Malibu Mogul Meals

That’s the thing about assumptions; when one assumes, one often is wrong and taking the time to investigate for one’s self is always better than pre-judging. This is as true for restaurants as it is for people, and I am happy to report that our family’s dinner at Carbon Beach was one of the loveliest I have enjoyed in a long time. From the valet’s kindness in helping us with Baby when we pulled up to being greeted by name by the attentive maitre d’ to the unbelievably good children’s menu they offered without request, I was astounded by the warmth and service standards of this restaurant. There wasn’t a whiff of snootiness or pretension in the air at Billionaire’s Beach, just the soft tang of the Pacific and a few gulls flying overhead.

My family and I live in the Santa Monica Mountains, right on the border between Topanga and Malibu, and though geographically contiguous, these two canyons could not be further apart culturally. Malibu is the stuff of Us Weekly celebrity sightings and billionaire beach compounds, whereas Topanga remains a quirky haven for artists, spiritualists, belly dancers and all things alternative.

Perhaps this distinction is best epitomized in neighbor relations. On our street in Topanga, folks tolerate one family’s very noisy roosters because this same family also delivers still-warm eggs to our mailboxes each Tuesday. In Malibu, good neighbors are more often those that share yachts, as entertainment mogul David Geffen and Oracle founder Larry Ellison do.

Geffen and Ellison both own quite a bit of commercial real estate in Malibu, especially along the coveted sandy strip of Carbon Beach. Geffen’s renovation of the Malibu Beach Inn along fabled “Billionaire’s Beach” generated a lot of buzz along PCH; with room rates that rival Beverly Hills’ finest, many wondered if such a luxurious hotel would offer food and wine of matching caliber. On a recent Sunday evening, Mr. Sexton, the Petite Gourmande and I headed north along PCH, rather than south for a change, as we drove to the Carbon Beach Club Dining Room at the Malibu Beach Inn. Typically, our dinners in Malibu consist of fish tacos gulped down at Neptune’s Net when en route to see family up the 101 in San Luis Obispo, so dining fancy in Malibu seemed unusual. We checked our fashions and wondered if we mere mortals were dressed appropriately for dinner at this billionaire’s enclave, which only recently opened its dining room to non-members.

That’s the thing about assumptions; when one assumes, one often is wrong and taking the time to investigate for one’s self is always better than pre-judging. This is as true for restaurants as it is for people, and I am happy to report that our family’s dinner at Carbon Beach was one of the loveliest I have enjoyed in a long time. From the valet’s kindness in helping us with Baby when we pulled up to being greeted by name by the attentive maitre d’ to the unbelievably good children’s menu they offered without request, I was astounded by the warmth and service standards of this restaurant. There wasn’t a whiff of snootiness or pretension in the air at Billionaire’s Beach, just the soft tang of the Pacific and a few gulls flying overhead.

Highlights from our dinner included the tender calamari, a first for our daughter who is clearly developing a coastal palate, and a particularly good spin on corn soup as appetizers. Again, our server scored major points by cheerfully bringing Baby’s chicken fingers with our first course while subtly moving our knives out of her reach when presenting her plate. Folks, I only wish “kid-friendly” restaurants with crappy food had half the awareness of children they show at Carbon Beach! Our meal continued with a salmon fillet served with lemon beurre blanc and steak done to a textbook medium rare; while both proteins were cooked to perfection, the platings seemed a bit “old skool” with a lemon half wrapped in cheesecloth and 80s-style potato wedges. The food and the portions were all excellent but I felt like Chef Paolo Sicuro could have used more artistry in arranging them. But that most minor aesthetic complaint was ameliorated by the killer brownie sundae that proved Baby is developing a sweet tooth in tandem with her love of seafood.

The sweet tooth comes from Mr. Sexton so I sipped my glass of wine and watched with amusement as my two dinner companions engaged in mortal dessert combat – he with an adult weapon, she with a plastic toddler fork. (She ultimately triumphed.) Wines at Carbon Beach are another unexpected pleasure; from local Malibu favorites like Rosenthal Winery’s cabernet blend to winemaker Rick Longoria’s awesome albariño from Santa Barbara county, I was again surprised by the thoughtfulness of the Carbon Beach Club’s wine offerings, if not by the pricing which was pretty high for by-the-glass pours. (One assumes, however, that most their regular guests honestly aren’t that worried about the price of a single glass of wine!) For our part, I hope to make the Carbon Beach Club Dining Room a new family favorite for celebrating special occasions. Expect to be treated well there because you will be, as true luxury lies in learning to treat all your guests like billionaires. Enjoy your time masquerading as one at this coastal gem – we certainly did.


Carbon Beach
at the Malibu Beach Inn
22878 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, 310-456-6444
malibubeachinn.com
 

More Stories
People

Catalina Avenue South

The commercial main drag of Redondo’s Riviera Village meets Palos Verdes Drive with a bang.

Field of Dreams

According to newly elected President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tom Sherak, the mission of the institution reaches far beyond the Oscars®.

Eat & Drink, People

Tout Sweet

A few of our baker’s favorite things.

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
JOIN THE SOUTHBAY COMMUNITY
ErrorHere