Friday, August 12, 2011

Savory (Malibu, CA)

In Malibu, there are the ocean-view restaurants that tourists go to, and then there are the locals’ hangouts. Savory seems to be the latter, tucked in the corner of a strip mall. The kitchen is headed by Bastide-alum Paul Shoemaker. That was enough to put Savory on my radar, but it took receiving a gift certificate as a present to make the drive (it's pretty far down on PCH, past Malibu Seafood and Pepperdine).

We had a reservation, but even after waiting 15 minutes our table wasn't ready. On the other hand, a couple with an earlier reservation who was 30 minutes late got seated. Punctuality is not rewarded in this town. Well, anyway, we got seats a bar and decided to have our dinner there.

We started with some housemade pasta, beef tongue, marinara sauce, parmesan cheese ($12)

Beef Tongue Pasta
We loved the pasta, and the thick cuts of very tender beef tongue - as tender as I remember them being in the beef tongue stew (semur lidah) I ate as a kid in Indonesia. I would definitely order this again.

Next was the Dungeness Crab Cake, remoulade, fine herbs ($17)
Crab Cake
A good crab cake, filled with lumps of crab. Still, $17 for a single crab cake seems a bit steep. I don’t always worry about price, but I guess after driving 40 minutes to get here and having to wait 15 minutes for a reserved table (and not getting one), I was being more picky.

For our entrees, I was adamant to get the soft shell crab tempura, aioli, asparagus, arugula ($18)
Soft Shell Crab Tempura
This might have been a mistake. There wasn't that much soft shell crab and the bulk of the dish ended up being the asparagus (which, on the other hand, were huge and very tender).

I liked our other entrée much better: the Skirt steak, heirloom baby spinach, pont neuf potatos, red wine ($31)
Skirt Steak
I, for one, am a bigger fan of skirt steak and hanger steak than prime ribs as they are more flavorful. The skirt steak here was pretty tender and I enjoyed the red wine reduction.

We decided to share a dessert and went with the Apple cobbler, caramel, candied walnuts ($9)
Apple Cobbler
It wasn’t really a cobbler, and not even a crisp, but I did like the caramel.

Savory in Malibu

I thought the food at Savory was overall pretty good and I loved the beef tongue pasta. The price point is a bit high – we thought our $150 gift certificate would get us, maybe a dinner and a brunch, but that’s not happening. If Savory was in my neighborhood, I wouldn’t really mind the price point as much, but all things combined, I feel that I can get similar food with a much shorter drive. I’ll return if I’m in the area.

29169 Heathercliff Rd Ste 102
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 589-8997
Savory on Urbanspoon


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