Los Angeles, USA

Los Angeles Day 5: Malibu, Getty Villa, Santa Monica

Today, we drove over to snazzy Beverly Hills to return our trusty Yaris for a more snazzy convertible, A.K.A. Aaron’s happy day. He planned out a whole nice scenic route to Malibu. Unfortunately, we were running late so we had to cut our drive short, since we had already made a lunch reservation at Nobu.


Nobu is a upscale Japanese Restaurant in Malibu. Here you will find refined Japanese dishes with a modern twist. Parking is appropriately valet since they had to double park cars to make good use of the lot. We were lucky enough to get outdoor seating with a lovely waterfront view. Their menu had traditional and new, hot and cold dishes as well as a sushi selection. Everything was meant to be shared and it was suggested that we order two hot and two cold dishes between the two of us. Our server made a lot of recommendations and seemed so passionate about the choices that we had to go with them. Originally thinking of getting sake, we, instead, ordered the Yuzu Kumquat Coolers, as suggested by our server. It was like the yuzu soda we had in Japan. Delicious! We started with the yellowtail sashimi plate with a citrus sauce and thinly sliced jalapeno on top. It was so flavourful, there was no need for dipping in soy sauce. Next we had the grilled jalapeno and the okra fritters. Again, they were bursting with flavours with the jalapeno being more sweet and the fritters being more salty. Next our sushi arrived with the red snapper as well as the shima aji, The red snapper was more simple in taste with what tasted like a perilla leaf sandwiched between the fish and rice and a few grains of salt sprinkled on top. The shima aji had a really nice taste especially with the fried leeks on top. For our hot dishes, we had the shrimp tempura over some salad with a very creamy sauce, as well as the black cod in miso, which was pretty comparable to the ones I’ve had in Vancouver at places like Guu – amazingly delicious!

Yellowtail sashimi @ Nobu. Photo credit: Aaron.
Yuzu Kumquat Cocktail @ Nobu. Photo credit: Aaron.
Grilled jalapeno and the okra fritters @ Nobu. Photo credit: Aaron.
Red snapper and shima aji sushiNobu. Photo credit: Aaron.
Shrimp tempura @ Nobu. Photo credit: Aaron.
Miso black cod @ Nobu. Photo credit: Aaron.

Getty Villa

After enjoying the ocean view a little longer, we headed over to the Getty Villa nearby. We had to make an online reservation but it wasn’t difficult since we managed to do that during lunch right before we went. The entrance is free but parking is $15 (or $10 after 3pm). The parking is valid for both the Getty Villa and Getty Centre. We were hoping to see both but we later realized that the two sites were actually not that close together. It was going to be a 45-minute drive with traffic to the Getty Centre and it would be closed by the time we got there, so we just stayed at the villa. The site itself was not too large, but the architecture was pretty impressive. It was interesting to see an ancient roman building in the middle of a large North American city. I especially loved the outdoor theatre. The outdoor pool was dry during our visit but I’m sure that would look very lovely filled. We took some time to watch the intro film about the villa and learnt the sad story that Mr. Jetty, the oil tycoon, who spent so much time and effort with concept of this grand villa to display his art collection, did not actually get to see it prior to his death in 1976.

Santa Monica

After our visit, Aaron finally got to go on his scenic drive. Who needs to go to Universal Studios and Disneyland to go on the rides when you have a husband who likes to drive fast cars down windy roads? Our drive brought us to Santa Monica, where we enjoyed the festivities on the pier. There were plenty of street performers here, some with amazing talent and some with questionable skills – like singing/dancing to pop songs in a very bizarre manner. We kept dinner simple by grabbing some pizza and churros on the pier. We originally wanted to do some biking but it was getting late and they were not doing anymore rentals for the day. After seeing the sunset from the pier, we walked over to the Third Street Promenade. A lot of the stores were closing by 9pm but it was still a nice evening walk.

Scenic drive around Malibu. Photo credit: Aaron.

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