Take a chill pill, Malibu style, at Moonshadows
October 1, 2012
MALIBU, USA – It’s hard to find a word that adequately captures the vibe of utter relaxation that pervades the Malibu dining/nightlife spot Moonshadows. First off, you’re in California, and secondly, you’re right on the waterfront of one of the state’s most beautiful sunny beaches, so laidback doesn’t even begin to describe the setting. Add in a killer sundeck, umbrella-topped cocktails, and beds (yes, actual beds) to lounge on, and you’re so chilled out that it’s hard to imagine your pulse is still beating.
Yet despite being the quintessence of leisure, Moonshadows certainly isn’t lazy. The kitchen is on point with a contemporary American menu that’s brimming with fresh seafood and coolly creative preparations. Selections like the spicy Hawaiian ahi tuna tartare and the house made Dungeness crab ravioli are scrumptious, especially when enjoyed alfresco with a breathtaking view of the sea and the sunset. The airy, shell-toned interiors are simple yet comfortable (actually, a bit on the stodgy side), but−you guessed it−it’s the shaded deck that offers the best seats in the house.
Attire is appropriately beach casual, but then again, Malibu is the playground of LA’s elite, so you might want to upgrade your shorts and flip-flops to a chic little sundress and stylish sandals. Among the well-heeled beach bunnies and post-surf power punters, you’re bound to spot a celeb or two. But with no suits in the crowd, even the stars and starlets relax.
Perhaps the only thing that breaks the chillness are the long waits for a table. Even with a reservation, they can be frustratingly lengthy, especially on weekends. This is particularly trying if you’ve brought along hungry kids−aside from the waits, it’s an ideal spot for a family lunch. But in the evenings, things get très grown up.
The attached Moonshadows Blue Lounge is a weekend hotspot, with a rotating roster of the city’s hottest DJs spinning Saturday nights. (Mel Gibson and Britney were both known to make appearances in their wilder days.) The music’s so cool that it’s inspired a CD compilation called “Summer of Six: Set Adrift on a Musical Bliss/The Songs of Moonshadows,” so you can take the mellow groove to go. The trendy-kitsch tiki bar doles out worldly wines and exotic, fruity libations that fuel the festivity.
But no matter how swinging things get with this beachy bunch, the laidback spirit prevails. Come to think of it, maybe there is a phrase to perfectly sum up the Moonshadows mood: chillax to the max!
Read more about Moonshadows in our Los Angeles Guide.
Click here for our full-form mobile travel guide, The Purple Passport to Los Angeles.
Rachel Levin contributed to this post.