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Laguna Beach Recommendations

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We are traveling with our 7 year old daughter out to Laguna Beach over New Year's for a few nights, and would love some recommendations for restaurants from some of you locals. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

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  1. I love 5'0". It's so named because that's how tall the chef Michael Kang is. Asian fusion, slightly upscale. Their specialty is the fried catfish in citrus/sweet-sour sauce, it is delicious; much more so than it sounds.

    For a more casual, kid-friendly place, Javier's has good Mexican food.

    1. 5' is very good.

      For something much more casusal, there is a fun hippy taco stand on PCH called Taco Loco which is a local favorite, too.

      For mediterranean/French seafood, Picayo is very nice, and I think it's in the north edge of Laguna.

      And if you're looking for something very upscale, each of the hotels on the 'California Riviera' has a flagship restaurant--the hotels are The Ritz Carlton, The Montage, and the St. Regis. Last time I ate at the St. Regis, their flagship restaurant was called Acqua, and it was pretty good. Since then, though, I beleive all three have changed names and concepts. They might not be the most accomodating choices for your seven-year old, however. Same kind of story with 'Studio' at the Montage, and I haven't eaten at the RC since 1994.

      Also, Sage, on PCH in North Laguna has also become something of a local favorite.

      And with more of a family vibe, and probably a ten minute drive, there is the original Olamendi's Mexican restaurant, on PCH in Capistrano Beach. It's been there forever, and is a real landmark. It was a favorite of Richard Nixon's, and there are pictures of him everywhere.

      1. I thought of a couple others--

        Zooloo Cafe has excellent fish. It's always packed, so make a reservation. It's not on the main drag, so you don't get too many tourists there--mainly locals. The portions of fish are rather massive, so you might consider splitting.

        The Sundried Tomato Cafe is very nice, although not every item on the menu is of equal caliber. Ask your server for a recommendation, and you'll have a great meal. The ambience/price level is somewhere between casual and nice. Most of their seating is on the patio, I think, so make sure the weather's nice (it usually is in LB).

        G

        1 Reply
        1. re: georgempavlov

          We go to the area frequently and Zoolu Cafe is my favorite restaurant in Laguna Beach and the fish is excellent. The others in the village area are OK but feel very touristy and not exceptional.

        2. Thanks for all of your great recommendations! Sounds like we will have several nice places to choose from!

          1. For very good and creative, kid friendly and casual Mexican try La Sirenia. I've linked to my previous post, scroll down a bit:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/79178