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Casual Eats in Laguna Beach


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We will be spending the 4th of July weekend in Laguna Beach and would love suggestions for great, casual places to dine. A couple of dinners and lunches. I was thinking the Mosaic Pool Bar @ the Montage one night. Thanks! :)

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We will be spending the 4th of July weekend in Laguna Beach and would love suggestions for great, casual places to dine.  A couple of dinners and lunches.  I was thinking the Mosaic Pool Bar @ the Montage one night.  Thanks!  :)

Instead of the Mosaic, please consider the Studio Restaurant at Montage Laguna Beach as a possible high-end dinner. Executive Chef Craig Strong just started there this month, and he's one of my favorite chefs in Southern California. He used to work at The Dining Room, a one-star Michelin restaurant, in the Langham (formerly Ritz-Carlton) over in Pasadena. I haven't tried The Studio Restaurant yet, but I definitely plan to. Having Craig Strong at the Montage is a culinary boost for Orange County, California.

The only other place I can think of in the area is Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. This French bistro is located on the 3rd floor across from Nordstrom's.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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nibor, have you ever been to South Coast Plaza? SCP is no ordinary mall, more on the high-end of things. Having Marche Moderne in a high-end mall didn't bother me from eating there. I would think that bistro would be a nice place to eat after a day of shopping.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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I never ate there, but recall a great review of Brussels Bistro.

I did enjoy breakfast at Cafe Zinc - did not notice it was vegetarian until after the fact.

I think my favorite spot for dinner was Tabu Grill, but it has been a few years already.

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nibor, have you ever been to South Coast Plaza? SCP is no ordinary mall, more on the high-end of things. Having Marche Moderne in a high-end mall didn't bother me from eating there. I would think that bistro would be a nice place to eat after a day of shopping.

A zillion times! That is where I shop. We call it town hall. I guess I just don't feel much of a need to go there to eat too, unless I already happen to be there shopping. Going to Laguna and getting a little ocean breeze in my hair is much preferable. Too bad that Woody's the old gay bar/restaurant in Laguna is gone. Now that was fun.

My husband really likes Marche Moderne, but I have to admit I am not keen on it. I find the food overly sweet.

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nibor, have you ever been to South Coast Plaza? SCP is no ordinary mall, more on the high-end of things. Having Marche Moderne in a high-end mall didn't bother me from eating there. I would think that bistro would be a nice place to eat after a day of shopping.

A zillion times! That is where I shop. We call it town hall. I guess I just don't feel much of a need to go there to eat too, unless I already happen to be there shopping. Going to Laguna and getting a little ocean breeze in my hair is much preferable. Too bad that Woody's the old gay bar/restaurant in Laguna is gone. Now that was fun.

My husband really likes Marche Moderne, but I have to admit I am not keen on it. I find the food overly sweet.

:laugh::laugh:

Thanks, nibor. Admittedly, I found it amusing to hear SCP referred to as nothing more than a mall (albeit with places like Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany's, et al.). I didn't know whether syrah girl's group wanted a nearby excursion away from Laguna Beach, as well, thus the mention of Marche Moderne.

Are there any restaurants in Dana Point? Or is that getting too far from Laguna Beach?

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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nibor, have you ever been to South Coast Plaza? SCP is no ordinary mall, more on the high-end of things. Having Marche Moderne in a high-end mall didn't bother me from eating there. I would think that bistro would be a nice place to eat after a day of shopping.

A zillion times! That is where I shop. We call it town hall. I guess I just don't feel much of a need to go there to eat too, unless I already happen to be there shopping. Going to Laguna and getting a little ocean breeze in my hair is much preferable. Too bad that Woody's the old gay bar/restaurant in Laguna is gone. Now that was fun.My husband really likes Marche Moderne, but I have to admit I am not keen on it. I find the food overly sweet.

:laugh::laugh:

Thanks, nibor. Admittedly, I found it amusing to hear SCP referred to as nothing more than a mall (albeit with places like Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany's, et al.). I didn't know whether syrah girl's group wanted a nearby excursion away from Laguna Beach, as well, thus the mention of Marche Moderne.

Are there any restaurants in Dana Point? Or is that getting too far from Laguna Beach?

Dana Point is about 8 miles from Laguna, a straight shot down PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, or Highway 1 for our guests). I think the Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point is one of the better restaurants in Orange County. It is expensive and not casual. However, it is almost worth the price just for the people-watching; the crowd approaches the television version of "OC" people: ageless, perfect hair, expensive skimpy clothes, oddly colored tans and teeth, lots of plastic parts. Incredible. But back to the food: This is one of our special-occasion restaurants. I just looked and see that they are offering a "Spring Value Menu" - a three course tasting menu - for $49. I would go for it, perhaps multiple times, but we are out of town till the end of the year.
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I think the Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point is one of the better restaurants in Orange County. It is expensive and not casual. However, it is almost worth the price just for the people-watching; the crowd approaches the television version of "OC" people: ageless, perfect hair, expensive skimpy clothes, oddly colored tans and teeth, lots of plastic parts. Incredible. But back to the food: This is one of our special-occasion restaurants. I just looked and see that they are offering a "Spring Value Menu" - a three course tasting menu - for $49. I would go for it, perhaps multiple times, but we are out of town till the end of the year.

I am a HUGE Michael Mina detractor; having yet to have a good meal at any of his restaurants. I think his philosophy is over-wrought and over-done. More often than not, I have found the offerings ill-paired and poorly executed.

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I think the Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point is one of the better restaurants in Orange County. It is expensive and not casual. However, it is almost worth the price just for the people-watching; the crowd approaches the television version of "OC" people: ageless, perfect hair, expensive skimpy clothes, oddly colored tans and teeth, lots of plastic parts. Incredible. But back to the food: This is one of our special-occasion restaurants. I just looked and see that they are offering a "Spring Value Menu" - a three course tasting menu - for $49. I would go for it, perhaps multiple times, but we are out of town till the end of the year.

I am a HUGE Michael Mina detractor; having yet to have a good meal at any of his restaurants. I think his philosophy is over-wrought and over-done. More often than not, I have found the offerings ill-paired and poorly executed.

Carolyn, I would love to have dinner with you!
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I think the Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point is one of the better restaurants in Orange County. It is expensive and not casual. However, it is almost worth the price just for the people-watching; the crowd approaches the television version of "OC" people: ageless, perfect hair, expensive skimpy clothes, oddly colored tans and teeth, lots of plastic parts. Incredible. But back to the food: This is one of our special-occasion restaurants. I just looked and see that they are offering a "Spring Value Menu" - a three course tasting menu - for $49. I would go for it, perhaps multiple times, but we are out of town till the end of the year.

I am a HUGE Michael Mina detractor; having yet to have a good meal at any of his restaurants. I think his philosophy is over-wrought and over-done. More often than not, I have found the offerings ill-paired and poorly executed.

Carolyn, I would love to have dinner with you!

As many will tell you, I'm pretty easy! :raz:

Let me know if you are in the Bay Area... Also, I'll be back in LaLaLand in November!

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I had a most horrid lunch yesterday at Saphire, but will give it another shot before

I abandon that ship, it used to be my favourite in Laguna. K'ya at Casa El Camino

is a nice restaurant offering small plates, they also have a roof top bar that is tres cool

Tarek

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  • 3 weeks later...

We had two very nice meals at the Sundried Tomato Cafe, one late night meal out on the upstairs patio and lunch the next day inside, beautiful ambiance with excellent food and service. I'll try to get some photos of our meal posted to my profile here. We also loved our lunch at the Mosaic Bar & Grill at The Montage. :)

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  • 2 years later...

No activity on this thread in almost 3 years and it's the newest one for Laguna Beach. Hope this is the right place to put this question. BIL has moved to Laguna Beach and his BD is coming up this month. I'd like to send him a gift card for a restaurant. He's increasingly crunchie, almost vegetarian, thinks organic supplements will save countless lives, has a Vitamix and uses it exclusively to make bright green smoothies :blink::sad: . Any ideas for me?

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