Malibu Country Mart, 3835 Cross Creek Road, Malibu mrchow.com Occupying Nobu’s former space at Malibu Country Mart, celebrity drawcard Mr Chow is open only for dinner. It’s a must-stop for superb, upscale Chinese food. Thanks to its open kitchen, you’re entertained by talented chefs, led by Ren Zheng Bing, as they put on a culinary show – whether they’re plating the luxurious Peking duck or turning a mound of dough into impossibly thin ribbons within two minutes. This is theatrical dining at its best as they bounce, stretch and twist the dough. Cult favourites at Mr Chow include the green prawns, chicken satay, tender filet mignon and squab lettuce cups. If you can’t decide what to order, the waitstaff will happily guide you – trust them and enjoy. You can also ask about secret, off-menu items such as the salt-and-pepper petit potato, special duck rolls, salt-and-pepper mushrooms and Beijing-style sea bass. This particular Mr Chow restaurant (there are six in the US and outposts in London and Mexico City) draws an eclectic crowd, including couples enjoying a special-occasion meal and casually dressed locals stopping by this salubrious, softly lit space for a bite before heading home. It’s a fantastic feast for the senses.
(From top) Relaxed yet refined dining at Malibu Beach Inn’s CBC; Chinese restaurant to the stars, Mr Chow