Birthday Dinner at Mastro’s Ocean Club, Malibu
For the past fifteen years Mastro’s Steakhouses have been a favorite of diners and critics, so recently, my wife and dad joined me in Mastro’s Malibu Ocean Club for a special birthday treat. When we first walked into the restaurant, there was a clubby Happy Hour vibe but after 6pm, the atmosphere relaxed and the soft jazz really complimented the breath taking view of the ocean at dusk.
The view wasn’t the only thing that took my breath away! The 18-ounce bone-in rib eye steak was an inch and a half thick, cooked to perfection, and definitely only an indulgence for special occasions. Accompanied by grilled asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, newly in-season roasted Brussels sprouts and the twice-baked potato with cream, bacon and cheese, this was the ultimate comfort food. I didn’t think I’d have room for dessert but we couldn’t leave without trying the signature warm butter cake with crème brûlée style sugar torching on top.
For wine, I chose a 2004 Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain. Having spent almost a year training and working in Barcelona’s longest-running 5-star restaurant, I’m always confident in my choice of Spanish wines. How my birthday celebrations have changed since those years of training in Europe. I never got to enjoy any birthday celebrations in Spain but during my training in Munich, my birthday fell right in the middle of Oktoberfest. Instead of pulling on lederhosen and filling a souvenir mug with some of the best beer in the world, I actually spent that birthday working hard in the kitchen of the Hotel Kempinski, just happy to be surviving.
Having been so influenced by my mother’s cooking, some of my fondest birthday memories involve her homemade chocolate sheet cake with plain chocolate icing and walnuts. By age 13, I only wanted to spend my birthdays in Kelbo’s Hawaiian restaurant, but what I wouldn’t give for another slice of that chocolate cake now. Mastro’s warm butter cake is a pretty tasty substitute though!
The dessert looked (and tasted) so good that we were halfway through it before I remembered to take a picture. You can see the chocolatey message “Happy Birthday Eric”. Delicious!
For more information on Mastro’s Ocean Club in Malibu, visit: http://www.mastrosrestaurants.com