I had heard the name before but nothing specific jumped out in my memory. We were sitting next to the pier and realized how close we were to Malibu Farms Restaurant so I threw out the idea, ‘why don’t we book a table because we will be hungry in a few hours?’. A weekend night and we were able to reserve a table for two at 5:30 in the evening. Boom! When you walk up onto the pier there is the restaurant close to the entrance, and the café is at the tip of the pier. I had looked at both menus – the café being much smaller plates and casual – and had chosen the restaurant instead.
What I love about this place is how simple the menu is. Not in terms of creativity but in terms of what makes it desirable. No fusion, no crazy ingredients, no gastronomy – just true farm-to-table. All the ingredients are sourced locally from farmers in the Malibu area, including the chef’s backyard. There are no corners cut. Milk is whole fat, veggies are seasonal, sauces are made in house, eggs are fresh from local chickens, … the whole gamut.
I remembered about the cauliflower pizza once I saw it on the menu so we ordered one to share. For someone who doesn’t love cauliflower (pfft… not me… him), it went over well. A semi crispy cauliflower crust, the size of a bread plate, topped with house made pesto sauce, slices of tomato, pieces of cauliflower, and greens. Just simple and delicate, and healthy. Nothing dripping in oil even though the crust appeared to have been fried.
For mains he ordered the salmon which was a descent size, cooked just right and served with miso tahini, shishito peppers (watch out, some of them are HOT!), ginger and sides of 1) purple couscous and 2) creamed potato with spinach. I ordered the vegetable paella. Let me tell you this dish was packed with the most flavorful, interesting combination of ingredients. Honestly if you are a vegetarian this will be your go-to dish from now on. If you’re not used to eating vegetarian this dish might convert you. Why so good? Well instead of rice or pasta it comes with saffron couscous that has the texture of acini de pepe, which makes it very hearty and less dry. The vegetables include corn, roasted beets, bell peppers, black olives, tomatoes, and a roasted artichoke heart, topped with semi soft tofu (and I added chicken). All the ingredients are cooked so not like a salad; and warm, but not mushy. We had tons of leftovers for lunch the next day. After that we had no room for dessert but we were left satiated. If your ‘thing’ is fresh, local, seasonal and healthy, the Malibu Farm Restaurant is a MUST try. I will absolutely be back… for the pork belly that they ran out of :).
For a list of the farmers which are represented by Malibu Farms Pier Restaurant check out the official restaurant website.