Restaurant: Taverna Tony
Location: 23410 Civic Center Way, Malibu, CA 90265, Tel: (310) 317-9667
Date: Dec 10, 2010
I have a weakness for Greek food. I spent big chunks of the summers of 1990 and 1991 in Greece, and a month in 2005. I know it isn’t always the fanciest (although in 2005 I had a brilliant modern Greek meal on the Island of Rhodos), but I love the flavor palette, particularly lamb and yoghurt. And Tzatziki, which I absolutely can’t get enough of. Here in LA our favorite Greek haunt is Taverna Tony. We haven’t exactly tried a zillion of them either, but Tony’s is fun.
The serve one of the typical creamy greek spreads with their bread. This is one of the yogurt, garlic, eggplant, olive oil type ones. A guilty pleasure.
As big a wine snob as I am, I’m also a huge believer in drinking the local beverage. I actually like Greek wine. This one is a mainland wine made by monks, Tsantali Agioritikos. In my opinion the best Greek whites (I don’t really drink Greek reds) are from Santorini. If you want the really authentic flavor, go for Retsina — Tony has it — makes me remember my college summers in Greece, but not to everyone’s taste.
One thing about Tony’s, they have mega sized portions (to use the Greek). My wife always gets the “Vegetarian’s paradise” which is basically every dip and vegetarian appetizer known in Greece. It comes on two plates, the hot and cold. Don’t even think about trying to order an appetizer, or even a salad unless you have a lot of people. A partial list of what’s included is: Hummus, Tzatziki, Melitzanosalata, Tabouli, Spanakopita, Tiropita, Feta Cheese, Horta.
The hot plate of above. Spanakopita etc. You can see the ubiquitous rice and overcooked vegetables (I like them this way at Greek and Turkish places).
This is the “ROAST BABY LAMB KLEFTIKO, Baby Lamb, slow-roasted with Herbs, Garlic, Onions, Oregano – A House Specialty that melts in your mouth.” That pretty much says it all.
In case you couldn’t see the lamb itself well enough, here it is again! Baah!
It’s worth noting that the atmosphere is fun here, and they have very loud live Greek music. There seem to be an endless supply of families throwing some kind of big dinner’s with like 20-30 people at huge long tables laden with food — this also is very Greek. There might be better Greek food in town (if anyone knows please tell me), but I’m perfectly happy with my monthly dose of lamb, yogurt, and Greek wine.