I slurp down a briny-fresh oyster and take a sip of riesling from a plastic wineglass. Out on the big, wraparound patio of the new Maliblue Oyster Bar in the Malibu Shore Club in Lido Beach, it's a multigenerational mega-scene; even with a Saturday night reservation, our party of four had to wait half an hour for seating at one of 100 umbrella tables. I unwind as reggae pumps from the sound system.
The interior of the restaurant is cool and modern. Half the tables inside are vacant but the bar is hopping.
While the sun sinks, we share chef Chris Seidl's grilled shrimp tacos in flour tortillas. Good, if not memorable. Better is a cool, lemony seafood salad of squid, shrimp and scallops. Otherwise fine crabcakes are served as sliders; the cakes are too thin, the buns too thick. A steak tidbit sandwich harbors surprisingly tender, flavorful meat on supermarket-quality Italian bread that's supposed to be garlicky but isn't. Accompanying fries are served in a little tin bucket. They're hot and crisp, if not hand-cut.
Marine-sweet clams are the highlight of a friend's otherwise bland linguine with white clam sauce. A surprise treat is the delicate, flavorsome pan seared salmon with grilled asparagus on couscous salad with an orange beurre blanc. For dessert, house-made Key lime pie is over-sweet, gelatinous; it's outclassed by a big, dark, fudgy hunk of chocolate cake from an outside supplier.
We walk back to the parking lot just as fireworks begin. We're happy to stay and watch the colorful sky show. An ideal end to a pleasant evening.
Maliblue Oyster Bar, open to the public, is in the Malibu Shore Club, 1500 Lido Beach Blvd., Lido Beach, 516-442-2798,maliblueoysterbar.com. $$