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Casual Brunch in South OC

a
aseroter Oct 9, 2006 05:19 PM

Any suggestions on a decent but not overly-formal Sunday brunch in South Orange County? A beach setting would be ideal, but open to ideas.

Thanks!

  1. s
    sfglutton Oct 9, 2006 05:47 PM

    Excellent brunch can be had at the Ramos House in San Juan Capistrano. Cool setting too. Here is the link:
    http://www.ramoshouse.com/?page=7#wee...

    1. e
      EclecticEater Oct 9, 2006 06:26 PM

      Not a fancy place, no view, just some of the best Mexican brunches around. Yes, Mexican food like huevos rancheros or the absolute best green chile. If you love green chile and eggs, they have a half refried beans and half hash browns that goes with it that's positively addicting. Try Mollie's County Kitchen in Laguna Niguel at 27942 La Paz. It's a small mom-and-pop place, clean, cheery, great service, that you will return to again and again. I don't know how they make such wonderful Mexican food, but they do. It'll fill you up and you won't need lunch. If you try it, let me know if you concur.

      1. a
        allecat22 Oct 9, 2006 06:58 PM

        it's not "south" o.c. but dukes in huntington beach has a great sunday brunch

        1. c
          Chubbypanda Oct 12, 2006 03:58 AM

          Greeter's Corner Restaurant
          329 S Coast Hwy
          Laguna Beach, CA 92651
          1-949-494-0361

          Not particularly fancy, but a nice diner atmosphere. The patio is right on the beach, the portions are large, and the food is tasty and inexpensive.

          - Chubbypanda

          http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

          1. s
            SouthOCHound Oct 12, 2006 04:56 PM

            I would definitely second the Ramos House suggestion. Great food and great location. Mollie's Country Kitchen has excellent food and is very inexpensive [plus good service]. However, it is not very close to the beach...

            1. p
              Pinkwasabi Oct 12, 2006 05:08 PM

              I 2nd the Ramos House as well as El Torito Grill in Newport Beach, Fashion Island. Believe it or not, casualy, beach feeling, and about $15.00 for buffet. Of course, Mexican, chicken, omelettes, etc. etc. Very good.

              1. 1000steps Oct 12, 2006 06:14 PM

                Of course Ramos House is fantastic. For a more ocean setting I would reccomend The Beach House, one is in Laguna and one is in Dana Point Harbor.

                http://octongue.blogspot.com/

                1. j
                  jbeaux Oct 12, 2006 09:13 PM

                  As a Laguna resident, I have to disagree with some of the above recommendations (sorry guys). Greeter's Corner is pretty touristy, even this time of year, and The Beach House, too. Worse, with both the food quality is hit and miss. The Ramos House is fun, definitely. A great atmosphere whether you're sitting inside or out, and you definitely have to order a Bloody Mary if you're into that sort of thing (they include a mini crab claw with every drink). Delish. But if you're looking for beach, outside seating at Las Brisas in Laguna is pretty good, with gorgeous views of Main Beach being the big draw. A local favorite in San Clemente is Antoine's (my personal pick). It's run by an efficient, red-headed French woman and her host of young, friendly waitresses. It's usually quite busy on weekends for brunch, but they'll bring you free coffee in mugs while you wait, and after lunch you can walk San Clemente's main street, Del Mar, which is also just a few blocks from the pier; if you're there on Sunday, Del Mar is also where they host their Farmer's Market.

                  www.antoinescafe.com

                  Cheers.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jbeaux
                    s
                    SouthOCHound Oct 12, 2006 09:59 PM

                    Well I think that even the locals would agreed that the food at Las Brisas is just OK. You're right though, the view is the draw.

                    1. re: jbeaux
                      1000steps Oct 12, 2006 10:15 PM

                      Agreed on Greeters Corner, just awful food. Though, view aside, I would eat the food at Beach House before I ate at Las Brisas 99% of the time. I would also reccomend Bon Jour Cafe in Dana Point. Not so much a brunch destination but a fantastic french run cafe with excellent breakfasts.

                      1. re: 1000steps
                        c
                        Chubbypanda Oct 13, 2006 05:01 AM

                        I wouldn't call the food at the Greeter's Corner awful. It's usually about a 6/10 or 7/10. The price, portion size, and the view are excellent.

                        Las Brisas and Bon Jour Cafe are both great picks as well. Slighty higher price points (I think). However, if you've got a mortage and a party of four or more, the Greeter's Corner offers the best value for the money. It's also the more kid-friendly locale.

                        - Chubbypanda

                        http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

                      2. re: jbeaux
                        c
                        Chubbypanda Oct 13, 2006 04:58 AM

                        I was a Laguna resident for a while and my fiancee worked at a tech firm in downtown Laguna Beach for a few years. We've been in Irvine for the past seven. I know the Central and South OC areas fairly well. During my exploration of Laguna (Hills/Beach/Niguel), I was guided by a pair of friends who have lived there for the past twenty-six years.

                        The Greeter's Corner is certainly a bit touristy, as is most of downtown Laguna Beach. But, I think it fulfills the requested criteria of decent, not overly formal, and with a beach view. The view is probably the main draw, although the price/food ratio is very good for Laguna. If aseroter isn't looking to break the bank (depending on the number of people in the party), he/she could do a lot worse. I agree that the food at Las Brisas is better, but while it has a view of the ocean, you don't actually eat on the beach, which is why I didn't mention it. The Greeter's Corner is right there on the beach. In terms of flavor, Las Brisas comes out on top, so good call bringing it up.

                        I'm not the person who first mentioned the Beach House. However, both the Laguna Beach and Dana Point locations have always offered me a consistently high level of food quality and service, and both afford excellent views of the ocean (although the one in Laguna is also right on the beach.) My only disclaimer is that I haven't been to either in about six months, so things may have taken a turn for the worse. I did notice that they've removed a number of their better items from the menu on their website and replaced them with more stereotypical West Coast/Fusion grill items, so please don't take this comment as a ringing endorsement.

                        - Chubbypanda

                        http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

                      3. Pate Oct 12, 2006 10:40 PM

                        Another place to try is Renaisance Cafe on Del Prado in Dana Point. They have outside seating and a jazz brunch on Sunday. Food's pretty good, atmosphere is casual and fun. It's not on the water but afterwards you can drive the 4 blocks to Dana Point Harbor and walk off your meal.
                        http://www.renaissance-danapoint.com/

                        1. o
                          OCBites Oct 12, 2006 11:47 PM

                          The Beachcomber... literally on the sand at Crystal Cover Beach in north Laguna. New and good. very sandy casual, but NOT a dive.

                          http://events.squeezeoc.com/etweb/web...

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