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Places to eat in Dana Point

  • c

My husband has a conference at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel and I was looking for some places for us to eat and if anyone has any recommendations on must do things in that area I would appreciate it. We like most foods but I don't care for seafood (crazy coming from someone in Boston, I know!). We don't want to go crazy moneywise every night so a range of options would be nice. Thanks so much!

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  1. If you have transportation, I would head north to Laguna Beach. Suggestions there would be Splash at the Surf and Sand, 230 Forest downtown Laguna. Both places have web sites.

    1. Stonehill Tavern is a lovely place for a nice dinner...great food, service and wines...It's at the St. Regis in Dana Point...

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      Stonehill Tavern
      St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

      1 Reply
      1. re: CynGriff

        +1 for Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern. It's expensive, but the OP asked for "a range of options." ST is one of the most enjoyable restaurants in Southern California -- great food, excellent service -- and well worth the money. I highly recommend the tasting menu with wine pairing, if you're so inclined, especially if juicy, rosy duck is the final savory course and the heady root-beer float with sassafras ice cream, root-beer sorbet, and warm chocolate-chip cookies is one of the desserts. (They've always allowed me to choose whatever dessert I want -- it doesn't have to be on the prix fixe.)

        Studio at Montage in Laguna Beach (3 or 4 miles up the PCH) would be another sterling choice. I haven't been there since Craig Strong earned a Michelin star at the Ritz (now the Langham) in Pasadena and moved on to Studio, but his menu in Pasadenaville was fabulous, and Studio has received excellent reviews under his leadership.

        I notice the OP's favorite meal was at Rosemary's in Las Vegas. That's a great place and less expensive than either of my recommendations, but both Mina and Strong produce dishes that are more delicate and refined.

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        Stonehill Tavern
        St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

        Studio
        30801 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA

      2. I don't know about you, but I would consider Stonehill pretty expensive, though I think they have a reasonable prix fixe menu. There are lots of recent discussions on Laguna Beach, so I would look there for options.

        Gen Kai in Dana Point is good Japanese, but going there and skipping out on the sushi would miss the point.

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        Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant
        34143 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629

        3 Replies
        1. re: ocshooter

          Love all the responses! Keep them coming!! We will definitely go with Stonehill Tavern (expensive yes but we won't eat there every night!!) and I'm going to check out the others. Trying to familiarize myself with all the CA lingo/abbreviations!

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          Stonehill Tavern
          St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

          1. re: ocshooter

            They have a more affordable happy hour menu: 17:00-19:00 everyday, bar only, no reservations, 50% off shared menu & drinks.

            1. re: OCAnn

              that is unbelievable! thanks for sharing!

          2. Some of the most interesting and delicious breakfast and brunch / lunch food available in all of the greater Los Angeles and O.C. area can be found just up the 5 Freeway from Dana Point at Break of Dawn (whose owner / chef came from the kitchens of the Ritz Carlton there in LN).

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

            1. You would enjoy Mezzaluna. It's a casual place with outdoor seating within walking distance to your hotel, right on the corner of PCH. It's great for breakfast and lunch (good paninis and salads) - I've never been for dinner, but based on my other meals, I'm sure it's tasty.
              http://www.mycafemezzaluna.com/

              4 Replies
              1. re: BubblyOne

                Looks perfect for a nice casual outdoor dining experience - thank you so much! I now have Stonehill Tavern, 230 Forest, Mezzaluna and Break of Dawn for breakfast on my list! I'm going to do a separate post for this but while I have your attention :)) does anyone have any recommendations for lunch and dinner on the way from Santa Barbara to Dana Point? Thanks again!

                1. re: cbcb

                  What day of the week will you be going from SB to DP? It may make a difference if it's a weekend vs weekday.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Tuesday...also, how long would it take if we drove straight through? Not that we are planning that but just wondering how far it is??

                    1. re: cbcb

                      Well it's about 90 minutes to LA and then another 60 or so to DP when the traffic is free flowing at normal highway speeds.

                      For lunch along the coast (if you cut off in Oxnard and take the PCH via Malibu on down to Santa Monica) there are some interesting places for lunch such as Neptune's Net and Malibu Fish & Seafood or Dukes in Malibu.

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                      Duke's Malibu
                      21150 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

                      Malibu Fish & Seafood
                      25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

                      Neptune's Net Seafood
                      42505 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265