Malibu Week Respite; Where to Dine?
I am headed to a spend a weekend holed up in paradise to do some writing. Aside from the holed up part, I need to find some good grub for the 5 nights I am there. Yesterday, there was (happily!) an article in the LA Times about a new place called, The Sunset, right on the beach that sounds great; other than this, I need to fill my calendar. Hounders, what say you?
I love the Sunset. Unlike Irene, I think the food is fantastic, who gave it only mild praise. Besides Sunset, Taverna Tony's is always good, although pricey. Same with Matsuhisa. Barrel used to be fantastic, but my last couple visits have been inconsistent - if it's good, it's very good. Charlie's is also good.
I love the burger at Sunset (Like Irene V does), and also love the Arugula Pizza.
Barrel is actually a wine bar that happens to have really good food, but it's in a strip mall with no view. Wine selection is usually quite good, but the last time I was there, they were out of 2 things I ordered.
Don't forget Duke's. Oddly, I like their Barefoot Bar menu, and it's got that view, right on top of the water!
Great rec's below from others. Defiinitely go to Taverna Tony's.
the sage room is quite good - italian with lovely service
pretty good - but standard - food at the beachcomber on the pier. surprisingly, i'd stay away from the shrimp cocktail and salmon entrees - but the clam chowder is good, the tuna tacos are yummy, and the short rib entree is fantastic.
taverna tony's has tasty greek food and lively atmosphere. it's a fun place.
nobu is good, but pricey
same with geoffrey's
chart house is hit or miss - but i tend to wind up with a pretty good dish
i like malibu seafood better than the reel inn for a grab and sit down meal.
i know i'm likely in the minority - but i would avoid terra, tra di noi, guidos, marmalade cafe, coral beach cantina, and howdy's fish tacos. i've had just plain awful meals at these places and haven't ventured back.
Here is a really good resource database for Malibu dining. Not totally up to date (for instance Allegria is gone and replaced by some steak place) - but should be helpful to you in any case: http://www.malibucomplete.com/mc_ente...
Don't forget Coogie's for good, inexpensive breakfasts, etc. http://www.menuclub.com/californiares...
We are also big fans of Sage Room and appreciate the willingness of the kitchen to allow substitutions or make something special even if it is not on the menu ( within reason, of course). It is a small local place with charming atmosphere and no view. We have always enjoyed outstanding service at Sage.
Our opinion of The Sunset calibrates closely to the review in the LA Times. It has a great view, and is a popular place with a lot of action going on. In my opinion, if you order carefully, you can get a good meal, but we have had several mediocre experiences. A couple of times we have been, the service has been uneven. (For example, the sides show up after dinner is nearly complete despite repeated requests to check on them.) One time the fish was over-salted to the point that salt was the predominant flavor. In every case, the restaurant made an attempt to rectify the problems. Nonetheless, it hovers below greatness in our opinion - not terrible, but just not great. I do like the wine program at The Sunset, and the bar does a good job on cocktails. So for us, it has become more of a drinks and appetizer place than a dinner place.
We are also fond of Terra Restaurant (further south on PCH near Dukes.) We like the fresh vegatable sides have had great fish and pasta dishes here. We have found the service excellent, in a relaxing, non-rushed way that we enjoy.
For salads, sandwiches and pizza, we like Pizzarea Spruzzo in Zuma. Very informal with a nice rooftop deck for outdoor dining. Reasonable prices, good happy hour, and pleasant service. It is a family friendly place so expect families / kids if you go.
We generally enjoy Taverna Tony's. It is a popular place with good food and good service. Definitely on the louder end of the spectrum.
Coral Beach Cantina - stick to beer, Salsa and chips. The margeritas are sub-par, and there is no reason to eat mediocre mexican anywhere near LA.
Hope you enjoy the week in paradise.