Malibu Seafood | Best Place To Eat in Malibu, California

Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom

A Fisherman Runs It

Malibu Seafood isn’t merely a best place to eat in Malibu. We rank it in the upper echelon of fish mongers and casual seafood restaurants on the entire West Coast. The little market expertly prepares grills, steams, and fries seafood of all kind. It lacks a big beer cooler (though BYO is allowed); but the quality of its food trumps any shortcomings. Why? A fisherman runs it. Its watchwords: “The reason we don’t serve breakfast is we’re out catching lunch.”

Smart Choices

You cannot go wrong here. But we’re going to offer some smart choices as you navigate the waters of a broad, appealing menu. 

The bad news first: The fish taco disappoints. We cannot fault its large size, nor its nice dressing of crunchy cabbage, chipotle aioli, and sweet red bell pepper. However, someone has mishandled the fish. They drained it of moisture as well as flavor. The capability of this kitchen, evident in everything else it serves, somehow fails. 

If you like grilled fish, order Pacific snapper. Two fillets, with no detectable flavor of oil or salt, demonstrate the virtue of simplicity. The bare approach works because the fish itself gleams. We might have preferred a basic level of seasoning. After all, a brush of soy livens up even top quality sushi.

Fish & Chips

Malibu Seafood fries fish perfectly. We’ve never had better fried Alaskan cod (in fish and chips) on either side of the Atlantic. Well-seasoned steak-type timbers of fried potato make us think of a good British chip shop.

Bright Cocktail Sauce for Bouncy Shrimp

Gentle steaming highlights the quality of shellfish. Shrimp arrive with a bouncy texture, offering subtle scents of their poaching liquid. Malibu Seafood’s cocktail sauce makes steamed shellfish all the better. Peppery and bright rather than ketchupy, it rates so high that it presents a dilemma: With seafood this good, you don’t want to overdress it. But you do want this sauce!

Dreamy Setting

As we said, we recommend this restaurant not only because it might be the best place to eat in Malibu. The scenery around it is dazzling.  We sat at the top perch of a terraced deck gazing out into the Pacific. We watched gulls and pelicans get their lunch fresh from the Pacific. But we felt no envy. 

What To Eat

Fried Cod and Fries

Steamed Shrimp

Grilled Pacific Red Snapper Plate

Fish Taco


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