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Jun 24, 2008 12:51 PM

Pageant of the Masters.. dinner before?

Where would someplace close by..within walking distance be for dinner beforehand..

I used to live up that way.. I am unfamiliar with new things.. Is the Sorrento grille still there?

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  1. Probably your best bets for dinner within walking distance of the pageant grounds would be: 1) Sundried Tomato Cafe, which has nice contemporary cuisine in a pleasant casual atmosphere, 2) 230 Forest Avenue which is a very popular California cuisine restaurant serving good drinks and entrees, and 3) Brussels Bistro, a Belgian restaurant with good hearty food...especially the mussels and frites. All of these are good, but not outstanding dining destinations.

    The Sorrento Grille is still there, but is not as good as in the past. It is just ok, and I wouldn't recommend it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: josephnl

      Def all three good suggestions.

      Other places to consider: Zinc Cafe and Mozambique.

      1. re: Emme

        Although I love Zinc for breakfast or lunch, I believe it closes at about 4 or 5 pm, thus probably too early for lunch. If you plan to spend the day in Laguna before going to the pageant, by all means have lunch at the Zinc!

        Mozambique is also very nice, but I'm pretty sure that it's too far to walk from there to the pageant.

      2. re: josephnl

        Any particular recs for 230 Forest? I'll be having dinner there before the pageant in August and have never been. Thanks!

        1. re: Juji

          Went to 230 Forest before the Pageant yesterday and all four of us loved it. I had the day scallops with butternut squash risotto and it was delicious and perfectly cooked; just a bit on the heavy side (and it didn't help that I ate so much of that bread and butter with crushed olives beforehand.) The warm goat cheese salad was just ok -- I loved the panko-crusted goat cheese but the greens were a bit bitter and dreary. My mom got the chilean seabass on mashed potatoes and pretty much licked her plate clean. The Grape Crush martini is a great fru fru drink if anyone in your party doesn't like the taste of hard liquor! It really does taste like the soda!

          The service was friendly and great. It's a bit loud in there but overall a really nice dining experience.

      3. Tivoli Terrace is on the festival grounds. Very convenient and a beautiful relaxing patio. The food is nothing spectacular but good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: soulimar

          Although Tivoli Terrace is convenient and of course, in a lovely setting, the food varies greatly from year to year (I suppose depending who does the catering for this seasonal restaurant). It is also not a particularly good value. I think you would be better off going to one of the restaurants I recommended above.

        2. Laguna Beach also has a free summer shuttle that goes up and down the coast. If you got there early enough and parked in the canyon you could take the trolley to places too far to walk.


          1. Sundried Tomato is great and out of the hustle and bustle. We had dinner with a large group before the Pageant one year and had great service.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bosanova99

              Agree. That would be my first choice for a restaurant within easy walking distance of the Pageant.

            2. A gentle suggestion to get where ever you decide go early, early early. Last year we thought a 5:00 arrival would be sufficient, but got so socked in with traffic on PCH that our only option was a sandwich inside the Pageant grounds. Oh, and parking was insane. Public lots all full. Definitely take the trolley.