Neptune’s Net, via expensive bikes, big egos and some heavy drinking, all of which spill out onto the front parking area. It is a gritty, lively slice of Malibu, California’s prime ocean-side real estate. Why are you stopping if you’re not on a bike?  The spectacle, the view, the experience.

Unless you’re going to drop $25 a plate for the live seafood, which you pick from the tanks and have fried on the spot, you’ll be ordering baskets of fried stuff, or fish tacos.  In either case, grab a beer from one of ten refrigerated cases and get in line. You’ll probably be halfway through the beer by the time you’re halfway to the ordering counter. We became number 21.  When we ordered, they were calling out numbers in the 90′s.  It was busy.

The beauty of the food is the location.  If you can snag a table outside, you’ll be looking at the ocean (and a hundred tricked-out bikes and their corresponding larger-than-life owners). You will be overhearing bits of conversation ranging from making sure the designated drivers are still designated, to tips on getting good deals on custom seats and helmets.  It’s a post for a different California guard, the one that won’t get pushed out by new $6 million homes.

Fried fish tacos.
Fish ‘n Chips basket.  Very fried.

This is the anti-tourist spot, although everyone is treated fairly here.  Families mingled in with the crowd.  I showed up still in my tennis skirt, an odd bird in the nest, but no one seemed to care.  Everyone at Neptune’s Net is an odd bird in one way or another, which makes it a strangely comforting place to people-watch. If you are passing through these parts, make it a point along the way to stop.

For a fried basket o’ stuff and a beer, prepare to spend $20 per person. 
Neptune’s Net, 42505 Pacific Coast Highway, about 20 miles north of Los Angeles. 310-457-3095

Wheelchair users: Park in the handicap spots in the Neptune’s Net parking lot. There is a ramp to access the restaurant on the side of the building at the parking lot.  An employee restroom inside is designated as an accessible restroom. Please note it is often crowded, so maneuverability can be tough.