I have been here in LA for about 2 weeks now. I have gone surfing a whopping 6 times since I unpacked my house. I've been to a couple different breaks and have some opinions.
Malibu - Great for long boarders. I am not a long boarder. Yes, the waves are super clean and in general the beach is beautiful. However, my board needs waves with some weight behind then because of how heavy my board is. So I'm giving it a 5/10
Dockweiler Beach - This was the first spot I paddled out in. Or at least *tried* to paddle out in. It was a super blown out day, and I chose to not paddle out past the break, because the tide was shifting and I would have had to paddle out pretty far. That normally isn't an issue, but there was legit no one else in the water, and I was alone out there and didn't want something to happen. Will probably try again when the weather is nicer. But for now, 3/10.
Manhattan Beach - This has been a good spot for me so far I think. The waves have been really fun, although it can get pretty closed out. However, there hasn't been a bad day there yet. This will probably be my new spot, and doesn't hurt its only 20 minutes from my house. The people here have been really nice, and I look forward to meeting the regulars. So for this I give an 8/10
El Porto - This is where I went yesterday. I blame myself for yesterdays misadventures because before I left my house I realized how tired I was but still made myself get to the beach. Between the current, the tide, and the backwash at the beach, it was a whole lot of paddling, and not a whole lot of riding. And I was just too tired for that. I'll definitely give it another try, but when I have more energy. But yesterday was definitely only 4/10