No more ‘Eggs Tijuana,’ but how ’bout a massage or haircut on top of a meal?


    Everyone who misses the Colony Coffee Shop stand up and shout: I miss the Colony Coffee Shop! If you were lucky, you were enthusiastically served by Fran, Mimi or gruff Peggy, which meant submitting to a genuine interest in your kids and perhaps a little extra in the milkshake. Eggs Tijuana still ranks as the premier hangover remedy. Remember King-a-Burger, Cardi’s Pizza, Toys and Sports? How about Ted’s Rancho?

    Well, approximately 5.1 miles up river from Ted’s-in olden times before digital TV and pumpkin ravioli-there flourished on PCH an establishment known as the Malibu Sands Motel. The fellow who owned the place also owned a huge sewage pumping truck that he parked right in front of the joint, making it impossible to miss in the dead of night. A convenience for the casual tourist who chose to venture over the newly constructed Santa Monica Freeway to access beach territory for the evening; and who required a respite to complete the experience before sneaking back into the city. The Sands became notorious for enveloping the senses one way or the other.

    How the home scene progresses! I don’t think people who live in town see as many changes as we do. Maybe a Von’s here and there where there used to be an Alpha-Beta. But Malibu is really one long neighborhood, don’t you agree? Yet, today, it seems as if everything here at home that was something … is something else again. You can’t get Eggs Tijuana anymore.

    Shoot me if I don’t eventually come to the point. It’s so easy to get mired in the juice of Malibu past.

    What used to be the registration office of the Sands is now Thai Dishes Restaurant. For a brief but unforgettable moment in the 1980s-the newer good old days-it was Richard Chesterfield’s Dudley’s, Malibu’s utmost romantic bistro, all sexy pink and sea foam green. Alas, no more. However, next time you’re in that section of the neighborhood, scope out the building. It has a wingspan. If you squint you can almost feel motel.

    What you see at Thai Dishes is somewhat less than what you get. Granted, the tom-ka-gai soup is the best I’ve ever tasted and the chicken garlic pepper goes down like Holy Communion. But you can actually get by on fish & chips, white cake and a Sprite if you leave your imagination in the car. Or, if you’re open to new concepts in combination dining, you can come out of there with not only a smile in your tummy, but a massage and a haircut. A legit Thai massage. Therapeutic, I’m sure.

    Annie is the ringmaster who runs the show, and who hires the most exquisitely helpful crew. Which tends to change from time to time.

    Currently, John, Cal, and Rose make the dining experience unfold with enormous congeniality. However, I can’t vouch for tomorrow. Members of the staff tend to visit Thailand the way I visit Westwood. Do politely ask whoever is on duty not to bring everything to the table all at once. It’s a tendency. Annie oversees and directs the kitchen. And cuts hair as well, by appointment in what I imagine used to be Room 101. And little June at 98 pounds has the hands of a heavyweight healer. Take it from a satisfied customer. Though her knees were embedded in my spine, she kept her promise not to disable me, so daddy explained between grunts how the place used to be a famous hotel.

    Massage and a haircut: two bits!


    Avoid the Sing-A-Long Karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights after 9:30 p.m., unless you enjoy getting screamed at over your mee krob.

    Mama, I jus’ killed a man

    Put a gun against his head

    Didn’t mean to make you cry

    Ooh, ooh, ooh …

    They deliver.