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Mid-Price in Malibu

Is there a good mid-price place in Malibu -- comfort food/good breakfasts/sandwiches/etc., not overly pricey (and not Googies)?

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  1. It's a chain, but what about Marmalade Cafe?

    (And I hate Coogies.)

    1. You mean Coogies.

      Marmalade Cafe in the Malibu Country Mart has the same type of food -- various sandwiches, salads, breakfast/brunch items, entrees, and MUCH better desserts than those at Coogies. It's a bit pricier, but only by a couple of dollars.

      Cooke's Family Market a little up the PCH in the plaza is closing, but it will have a huge closeout sale. You could get a pretty good deal in the deli section.

      In the same plaza is Lilly's, a Mexican restaurant with huge portions at cheap prices.

      1. Coogies may not be that good, but Marmalade has stinky tables and dirty restrooms.

        4 Replies
        1. re: budlit

          do you mean sticky? How do you smell a table? I can't imagine anyone doing that.

          If you don't recommend either Marmalade or Malibu Kitchen, what valuable tidbit do you have for the OP.

          1. re: chica

            no, I meant stinky. If a table is wiped down with a sour dishtowel, the table becomes sour smelling, and then you can smell it. My valuable tidbit is to not recommend Marmalade.

            1. re: budlit

              You know, if you feel like they're not cleaning their tables, you should let them know. It's not sanitary.

              I've eaten there multiple times, however, and have never encountered this problem.

              But if you have, you really should do everyone a favor and tell them.

              1. re: chica

                Ugh, my pet peeve. I know the smell, and it's true of both Marmalades (Malibu and SM), as well as just about every sports bar in town.

        2. Malibu Kitchen! Some of the best comfort food in LA. Homemade meatloaf, cole slaw, pulled pork, soups, stews and chowders. A VERY salty staff (take a number, order one thing at a time, NO cell phones, no outside coffee, or be banned) but the best sandwiches around. Seating is tables on the patio only.
          At Cross Creek on the Starbucks side.

          1. Yup, Malibu Kitchen rocks... but it comes with a little bit of pop culture that we Bu-its find entertaining...the guy who owns it used to be the road manager for Led Zeppelin and Frank Sinatra. He and his wife, and "upside down dog," Shylo, are wonderful people. But, the husband, Bill, is known as the "Breakfast Burrito Nazi." If you are there 15 minutes before lunch is about to start, he'll refuse you breakfast no matter what. The service is painfully slow, but worth the show and the food.

            Howdy's Fresh Mex is incredible as well. Created by the ex owner of La Salsa. Super fresh salmon grilled tacos with pineapple salsa, the shrimp burritos are out of this world stuffed cheese and cabbage and more of that awesome pineapple salsa. It's in the Country Mart on Cross Creek as well, across from our burnt down movie theatre....

            1. imo the food at malibu kitchen is okay, but i can't get past the rude service

              1 Reply
              1. re: budlit

                Pulled pork and coleslaw sandwich, warm brie and turkey with cranberry sauce, pretzel bread roast beef... I learned to humbly wait in line.

              2. It doesn't quite fall under the traditional breakfast category, but the Mariachi breakfast on Sunday at La Paz (on Las Virgenes up Malibu Canyon) is awesome.

                1. Way back before it became Ralph's and was still a Hughes, I worked at the courthouse and would go with my coworker to the supermarket's Deli section once a week or so and get a sandwich to eat at the Country Mart or back in our office. We soon learned that whatever our number, we would wait to be served by a kind, friendly, wonderful woman that we quickly annointed the name "Mom." Whatever the sandwich, she would cram in nearly a pound of meat. She would cut the finished gem and wrap the halves separately, always resulting in two satisfying meals. I sometimes wonder what became of her and wish her well, and chuckle as I recall some of the other shoppers' misplaced gratitude as we let them order in front of us as we waited for "Mom" to free up.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nosh

                    They probably don't come up to the level of "Mom's", but the sandwiches in the deli case at Ralph's are good. Some interesting combinations, they'll put anything extra (horseradish sauce, etc.) on them you ask for, and the panini press they heat them up in melds the flavors beautifully. I know them well because my search for home-style cooking in the area often ends up here.

                  2. To all who recommended Malibu Kitchen:

                    I should have mentioned my own nightmare service at Malibu Kitchen when I asked for your ideas. Whenever I think of returning, the hair on the back of my neck stands up. The food (and the lack of food like it nearby) may make it worth another try.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: 457wim

                      Zen calm when ordering is the only way to go. There is no one who has not experienced the wrath of Malibu Kitchen staff, yet a couple of deep breaths before you pick up that dirty plastic number will get you through it.

                    2. Re: Malibu Kitchen. It isn't for the faint of heart.... but if you look at the service like you're watching a Saturday Night Live skit, it can be very amusing. There is also a hot bbq meatloaf sandwich with coleslaw and 1000 island dressing that is, well, heaven. Worth every bit of harrassing. And also, the outrageously expensive procuitto and goat cheese stuffed marinated chili peppers are unbelievable. And, I just can't resist the "upside down dog...." Shilo.

                      1. Why be treated badly at Malibu Kitchen no matter how goods the food. Just because you can cook doesn't give the staff the right to be rude
                        Just go over to Johns Garden across the street and enjoy a nice inexpensive meal outside in the little park

                        1. In the Country Mart on weekends, Tra Da Noi has a walk-up window where you can order from a limited menu then sit outside on their nice patio.

                          Their food is pretty darn good and prices are reasonable.

                          Also in the Country Mart is the Malibu Mutt, another order at the counter place where you can get dogs, burgers and sandwiches. Food is okay but there are plenty of picnic tables in the middle of the Mart that make for a great afternoon.

                          1. The God Mother Cafe in back of the raquet club--kinda hard to find. They basically do catering, but there's a pleasant patio there that's nice and quiet. I work at the nearby university. Everybody likes the tomato bisque soup. I think they're only open for lunch though.

                            Malibu Kitchen has a deservedly bad service rep (and good food). There are so few choices for good cheap food in the 'Boo that you have to put up with personalities or drive to Santa Monica. There's always Subway...

                            If you want to wander on the Pepperdine campus, go all the way up to the top to the Drescher Graduate Campus, go in the cafeteria and get the BLT and then take your stuff out to one of the outdoor tables and enjoy a serviceable, freshly made sandwich, and enjoy the kind of hillside ocean view that only multimillionaires enjoy regularly. It's a rat's nest maze to find for visitors, but might be worth it.