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Any Chow worthy eats near the St. Regis Monarch Beach?

Going to be spending a weekend there soon and wondering if there's anything I should try to eat. The hotel restaurant Stonehill Tavern supposedly is good, but at those prices, it better be michelin quality food, which I don't think it is.

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  1. Anything in particular that you're looking for?

    5 Replies
    1. re: JAB

      Not really. Just trying to avoid chains.

      Nothing super fancy either as we'll have a 4 month old baby with us.

      1. re: TailbackU

        In San Clemente, Riders Club for a super casual burger spot. In downtown Laguna, 370 Common, Alessa & Brussels Bistro are good and not super fancy. 370 has a Sunday Supper.

        1. re: JAB

          thanks!

          Do you know if the Sunday Brunch at the St. Regis is worth it? It's $79pp w/ unlimited champagne (not sure what kind they serve).

          1. re: TailbackU

            If they are serving a decent sparkling, the food is very good. They have rotated through Chandon, Gloria Ferrer and last time whatever it was I don't drink- so ask.

            Here is the OC Weekly 10 Essential Laguna restaurants from last month, which should be helpful to you. Alessa and 370 Common (2 of my favs as well are on the list).

            http://www.ocweekly.com/slideshow/10-...

            You also might like Nick's, simple American food across from the Hotel Laguna on PCH.

            http://nicksrestaurants.com/nicks-lag...

      2. StonehIll Tavern is expensive no doubt, but I think it's worth it for a splurge meal if you're staying at the St. Regis. The whole jidori fried chicken for 2 is quite possibly the best chicken I've ever had. And I've eaten a lot of chicken.

                1. re: cookie monster

                  LOL, you're right. I don't know where I initially saw 2007.

            1. why leave the hotel! there's not much worth venturing of to as far as I can remember. stone hill is ok but not worthy of the prices. if you do venture out the ritz has a beautiful bar where you can eat overlooking the ocean and an adjacent restaurant... the montage also has a couple of decent places to eat. there was a pretty good fish taco place across the street from the montage, not spectacular but a welcome change from all the pricey meals. name is escaping me sorry...

              1 Reply
                  1. You can try out the somewhat new pizza place, NEApolitan, in South Laguna Beach and provide us with a review on here. It was supposedly started by formed cooks at Playground in Santa Ana (gets love on here) but I have not seen any reviews yet.

                    http://nealaguna.com/about-us/

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Searching4Dunny

                      Will try it this weekend and report back, it's 5 minutes from my house.

                    2. It's been awhile since I've stayed at the St. Regis but their brunch was lovely.
                      Also, Surf and Sand in Laguna has a fab brunch at Splashes.

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          Surf and Sand is fab, still.

                          The Cliff House

                          The House of Big Fish

                          K'ya

                          Dizz's As Is,- it's been there forever and is still as good as ever.

                          And for always spectacular views and the rose garden, strong drinks and, in general, indifferent food, Las Brisas on the cliff (formerly Victor Hugo's - yes, I am an old)

                          1. re: Gypsy Jan

                            you had me until you said Las Brisas. I was hoping no one would mention that place. Sure the view is nice, but it is NOT a chow destination.

                            1. re: TailbackU

                              Well, okey dokey.

                              I didn't use the sacred "chow" word - it's just a very, incredibly beautiful place with terrible lousy food.

                              When it was Victor Hugo's, believe me, the the food was "swoon worthy".

                              But, that was a long time ago - the view is still worth the price of admission.

                            2. re: Gypsy Jan

                              Dizz's is one of my favorites, but I don't think I've ever seen small children there and certainly not appropriate for a baby.

                          2. I live a couple blocks away from the St. Regis so I am familiar with the area.

                            Since you are staying only for the weekend I would not venture out too far. Enjoy the resort. They have a shuttle that takes you to Monarch Bay which is a private community with a private beach. There is a club house right on the sand which serves food. If the weather is nice, spend a little time on the beach with the baby.

                            If you have a car, take a drive north through Laguna up to Crystal Cove to enjoy a classic PCH beach drive. Make a u turn after the Crystal Cove shopping center and hit Ruby's Shake Shack for a date shake & fries & enjoy the view. On the way back, hit a restaurant in downtown Laguna and walk around like all the tourist do.

                            If you are going to do one great meal, I would suggest Montage over St. R. Also the Montage has a great park with walking trails that is worth a spot. Make an early reservation so you can enjoy the sunset & to avoid crowds with the little one. After the meal, if the baby is not too fussy, take a cocktail & sit in front of the fire pit and & enjoy the view.

                            Sorry to disappoint but the St. R doesn't have as a spectacular ocean view like the Montage or Ritz. It is set back a mille from the ocean and has peak a boo view of the ocean.

                            Enjoy!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: janeyoc

                              thanks for the recommendations. I'm well aware that the St. Regis isn't right on the water, so that's not a surprise. Once the sun goes down, they're all the same ;)

                              We will try to maximize our time on the resort, so probably the only time we'll leave the resort is to go out to grab dinner. Breakfast and lunch will probably be had on the resort, unless there are some good spots very close to the resort. Maybe we'll check out Bonjour Cafe like you mentioned.

                            2. Another thing, if you are walkers bring your stroller. In addition to the walking trail in front of the Montage. The St. R has a walking trail to Salt Creek beach. Next to the Salt Creek on the corner of PCH & Niguel there is a PDM bakery & coffee. Also Crystal Cover has a state park with lots of walking trails along ocean.

                              Also another good breakfast spot near the hotel is Bonjour Cafe in Dana Point. I wouldn't venture to the DP marina.

                              1. Haven't eaten at Stonehill recently, but friends, both former chefs, ate there at least twice in December and think the food isn't Mich quality, but it's very good save for the somewhat sterile environment and exiting among the wedding crowds waiting for their cars.

                                We happened upon Buena Vista market on Plaza in DP. Couple of tables in the back of the market. The real deal for tacos. "Excellent lengua. Best barbacoa we've had in the OC. Chicharonnes were a tad salty, but made edible with lime." Wrote that in July. Heard good things about their tamales, but haven't tried them.

                                Neapolitan pizza at Angelina's is also the real deal. We're just not huge neapolitan fans. Owner and chef are from Naples. Good place for kids too.

                                Have a great time.