Los Angeles, CA 90046
Parking: Underground Parking (don’t forget validation for free 90-minute parking)
Drink Deals: ½-Off All Drinks (Beer and Wine only)
Food Deals: $3-6 Appetizer Menu
Sunset & Crescent Heights Strip Mall
LA is like the land of strip malls and one of my long-time favorites has been the one at Sunset & Crescent Heights. Back in my early days here, I’d venture to the movies at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 and make a stop at Virgin Megastore just to browse to my heart’s content and people watch (that store was a haven for celebs too – I remember seeing Jack Black, Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Berkley, Fonzworth Bentley, and more!).
Alas, Virgin closed several years back and was replaced by CB2 and many of the other stores and restaurants have flipped as well. I’m glad to report that the mall has a great set-up now with a line-up including Trader Joe’s, Crunch gym, the new Sundance Cinemas, the offices of TMZ (for real), Veggie Grill, and the new Malibu Fish Grill.
A lovely setting for a Happy Hour
In the past, the restaurants that have occupied this Crescent-Heights side space in particular haven’t lasted that long – even popular ones like California Pizza Kitchen. However, now the complex has split the large space into 2 different restaurants – PeiWei and Malibu Fish Grill. I think this choice of giving diners more options is very smart. And what I really like about Malibu Fish Grill’s layout is that they’ve incorporated a sliding glass wall into their architecture and so the space feels very open. Whether you’re sitting on the actual patio or inside the restaurant, it’s an airy space perfect for people watching.
Nice open air space!
Besides the nice layout, Malibu Fish Grill has some great healthy eating options – a variety of rice bowls, salads, tacos, and more that you can customize with your own seafood selection. During my favorite meal of the day, Happy Hour (from 4-7 daily), they offer $3-4 draft beers and a number of a la carte seafood items on the cheap. Very nice!
I’d long wanted to check out their HH and finally made it one March night with a new airplane friend M (we grew up 10 miles apart and only ended up meeting on an airplane from LAX to St. Louis!). As is custom when Happy Hour Touring, we sampled a number of HH menu items:
Shrimp Skewers ($3 each) and Crab Cakes ($4 each)
Feta Fries ($4) and Crispy Calamari ($6)
The food was all pretty good, though the calamari was a bit on the salty side and the fries could have used a little oil (or something) to bind the cheese better. All in all though, pretty good prices for dinner-sharing sizes!
The drink deals were pretty great too – ½ of f all beer & wine – that’s $2-3 craft beers and $4-5 wines! So I got my favorite beer variant, Crispin Apple Cider, for $3! What a steal?! They’ve got plenty of other options as well though M, a true Midwesterner, went for the $2 Miller Light.
Crispin Cider ($3)
I’m hoping that Malibu will be able to last longer in this location than some of its predecessors because the Happy Hour is definitely a fun one to check out – they’ve got plenty of tv’s for sports-watching; the crowd is lively and gets livelier near the end of HH; the staff is helpful and nice; and the open air wall and seafood cuisine really lends itself to chill Southern California afternoon drinking.
Rating: 5 Martinis