Famously ritzy and touristy, Malibu has precious few refuges for the thrifty diner. Most of the inexpensive restaurant options along the Pacific Coast Highway are fast-food chains. This is why the locally-owned Country Kitchen is perpetually buzzing with people picking up phoned-in orders or stopping by for a quick roadside breakfast.
The appeal of The Country Kitchen isn’t in special ingredients or exotic cookery. Rather, it rests within the folds of forty years of flour tortilla bending experience and all those storied decades of grill seasoning. Country Kitchen is very much a locals’ spot, and it remains a last vestige of townie surf culture on this cultivated coastline.The stand almost closed a few years ago due to lease issues, but when it was saved, locals rejoiced. Its dilapidated counter reminds us of “frosty stand” burger places in rural areas around the United States.
The Country Kitchen is most famous for breakfast burritos; and its location in Malibu across from La Costa Beach is such a perfect setting for this handheld breakfast of champion surfers. While there are diners up and down the state’s coastal highways that serve eggs and potatoes in flour tortillas with salsa, Country Kitchen stands out because every component is seasoned and layered to create perfect textural bites. Fluffy scrambled eggs and crisp hash browns would be flavorful on their own, but when combined with ham, bacon, and cheddar cheese, they add up to eye-opening savoriness. And do get the green salsa with your burrito; it is better than the red, which tastes like supermarket “picante salsa.” The salty burritos are perfectly balanced by a cup of bitter black coffee or sweet, fresh-squeezed orange juice, both of which are offered here.
The Country Kitchen has some burger fans, but we are not convinced. Our love affair with the breakfast burritos taught us us that such burger decoration as crisp bacon and fresh ripe avocado can be great here; but unfortunately the burger patties themselves are subpar — cooked dry but lacking any edge caramelization. Sweet potato fries are a good choice for a side.