As an Orange County native, born and raised, I get personally offended when we get lumped in with Los Angeles. The OC is a distinctive place that deserves a reputation of its own: without Laguna Beach, we wouldn't have The Hills and let's not get into everyone's undying love for The OC. Beyond TV drama, Orange County has proven its cool-factor over the last couple of years with the resurgence of hipster neighborhood, Costa Mesa, that has opened places like The LAB or Lido Marina Village making a name for itself in Newport Beach. One thing Orange County is borrowing from LA is the brand new Malibu Farm located in Newport's aforementioned Lido Marina Village. Malibu Farm, famous for its original pier-side location, has moved south to offer its healthy, California-coastal cuisine in the heart of the OC.
Our designer, Nathan (remember his bathroom selfie?), recently drove up from his Encinitas home to try out the newest Malibu Farm for brunch and is sharing what he ordered (including brunch cocktails), all about the design, and even what to do once you're done with brunch. While we won't be graced with a bathroom selfie this time around, Nathan is giving us all the details on this new restaurant.
A beautifully designed indoor/outdoor restaurant... on the water... in Newport Beach... I'm all about it. I love all the shops and restaurants in Lido Marina Village and Malibu Farm chose the perfect spot for their second location.
Give us a rundown of the menu? Any standouts?
There are brunch nachos on the menu! Fancy brunch nachos! Ok, technically they are called "Newport Nachos" but I highly recommend them because of the blue & white corn chips, queso blanco, pickled jalapeño and fresno chili – so delicious.
I also recommend the cauliflower crust pizza that comes with arugula basil pesto sauce and heirloom tomatoes. (Order a few pizzas when dining with friends because everyone will want more than just one slice). Top it all off with one of the best mezcal cocktails – "smoke" that lives up to it's name for it's as smoky as it is citrusy and you can down a few and have a good 'ol time!
Time to dive into design, give us the inside scoop.
They beautifully balanced the laid back California style and Scandinavian design, it's my favorite designs style. I love the balance of wood mixed with gold details. My favorite area in the restaurant is the back wall, which features full-length booth seating and a floating backrest detailed with camel color leather straps.
Profile the perfect dinner.
Malibu Farm Lido is such a fun place to go with friends for it's comfortable and welcoming, and everyone has a sense of the marina outside. I highly recommend ordering an assortment of items (Newport Nachos and Cauliflower Crust Pizza) and share everything but your mezcal cocktail. Don't share your mezcal cocktail, that's for you and you only.
What is there to do in the area/what did your day's itinerary look like?
The Lido/Newport area is the perfect spot for enjoying a long weekend afternoon. You can rent a duffy boat with friends and boat around Newport Island for a few hours or shop around the Lido Marina Village. Daydream Surf Shop is another chill spot to pick up locally curated goods, grab a coffee and meet the locals then, head back to Malibu Farm Lido for dinner with friends and more drinks afterward at Zinque!
Final thoughts on this new restaurant?
Malibu Farm Lido is still a fairly new restaurant, so I recommend making a reservation in advance, for it's a popular spot on weekends. Whether you go for brunch, dinner or just drinks there's something on the menu for everyone (and it's healthy so everyone can feel good going out on the town).