So today is the big 5-0. Mikey and I are all growns up. In fact, it was Mikey who brought this milestone to my attention. I would have held off on celebrating until 100, but I just didn’t have the heart to shoot him down. He suggested we do something special and I suggested we pay a visit to one of the best seafood restaurants in Malibu.
Since we are both a little light on lunch money these days, we decided to hit up the barefoot bar section of Duke’s for a late lunch/early dinner. By the way, on Fridays they serve $4 Mai Tais all night long. Too bad Mikey and I don’t drink like girls, it would have been a hell of a lot cheaper…
Duke’s Canoe Club – On PCH south of Malibu Canyon
For those of you who haven’t had the chance to go to Duke’s, get in your car now and go. I’ve celebrated the majority of my last 10 birthdays there and have yet to be disappointed. Since we got to Duke’s before the 5pm dinner service had started, the menu was a bit more restrictive than usual but still offered a good amount of options.
One of the best things about this restaurant, and what that I believe makes the food so great, is its location. Duke’s is right on the water. You can hear the waves crashing on the rocks just outside the window, and look right down the coast to Santa Monica. When pressed for his thoughts Mikey described the view like this, “[the view] rocked more than Beethoven’s 5th played by Canabalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.” I don’t really know what that means, but I take it he was impressed.
His other comment about the aesthetics of the restaurant was that he dug the Hawaiian surf theme, but felt the help could have been infused with a little more of the aloha spirit. I have to agree with his assessment of the situation. It didn’t get busy at the bar until we’d been there for an hour or so, but the server seemed preoccupied with other things besides making sure Mikey and I were fat and happy.
When the waitress did come to take our order, Mikey and I started off with the Mango BBQ Ribs. I had a Fire Rock Pale Ale and Mikey ordered a Stella. I thought the ribs were pretty good. The sauce was a bit sweet and I didn’t really get the mango flavor out of it, but the meat was tender and there was enough of it. Mike had one complaint though, “Not all the ribs were ribs. One of them looked like the pig had been gut kicked because he owed money to his bookie for betting on Gonzaga. There was plenty of meat on the bone but I was also getting little bits and pieces of bones.”
After the ribs were done we had some time to sit and soak in the atmosphere as our waitress was nowhere to be found. When she did manage to find our way back to the table I ordered the Parmesan and Panko crusted Opah (which was their catch of the day) and Mikey got the Shrimp and Crab Louie. It was the first time he has ever ordered a salad… ever. As we waited for our entrées to arrive, Mikey started getting harassed by a seagull, which provided me with tons of entertainment throughout the rest of the evening.
Here’s what Mike thought of his dinner:
My Shrimp and Crab Louie was not too bad. The shrimp was a bit rubbery and they seemed to me like the costco brand. They did not seem very fresh and I definitely got the feeling they were prepackaged and frozen. The tomato was way overripe and the green and red bell peppers were not ripe enough. The dressing, however, was very good. It’s a thousand island clone that is both creamy and good with fish. It was a good combination of mayo, chili sauce, catsup, and diced up sweet pickles. The avocado was very good and the lettuce was crisp and crunchy. The crab was my favorite part of the meal. It was fresh and full of that wonderfull crabby goodness. I still kinda wish I got what B had, but the crab saved the meal.
I tried some of his shrimp and crab and have to agree that the shrimp was terrible. It reminded me of a shrimp cocktail you’d get at some hotel off the strip in Vegas. The crab was awesome though, perfect texture, moisture and it tasted great too.
Still, my fish was better. It was parmesan and panko crusted with a lemon-caper sauce. I had never had opah before. It ended up being a very delicate white fish. It was not fishy tasting at all though, and soaked up the sauce very nicely. In the interest of full disclosure, 9 times out of 10 I order the Ono (Hawaiian for delicious). It is my favorite fish, and I either have it prepared Firecracker style, with Black bean salsa and guacamole relish, or parmesan and panko crusted. Either way, it is the best fish you’ll ever eat stateside. Basically, the Opah was great but I would only order it if they were all out of Ono.
Mikey summed up the whole experience with this: “Between the great beer, the wonderful view, and the seagull eyeballing me ’til I had to put him in a peruvian necktie, it was definitely an outstanding way to celebrate the 50th post.”
I couldn’t agree more. So we learned that the service is a little slower at the bar on a Friday night. I could care less. This place gives you great food and lets you sit and look out at one of the most beautiful views in California. If that isn’t EatMeCalifornia material, then I don’t know what is.
Plus I like it when Mikey can make new friends.