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Sep 11, 2009 10:53 AM

OC question: Which hotel has better food - the Montage or Pelican Hill?

Hi, I am planning an anniversary weekend for my husband and me. We have a baby and it will be our first weekend away from him, so we plan on relaxing and likely will not leave the resort. Therefore, the food quality is important.

We have it narrowed down to either the Montage Laguna or the Resort at Pelican Hill. This is simply based on the resorts, not the food, which I know nothing about. Anyone have an opinion on the food at either, or better yet, has eaten at both and can give a comparison?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I've been to Studio at the Montage in Laguna Beach. This was about 3 years ago, so the info might be a bit dated... To the best of my recollection, the food was quite deftly prepared, as I recall, with excellent wine pairings. We had a great meal. I wonder if I still have my photo files on this place? I'll try to dig it up.

    The following is a link to the L.A. Times writeup on Studio at the Montage:

    As for Pelican Hill, I've yet to go.

    1 Reply
    1. re: J.L.

      J.L. They have changed chefs at Studio since you were there. Craig Strong replaced James Boyce last June (2009).

      There is really no comparison of food at the resorts. Take a look at their menus in the different restaurants offered on-site and decide what your tastes would be.

      Personally, for me, I would choose The Montage Resort and Spa. I have eaten at all the restaurants in that resort. But, their wines are a bit more expensive by the glass than at Pelican Hill. In all fairness, I have not been to Pelican Hill for several years. I just remember the food there just being regular, nothing mind blowing. But, then, it's Italian. Again, it's personal. I learned to cook Italian for four years and it's harder to impress me in that venue.

    2. We went to Andrea at Pelican Hill shortly after they opened, about a year & half ago. I just checked their menu and see that it hasn't changed much.

      We were told the portions were small and meant for a full Italian 3-4 course meal. The prices reflected this, as they seemed very reasonable for such a classy joint. The four of us ordered 2-3 courses each and it was an insane amount of food. The portions, esp the pastas and main courses, were pretty large, like a regular dinner portion. I recall having carpaccio (good), my husband had the mushroom soup (amazing - I think it was the soup of the day). I had pasta with pancetta which was ok but the pancetta was not browned enough so kind of floppy. I think I had some kind of fish for the main course and remember liking it. The desserts were kind of ho-hum... they make their own gelato and those were good, but the zabaglione was not good... it was not cooked enough and had a very strong eggy flavor.

      So, unless they've really downsized their portions, I think most people would be quite satisfied with a starter plus a pasta dish or a main course. Overall, it was a very good meal and I'd go there again but not order so much food.

      1. how about stonehill tavern in the st regis? i had dinner there last year and it was very good. service was extremely attentive without being invasive and the food as top notch.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wilafur

          Definitely Montage over Pelican. The price/value ratio at Pelican is not good, and the food is better at Montage. Second the Stonehill rec too.

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