I had high hopes for Malibu Beach Grill because they are a sister to the fabulous Monterey Grill just around the corner and down the street a bit. But my meal here left me with mixed feelings. Perhaps I set my sights too high?
Don't get me wrong, I had a nice meal here, but it did not quite meet my high expectations. Still, the meal was above average, no doubt!
My friend Tommy and I headed to Port Orange on a recent Friday evening, anxious to try this sister of our favorite Monterey Grill. We arrived at prime time to find that it would be a 45 minute wait. Well, we were interested in trying it out, and if it was that popular after only being open just over a month, we were willing to wait. We parked ourselves in the small bar/lounge and waited. Our service in the bar/lounge was great. We had ourselves a drink and eventually secured a few seats at the bar. Eventually, our buzzer sounded and we were quickly shown to our seats.
Malibu Beach Grill is not a huge place, and seems a bit cramped. But there was more than adequate staff who all seemed very competent and well trained. We were quickly seated by the host and in short order our waitress, Andrea, arrived.
We started off with the Chez Mushrooms--small button mushrooms that were served on a sizzling cast iron platter in a bit of oil and covered with mozzarella cheese. They were OK but did not live up to the hype. They were a bit on the salty side, and that took away from them. I would not order them again. They weren't bad... but they did not excite me a lot either.
On to the soup. Yes, I saw Tomato Bisque on the menu and just had to try it. A good tomato soup of some variety is a favorite of mine, so I was excited to see this on their menu. First the good. There was a very nice tomato flavor here, and it had a great texture--almost meaty in texture. However, the great flavors were a bit overpowered by too much salt. As in way too much. I believe a diner should be served with food that is either perfectly salted, or even a bit under-salted--but my Tomato Bisque showed a heavy hand with the salt. It's too bad, because the rest of the flavors were spot-on. Take away the extra salt and this bisque is or could be a real winner.
Our salads arrived in due order. They were good salads, nothing too special but certainly a cut above ordinary. My dressing was a house mediterranean italian type with olives and citrus in is--it was actually very good. I liked it a lot and it was fairly unique. It was a good salad with fresh ingredients and not too "wet"--something I really hate. I'd have this salad again, no doubt.
Finally it was on to our main courses. I was having dinner with my friend Tommy. For his main course he ordered the Paremsan Chicken. All I can say is "wow!" This was really a very nice dish. The chicken was extraordinarily tender and juicy--exceptional in flavor. The parmesan-crusted chicken was flavored with a lemon cream sauce and it too was good. This was a very, very good dish, the Chicken was excellent. Along wiht this was a medley of vegetalbes which was good. And last but not least was the parmesan mashed potatoes--this was the weakest element of the dish. The potatoes were very creamy and thus had little texture. They were also a bit watery and slightly bland. They could have been seasoned a bit more and could have stood up to less cream/butter--in other words, they were just a bit too blah. The needed a bit more texture and firmness. They weren't bad, they just weren't as good as the other elements of the dish.
As for my entree, I chose the Ginger Soy Shrimp--eight large shrimp which were served in a ginger soy sauce. This was just an OK dish for me. The shrimp were just a bit past cooked--in other words, slightly overcooked. The ginger soy sauce was lacking in some pizzazz quality--it was OK but it did not overwhelm me with either ginger or soy flavors. It left me wanting for something to make it really stand out. For a go-with I had the black beans and rice. They were OK but not more than that.
Our service for our meal was very good. Not only did our waitress take good care of us, but other waitstaff were always attentive, removed used plates and the like promptly.
Malibu Beach Grill has only been open a short time but shows great promise the staff is very well trained and attentive. The food, though good, could use a bit of fine tuning. Still, I believe that in time this will turne out to be a fine place. It may have a few growning pains to go through, but it has definite potential!