Monday, September 19, 2005

Malibu Fish Grill - Santa Ana

There's a new fish in town.

Or to be more precise, a new place to eat fish. And who doesn't need to eat more fish nowadays; that is, unless you are pregnant or nursing. Okay besides that, we could all do with less red meat, pork, and grease, right? Well, alright...only if you don't ask for garlic butter to be brushed onto your fish, and oh probably shouldn't ask for the fries either.

Okay, well let's say you did intend to eat healthy. At Malibu Fish Grill, you can. First, choose the rice pilaf instead of fries, and cajun spices to top your fish instead of the garlic butter. Yes, here you have ample opportunities to feel good about what you eat and the best part is that you aren't paying the usual King's ransom (yes, I'm talking about King's Fish House) for a plate of grilled fish and two sides. Average price for a such a meal at Malibu Fish Grill? Around eight bucks.

If you are familiar with California Fish Grill, which has locations in Anaheim, Cypress, and Gardena, you'll get Malibu Fish Grill immediately. They are cut from the same cloth; a "fast-casual restaurant" with something finally worth eating. Both specialize in grilled fish of various species (mahi mahi, salmon, white roughy, etc.), and they also offer fish tacos complete with a salsa/tartar sauce bar.

Malibu Fish Grill, although it's got the sleek lines and finish of a chain, does the food right. A "special" of trout was grilled expertly, with the skin lightly charred while the fish was still moist. The butterflied fillet was then brushed by request with garlic butter and placed on top of grilled pita bread, served along side rice pilaf (or fries) and a salad dressed with Italian.

The rice pilaf is good (eventhough I've never been a fan of pilaf in general), but the fries are better. These are your typical fish n' chip fries, but since they are cooked to order and tossed with salt in a metal bowl, it trumps anything you'd get at, oh lets say, Denny's. Okay, I know, that's really not much of a comparison. But seriously the fries were crisp, hot and dusted with parsley (nice touch!).

They've also got fried calamari baskets, crab cakes, and even shrimp brochettes; all of which I intend to try during my next visit.

Yeah, I know. It'll be stretch if I tried to make the case that deep fried calamari and crab cakes were healthy. But as long as it's not red meat, or bacon, it's gotta be good for me right? Right?

Malibu Fish Grill
(714) 550-9121
2321 E 4th St
Santa Ana, CA 92705


At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After a weekend of too many indulgences, this looks like the perfect way to get back on track.


At 7:08 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


It definitely felt like a fresh change of pace...without resorting to starving oneself or vegetarianism.


I heard about CAFIshGrill opening up on Culver and Barranca, but they sure are taking their sweet time. I've been checking now and again and it doesn't seem like I see any hint of progress.

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAFish grill Crossroads Plaza has a notice of intent to sell alcohol on the window, so maybe it will really open one day.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


That's great news! Thanks!

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been keeping tabs on that CA Fish Grill in Irvine too.. Looks like they're trying to open up before the end of the year (the sign used to say summer 2005, now says winter 2005). Glad to read about a close-by alternative I can try in the meantime.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Yeah, they're almost identical. I like CaFishGrill, but until it opens, MaFishGrill is closer than Cypress for me too.

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live accross the street from Malibu.. It's ahi tuna is the best........


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