Thursday, May 6, 2010
The Reel Inn - Malibu, CA
I'm on the road for a couple of weeks and can't cook so I decided to share some of my favorite spots on the West coast with you.
The Reel Inn in Malibu is a no frills, no fuss antidote to the fancy meals and sushi that I am lucky enough to indulge in while on production. As the name indicates, this place is about one thing and one thing only - fresh fish. As soon as you walk in the door you come to an almost overwhelmingly large glass case stocked with fresh fish and shellfish literally caught that day. Tuna, snapper, swordfish, calamari, shrimp, calamari steak, catfish, and on and on and on. You'll feel like Bubba from Forest Gump as you try and decide what to order. And just like Bubba told Forest, there are any number of ways the Reel Inn can prepare your fish for you. Simply grilled with a wedge of lemon is a no fail, fresh from the sea way to go but they will also 'blacken' it (which is how I had my swordfish - delicious and coated with Cajun spices) or fry it up.
The sides are also no nonsense and fantastic. The french fries are just the kind you want to eat with a plate of fish - crispy on the outside like butter on the inside and the slaw, mashed potatoes, corn, and everything else takes you back to summers at the beach as a kid. Kris got the shrimp scampi and fell in love. The sauce was a perfect menage a trois between lemon juice, white wine, and butter.
The inside of the restaurant looks like a Texas beer hall with neon signs, picnic tables, and the occasional fanny packing tourist. The backyard is more of the same but you have a gorgeous view of the Malibu mountains behind you or of the beach from the other direction (just across the Pacific Coast Highway.)
We ate outside and watched the mountains fade from green to purple to gray in the waning sunlight before disappearing altogether. And just when all those picnic tables and bent silverware made us we forgot we were in Malibu, we ran into Pete Dougherty on our way out walking in with a lady friend. To quote the most hilarious MTV commercial ever (shot by the production company Traktor that we're working with on our job now for Absolut) - it was 'so LA...'
The website is here if you'd like to surf more food porn.
The Reel Inn
18661 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California 90265
Open everyday from 11 am to 9 pm, full bar, beer and wine