A SoCal weekend warrior can't just live on sandy potato chips and accidentally swallowed ocean water all summer long. So in the interest of keeping your snack attacks at bay, we've wrangled a few of our favorite day-trip must-stops. Here are our picks—from Santa Barbara to the South Bay—on where to go, and what to order, after you've hit the beach if you're heading north or south of L.A. this weekend.
Redondo Beach's Ortega 120 has a full lunch and dinner menu, but the main attraction is their daily (as in, yes, every day) happy hour, where they serve what LA Weekly called the Best Classic Margarita in 2009. 1814 Pacific Coast Highway (at Vista Del Parque); 310-792-4120.
New York's favorite place for a Cuban and Sauza on the Rocks just opened its first outpost west of the Hudson—in Malibu. If the possibility of gorging on Cafe Habana's grilled corn isn't tempting enough, imagine whiling away your post-plage afternoon in their expansive tropical patio a hop skip from the beach. 3939 Cross Creek Road (at Pacific Coast Highway); 310-317-0300.
While Stop At the Sign of the Lemon is nearly a church and state mandate in Southern New England, Angelenos have only recently discovered Del's Frozen Lemonade. And if you can't take the long trek from the beach up to Lincoln Blvd, most days Del's LA takes its act on the road in truck form. 701 Lincoln Boulevard (at Vernon Avenue); 310-314-0616.
With all manner of great new places opening in SB these days—Hungry Cat #2 anyone?—it's easy to get distracted from one simple fact: Julia Child's favorite, the legendary taqueria La Super Rica is just that good—and worth the line. Plus, you just came from the beach, so you've got nowhere to be. 622 North Milpas Street (at East Ortega Street); 805-963-494.
So, dear R29 readers, what are your favorite summer spots?