NYC couple to Laguna Beach - need help
For a truly Laguna experience - Studio at the Montage for dinner, Cafe Zoolu for another dinner (resvs a must for both), 230 Forest for lunch (for food & people watching), Cliffside (I think that's the new name - in the Laguna Village shops) for spectacular views & ok food, or Javier's for great upscale Mexican. Zinc Cafe for breakfast. I did walk by Las Brisas the other day & breakfast smelled pretty good - not too impressed with other meals there, but that might be a good time to go.
Drinks at the Stonehill Bar if you can snag one of those private booths - very cool. Still think Studio is much better views, food & service, but it's definitely pricier...
Stonehill Tavern in your hotel is terrific. I've been twice and highly recommend it. For breakfast, the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove is good and right on the beach. Also in Laguna is the Beach House, right above the beach. Zinc also good for breakfast. Ditto on Cafe Zoolu for their swordfish and Javiers for very good Mexican.
I'll second the Beach House in Laguna Beach. They have great Sunset specials, so if you want to eat before 6:00pm (not a problem if you're still on New York time) it's a fantastic deal. The specials are between $10-15 and are fantastic. More info here http://www.thebeachhouse.com/Laguna%2... and their website has all the relevant info.
The St. Regis is a very nice hotel. Stonehill Tavern (at the hotel) has gotten fairly good reviews-I've not been. Personally, I would have dinner at Studio at the Montage (close to the St. Regis), and I would highly recommend it for your nice dinner. Wonderful food, wonderful setting. Cafe Zoolu is another place I'd recommend for out-of-towners. It's very "old Laguna," located in what used to be a small house. Really fun, and you have to get the swordfish in the baseball cut. Prices aren't cheap at Cafe Zoolu, but the restaurant itself is fairly casual.
Pacific Whey has good breakfast-I believe there is one in Newport Coast. Javier's on PCH in Laguna has great Mexican food in a casual setting-good lunch place.
Honestly, I'd avoid Las Brisas (too touristy and owned by El Torito, though the view is good) and Splashes (again, great view but mediocre food, especially for the prices). Five Feet has also gone downhill in the past few years.
Laguna Beach is a great place to stay - we got married at the Ritz Carlton there and now live in Irvine. Here are some places we like:
1. Splashes in the Surf and Sand Hotel - nice for lunch - request an ocean view table
2. Clae's - last time we went, we had a great exp. at dinner. can be pricey though; again, request an ocean view table
3. Sorrento Grille is a nice restaurant for either lunch or dinner, not fancy but not a restaurant you'd wear shorts and a T-shirt to
4. For breakfast, we like the breakfast buffet at Las Brisas, again, try to get an ocean view table; it's pretty popular during the weekends, so call early for a reservation
5. the Cottage Restaurant, I haven't been but I hear great things about their breakfast
6. Five Feet Restaurant for lunch; never been to the LB location but I've heard good things about it
7. French 75 for a nice dinner
Most of the above restaurants have websites, so definitely check them out before you make reservations. If you want to venture out, LB is close to Irvine, Newport Beach and Westminster (for Vietnamese food) and you can find all types of great eats at those locales. Have fun - LB is such a great place to hang out.