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Laguna Beach area

heading to this area next week- 1st timer- looking for some good lunch spots and a few nice bars for sunsets .. one nice restaurant a few less $$ ones too.... like most food but nothing too strange!!
read about rooftop lounge and kya's...

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  1. I had an unexpectedly fantastic meal at Nick's, on my last visit... I'd go back in a heartbeat!


    1. Cafe Zoolu is super sea food and pretty reasonable.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Thor123

        The swordfish at Cafe Zoolu is amazing

      2. For lunch, I like The Cliff restaurant. They have incredible views from almost every table and the bulk of the restaurant is outdoors. Reasonably priced for the area, the food is good but not great. I would recommend the lobster bisque, the tuna salad sandwich and most of their entrée salads.

        We had a nice dinner at Watermarc not too long ago. The food was quite good but beware because the bill added up quickly. The service was on the slow side but we were not in a hurry so it was fine.

        Down in the Dana Point Harbor is Mahe. They don't open until 4 IIRC. I haven't been eaten at that location but have been many times to the Seal Beach location. Great steaks and sushi. The one in Seal has a fun bar with live music and good bar food.

        Parking in Laguna is a big pain. The Cliff has a small lot that I believe is valet and I think they charge something $3 an hour if the restaurant stamps your ticket.

        1. Look at 370 Common & Broadway by Amar Santana. Brussels Bistro for more casual.

          1. I really like Watermarc (small plates, interesting drinks, quite the scene, right on PCH in the heart of the village), Broadway by Amar Santana is also excellent, it's the hot one right now along with 370 Common.

            Brussels Bistro is also consistently good for something a bit different from "what's hot now" (i.e, small plates).

            I think Eva's Caribean, in South Laguna, is still going strong (it's been there for years now but still seems fresh, to me). Also an old stalwart is Diz's As Is, if you want something that is "authentic" to the Laguna Beach / south coast vibe of yesteryear (kind of rustic and rootsy, before the dot-com revolution), this is probably as close as you can get. It's in an old converted house and they serve the food on mismatched china - it's quirky, but good quirky IMO. The food is classic in style, not cutting edge, but it's good.

            For something totally different from the above, check out NEApolitan Pizzeria and Birrieria:


            Wood-fired pizzas and craft beers, what could be bad ?

            Have fun !

            1. thanks for the suggestions! I forgot to mention that i will be alone- saw the Zooloo reviews and it looked like big portions to share....

              right now- looking at The Cliff, Nick's and Beachcomber for lunch

              Dinner- 230 Forrest Ave, Salt Creek Grill- may cancel my reservation and Watermarc and Kya's

              3 Replies
              1. re: hlsess

                I find Salt Creek Grill to be atrocious. The bar can be fine with acceptable appetizers, but the dining room is definitely not Chow-worthy. You can do much better with your other options. Also on the higher end is Sapphire, which is consistently good.

                1. re: 2intune

                  I cancelled Salt Creek- - right now thinking kya's, 230 Forrest and Mahe for dinners- have one night still open.... lunches very simple- Nick's, The Cliff and Beachcomber cafe- can I walk to the Cliff from the Inn at LB?

                2. re: hlsess

                  The portions at Zoolu are big, but they are for one, with
                  maybe a little 'take away'. A single person can sit at the counter facing chef Michael Leach, and enjoy a nice chat while eating.

                3. For a really nice romantic dinner, the Loft at Montage is very good. You can sit outside and have a great view too.

                  1. Everything's been great! Went to Las Brisas the 1 at night. Just guacomole and salsa. Was tired.
                    Dinner last night at 230 Forest Ave- fabulous warm arugula salad and scallops and risotto Then hit Maine room tavern

                    Today went to Tivoli at Art A Fair. Had a burger

                    Tonight is Sapphire. At 6 then going to Britishmania at the playhouse Anyone been there ?

                    Tomorrow I have a reservation at Watermarc but may just go to carmalitas. Going to LA on a tour and POM tomorrow night

                    1. Usually hit up Splashes at Surf and Sand but we will be heading to the beach afterwards and looking for a great casual lunch spot..


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        Sawdust festival was going on, so we bagged on Laguna. .

                        Went to my childhood fave, Avila's El Ranchito in Newport Beach..it was great and service rocked..I'm talking to you Gina!

                        Friends went to Orange Inn for breakfast in Laguna and then Crescent bay.