The Unvegan

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Across the Water at Malibu Inn (CLOSED)

The other side of the tracks.

Unlike just about every restaurant I’ve ever been to in Malibu, the Malibu Inn sits on east side of the street without a direct view of the ocean. But with a stage that features musicians like Glen Campbell and a menu by a former Top Chef contestant, the ocean view (or lack thereof) is not the reason people head out to the Malibu Inn. We weren’t there for the music, though, we were there for the “Epic Food” their sign claimed they had.

A quick look at the menu revealed more than one epic-looking foods, like the Deep-Fried PB&J or the Hickory Burger I ended up ordering. This was not your ordinary Hickory Burger that just came with some smoky BBQ sauce. It did come with BBQ sauce, but also pulled pork and an onion ring. It seemed to be an unvegan delight and clocking in at 15 smackeroos with fries, the expectations were high.

Where’s the pork? Dear God where is it?!

But when the burger came out, those expectations were somewhat dashed. The patty was skinny and had the appearance of something I could buy at Costco, while the pulled pork was completely missing until I discovered a pinch of it nestled inside the onion ring. Of course, this was all based on looks, but taste didn’t exactly redeem the burger. The patty was as dry and tasteless as it looked and the pulled pork was similarly dry and not awesome enough to make up for its small quantity. The onion ring was nice, though, and fried enough to make me forget its onion core.

These won’t save your burger.

The fries were pretty nice, but didn’t stand out as anything overly amazing.

In all, Malibu Inn delivered on the “Vintage Mood” from its sign, but not so much the “Epic Food” part. I once heard that Malibu restaurants either have a great view or great food, but never both. Unfortunately, Malibu Inn didn’t offer either of those. I can’t completely knock the place, because our waiter was actually great. I just wish that the food had matched his personality instead of what it turned out to be.