By: Gracee Arthur
Malibu is a terrific city . We have the Pacific, great beaches, fresh air and recently, more user-friendly amenities like a hardware store. What we are still missing in our little hamlet is a real deli, a fantastic Chinese and until this week, a real Mexican restaurant.
When I first moved to Malibu in the ’80s, we had the Baja Cantina which was located in the space currently occupied by Tony’s Taverna. The Cantina was a fun restaurant with consistent quality, friendly staff and “Lobster Night” every Tuesday. The Cantina was replaced by the short-lived, celebrity owned Malibu Adobe which served the latest food craze, Tex-Mex. Many years later, Casa Escobar opened near the Malibu theatre, only to burn down soon after in a weekend fire started in the adjacent beauty supply shop. Lastly and deservedly so, there is the Corral Cantina at Zuma where the food bares little resemblance to food, let alone Mexican fare. The Cantina has been around forever, but is kept alive by Happy Hour Margaritas not its food, which is avoided by most locals.
So imagine my excitement when I passed by the La Costa Mission with its large blue “Now Open” banners flapping in the Santa Ana Winds! The Mission is located in the former home of Terra Restaurant, adjacent to the old Malibu courthouse and jail.
The charming Spanish mini-hacienda with patio and indoor dining is located in east Malibu at 21377 Pacific Coast Highway. I stopped in to check out the menu and was pleasantly surprised to find a great variety of appetizing items. There are tasty gems like Tostaditas de Ceviche made with lime marinated yellowtail , as well as classics like Carne Asada made with filet mignon and marinated in red chile. The restaurant has a great bar and is anticipating the arrival of their liquor license in the next week or two. The bar specialities will include 17 different types of Margaritas!! Muchas gracias to the proprietors (who also own the Beech Street Cafe in Pacific Palisades) for bringing a true Mexican restaurant to Malibu. I am looking forward to my first Margarita at La Costa Mission . Check out their website for a full menu and dining hours.