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Newport Beach and South Stop Recs.

Heading up north from (SD) for a Birthday event on Saturday and will be leaving the next morning. Looking for interesting stops on the way out of town. Planning on hitting Pearson's Port for some spot prawns and fish (cooler in trunk). Only thing I've come up with so far is Chimayo for brunch/lunch eats, not married to the idea. Are there any chow worthy stops (farmers markets, brunch/lunch options, etc) along the way back to SD? You assistance is much appreciated. Did a quick search of the boards and found nothing real current.

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Pearson's Port
100 E Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA

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  1. Break of Dawn for b'fast in Laguna Hills.

    If you take Jamboree to University Dr to Campus Dr @ Bridge, you'll hit the Irvine Certified Farmer's Market.

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    Break of Dawn
    24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

    3 Replies
    1. re: OCAnn

      Thanks for the BOD recommendation sample menu looks so good. Had a look on the CFM website and it said the Irvine market is on Saturday, is this still the case? Laguna Nigel has a market on Sunday, how is this market?

      1. re: stevuchan

        Oops, yes, the ICFM is on Saturday only. Dunno about the LN market, sorry.

        I'd agree w/the assessment below re RH being charming & the food better @ BoD (though b'fast for 2 @ the latter usually costs us about $40, not that cheap but certainly worth it).

        1. re: OCAnn

          The LN market is Sunday from 10 - 2 or so. Relatively small, but good variety for fruits/veggies. Mostly supported by the locals, it lack the festiveness of Irvine - which may be a good thing, depending on your outlook. There's one bakery stall with vegan bread that's pretty good. I never miss the "Gourmet Tamales" w/ 20 kinds of tamales from meat to vegan. I usually grab a 3 pack for lunches - yum. My favorites are the Chile Relleno and the Pork w/Green Chiles. As long as you've got a cooler, they'd travel fine. Located at La Paz and Pacific Place, it's easy to reach from the 73 toll road or the I-5.

    2. The food at Chimayo's is nothing special, so I would skip it since the only real appeal to the place is its location on the beach. Since you're from SD, you've got plenty of on the sand dining options down in PB.
      I'd 2nd Break of Dawn for a great breakfast/brunch. Another option on the way back would be Ramos House in San Juan Capistrano. IMHO, the food is better and cheaper at Break of Dawn, but Ramos House has a little more charm with its quaint location in the Los Rios district next to the train tracks. Whereas BoD is in a strip mall by the Laguna Hills mall.

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      Ramos House Cafe
      31752 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

      Break of Dawn
      24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

      5 Replies
      1. re: I got nothin

        Correct, not really concerned about ambiance, view, etc, just looking for the best possible thing to put in my belly on the way home. Thanks.

        1. re: I got nothin

          I would definitely put Break of Dawn above Ramos House for the food, plus the wait is likely to be much less. Ramos House gets crowded.

          If you are dying for a Mexican style breakfast, I like Coyote Grill in South Laguna. Enchiladas and eggs with 1/2-1/2 beans and potatos, plus a Bloody Mary. Yum.

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          Ramos House Cafe
          31752 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

          Break of Dawn
          24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

          Coyote Grill
          31621 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

          1. re: I got nothin

            I hate to sound like a broken record but, saying that BOD is located in a "strip mall" does it a great disservice. It's certainly not the mental image that I think of when I think of a "strip mall". Perhaps, a very upscale one. They actually have very nice outdoor seating.

            1. re: JAB

              How about we call it South County Strip Mall chic? Somewhere in between the extensively planned out look for the Irvine Co. shopping centers and the laissez faire Little Saigon strip mall style.

          2. I would say Alta in Newport Beach would be a great stop for breakfast if you are hungry right away and do not want to wait to drive. You can also get food to go from there so if you want to eat it on the beach etc its an option!

            1 Reply
            1. re: bohemianbailie

              Thanks again all, we had a nice little road trip. Dinner was at Allissa's Cucina and it was really good. Started with an Heirloom Tomato carpaccio with Burrata and some really good balsamic, best salad of 2010. Entree was bass with charred asparagus, perfectly cooked and well seasoned. I was impressed with the wine list as well, some good affordable wines. Woke up in kind of a fog and had to get coffee immediately and wound up at Alta by chance, it was right outside of the marina where we slept. Smelled good so we stayed for breakfast. Had their version of Huevos Rancheros w. whole wheat tortilla, really good black beans, poached eggs, etc. It really hit the spot. We stopped by the Farmers Market in Laguna Nigel, and it was nice with very good prices. Free range chicken (4#s) from Santa Barbara $13, we pay $20-25 for this kind of chicken in SD.