Malibu, California: golden sunshine, white sands beaches and 24/7 TTP (time to play). For the movie stars, athletes and others who reside in Malibu eating out and dining well are essential. For many years, dining well was a burrito on the beach. 25 years ago that all changed. Tony Koursaris, legendary Greek restaurant owner, previously in London and Paris moved into Malibu.
Tony opened Taverna Tony for “Greek eats and sweets”(with the best baklava in America according to my sweet tooth).
What makes Taverna Tony superb is great food, warm and friendly staff and a great “beach vibe.” On my second glass of great CA wine, I sit on their expansive patio with plants, vines, white washed walls and wood plank patio roof. The indoor dining room feels like you have been transported to a Greek island.
Tony understands that the “vibe” makes the meal so your view of the Santa Monica Mountains from the patio, with the golden CA blue sky, listening to Greek piped in music nestled among plants and flowers arranged in multi-colored planters creates your own “movie”. Are you on Crete, Santorini or in Malibu? After my 2d glass of wine I do not know (or care). Since it took me a 45-minute car ride and not a 10-hour plane ride I safely and correctly assumed I was in Malibu.
And the food, endless platters of Greek specialties of the highest quality (Tony explained to me that he imports many items from Greece directly); from the fresh baked breads, and Greek dips on to the soups and the California fresh salads your hunger is soon gone. And then the main event... lamb, like I have never tasted, fish so fresh tastes like it was just caught, a menu so wide it would take a week to order.
On the weekends, my favorite time is the afternoons. Families and friends sit at communal tables and enjoy 4-hour celebrations. These types of social celebrations are so rare these days in America that it may seem surreal. I assure you the first bite of the meal will convince you otherwise.
Save room for the baklava. Since in the words of my favorite Italian philosopher, Frank Sinatra “the best is yet to come”.
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