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Apr 14, 2008 06:44 PM

Good Food with a view in OC?

Guests from hither and yon will be coming this Spring, Summer and early Fall and I'd like to share good food and environs (beyond the backyard ;-) so current suggestions most welcomed......been out of the current for a bit due to

dancing now
dusk sweetness wings wild

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  1. The new Javiers in Crystal Cove has a nice ocean view. The same ocean view as Mastro's Ocean Club but at a half of the price. Of course I would recommend Ocean Club as well.

    Other nice good restaurants with water view are First Cabin in the Balboa Bay Club, The Cannery, Sapphire in Laguna Beach.

    If Kantina were still open (and had better food) that has a very nice view of the harbor. It will soon be a high end Japanese restaurant. Maybe your guest in the Fall will enjoy it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cdmedici

      I have heard nothing but good things about the new Javiers except make a reservation.

    2. Well, if you consider OC runs along the coast from near Sunset Beach to just below San Clemente, there are many restauraunts with a view of the ocean. Your request is

      Not many places for dancing with great food with a view. Since this board is mostly about chow, I would say - I don't have a place to recommend with good food AND dancing. But, maybe by Summer. There is a new restaurant going in in Newport Beach on PCH that will have a view and dancing (and sushi).
      For "entertainment" value and a view of the Bay, I would sugest the Villa Nova in Newport Beach for dinner when Richie Fauno is accompanying on piano those who want to sing (some excellent, some drunk, some both).

      For dusk sweetness (and Sundays) I would definelty go to Laguna Beach for a 185 view of the ocean (including Catalina Isle on a clear day) at Laguna Village. The restaurant is called The Cliff. It is patio seating with heaters or full bar inside with a picture window (and can get food there, too). Find Laguna Village on PCH at cross-street, Legion. Valet parking or meters/covered everywhere, including covered lot on Glenneyre north of Legion (one block in from PCH).

      Also, on the bay water in Newport is Newport Landing. Visit out on the upstairs patio for a bowl of creamy crab/artichoke bisque and a glass of Kendall Jackson chardonnay. Other menu items are acceptable, but not mind blowing. Interesting, but pedantic compared to LA haute cuisin. See menu at

      Hummingbirds at Treasure Island Park in South laguna Beach with ocean view and to go food from across the street at La Sirena Grill (same parking lot as Albertson's). The park is adjacent the Montage Resort and Spa.

      Also, great expensive dinner with fantastic view at Studio at Montage. Or, inside Lobby Lounge overlooking mosaic pool (and ocean), order a glass of white burgandy for about $12 - no food in there though. Upstairs inside is classic cafe called The Loft.

      Also around greenery right there is the restaurant on the golf course at Aliso Creek, named Canyon Lodge American Grill. Good quality, old boy school food. See (this is also owned by Montage, but not as expensive or new upscale) Lunch and brunch only.

      Oh, also for hummingbridds is the backyard patio at counter-order restaurant/shop in Laguna Beach (north) called Madison Square. See,

      There are many choices for great food in OC with a view or great environs, so maybe narrow request in a few specific posts for more recommendations.

      5 Replies
      1. re: kc girl

        Great list kc girl. I am usually pretty current on what new restaurants are opening up in Newport. What new restaurant is opening on pch besides A Restaurant by the Goodellsa and McG? I can't even think of a restaurant space except for the old Windows and Josh Slocums buildings.

        1. re: cdmedici

          A Restaurant is the name (talk about a who's-on-first conversation!). It is located in the 'old' Arches site on PCH where Newport Blvd crosses over. It was open as of this week. And since the Goodell's are involved, don't expect any public comments or cordial niceties.

          And, to add a bit of weirdness to situation, the original Arches has relocated to the 'old' Aubergine site on Lafayette St., once owned by the Goodell's, then, Dennis Overstreet.

          1. re: Taxpayer624

            That can't be the restaurant kc girl is talking about. She said it will have a view, dancing and sushi. Definitely not A-Restaurant by the Goodells. I had a chance to talk to Tim and Lisa about this restaurant and the concept. As of yet it is not open. It looks like it will be quite soon.

            1. re: cdmedici

              I wondered, too?
              No one seems to have gotten that the last part of my post was a haiku, not a specific request ;)

          2. re: cdmedici

            I don't know the name of the new restaurant and don't even know if they have named it yet. The proprietor (Lancona) is not a Chef, but has hired someone to make the menu. Three months ago, they were gathering investors. Maybe not open by Summer. Since this board is about food, maybe reports will be more beneficial when the menu is actually available to discern quality and soul. But, there will be a social scene and view available, one of ocellen's requests. Sorry, but I will know more later.

        2. For sheer spectacular setting, the Beachcomber Cafe in Crystal Cove is pretty impressive to out-of-towners. Be prepared for long waits late Spring & Summer & search this board for how to order...

          The Pelican Hill Grill have great views from it's patio, but I think the food overpriced for what it is. And Rooftop for drinks & apps in Laguna is always good. Oh, and Shaleen at Mozambique actually has great food AND a view...

          1 Reply
          1. re: torta basilica

            Absolutely go to the Beachcomber in Crystal Cove. It is literally on the beach and has very good food. But...go on a weekday, and go early for either breakfast or lunch, or be prepared for a long wait. It is a really fun experience that I think is a must for an out-of-towner.

            At an entirely different level, the most impressive view in OC must be at the Montage Hotel in Laguna. Go early for lunch, and eat at the outdoor casual restaurant on the deck outside of the spa. The view is great, the food is good casual lunch fare, and it will not break the bank like the other restaurants in this hotel. Allow enough time to walk around the resort and gasp at the wonderful views.

            The Cannery in Newport has a wonderful deck overlooking the harbor and serves simple, but very good fish. A very pleasant spot.

            Of course, if you get as far south as Dana Point, the Chart House has an amazing view of the D.P. harbor, and very good fish, steaks, and prime rib.

            I have not heard good things about Javier's although it does have a pretty good view. It is the in spot now, is overly crowded and I've heard that neither the food or service make the wait for seating worthwhile. I would avoid.

          2. Thanks for the helpful replies!

            1. There are -- or were -- two other places with spectacular views. One is Splashes at the Surf and Sand in Laguna Beach, where you can eat on a patio on the beach. The other is Les Quais, which is on the Balboa Pensinsula on the harbor. I haven't been to Splashes in more than a decade, or to Les Quais since I moved away from the Peninsula. Les Quais was very expensive and did not serve wine by the glass when I was there, but had the best water view of any OC restuarant I had been to, which more than justified the haughtiness. Anyone know their current status???

              1 Reply
              1. re: lawdog262

                Le Quai is closed. It is now one of two The Arches which moved from it's long time location on PCH. The other larger locations is footsteps away where Aubergine used to be.