So I think I have already pretty well established that experiencing Malibu is all about “location…location…location” right? That settled then, it’s not a huge leap to accept the fact that the Malibu Beach Inn, the next door neighbor of Malibu Beach Rental Properties and the Dolphin cottage on Carbon Beach which served as my home base during my staycation vacation in the Bu, is also gifted with some pretty magnificent views in addition to a bevy of highly desirable amenities.
In fact, one of the most useful bits of information that Sue from Malibu Beach Rental Properties offered up prior to my arrival in Malibu actually involved the Malibu Beach Inn. Not only did she speak glowingly of the 47-room, David Geffen-owned property with which she shares the uber private Carbon Beach (also known as ‘Billionaire’s Beach’), she told me that many of her guests enjoyed walking a few steps down the beach to have dinner or drinks at the Malibu Beach Inn’s Carbon Beach Club during their stay and that many even liked to take advantage of the Inn’s Cure Spa which welcomes non-hotel guests with open arms. How fab does that sound eh? It is sort of a getaway within a getaway if you will. Sounds tres, tres luxe does it not? A few hours relaxing on the beach in the sun, followed by an afternoon of pampering and then a beautiful dinner served at sunset with the ocean as the backdrop? Heaven!
Well that’s precisely what I did, sans the pampering. My indulgence of choice was instead an afternoon nap in front of the fire as the smell of the ocean filled my cottage and the sound of the crashing waves lulled me soundly to sleep. Oh the lengths I go to, to ensure that I can parrot back an authentic review for you my beloved Living Wells readers! But, alas, again I digress.
Now, fully rested and ready to continue life as a Malibu local, I dressed and, along with a friend, made the 3-minute walk from the Dolphin cottage to the elegantly subdued, but nonetheless eye-popping entrance to the Malibu Beach Inn. (For the record, I opted to take the sidewalk as opposed to the beach for the short trek because sand and the suede driving moccasins I had chosen for dinner do not good friends make. Word to the wise.)
The same sound of crashing waves we had left behind at the Dolphin, greeted us as we made our way through the lobby of the Malibu Beach Inn as the restaurant’s jovial staff led us to our waiting table on the Terrace of the Carbon Beach Club. I had specifically booked a table on the terrace at sunset because I had been told it was an extra special treat and it certainly did not disappoint. With a glass of wine in hand, the call of seagulls in the air and a brilliant sunset at our backs, within minutes of arriving on that terrace, the Los Angeles I knew once again seemed a million miles away.
I highly recommend dinner on the terrace of the Carbon Beach Club, even if you don’t stay overnight in Malibu….because it is without question one of the most (if not the most) delightful beachfront settings you can experience in Los Angeles. Not only is the Carbon Beach Club’s setting idyllic, it has a casually elegant, clubby feeling befitting its name. It is neither loud, nor is it a ‘scene’. It is instead a perfect place for folks who crave a place where they can discretely relax into a great meal and a great evening out without feeling the crush (or prying eyes) of the ‘see and be seen’ crowd.
For our meal, we opted to start with the Crab Cake, a beautiful presentation of three lightly battered mounds of delicious lump crab meat served with a bright celery root apple slaw and whole grain mustard, and a silky Tuna Tartare brought to life with lemon zest, avocado mousse and olive oil along with Arugula and tomatoes. Suffice it to say, not only could we smell the sea at our table we could taste it with every bite of both starters.
For the main course, I chose the Ancho Chili Barbecue Short Rib, which was served with fall squash, crispy shallots and, at my special request, the chef’s signature side of brussel sprouts and maple glazed bacon. It was a perfectly balanced entree that was hearty without being heavy and it was also a perfect complement to the cool Malibu evening air. Like me, my dinner companion opted for something similarly hearty in his choice of the Muscovy Duck Breast served with wild rice, figs, asparagus, chestnuts and maple thyme jus. It was also superlative.
We rounded out dinner with two forks, a sinfully, chocolaty Valrhona Brona topped with cinnamon ice cream, baileys whipped cream and satisfied expressions.
After the epicurean adventure that was dinner at the Carbon Beach Club, as we made our way back along the beach to that Dolphin cottage for a nightcap, once again I marveled at the fact that home was so physically close yet so emotionally far and relaxed ever deeper into the spirit of the staycation vacation experience. I honestly could get used to this staycation vacation gig.
Stay tuned for more updates from Living Wells in Malibu and find out more about the Carbon Beach Club and the Malibu Beach Inn at www.MalibuBeachInn.com. Also be sure to follow the Malibu Beach Inn Blog at http://blog.malibubeachinn.com/ for regular updates about special events and news about the hotel.