The Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar is scheduled to open May 15 at the landmark pier that was the location of Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby's Diner, both of which closed more than two years ago. Executive chef Jason Fullilove, formerly at Campanile and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has fashioned a modern American seafood menu, focusing on sustainability and seasonality.
The pier is owned by California State Parks and operated by Malibu Pier Partners LLC, which also installed Malibu Farm Cafe last year. The new restaurant and bar are housed in two buildings on the beach, each seating 120 people.
Joshua Klein, who describes himself as visual manager for the pier, says that the Malibu Pier has been undergoing a rejuvenation and that the restaurant is decorated with references to Malibu's history, such as a Dennis Hopper photograph of Jane Fonda in Malibu, a Richard Phillips surfboard, an Ed Ruscha print of an anchor and a macrame piece by Sally England.
Fullilove says he will have a daily changing menu and work closely with farmers and local fishermen, as well as groups such as Seafood for the Future and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. His menu features oysters, crudo and appetizers such as line-caught yellowtail with crushed olives, shrimp cocktail, Pacific uni deviled eggs, crab cakes, chilled lobster salad and batter-fried calamari.
Seafood dishes also include Malibu Pier stew with PEI mussels, Carlsbad clams, striped bass and octopus; Petrale sole with favas and stinging nettles; baked stuffed crab; and whole grilled fish and lobster.
"I've always loved seafood," says Fullilove. "Everyone has beef, chicken and pork. There are so many different types of fish in the world, it's a much bigger palette to work with."
But there will be a nod to non-seafood eaters, with hand-cut pasta, Jidori chicken and strip loin steak.
"We source only West Coast, all-natural meats and sustainable seafood," according to the menu. "As a Malibu restaurant, we support local foraging, organic and biodynamic farming from our backyard, the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as the surrounding valleys." It lists Fresh Origin Farm, Coleman Farm, Weiser Family Farm and Scarborough Farms as among its suppliers.
"It's a large project," Fullilove says. "It's not going to be easy. We have to keep locals happy, foodies happy and toursits happy. Everyone wants to feel comfortable."