Laguna Beach Restaurants before Pageant of the Masters
Interested in your opinions on the following places for a pre-Pageant of the Masters dinner in Laguna, for a group of four, two of whom are pretty much "meat and potatoes" types (Thanks in advance!):
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Although I, too, am tired of the same exact question being asked over & over, ad infinitum, this time of year, since the OP wants feedback on specific restaurants & obviously has done some research, here's my take:
I would definitely go for a restaurant within walking distance of the Pageant, so you can park once in a flat rate parking lot. In that vein, I'm sure you will find with a little research that 230 Forest is probably the best choice for you & definitely will make both the meat & potato lovers happy and those interested in a little more adventure, or at least great fish, glad you chose it. Plus, it's fun!
Picayo is well north of the Pageant - would have to move your car & has 2 set seatings, which might make it difficult for you.
Tabu - way way far south - it's ok, but I don't think the meat & potato eaters would be that happy, unless they like the pork chop (which is fancied up too).
Cafe Zoolu - my favorite, but a bit of a haul from the Pageant - you can walk it, though. Problem is, they excell in swordfish - their swordfish 3 ways is to die for, along with the coconut mashed sweet potatoes (ask to sub these if your dish doesn't include). I honestly have never had any carne there, (& know no one who has either!) so have no idea if they'd be happy or not.
Savoury's - go for the rooftop bar, not too much recently on the restaurant - it used to be great, but from what I hear, has been on a downhill slide. Way too far to walk both ways.
Clae's - Excellent seafood, I know nothing about their meat, definitely walkable, although their valet parking is by the hour & can get steep, even with having eaten dinner there.
Five Feet - Pretty close to the Pageant - this gets really mixed reviews & I think the best dish is the catfish.
There is the trolley that goes up & down PCH, but it is packed trying to get on after the Pageant gets out.
If you really don't mind parking twice, Mozambique in S Laguna seems to be everyone's new fav & would make everyone happy. Plus, it has a fun bar upstairs to return to after the Pageant! Don't miss the ahi appetizer & the fresh mozzarella. mushroom, arugula salad if it's on the specials!
230 Forest is still my top choice pre Pageant (or the Sun Dried Tomato cafe is also good too!)
re: torta basilica
I agree about Cafe Zoolu, the swordfish is excellent, and I dig the small, local beachy vibe of the place. In fact, I have to thank you Torta Basilica for the recommendation last year. Their portions are large but having the leftover swordfish made a perfect snack on the beach the next day!
Great Job by TortaBasilica...
I other I would reccomend would be Partners Bistro. Excellent food, good Jazz. That or, to second an opinion would be 230 Forest.