The Malibu Cafe might be one of the coolest places to hang out in LA. The sprawling grounds are like an Anthropologie fan’s orgasm, with box lights, upside down umbrellas, giant chess pieces and pillows with words on them. Plus, it’s super family friendly. After winning me over at the Burger Battle in Santa Monica earlier this year, I was eager to find out what the restaurant itself would be like.
There is, perhaps, no prettier place in the world to host a food event than the Saddlerock Ranch. LA Magazine knows this and that’s why I found myself at Saddlerock in Malibu for The Food Event on October 16th, 2016. I arrived a bit late so a few stalls were already out of food, but I immediately set to work on eating and drinking.
Below are the highlights:
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.
The coastal land of Malibu is populated by celebrities attempting to avoid the real world and regular people who want to avoid the crowds of LA’s more local beaches. It’s also sparsely populated by restaurants that want nothing more than to serve a subpar meal while providing a breathtaking view. Or at least that’s how it usually goes – a great view = decent food. Hoping to avoid that trend, the Danto family brought back memories of high school and college by taking me, their son’s greatest friend of all time, to lunch. The Danto clan had chosen Paradise Cove and I was excited to find out what they had to offer.
For a nice little seaside lunch, we headed to Moonshadows in Malibu. I couldn’t stop myself from humming Cat Stevens as I pulled my car up next to the Pacific Coast Highway and headed in for my meal. Although the outdoor seating area was full, we found ourselves a nice little ocean view window with a door open nearby so we could get a little taste of the ocean breeze. I took a look at my menu and immediately knew what I had to order.
In the beautiful land of Malibu, just a few feet from the ocean, sits Duke’s. They have one of the best locations around LA and retain a modestly priced lunch and dinner menu. They even have an outdoor seating area with its own bonus menu, which is where I always prefer to sit.
On my last trip, I took advantage of their lunch menu, which had some good-looking offerings, but the one that stood out the most to me was the Caramel Roasted Turkey Stack. The list of ingredients were an unvegan dream; roast turkey on a ciabatta roll, with applewood smoked bacon, havarti cheese, avocado and mango chutney aioli. A sandwich with no tomatoes or lettuce is rarer than the tamaraw, so I knew it had to be mine.