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Geoffrey’s Malibu – Malibu, California

Geoffrey’s Malibu, one of the most spectacular restaurants in California

The walls at Geoffrey’s Malibu are festooned with copies of whimsical framed “doodles” created by Hollywood celebrities and movie stars who have dined at the posh seaside restaurant. Most are tongue-in-cheek self-portraits which probably speak volumes about the glitterati themselves–and not just whether they lack or are blessed with an artistic talent beyond their particular medium. Thematically, all the portraits include a heart.  That’s because Harvey Baskin, the restaurant’s previous owner asked the artists to donate originals for publication and sale in support of a charity for children with heart disease. 

Jane Russell’s heart forms her shapely derriere at the terminus of legs which would otherwise go on forever.  George Burns’ bespectacled heart puffs on one of his beloved cigars.  Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but at Geoffrey’s Malibu it reputedly spans the Brooklyn Bridge.  Geoffrey’s neighbor Johnny Carson, obviously knowing his limitations, drew a simple heart and signed his name beneath it.  Woody Allen was clearly in his trademark dispirited disposition when he drew a broken heart

The view from the patio at Geoffrey’s Malibu

The fact that guests can dine at Geoffrey’s Malibu and not even notice the celebrity caricatures is a testament to the spectacular beauty surrounding the cliff-side restaurant which overlooks the churning Pacific.  In essence, Geoffrey’s is a curvilinear patio carved out of a Malibu hillside.  There’s an actual restaurant beyond the patio, but most diners want to imbibe the breathtaking scenery while enveloped in idyllic marine weather.  Virtually every table on the premises has unobstructed views of the ocean (unless it’s obfuscated by fog).  

There’s much credence to the argument that the drive to Malibu is even more jaw-dropping than the destination, especially if your route takes you through the Santa Monica Mountains on Kanan Dume Road. Even while the precipitous, winding road demands caution, you’ll ogle rocky promontories, verdant vineyards on steep angular hillsides and palatial estates rivaling French palaces.  You’ll drive through a series of double tunnels cut into the very rock itself.  You’ll marvel at every turn.

Caricatures of some of the many celebrities who have dined at Geoffrey’s Malibu

While the trek to Geoffrey’s Malibu may call to mind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote “life is a journey, not a destination,” the destination itself is absolutely magnificent.  Geoffrey’s is located mere feet from the Pacific Coast Highway which traverses the city affectionately nicknamed “the Bu” by locals.  It may as well be miles away from the rest of civilization.  Geoffrey’s has the preternatural ability to transport you away from your cares and toward a better self.  It’s al fresco dining at its very finest, a venue to be shared with loved ones. While our oft-recalcitrant dachshund child Tim dined with us, our good friend Sandy couldn’t make it.   

To ensure you’re not winded by a potentially long walk, you’ll definitely want to avail yourself of the valet parking services.  Geoffrey’s parking lot belies its daily guest list; it’s not nearly big enough to accommodate the fleet of BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, Silver Phantoms and the like driven by guests.  If you don’t want to witness the Jenga-like skill of the valets being played out on your vehicle, you can park instead on the shoulder of the Pacific Coast Highway.  Some diners even park where signs indicate “No Parking.”

Rosemary bread and butter

Seating is in personal space proximity and the crashing waves a hundred feet away don’t muffle conversations very well. It’s easy to distinguish locals from tourists. Tourists gawk at their surroundings with an awestruck reverence while locals schmooze with the wait staff, an amazingly attentive phalanx of servers at your beck and call. Geoffrey’s is known to be a magnet for the well-heeled: celebrities, politicians, executives and the like, some of whom brandish a copy of the day’s Wall Street Journal and deliberate the financial section.

Shortly after you’re seated and menus are gently placed in your anxious hands, a server uses silver tongs to extricate a single bread roll from its warm repository.  Just out of the oven, it’s a rosemary foccacia from which wisps of steam escape when you cut into it.  The steam is redolent of rosemary, just enough to be discernible.  The foccacia is golden brown on the outside with just enough crust to hold in soft, tender and delicious innards.    It’s served with butter that’s easy to spread.

Sauteed Maine Mussels: Nueske’s Bacon, Whole Grain Mustard and Ale Butter Sauce, Grilled Bread

While no menu could possibly match the venue with its million dollar per square foot views, Geoffrey’s menu will elicit a few oohs and aahs–and not just because of the price point.  It’s an extravagant fine-dining menu even during lunchtime.  Segmented like most menus–Appetizers, Soups and Salads, Salad Entrees and Lunch Entrees–it’s rather seafood centric, fitting considering the milieu.   Just as many elements combine to create a classic restaurant, multifarious ingredients hallmarked by freshness, are needed to form an interesting and inviting menu.  Geoffrey’s has done this.

Save for an artisan cheese plate and baked brie in puff pastry, every item on the eight item appetizer menu showcases fresh seafood.  Sauteed Maine mussels are an outstanding option.  The broth is amazing, an ambrosia of Nueske’s bacon, tomatoes, whole grain mustard and ale butter.  If you’ve never had Nueske’s bacon, you’re in for a treat.  Nueske’s bacon is applewood smoked perfection which might just spoil all other bacon for you.  The salty smokiness permeates the broth and impregnates the briny mussels.  Two slices of grilled bread are available for dredging the broth, but a spoon works just as well.

Maine Lobster Cobb Salad

Nueske’s bacon finds its way into another entree, this one from the Salad Entrees section of the menu.  The Maine Lobster Cobb Salad demonstrates the versatility of lobster which is equally delicious steamed and served with melted butter or served cold as in this Geoffrey’s masterpiece.  A full pound (pre-cooked weight) lobster replete with knuckle and claw meat sits atop an otherwise standard Cobb salad with tomatoes, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese crumbles and a lettuce mix drizzled with a honey Dijon vinaigrette.  It’s a beautifully composed salad with elegant twists sure to please the most discerning diners. 

Predictably, my entree featured two of my very favorite items-Maine lobster risotto and day boat scallops.  The term “day boat” indicates boats harvesting the scallops return to shore to at the end of each day, rather than spending days at sea.   It translates to much fresher, more delicious scallops.  Three large sizes scallops are perfectly seasoned and prepared, seared on the outside and medium-rare on the inside.  Characteristically sweet and thoroughly delicious, they exemplify freshness.

Sauteed Day Boat Sea Scallops: Maine Lobster Risotto, Pomegranate Reduction

The lobster risotto is perfectly prepared. A basic risotto requires a round, short grain, high starch rice.  From there, it’s a blank canvas for a wide variety of flavors, among them Maine lobster.  To be honest, there wasn’t much lobster in the risotto, nor was there enough risotto for that matter, but then there never is for me.  Geoffrey’s risotto is superb, but it was encircled in a pomegranate reduction that was perhaps too much of a flavor foil.  The pomegranate reduction’s tangy-sweet profile didn’t complement the risotto very well; a savory or cheesy reduction would have worked better. 

The dessert menu lists seven items including the same artisan cheese plate found on the appetizer menu.  In a rare feat of willpower, I eschewed the warm brioche bread pudding with a bourbon sauce and opted instead for chocolate hazelnut crunch bars with creme Anglaise and strawberry coulis.  It’s a very rich dessert showcasing a creamy wafer-like crust topped with a layer of even richer hazelnut (basically Nutella).  The strawberry coulis provides a tangy-sweet contrast to the nutty, crunchy and cloying crunch bars.

Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bars With Crème Anglaise and Strawberry Coulis

Dining at Geoffrey’s Malibu is feasting with your eyes in every sense of the term.  It’s one of the most amazing restaurants in California, a true pot of gold at the end of a truly spectacular rainbow.

Geoffrey’s Malibu
27400 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California
(310) 457-1519
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 20 June 2014
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: 24
COST: $$$$
BEST BET: Maine Lobster Cobb Salad, Sauteed Day Boat Sea Scallops, Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bars, Sauteed Maine Mussels

Geoffrey's Malibu on Urbanspoon

  • BOTVOLR says:

    OMG…somehow the review skipped by me, but once seen and especially seeing a great pic taken of the Lobstah Cobb, one can’t help but to pause…and most particularly after being enchanted by the setting itself (albeit it was daytime) to consider putting it on one’s Bucket List and possibly say…as Sting recently did…screw leaving the kids an inheritance, I’m moving back to So Cal to munch myself to death! if even in the fine print it says my Valet charge will be included in my tab or what euphamism CA venues are using nowadays. Yo, are reservations day or eve, required? Can I reserve my tush to be set upon the seating whereon Ms. Russell’s tush impressed itself?
    ~ Seriously, why can’t ‘some’ place in The Q feature at least a lengthwise half of such a piece of tail? Alas, I do ding Geoffrey cuz I didn’t see a ramekin of(for the price) doubly drawn buttah nor one of some exotic Mayo for dipping the plentiful and exquisitely appearing avocado in!!!! Wow, how big must that avocado have been!
    (~ OMG…the recently referred to Sandy couldn’t make it??? How LA is that? albeit she is probably “lost” in a missive of mine… LOL)
    ~ Indeed, while GilKim’s California adventures might Wow us with complex appearing gustatorial amalgamations, Albuquerque chefs, instead of trying to emulate them….which most don’t anyway…certainly they might set a trend with some KISS offerings perhaps beyond the current pail….Keep It Simple Stupid. Just sayin.

    June 25, 2014 at 5:06 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Reservations are most definitely recommended, especially for brunch which is peak celebrity time. Interestingly, Geoffrey’s Malibu isn’t listed among the many pet friendly restaurants on Bring Fido, but they were happy to accommodate our well behaved dachshund Tim. We didn’t think to ask if we could be seated where a celebrity tush once parked.

      There are many great reasons to live in California, but until the Golden State has red and green chile, the Land of Enchantment holds my heart.

      June 26, 2014 at 10:46 AM
  • Foodie Star says:

    “Caricatures of some of the many celebrities who have dined at Geoffrey’s Malibu”

    Which one is the picture of you, Gil?

    June 26, 2014 at 10:19 AM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Mine is on the kitchen floor to prevent mice and roach infestations.

      June 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM
  • BOTVOLR says:

    Alas, I can imagine some, e.g. possibly Newbies to the site, might be skeptical about our Gil hob-nobbin with The A-list via a place called… Geoffrey’s, of all things.
    While I don’t know her from a hole in the wall, check it out! http://tinyurl.com/kcl7kdl Sorry, my camera’s lens had some sea-spray on it: http://tinyurl.com/mwptem2. Then, who doesn’t love free-lovin Chelsea? http://tinyurl.com/3azwnjc Ooo Ooo…can’t explain the intrigue, but Maria has a certain mystique especially if had a few more #s albeit, Arnold’s philandering kinda made suggestions to shatter the image…LOL http://tinyurl.com/ms2gczg
    And finally…Those in the know, know the Caricaturist woefully missed his mark http://tinyurl.com/na5zqo8 (perhaps he was overwhelmed with the Truth???) and some of us are shocked, given Gil’s propensity for detail…that he didn’t note what Howard Hughes, per his designer background, went out of his way to design a so called underwire bra for Jane!!!! Anyone remember being in church when The Outlaw was outlawed!!!! Bon Appetit!
    (As no one has come forward to confirm, guess we’ll have to wait for El Brute to visit his daughter just down the road to confirm all this as we’ve been often told his Discover Card can easily manage it! PS…I just called and alas, they do not serve PBRs!!!)

    June 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Bob-A-Loo,
    Please translate from Bobolese into English or some other spoken language.
    By the way, have Grayce and I missed the Lavender Fest in TVOLR?

    June 26, 2014 at 7:12 PM
  • BOTVOLR says:

    Translate El Brute? Not sure which part! First 2 paragraphs are pretty clear/self explanatory…IMHO! Otherwise, for those who consider my grammar a challenge, consider it offers you a challenge to be solved…e.g. like doing crosswords…that “Health Experts” suggest old people should engage in, i.e. it is not just exercising on the tennis court that will get ya through!!!
    ~ Lest the last paragraph be unclear: Yes indeed, I actually called Geoffrey’s on the far out chance they served PBRs in order to razz ya.
    So the Hostess wouldn’t think me a perv in this day of hypersensitivity, I explained I was from NM and was trying to convince a very eccentric friend (you know who!) to visit and I wanted to prep him so he didn’t create a scene if he found out they didn’t serve his favorite…PBR. She actually said she wasn’t sure and, so she said after a several second silence, she asked the bartender…LOL
    ~ Your ? re The Lavender Festival in The Village of Los Ranchos: Alas, it hasn’t passed, ergo it is upcoming. Again…Alas…it will be on a less grander scale http://losranchosnm.gov/lavender-festival/ altho I trust the Growers Market’s Honcha overseeing it will come through given the years the well run/known Market has been providing home grown Yum Yums as well as arts and crafts offerings, lest one has never been on Saturdays!
    What I hear second hand: For several years, the local owners of a well known business in The Village initiated and backed the Festival financially along with some other local sponsors, but the “gate take” (separate from attendance) and expenses have been teetering on the edge for a few years. Again, that is just ‘mitote’.
    Capishe?
    PS: Say, maybe your chronic need for translations could be sniffin too much Lavender??

    June 27, 2014 at 10:46 AM
  • BOTVOLR says:

    MORE stuff re Lavender in the Village! Sorry, ran onto these later in the day:
    Please Go here http://tinyurl.com/psfauhl
    Pg 15
    Pg 21 Several other Demos, Tastings etc re Lavender during July
    Pg 43 Lavender Lemonade and Lavender Yogurt Recipes

    ~ In addition, there is a “Farm Shoppe” http://www.lospoblanos.com/thefarmshop/ open all year on the grounds of Los Poblanos Complex where Folks can buy laveneder products and other ‘Stuff’ which will certainly appeal to Yuppies and Birkenshtockers amongst us. There is also gourmet dining experiences https://www.lospoblanos.com/events-calendar/dining-events/ on the complex

    ~ BTB, lest you be one to cringe at the thought of having to drive all the way over to The Village, make it a day by antique hunting along a “mile” of several quaint shoppes on 4th from Ortega to Chavez/Osuna while keeping a look out for several things unique at Alumenart http://tinyurl.com/m49bprg or pottery at Kelly Jo’s; hit the tasting room at Casa de Rondena; munch at Prime or Vernon’s (see Br Ba’s White’s headstone in an outside alcove of that complex) or nosh at one of the best patios in the Metro at Casa de Benavidez or find hole-in-the-wall Sophia’s near Sadie’s; or delight in the vehicular eye-candy sculptures at the Unser Museum!

    Well, like I’m always wont to say: “Y’all come…enjoy a touch of being in a rural setting where we ain’t stuffy like Folks whisper!” as exemplified by http://tinyurl.com/lcxpo8q

    June 28, 2014 at 11:32 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Off topic but what the heck……..,..
    I hope everyone is rooting for the US Mens Soccer team tomorrow.
    I have a vested interest, my son-in-law plays for the USA.
    Go USA!

    June 30, 2014 at 1:33 PM
    • Jim Millington says:

      And his name is? I have the belief that, however unreasonable it may be, the on the air announcement will not be “The last second winning goal was scored by Bruce Schor’s son-in-law.”

      June 30, 2014 at 2:09 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    Omar Gonzalez.
    Here is a food related Omar fact.
    When visiting Placitas he usually asks Chef Kevin of Blades Bistro if he can do prep work for him.
    He’s worked there twice already.
    For Omar like the fellow who circumcises elephants the pay is small but the tips (cooking tips) are tremendous.

    June 30, 2014 at 3:16 PM
  • Jim Millington says:

    Omar done good. Unfortunately offense was sorely lacking but Belgium almost gave it away even though their offense was ferocious.
    I have never understood the “prevent defense.” In football all teams seem to use it but they stopped calling it that 30-years ago. They used to say of it, “What does the prevent defense prevent? It prevents you from winning.” Canada always uses it in Olympic Hockey nearly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Now, the first time I have ever seen it in soccer. We almost won because of it.

    July 1, 2014 at 5:09 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    USA played their hearts out.
    Soccer in America is the fastest growing spirt amongst the younger generation.
    This World Cup showed what the USA has to do to get to the elite level.
    Altidore, our injured striker is the closest offensive player to the type of player needed to get to the next level.
    Big, strong and willing to run thru walls to get to the goal.
    I wish we had recruited more home grown talent but Klinsmann felt more comfortable bringing the dual citizenship players from Germany to round out his roster. He wants to model the American system after the European midel where the best young players forego college and go right to the pro leagues. He believes that while our better young players go to college it puts them anywhere from 2 to 4 years behind their European counterparts.
    Can’t wait til 2018, looking for big strides by our team. Too bad Howard will be 36 years old by then.

    July 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM
  • BOTVOLR says:

    Yo El Brute…The Kid did well!!! Kudos to your daughter feeding & tending him well apparently. What a couple of games! even tho I’m not into soccer!

    Re it being a growing sport: I think the many fields around ABQ and regional, i.e. multi-state, playoffs being held at State Farm’s Soccer Complex in Bernalillo and The Balloon Fiesta park, suggest our area is “into” Soccer including UNM ranking 4th. Besides what’s already available, check out the converting for multiple use, i.e. balloon landings and soccer, which is taking place on Osuna @ Vista del Norte NE http://tinyurl.com/pbu964t after ABQ bought the land to forestall WallyMart building on the site which local neighborhoods protested.
    Given all that and your referrencing Omar’s liking to do grille work at Blade’s, all while trying to avoid sounding tacky, one might wonder if some local kids might enjoy Anja and Omar, if he’d be so kind, arranging a Dining with Gonzalez afternoon or evening where Kevin might showcase his Southwest talents while Omar, being from Dallas, might highlight some (pardon me) Tex-Mex Chili or hopefully some other plato de la familia!!!! Like many places do, I’ll leave it to your discretion whether to suggest to Anja they consider naming a signature offering per Omar!!!
    (Pardon lest I’ve said all that elsewhere…LOL.)
    ~ Alas, (close your eyes El Brute) Howard was interviewed on CNN this AM and he was pretty iffy, deferring to the team/coaches, about 2018 given he’d be 39, i.e. not just 36 as you noted…sorry (:-(

    July 2, 2014 at 1:09 PM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    As soccer grows and becomes more popular there will be other quality goalkeepers like Howard who will take his place.
    Re Omar, he lives and works in the Los Angeles area and makes occasional visits to us. I don’t think he’d be willing to come in for a dinner at Blades just to cook.. He loves the food and is always willing to talk to fans who recognize him, once spending 30 minutes with a local.
    His mom, Maria, makes the best soft tacos this gringo has ever eaten. Maybe we can get her a gig there.
    Then I’ll get my son’s mother in law to make her terrific Georgan (as in the former SSR) dumplings and you can make your kapusta (sp?) I’ll make my meatballs and spaghetti and we will have a United Nations evening.
    Thanks for the kind words about Omar.

    July 2, 2014 at 6:20 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      You must be very proud of your son-in-law, Bruce. He’s not only a phenomenal athlete, he plays a mean saxophone. According to the media, this video was shot in Placitas over Thanksgiving. Now that your own svelte physique is comparable, I’m surprised you didn’t join Omar with your trombone.

      July 3, 2014 at 10:54 AM
  • Bruce Schor says:

    The first media attention to Omar’s sax playing said it was somewhere in the California desert.
    Omar corrected that on an ESPN interview.
    He is a free spirit and a wonderful addition to our family.
    My talents musically are confined to singing in the shower and occasional dancing when there is no one around. Even the kazoo is a challenge.

    July 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM

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