after going to my first power yoga class in santa monica this morning, i walked outside to a beautiful day. it was barely 70° and the sun was shining bright. i got on the freeway heading home, and for some reason instead of continuing east i exited, and headed back west and up the pch. i was thinking that i rarely get to the westside and i love driving up the coast, plus i was also hungry and figured i would see something along the way that peaked my interest. i turned off at the malibu inn. i had read recently after an ownership change, and a bit of a shut down, that they had re-opened with top chef runner-up angelo sosa as a consulting chef. that was enough of an endorsement for me. i wasn’t a huge fan of mr. sosa on the show, but it was apparent that he had talent, and i was interested to see the menu.

if you are not aware, the malibu inn has a bit of a history in the music business, not the least of which was that neil young was part owner back in the day when it was called the crazy horse saloon. i remember being astonished about some of the groups that had played there over the years, including one of my favorites tom petty, as well as, kid rock, the plimsouls, and eric clapton. as the article in malibu patch states,

“think of ‘miserlou’ the greek folk song rocked up into a surf music classic by dick dale. now imagine a malibu super group playing ‘miserlou’ at the newly renovated malibu inn: eddie van halen on guitar, mike d and/or tommy lee on drums, bob dylan on rhythm guitar and sting on bass—or maybe flea, but he puts the bass down and picks up a trumpet to blow that ripping little horn solo.”

perhaps it is not exactly what i think they are going for, but i believe this is what the new vamped malibu inn wants to be and absolutely should be. below the malibu inn sign it simply states: vintage mood. epic food. i truly hope that is where it is going, because in this day and age it is rare for us 30-40+ year old music and food loving people to find somewhere with both of our tastes in one. don’t get me wrong, i love a lot of music coming out these days, and would really dig hearing the black keys play the malibu inn, but many of us really just want to hear a good bar band, that plays good music and have some good food on a weekend night, or any night for that matter.

today i came in for lunch and sat out at the outdoor bar. i ordered the fish tacos.

the fish was way too salty. the flavor and spice beyond that was good, but i probably wouldn’t order this again unless i were to tell them ‘no salt’. also, i would have liked more citrus, like a squeeze of lime, especially with the fish being grilled. if it were breaded, the creamy and spicy guacamole would have been sufficient. it was served with thick potato chips that were also laced in salt. perhaps a nice light salad of greens or simple slaw?

as an after thought, i ordered their buffalo wings (crispy), because i have a penchant for wings, but i wasn’t impressed. they were not warm (temperature), though they did have good heat (as in spice), ultimately i specifically asked for them crispy and the skin and outer layer were soft. both of the buffalo and the roquefort dipping sauces were delicious and very flavorful, but i personally didn’t like the execution.

having worked in the restaurant industry for many years i understand getting off on the wrong foot. also, my bartender albert, who was awesome and attentive, informed me that they had recently let the executive chef go and this new one was just getting up to speed. i will give them a second chance, for no other reason than to try other things on the menu that sounded interesting like the pulled pork sandwich and smack n cheese. oh, and they have tater tots!

on my way out, i used the restroom which had the most awesome wallpaper:

i stuck my head into the men’s room to see if they had pin-ups as well, but was surprised to see:

a very tasteful use of women made out of flowers (if you look closer).

i don’t remember the interior much from the many years back that i had come into the establishment, but there were definite improvements:

the best thing was that just outside the ladies room, there was a picture of maxwell caufield, the star of grease 2.

by the by, i will be seeing the screening of grease 2 thanks to devil’s night drive-in this saturday night and packing a picnic dinner. (post to follow)

what an awesome (so-cal) day!