Islands family dining salad with burger in background

My family loves to eat at Islands because we can all get exactly what we want and still be sitting at the same table. And it’s been that way for years.

We recently were treated to dinner at the Islands in Marina del Rey, which is where a friend of the family works, and we had a terrific meal and a terrific time. We saw people we knew, tried a new dish (which is amazing, because we thought we’d tried them all), laughed at all of our own jokes, and Mom & Dad could even have a cocktail (or two).

my family and our friend Michael who works at Islands

My family and our friend Michael who works at Islands

My husband and our eldest son had their usual burgers, I had my fave Wiqui Waqui salad, and of course our youngest son had what he always has: a custom-ordered grilled cheese made on a hamburger bun. Islands has been accommodating my picky eater for many years and we are all very grateful.

Islands restaurant collage

Of course we had at least 10 pounds of Islands French Fries, which we truly love, and we learned their trade secret for making them taste so amazing, which I think I swore to keep secret on penalty of death, or no more Mai Tais, so I can’t tell you here. But trust me, they taste good whether you know how they’re made or not.

Islands offers kids’ meals and a coloring & activity menu, which saved many an evening in our family, and they serve kids’ beverages in plastic cups decorated with tikis. We ate at Islands so many times when our kids were young that at one time we had dozens of those plastic cups stacked up in our pantry. Perfect for playdates! And, look: we still have one, faded from use after all these years.

Islands kids cup

Islands kids’ cup, proof that we’ve been there before.

One Los Angeles location used to run a special “Kids Eat Free” on Tuesdays, and we probably ate there 100 times. It was a great deal, and very handy when we felt overwhelmed with PTA, work, school and cooking dinner wasn’t going to make it on the list.

Islands is still a hit with families, as evidenced by the number of toddlers and teenagers in attendance the night we dined, and the Mai Tais seem popular with the grownups, too.

Mai Tai time at IslandsSarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of




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