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Jan 6, 2009 12:37 PM

Malibu Dinner Spot

My boyfriend's taking me to Malibu this weekend and I'm looking for a low-key, moderate (under $20 entrees) place for dinner. We're HUGE fans of Malibu seafood but would like cloth napkins for the evening. We're open to any cuisine but would prefer to avoid any kind of snooty vibe. Thanks in advance!

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  1. i don't know what their prices are like these days, but my favorite spot in Malibu has always been the Sage Room.

    and though their meat & seafood entrees are higher than your requested price range (mid-$20's, mostly), you could consider Taverna Tony for Greek/Mediterranean

    Taverna Tony
    23410 Civic Center Way Ste B1, Malibu, CA 90265

    Sage Room
    28915 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      No way can either of those restaurants fit the bill -- entrees are about $30 and up - although both are good ideas if they up their budget.

      1. re: yogachik

        I was just at Sage Room a couple weekends ago. There are a couple entrees under $20, and quite a few in the $25-ish range. But you'll probably want to split a salad or appetizer which will kick up the price somewhat. Still, Sage Room is probably the cheapest decent cloth-napkin restaurant you'll find in Malibu.

        Their raviolis can be pretty good, and the pork ossobuco is the meatiest thing I've eaten all year (but out of your price range). Avoid the pizza. The owner is very...friendly. Like, REALLY friendly. Did I mention that the owner is friendly?

        There's another Italian place out near Zuma, in a mini mall on the second floor. I always thought it was boring, but others I know think it's okay. IIRC they do cloth napkins.

        1. re: Bjartmarr

          That would be Spruzzo's, maybe inside has napkins but really more like Malibu Seafood in feel.
          Terra, at 21337 PCH is charming complete with fireplace and amazing food and service. You would need to do 3 apps. or the bar menu to fit in your budget. I believe Thursday they still have live music!!

    2. The only place that comes to mind would be Barrel, but it's a wine bar. Amazing food, bar tables, entrees around $15 each, cloth napkins. Might not be the atmosphere you desire, though.

      1. While you might be somewhat restricted on which entrees you could choose and still be within your price point you could check out the Beachcomber Cafe at the Malibu Pier.

        1. You must be a new transplant. In LA, and especially in Malibu, and for seafood, "under $20 entrees" is not "moderate." It's "dirt cheap."

          Raise your budget or lower your expectations.

          10 Replies
          1. re: BeenThereAteThat

            I don't believe that the OP was asking specifically for seafood ("We're open to any cuisine").

            1. re: Servorg

              I so very much appreciate your input and opinion, Servorg, but I must respectfully disagree with your argument that "seafood" is a "cuisine."

              In my experience, "seafood" is an ingredient that is used in a variety of "cuisines". If you can supply me with facts to the contrary, I would be deeply indebted to you for educating me. Thank you so much. :)

              1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                I didn't say seafood was a cusine. The OP said it. And I quoted them only to point out that they were not just looking for "seafood" exclusively when you made your comment above regarding them wanting "....seafood, under $20 entrees..." which you called "dirt cheap" and told them to "Raise your budget or lower your expectations."

                The relevant portion of their original post, as it relates to this issue, is "We're HUGE fans of Malibu seafood but would like cloth napkins for the evening. We're open to any cuisine but would prefer to avoid any kind of snooty vibe." So, while they mention Malibu Seafood, I think they make it clear that they aren't necessairily looking for seafood as their entree.

                Whether the OP is of the opinion that seafood is a cuisine or not I have not the faintest idea.

                I hope that is all clear now?

                1. re: Servorg

                  I could be completely wrong here, but I don't think "Malibu seafood" and "Malibu Seafood" are the same thing.

                  "Malibu seafood", which is what they wrote, is not a restaurant. It is a type of food in a specific geographical location.

                  "Malibu Seafood" is the name of a restaurant. Had they intended to mention a specific restaurant, I am confident that they would have done so.

                  They quite clearly pointed out that they were fans of seafood in Malibu, and wanted cloth napkins. The cuisine for that seafood was open, and they did not want a snooty vibe.

                  1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                    Malibu Seafood (seafood) is a restaurant, and the OP was drawing the distinction that, while they like it as a place to eat, it doesn't offer the ambiance they are looking for (no cloth napkins for instance) on this particular occasion. Hence my inference that they are looking for a restaurant that is a bit more upscale than Malibu Seafood, without going to $$$$$$ lengths, (and being open to cuisine that is different than that offered at Malibu Seafood "restaurant" - see: ).

                    1. re: Servorg

                      I think we can all, as reasonable people, agree that "Malibu Seafood" is a restaurant.

                      These same reasonable people can agree that "Malibu seafood" is not. The OP mentioned "Malibu seafood," which is not a restaurant.

                      There used to be a restaurant called "Malibu Chicken" which is not the same as "Malibu chicken".

                      1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                        I can only assume you are being absurdly tongue in cheek. Of course the OP was talking about the restaurant Malibu Seafood but like most of us is not particular about capitalization while posting on-line. Her post is very clear--she wants a comfortable but somewhat up-scale (i.e. not as casual as Malibu S.) restaurant in the area. And by the way, it really is insulting in these times to blithely tell people to "raise" their budget as if they are arbitraily affixing a price to their dinner rather than attempting to have a nice evening out w/in their means. I agree that fresh fish in the area will undoubtedly run more than $20 an entree; I would suggest looking for good Italian to stay w/in the budget (Unfortunately, I'm much more familiar w/ Santa Monica restaurants than Malibu), but Allegria might work for you

                        1. re: archer

                          Well said. Allegria has closed. There's a new restaurant on the site called Charlie's but I haven't heard anything about it.

                          1. re: archer

                            Hi archer. I was upset when I found out just a little while back that allegria (g) had closed. I liked their food (not brilliant, but certainly sound) and the space was nice with comfortable tables and chairs with solid, friendly and non pretentious service. Hopefully Charlie's as mentioned by whatfordinner will be at least as good.

                            Hope you have a chowish weekend. Cheers!

                            1. re: Servorg

                              My understanding is that Charles will be a steak place. The owner, Charle (A women) said there wasn't any place decent to get a good baked potato.

            2. The Barefoot Bar at Duke's is fun. They have good prices on standars like fish tacos, caesar salad and the like. Someone told me they've redesigned it a I'm not sure of the layout. But the outside space used to be right on the sand...with plexiglass screens to protetc you from the waves. I'm not sure what the offer on weekends, but they used to have reduced prices on the bar menu during certain hours. And you'd want to get there early, because the Pepperdine kids tend to hang out there on weekend. But it's a great place to go to at sunset.

              1 Reply
              1. re: perk

                Barefoot bar uses paper napkins, and entrees are a little higher than $20, but it is a fun spot -- VERY casual.