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laguna beach on a monday nite

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got to go down to laguna beach for work today and bringing the lady along so we can enjoy dinner afterwards before the drive back to LA proper. i can't seem to find anything that doesn't seem either very pricey or uninspiring based on the searches i've done/ responses i've found. could someone recommend something interesting that is not $$$$? any ethinicity/ specialties happily considered - i'd just like to avoid hotel food.
thank you!

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  1. 23 Forrest, really great food.

    1. thanks for the rec. it looks a little more expensive than i was desiring, but certainly an option.
      i'd also take recs for huntington beach since we've got a stop to make there also. (and last time inbetween i ended up at newport rib co. b/c i was so starving and drove past it - please dont let me make a similar mistake again!)
      thank you!

      1. For ultra casual and tasty I go to La Sirena Grill in downtown Laguna. I love their Blackened Salmon Salad.

        http://www.lasirenagrill.com/start.php

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        La Sirena Grill
        347 Mermaid St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

        1 Reply
        1. re: sel

          looks very nice sel. it's on the list. also thinking about sundried tomato cafe

        2. Hope you can still use this. Coyote Grill is fun and moderately priced.

          http://www.coyotegrill-lagunabeach.co...

          1. If it's not too late, I rec Sabatino's in Newport between Laguna and Huntington.

            1. Mozambique!! Great place to eat and enjoy the atmosphere.

              www.mozambiqueoc.com

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              Mozambique
              Laguna Beach, CA, Laguna Beach, CA

              1. Sorry, probably too late, but I love Sapphire's on PCH.

                1. thanks for the responses, unfortly most were a little too late (really my fault for posting so late) - ended up at sundried tomato cafe. the ONLY customers from 5:30-6:30. did the $30 3 course menu. i had the duck confit on garlic aoili crostinis (thick with garlic) first - nice duck, texture of good carnitas. too much crostini, and too much for a first course (3 large ones.) it was sitting in reduced balsamic and truffle oil - balsamic was strong; truffle flavor nonexistent.
                  the lady had the crab and sweet potato fritters. again - way too many: 3 large. i thought they should have been crispier. interior texture was consistent mush. relatively pleasant but zero crab taste. overdressed greens underneath.
                  i had the creamed sundried tomato soup with gorgonzola. pure cream flavor - no tomato. lady had the blueberry and asiago cheese salad. she said it would have been better without the cheese. slightly overdressed greens underneath again.
                  i had the sirloin. it was served over cheesy rigatoni with a little spinach and some sundried tomato. way too much cheese, ended up tasting more like confused philly cheesesteak. and the steak needed to be seasoned. the wine reduction 'sauce' was pretty near absent, and it was needed. lady had the salmon, which she liked, and was cooked well. that didn't make up for the lack of seasoning though. best things on that plate were the creminis and spinach underneath.

                  pretty underwhelming. they could really make the portions smaller (i know some people would always prefer enormous portions; i'm not one of them)