Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Restaurant Review: Reel Inn in Malibu



After the BF introduced me to Malibu Seafood (for those not from LA, Malibu Seafood = the seafood shack to shame all other seafood shacks), I was more than willing to try another seafood house along the PCH, hoping we'd strike gold again. So after a hike in Topanga Canyon, we stopped at Reel Inn for a late lunch. The restaurant's setting is wonderful. Great use of bright plants, table cloths, and paint to give the place a really welcoming, fun feel. Plus the view from the outdoor dining area is just amazing. Sea to one side, mountains to the other. But despite all of that in the end, we both wish that we had driven up to Malibu Seafood.

The food was . . . well it varied between decent and kind of bad. The BF's seafood plate (lobster and shrimp) was the highlight, I thought. He liked the seafood but was not a fan of the soggy, greasy fries. I happen to love soggy, greasy fries (I know, I'm weird) after growing up with beach fries drowning in vinegar. So those taters were a-ok with me. I got three appetizers so I could try several things. The oysters were good and were my favorite. The crab cakes were disappointing. Very little meat and just covered in salsa and slaw. I actually hope they came from a frozen box because if someone in that restaurant made them fresh, it would be embarrassing. I finished up with a "white fish quesadilla" which I assumed would be like a fish taco but with melted cheese. So so so wrong. It was a tuna melt on a tortilla. Canned tuna with cheddar cheese and absolutely nothing else.

Now if Reel Inn was super cheap and fun, the experience might still be worth it. You could order one of their better dishes and pitcher of beer or bottle of wine and just enjoy the scenery of Southern California. But Reel Inn is actually pretty expensive for their quality of food. One beer and a seafood platter can easily set you back $30+. And on top of it all, there's always a wait. So be prepared to stand in line for 45 minutes just to order. All in all, it's not worth the trip, which is a shame because I'd love an excuse to hang out on that patio all day.

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