Thank you, President Obama, for getting me out of work early! When in Los Angeles, the President always stays at the hotel right near my office, which means our entire block (and building exit!) shuts down. To make sure we didn’t get trapped for the night, my boss let us leave around 3:30. I love early dismissal! I made it home fairly quickly despite the extra traffic and polished off Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.

I actually liked this book! It was a fast and easy read. There were some parts that seemed ridiculously absurd to me, like when Chua is deciding what instruments her daughters should play and rules out drums, because they lead to drugs. Really? I know the author has been getting a lot of flak in the media for her parenting style, and while I personally would raise my kids differently (I really don’t believe that you have to go to an Ivy League college, get perfect grades, and be a child prodigy to be a success), her daughters seem relatively happy and confident, which made her parenting style much easier for me to bear.

I made it to Malibu in time for the early-bird dinner hour. Across the street, they were filming an episode of “The Great Food Truck Race,” and we were secretly hoping the food trucks would be up and running, but no such luck.

So we stuck to the original plan and went for a 6PM dinner at the newly opened Malibu Inn (Top Chef contestant Angelo Sosa is behind the menu). I wasn’t too hungry after eating a bunch of Easter candy while reading, so the popcorn and beer went to the boy…

But, I did order the smoked short rib appetizer, based on the cocoa-rubbed, mole BBQ description. I normally take forever to order off a new-to-me menu, but I love meat infused with chocolate flavor, so the choice was easy.

The whole bottom layer was pure fat, which I left untouched, but it made the meat on top really tender and flavorful. I didn’t even need a knife for this dish!

The boy ordered the Highway to Hell burger, which came with chipotle mayo, jalapeños, pickle, smoked tomato.  He added bacon and cheddar cheese; when you already have a buttered brioche bun in the mix, cheese and bacon just make sense, right?

The burger came with kettle chips. I had one and it tasted just like a Cape Cod chip!

We also got a side of fries, cooked with black truffle oil and parmesan. I personally love my fries with tons of salt and nothing else, but the boy thought they were awesome and the presentation earned two thumbs up from me.

The restaurant has a great outdoor patio too, where I’m sure we’ll spend quite a few post-beach, sunset happy hours! Just the thought of warmer weather makes me excited 🙂