College Days, Cupcakes & Chicken Wrap at Malibu Kitchen

Aside from attending my Bestfriend's wedding, I had other important points on my Cali Agenda... one of them being to revisit my old haunts, aka Santa Monica and Malibu, the two cities I lived and studied in during my formative college years.
 Everyday for a good year or four, I would drive up and down the Santa Monica incline to Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to get to the beach, erm, I mean to class.
 Who else would be perfect to take this trip down memory lane than my lovable college roommate!

 PCH is the Freeway 1, which connects most of the SoCal beaches (Long Beach, Hermosa, Manhattan,Venice, Malibu), to Santa Barbara all the way to Monterey and San Francisco.
About 12 miles in from Santa Monica, you see a hill with a lot of terracotta roofed buildings and a tall cross atop one of them.
That would be Pepperdine University, home of the Waves, and my alma mater.
From the top view, it looks like a country club. but there are dorms, apartments, classrooms, auditoriums, libraries, the Graziadio Business School, the Law School, even its own fire station! Since Pepperdine is right by the mountains, it get affected by the Santa Ana winds and is privy to some fires during the heat of the summer.
Down these steps is the Rockwell Community Center, Cafeteria, Elkins Auditorium... trust me, it's REALLY a school!
If you don't want to eat in, you can head by the patio doors to capture some sun while reading a book or studying for a midterm. Or you can just stare at the Pacific Ocean.
One of the newer additions to the very slow-growth community of Malibu (they restrict the type of business that comes into Malibu's commercial areas) is the newly opened Malibu Lumberyard. It used to be a lumberyard, but is now a very chic piazza with select stores such as J.Crew, Intermix, Kitson's, La Perla, Tory Burch, Crumbs, and Maxfield, among others.
It was such a refreshing site, with modern touches to the beach-chill vibe that Malibu is known for. Yes famous people live here, but this is where they call it home, so no flashy establishments.
 Yes, they are STRICT with Paparazzi in Malibu, and is the only place where you can feel like one of them because when Rod Stewart is in front of you at the Coffee Bean, you can't tap him as ask for his photograph.
I especially love that the Lumberyard is home to my Uberfavorite brand which feeds my 'soft' addiction, James Perse. He hase everything from those beach chairs outside, to beddings and the complete clothing line. I end up breaking the bank for a few quality pieces there. I've even converted some people I've dated to JP because you get addicted to the feeling of comfort their clothes bring.
For lunch, I wanted to go somewhere familiar, so we hit up my favorite place in the area,  Malibu Kitchen & Gourmet Country Mart
Rustic and mercantile interiors give a warm and relaxed vibe, with choc-ful of  selections from chips, to drinks, to coffee, dessert and deli-items.
Their chiller is filled with some of the most hard-to-find old-school drinks like Fanta (in a bottle!), Dr. Brown's root beer, and other drinkable potions.
What they are most famous for are their sandwiches, and their display counters are filled with freshly cooked fillings, meats, prepared salads and side dishes. They have their specials out on bright paper with descriptions of the ingredients. You may need a moment to figure out what doesn't call out your name.
One thing you need to know about Malibu Kitchen is that the staff is a no-nonsense bunch. The Deli guy can serve you an extra helping of attitude or grumpiness if you cut in line, or talk on the phone while ordering, or act like a diva. I got used to him since I dealt with him on a daily basis, and got on his good side when I figured out how to joke with him while ordering. When I got back, I received the same old treatment, which didn't bother me so much this time around since I get that a lot in NY.
The bakery side is well stocked with freshly baked pastries, cookies, brownies, and other carboliffic treats. Though they have a lot of fresh produce and "healthy" options, they don't scrimp on the sugar or fat when it comes to comfort food.
And their Cake chiller is, well... FANTASTIC! Can you see that GIANT CUPCAKE on the top left side? Each creation is generously topped with filling, is decadent, and reminds me of homemade cakes that are made with love that you can taste.
I love the country store vibe of the place, which makes me all fuzzy and buy everything I see in sight.
Usually it is the sometimes-snippy lady with gray hair that mans the cashier, who is known to be a little moody when you rub her the wrong way or isn't courteous when you pay for your things. Today I was slightly relieved to be greeted by a rather young lady who had a warm smile on her face.
Aside from a single table inside, most of the seating area is outside by the parking lot, since most people order to go and bring their goods home and make it look like they prepared the crabcake/salmon fillet/salad/cake that is on a nice crystal dish. Be prepared to see a celebrity, Maserati, or two pass by. Do not act surprised when you do see one, you are in Malibu.
Roommate got the very healthy Grilled Chicken Wrap with Spanish rice, guacamole, baby greens, tomatoes & balsamic vinaigrette on a whole wheat tortilla.
She completed her meal with some kettle-fried chips and an Orangina. Yes, she's the healthy roomate between the two of us.
I decided between the pulled pork sandwich and settled for the Prosciutto di Parma & Fresh Mozzarella sandwich with roasted sauteed tomatoes, EVOO, and balsamic vinaigrette on a rosemary ciabatta. Plus an Orangina, because I'll drink it wherever I can find it.
What I love about Malibu Kitchen's sandwiches is the heavy hand when it comes to the ingredients. Look at how thick the layers of parma ham are on this sandwich!!! They use only quality bread from La Brea Bakery, which makes all the difference between a good sandwich and a great one. The saltiness of the Parma ham slowly tickles your palate slowly as the smoothness of the mozzarella cheese gives a slight sweetness. I was in HEAVEN!
My roommate hates birds with a passion, but couldn't help but feel sympathetic towards this little man who only had one leg, or was he faking his handicap?!
After that filling lunch, I felt like one of these sheep, happy and ass-y. Too bad you can't see the backside. Plus, I covet that black G-Wagon at the back!
As we drove back to Santa Monica, I couldn't help but remember how much I enjoyed driving PCH, by myself, for all those years. This sight, the Pacific Coast on your right hand side as you drive away from Malibu, reminds you that another day of watching the waves crash if going to come tomorrow.
 Every time I'm on PCH, it feels like it was just yesterday that I would pass by this amazing landscape on a daily basis. It's always refreshing to visit it every now and then, even if I was staying far away, just to get that "pinch me" moment. But I wasn't dreaming, I really lived here!
 Even the sky is like a dream...
For a pretty accurate description of Malibu Kitchen, try to read both good & bad reviews on Yelp. Lol. That's an accurate picture
Malibu Kitchen & Gourmet Country Mart
3900 Cross Creek Rd Ste 3
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 456-7845

1 comment:

  1. Damn that little faker bird! Never again will I feel sorry for those winged creatures.


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