We were asking amongst ourselves why an upwardly mobile friend who’s been an L.A. local for over 20 years and who I looked forward to seeing after more than 10, would recommend dinner at Gladstone’s. Outside of its enviable Pacific shore location, the lack of self-parking – only valet was possible – and the messy-looking building and decor that was begging for renovation left us all with a quizzical first impression, more so given the gravity of the occasion. Walking in to get seated I noticed the service was friendly enough and luckily we were led to a booth with an ocean view that I’m sure made it one of the best seats in the house, and hopefully our dining experience a bit more positively memorable. After getting some assurances from my friend about the freshness of the seafood, my nerves were calmed enough that I ordered the medium-sized seafood platter to share though it impressively ended up looking more than enough to feed our group of four – I was hard-pressed to imagine what the large-sized order would have looked like. And while I’m not partial to working while I eat, the crab claws, once the shell was artfully taken off, were satisfyingly delicious, as were the oysters, giant shrimp, mussels, and clams. No regrets on the food except that as expected it proved to be too much for just two people. I’m starting to realize again why a lot of Americans are terribly overweight – there’s just too much easy access to generally reasonably priced good (even more so for not good) food. After eating too well these past three days I could already feel my midsection bulging out so moderation will have to be the theme for the rest of our trip.
As for Gladstone’s, notwithstanding outward appearances, I didn’t lay out any grief to my friend as our third meal that Sunday was a seafood success. My now newly reconnected long time friend and I might just meet up again in Gladstone’s next time I’m in town – hopefully in less than 10 years.