Gastronomically speaking, surf’s up at the Malibu Pier, a historic landmark that’s home to a new dining hot spot. Overlooking a fabled stretch of Pacific coastline, the Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar offers cuisine befitting its waterfront setting: Chef Jason Fullilove bases his menu on the daily catch, turning out raw-tuna burgers topped with shaved ginger, say, or whole grilled fish stuffed with lemon and herbs. The interiors pay homage to the sea as well. “California surf culture was born on this beach,” says Joshua Klein, a visual consultant who worked on the design with architect Mark Stevens and decorator Erin Martin. “So we decked out the space in true Malibu spirit.” High-style maritime details abound, including ceiling lights dangling from rigging ropes and floor tiles with an evocative wavy motif. Adding to the SoCal vibe are photographs by Dennis Hopper and LeRoy Grannis, among other works of art, though it’s hard to compete with the views. “The main show is the ocean,” Klein says. “It’s literally running beneath you.”
SPOTLIGHT: MALIBU PIER RESTAURANT & BAR
August 29, 2014
This weekend, take a mini road trip along Pacific Coast Highway to newly revamped Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar. Located smack dab on the ocean (watch surfers catch waves right below or to the side of the pier), the coastal, cottage-like eatery and former Beachcomer spot was reinvented by visual consultant Joshua Klein and lined with everything from handmade white, ceramic pendant lamps, to a blue-and-white-tiled floor designed to mimic the pattern of surrounding waves, and a macramé wall hanging by Sally England. Other items include midcentury brass sculptures by C. Jere, a David Hockney lithograph, a 1968 Dennis Hopper photograph of Jane Fonda preparing for her role in Barbarella, and oddities such as a hollow, wooden kayak, and a whale rib found by Klein while walking along Malibu Road after the last big storm. “We wanted it to feel like a beach house, and make it sort of an ode to Malibu” says Klein, who worked for the likes of Ralph Lauren in New York. But, aside from the interior design and jaw-dropping views, it’s the food that makes it worth the drive (and the traffic).
Headed up by Executive Chef Jason Fullilove (who previously worked at Campanile and was Executive Chef at LACMA), the lunch menu is a carefully curated mix of locally-sourced produce and fresh seafood items from clam chowder and fish tacos, to hand-cut pasta with shrimp, and a Malibu burger with white cheddar and avocado. For dinner, order starters such as spot prawn corndogs and white sea bass carpaccio with Meyer lemon relish, and for mains, opt for the Malibu Pier stew with oysters from Prince Edward Island, wild octopus, and saffron, or the Jidori chicken with escarole, morel mushrooms, and Ojai pixie vinaigrette. Just be sure not to miss dessert: butterscotch pudding garnished with chantilly cream and an oak crisp cookie, or go big with the Malibu Pier banana split with carmelized banana, braised pineapple, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, organic strawberries, and topped with candied peanuts. After, burn it all off with a power walk along the beach, or head to the bar next door for a nightcap.
By Jennie Nunn
Pictured: The Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar
Photo by Jessica Sample
Having the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop is almost cheating when it comes to building a beautiful restaurant. The folks who designed Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar had an even bigger advantage: The raw material they were working with was the gorgeous, vintage building that sits on the 109-year-old Malibu Pier. The design is still incredibly impressive. It's nautical chic at its best, a whitewashed dream of a beachfront restaurant. The main dining room's tiled floors and wooden walls are offset by subtle modern touches: Some light fixtures are made of rope and filament bulbs, while others have shades that look enamel but are made of pottery. There are Dennis Hopper photos of Jane Fonda while she was shooting Barbarella in the '60s, and a bar that looks like a cozy nook on a ship, except for the rainbow-colored Richard Phillips surfboard behind it adorned with a sultry California girl. The look of the restaurant honors every part of Malibu's charm, from 109 years ago to the present day. —Besha Rodell
23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265. (310) 456-8820, malibupierrestaurant.com.
Summer in Malibu: 20 Ways to Make the Most of the Coast
by Lesley McKenzie
6/13/2014 12:00pm PDT
2. Nantucket on the Pacific
Also on the Malibu Pier -- the sleepier cousin of its amusement-ride-filled Santa Monica counterpart -- is the new MALIBU PIER RESTAURANT & BAR (23000 PCH), overseen by chef Jason Fullilove, formerly of Campanile. The restaurant occupies the space that once housed Alice's, The Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby's Shake Shack; its bar has taken over the boathouse. Both spaces have been reimagined by visual consultant Joshua Klein, who cut his teeth at Ralph Lauren. "I think outsiders have a perception of Malibu that is glitzier than its actual rugged charm, so I needed to keep the experience organic." Look for an Ed Ruscha anchor print, a Richard Phillips surfboard and Dennis Hopper photos. "You feel like you are back east in Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard," says Jodi Guber Brufsky, founder of activewear brand Beyond Yoga. "It's got great food and atmosphere."