After a ‘"life’s short" epiphany, Karl and Anna Zammit quit their respective careers to start California Native in 2015. Exposed wooden beams, bright cane lounges and retro Californian and Mexican decor give their restaurant a Cali-lodge feel.
The centrepiece is an illuminated maple tree. It’s fitting, as Karl’s own family tree has its roots in Californian soil. The menu by chef Zac Grandidge is a homage to Karl's nanna’s Californian- and Mexican-inspired family recipes, which are currently guarded by Karl's mum.
There’re soft fried corn tortilla tacos; a mammoth barramundi sandwich; a Malibu Burger with full-blood Wagyu; and salmon and clam chowder. The list goes on – plus a sampling of homemade salsas for entree.
Barman Dorian Sharman (previously of Archive) nails the margarita in various iterations and serves up a mean mojito made from mint and basil grown in the restaurant’s back garden. The cocktail list is ever evolving with an emphasis on unique spirits including quinoa vodka and goji berry liquor.
Despite California Native’s happy-go-lucky ethos, reservations are recommended any night of the week, particularly if you’d like to reserve the large wooden Zammit family heirloom table for a special celebration.