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V’s keeps new summer menu detailed, vibrant

Pictured is the korobuta pork tenderloin with chickpea fritters and braised greens in an herb lebneh, from V’s Restaurant in Malibu.
Pictured is the heirloom tomato flatbread with basil pesto and mozzarella, from V’s Restaurant in Malibu.
Pictured is the Sononma County duck confit with Sicilian caponata and wild arugula salad, from V’s Restaurant in Malibu.
Pictured is the grilled filet mignon with broccolini, roasted potatoes, red wine sauce and house-made onion rings, from V’s Restaurant in Malibu.
Pictured is the ahi tuna tartare with avocado, cucumber, fried wontons and a citrus ponzu, from V’s Restaurant in Malibu.
Pictured is the butterscotch pudding from V’s Restaurant in Malibu.
Pictured is the espresso creme brule from V’s Restaurant in Malibu.
Pictured are seasonal cocktails from V’s Restaurant in Malibu.
Pictured is the summer berry cobbler with vanilla gelato.
Ashleigh Fryer, Senior Editor
11:49 am PDT July 8, 2014

The beauty is in the details at V’s. 

Walk into the Pacific Coast Highway adjacent restaurant most evenings and you’ll be greeted by Vassil Pertchinkov, co-owner of V’s, who diligently works the front of house. You might, then, enjoy a fresh, seasonal cocktail at the bar, handcrafted by Yassen Tonev, the restaurant’s other owner, proving that good service is not simply left to the wait staff; service is all in the details.

You might peruse the restaurant’s decor, noting the form and functionality, but, on closer inspection, marveling at the edge of sophistication achieved by subtle lighting fixtures and neutral tones that accentuate the colors of the setting Malibu sun. Design, too, is all in the details. 

Lastly, you might find yourself sitting down for a meal prepared by head chef Chris Bocchino, whose grasp of intricate flavors, artful pairings and seasonal specialities will prove that, at V’s, the details even make their way into the main course.

Bocchino’s new summer menu is no different, and the seasonal, pan-seared sea bass drives that point home. 

Lightly seared to a delicate crust on both sides, with a dusting of herbs and spices that complement the fish’s vibrance, intricacies unfold with every bite of this dish. Served atop a bed of Israeli couscous and vegetable ratatouille in a subtly sweet, airily light lemongrass ginger Beurre Blanc, the sea bass’s freshness — “literally 12-24 hours out of the water when it’s served,” Pertchinkov said — isn’t marred by the additional garnishes. Rather, the details paint the fuller picture. 

Options like the sea bass are part of V’s nightly rotating fish specials, which function in conjunction with their new summer menu introduced by Bocchino, Tonev and Pertchinkov two weeks ago. 

“We really tried to focus on summery, lighter items, that showcase the breadth of the menu,” Bocchino said. 

“I think that’s the secret: small menu, but great variety,” Pertchinkov added. 

That variety includes the ahi tuna tartare with avocado, cucumber, fried wontons and a citrus ponzu, the heirloom tomato flatbread with summer heirloom tomatoes, basil pesto and fresh mozzarella or the “Taste of Malibu” award-winning Sonoma County duck confit with Sicilian caponata and wild arugula salad.    

Heartier items, like the korobuta pork tenderloin with chickpea fritters and braised greens in an herb lebneh, or the grilled filet mignon with broccolini, roasted potatoes, red wine sauce and house-made onion rings, lend the menu both balance and depth. 

The bulk of Bocchino’s products are sourced locally, from One Gun Ranch, Thorne Family Farm, a vegetable purveyor in Topanga and Santa Monica Seafoods. 

Pertchinkov attributes much of the restaurant’s success, which is now fast-approaching its first year in business, to their ever-changing menu and to the steady stream of regular who have followed V’s through its first four seasons in Malibu. 

“We change it up every season with something fresh and new,” Pertchinkov said. “It’s a completely different restaurant from what I’ve had before, but we have a strong following. We’ve gained stability, and we’ve managed to obtain it quickly, which is an accomplishment.” 

Recently awarded Open Table’s “Neighborhood Gem” award, it’s no wonder Malibuites keep coming back for more — sometimes three or four times a week, per Pertchinkov’s calculations. 

“It’s living, breathing Malibu,” Pertchinkov said.