By: Gracee Arthur
A couple of weeks ago Stephen (who posts my blogs and photos for me) and I were lucky enough to be lunch guests at the fabulous new Malibu restaurant “La Costa Mission”. Gustavo, the hard working manager, and one of the restaurants owners Tom, delighted us with 2 large delicious and potent Margaritas to prepare us for the feast to follow! We began with a large bowl of crispy chips with salsa verde and tasty fresh guacamole . The restaurant was very busy since it was Friday and they had just opened their bar where they serve 17 types of Margaritas! The wait staff is still getting its “sea legs” so we enjoyed our chips and ordered an appetizer “taquitos de pollo”. The taquitos were tasty with a great tomatillo salsa and not at all greasy. Then we ordered our main courses which we chose from the 14 entrees which are house specialties. I chose the Halibut en tomatillo which was so moist ,and delicious in a fabulous spicy sauce and Stephen had the Camerons (Florida pink shrimp) en verde mole which was outstanding. The menu is filled with tempting entrees like borrego en mole negra (rack of lamb) and cordonices en chileajo (grilled quail stuffed with ground beef and spicy red chileajo). The service was a bit chaotic but the beautiful old Spanish decor and great food was a fun way to start the weekend.
This Tuesday I returned (on my own dime) to introduce a friend of mine to La Costa Mission. When We arrived around 6:30 the room was quiet with only a few people at the bar but within an hour the number of diners multiplied to fill the room (pretty impressive for Malibu on a Tuesday). The service is still a bit slow but friendly, Gustavo is hard at work coordinating his staff and the food was still a delight. The Margaritas are still the best in Malibu, the chips crispy, and the enchiladas we ordered yummy. Though there did not seem to be room for it, we order dessert anyway and managed to easily polished it off! The pineapple upside down ginger cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberries was not too sweet but very gingery, which I love.
Executive chef Geno Bahena deserves applause for the terrific cuisine he has brought to Malibu. I expect the dining experience at La Costa Mission will just keep getting better. A bit of music would be a good addition but the menu is perfect.