Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Feb 5, 2007 11:38 AM

Ladies Valentine lunch in Dana Point, SJC, LN area

So I'm avoiding work this afternoon by talking to the ladies on my street and we decide that next Tuesday we're going to treat ourselves to an early Valentines lunch. I've been tasked with finding a place for our special treat to ourselves. One of the ladies has a somewhat limited timeline, in at 11AM and out by 12:30 (that doesn't mean the rest of us can't linger over mimosas).

Here's the criteria:
1.) Alcohol
2.) Pretty. We are ladies after all.
3.) Good service. We do have one with time constaints
4.) Near Laguna Niguel so I'm thinking SJC, Dana Point, maybe MV. I think LB will take too much time to drive and find a parking spot.
5.) Good food of course. Something chicks would dig.

So far I've come up with:

*Ramos House Cafe (they do serve alcohol don't they?)
*Sun Dried Tomato Cafe (I like this option but I've already eaten there several times and I was hoping to try something new).
*Gemmel's - The one time I was there for lunch the service was ABYSMALLY SLOW. The server was pleasant enough (when you could find him)
*Vue-In the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort. It replaced the old Regatta Grill at the hotel. Probably a nice view and Gayot gave it 14/20 which is pretty high (although they described a dinner menu). Certainly convenient but can lunch at a Marriott be considered "special"?
*L'Hirondelle - Belgian food. Too heavy for "ladies that lunch"?
*The Beach House in DP. The view from the LB location is better but I don't think it meets our time constraints. Ate there once and was underwhelmed but, like Gemmels which gets kudos on this board, I could have hit an "off day".
*Cafe Mozart - Ate there 10 years ago and I haven't gone back. I don't recall anything negative really just went on to try new things.
Renaissance Cafe - Somehow just doesn't seem "special" enough.

The Tea House on Los Rios is closed on Tuesdays.

Are any of these better than others based on your recent experience?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Give Gemmell's another chance. Ramos house is great but not sure, outside of bloody mary's how extensive their cocktail bar is. Vue - Pass - very generic. L'Hirondelle is heavy for anybody for lunch. Never understood Sun Dried Tomato at either location, always underwhelmed.

    Other options - Wind & Sea on the patio on a sunny day is pretty damn nice. Cedar Creek in SJC is not a bad option. Also recently had a very good meal at Stillwater Bistro in the Marbella Plaza of Ranch Viejo Rd. in between SJC and MV. Though I also heard it closed recently. Ther's always Cheesecake Factory at the Shops... Regardless, good luck.