Need great food and fun place in/around Dana Point
Vine in San Clemente is a wonderful restaurant and fairly close to your hotel (just a few freeway exits down). The food is wine country cuisine and the wine selection is wonderful (Vine also has a great selection of wine by the glass). If you go, I highly recommend the cheesecake for dessert which is not your typical cheesecake and unlike any other cheesecake I've ever had (more souffle-like).
860 Glenneyre St
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
It's a tiny place. TINY. It's owned by a couple that just take off for Hawaii (where they're from) on a whim, so the place is sometimes closed randomly. The place is funky but classy but the real deal behind this place is the food and the food is GREAT. It's basically fish dishes, and what they're famous for is the "baseball swordfish steak." My folks live in Arizona--part of the reason they regularly vacation in Dana Point is Cafe Zoolu.
Depending on what exactly you're looking for, you might consider (and do some research by searching these boards and/or elsewhere online) the following:
Dizz's As Is ( a true institution, unique in every way, located in South Laguna)
Clae's at the Hotel Laguna (good seafood, great location - it's been quite some time since I've been, so you'll need some more recent opinions to make sure it's still up to snuff).
Rendezvous (in San Juan Capistrano, a unique experience with the dining areas housed in pasenger train cars - the food is very good as well IMO)
Mozambique (interesting South African food with some killer SA wines as well, in Laguna south of the main drag on PCH)
If money is of no great importance, splurge at Studio Restaurant at the Montage Resort.
Have a great time !
One of my favorite places in Dana Point is the charming little french bistro Bonjour Cafe. I've been going there for years. They only serve breakfast & lunch and it's consistently good and unpretentious -- a very understated South OC vibe. I wish there was a place similar in LA. Website: http://www.bonjourcafe.com/index.html