Taste of the Town: February

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 Dining out in Laguna Beach

Laguna’s New Lunch Star

Patrons can now enjoy the popular Asian coastal menu for lunch.

Starfish’s menu has many different scrumptious Asian options to tempt its diners. Luckily, now Starfish has added a comprehensive midday menu, answering the call for more exciting business lunches in town.

The new lunch menu includes all dinner menu items, with a few notable daytime additions, including Broiled Shiro Miso Salmon, Cambodian Cucumber Salad, Peppercorn Crusted Ahi Tuna Tataki, Wild Mushroom Garlic Noodles and Wok Thai Chicken. Variety like this pairs well with Starfish’s unique drink menu—or if hurried diners prefer to take their food with them back to the office, they can.

Starfish’s convenient location on Pacific Coast Highway in a shopping center with ample parking instantly makes it one of Laguna’s very best lunchtime options. Lunch is served at Starfish from Wednesday through Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (30832 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-9200; starfishlaguna.com)

Taco Tuesday : Asada Style

Laguna’s newest Mexican restaurant now offers great food and drink deals on Tuesdays.

“We really weren’t going to do [taco Tuesday], and then we got so many requests! It’s really a good value—locals love it,” Asada owner Scott McIntosh says of his decision to add the popular midweek discount.

Every Tuesday evening, locals can look forward to Asada’s tacos and a cold drink at a nice little discount, including $2 chicken or short rib tacos, $3 filet or mahi tacos, and $4 shrimp or crab tacos. Sparkling champagne cocktails are $2 each, premium draft beers, house margaritas and glasses of house wine go for $4, and Cadillac margaritas are $6 a piece.

Taco Tuesday prices begin at 3 p.m. and go until closing. (480 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-5533; asadalaguna.com)

Rigatoni Done Right

Italian night just got a whole lot tastier with this fresh recipe. From Ky’a Bistro comes this land-based Italian delight.

Rigatoni With Sausage and Mushrooms

1 pound rigatoni
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound hot Italian sausage
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef stock
2 cups half-and-half
1 ½ cups Parmesan

Method: Melt butter and sauté chopped onion for five minutes. Add sausage and cook together for 15 minutes. Add mushrooms and rosemary together, and cook until tender. Add white wine and bay leaf; boil until liquid evaporates. Add stock and cook until syrupy. Add half-and-half; cook together until slightly thickened. Add cheese and rigatoni, then serve immediately. Courtesy of K’ya Bistro (1287 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-9718; kyabistro.com).

Carmelita’s Broadway Debut

The family Mexican restaurant prepares to open in a prime beachfront location.

Carmelita’s is set to open its newest location along Broadway near the intersection of Coast Highway in early spring, building on the success of its three prior locations.

Founded in two Sacramento locations before landing in Rancho Santa Margarita, Carmelita’s brings an authentic Mexican menu to town, and aims to compete for tourist and local business near Main Beach and downtown.

Jesus Galvez, currently a manager at the Rancho Santa Margarita location, and the man slated to become the local restaurant manager upon its opening, says the new Laguna location “should be open end of February/early March.” He also says that the Laguna menu will be the same as the Rancho Santa Margarita location’s menu.

Carmelita’s is set to take over the former Crab Zone restaurant and fill a spot that was in the spotlight of controversy when Chipotle tried to set up shop in early 2011 and was denied outright by the city. (carmelitasrestaurants.com)

Cheers to Flavor 

Fresh fruit mixed with the syrup of the beautiful hibiscus makes this the perfect drink of love—just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The unique sweetness of hibiscus mixes quite well with the tart flavor of key lime in this elixir.

Hibiscus Key Lime Cocktail

1½ parts vodka
½ part Cointreau
1 part hibiscus syrup
1 part pineapple juice
1 part hand-squeezed key lime juice
5 cubes muddled fresh pineapple

Method: Mix all ingredients together and strain into a tall collins glass, garnish with three floating key lime wheels.- Courtesy of Tommy Bahama (400 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-6886; tommybahama.com).

Dine Directory: Laguna Beach

American

BJ’s Pizza and Grill
280 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-3802;

bjsrestaurants.com

Broadway
328 Glenneyre St.;
broadwaybyamarsantana.com

The Cliff Restaurant
577 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-1956;

thecliffrestaurant.com

The Cottage Restaurant
308 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-3023;

thecottagerestaurant.com

Hennessey’s Tavern

213 Ocean Ave.; 949-494-2743

lumberyard
384 Forest Ave.; 949-715-3900;  blumberyard.com

Royal Hawaiian
331 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-8001;

royalhawaiianlaguna.net

Ruby’s Diner
30622 Coast Hwy.; 949-497-7829; rubys.com

Splashes Restaurant and Bar 

1555 S. Coast Hwy. at Surf & Sand Resort;
949-497-4477; surfandsandresort.com

Stonehill tavern
One Monarch Beach Resort;

949-234-3200; surfandsandresort.com

Tommy Bahama Bar & Grill 

400 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-6886;

tommybahama.com

Tivoli Terrace
650 Laguna Canyon Rd.; 949-494-9650;

tivoliterrace.com

Tivoli Too!
650 Laguna Canyon Rd.;
949-494-6044;

tivoli-too.com

 

Belgian

Brussels Bistro
222 Forest Ave.; 949-376-7955;

brusselsbistro.com

 

California Contemporary

230 Forest Avenue
230 Forest Ave.; 949-494-2545;
230forestavenue.com

Café Anastasia
460 Ocean Ave.; 949-497-8903

Blue Laguna
696 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-2583;

bluelagunaoc.com

Cafe Zoolu
860 Glenneyre St.; 949-494-6825;

cafezoolu.com

K’ya Bistro Bar & The Rooftop Lounge
1287 S. Coast Hwy. at Hotel La Casa del Camino; 949-376-9718; kyabistro.com;

rooftoplagunabeach.com

The Loft
30801 S. Coast Hwy.

at Montage Laguna Beach;

949-715-6420;

montagelagunabeach.com

Madison Square & Garden Cafe 

320 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-0137;

madisonsquare.com

Mosaic Bar and Grille at 

Montage Laguna Beach
30801 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-6420;

montagelagunabeach.com

Nirvana Grille
303-101 Broadway; 949-497-0027;
nirvanagrille.com

 

Sundried Tomato
361 Forest Ave.; 949-494-3312;

thesundriedtomatocafe.com

Tabu Grill 

2892 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-7743;

tabugrill.com

The Terrace

425 S. Coast Hwy. at the Hotel Laguna;
949-494-1151; hotellaguna.com

The White House Restaurant & Nightclub

340 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-8088;

whitehouserestaurant.com

Watermarc Restaurant

448 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-6272;

watermarcrestaurant.com

 

Caribbean

Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen 

31732 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-499-6311;

evascaribbeankitchen.com

 

Chinese

Mandarin King 

1223 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-8992

 

Continental

Dizz’s As Is 

2794 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-5250;

dizzsasis.com

 

French

C’est La Vie 

373 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-5100;

cestlavierestaurant.com

French 75 

1464 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-8444;

french75.net

Studio at Montage Laguna Beach 

30801 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-6420;

studiolagunabeach.com

 

Global Cuisine

raya 

1 Ritz-Carlton Dr.; 949-240-2000

Sapphire Laguna Restaurant & Pantry 

1200 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-9888;

sapphirelaguna.com

 

Italian & Pizza

Cucina Alessa

234 Forest Ave.; 949-497-8222

Gina’s Pizza 

610 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-4421; 1100 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-4342; ginaspizza.com

Pizza Lounge

397 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-2277;

pizzalounges.com

Polina’s Salerno Italian Restaurant
220 Beach St.; 949-497-2600

Ristorante Rumari  

1826 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-0400;
rumari.net

Romeo Cucina  

249 Broadway; 949-497-6627; romeocucina.com

Ti Amo Ristorante 

31727 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-499-5350;

tiamolagunabeach.com

Z Pizza  

30902 Coast Hwy.; 949-499-4949; zpizza.com

 

Mediterranean

Picayo 

610 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-5051;

picayorestaurant.com

GG’s Café-Bistro 

540-108 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-9306;

ggscafebistro.com

Zeytoon Cafe 

412 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-9230;

zeytooncafe.com

 

Mexican

Asada 

480 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-5533;
asadalaguna.com

Avila’s El Ranchito 

1305 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-7040;

avilaselranchito.com

Coyote Grill 

31621 Coast Hwy.; 949-499-4033;
coyotegrill.tv

Laguna Feast 

801 Glenneyre St.; 949-494-0642

La Sirena Grill

347 Mermaid St.; 949-497-8226;
30862 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-499-2301;
lasirenagrill.com

Las Brisas 

361 Cliff Dr.; 949-497-5434;

lasbrisaslagunabeach.com

Olamendi’s 

1100 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-4148;

olamendis.com

papa’s Taco 

31622 Coast Hwy.; 949-499-9822;

papastacosinc.com

Taco Loco 

640-1B S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-1635;

tacoloco.net

 

Seafood

The Beach House 

619 Sleepy Hollow Lane; 949-494-9707;

thebeachhouse.com

Claes ovation

425 S. Coast Hwy. at Hotel Laguna;
949-376-9283; claesrestaurant.com

House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer 

540-200 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-4500;

houseofbigfish.com

 

Seafood/Steaks

Mozambique Steakhouse & Coastal Lounge 

1740 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-7100;
mozambiqueoc.com

Rock’n Fish

422 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-3113;

rocknfishlb.com

starfish

30832 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-9200;

starfishlaguna.com

 

Specialty

Laguna Culinary Arts 

845 Laguna Canyon Rd.; 949-494-4006;

lagunaculinaryarts.com

 

Sushi

242 Café Fusion Sushi 

242 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-2444;

fusionart.us

Hapi Sushi 

250 Beach St.; 949-494-9109;

hapisushi.com

katsuya 

858 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-793-4030;
sbe.com/katsuya

O fine japanese cuisine

30872 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-5551;

ofinejapanesecuisine.com

San Shi Go 

1100-303 S. Coast Hwy. (upper level);
949-494-1551

 

Thai

Laguna Thai by the Sea 

31715 Coast Hwy.; 949-415-0924;

lagunathai.com

Royal Thai Cuisine 

1750 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-8424;

royalthaicuisine.com

Thai Bros.

238 Laguna Ave.; 949-376-9979;
thaibroslaguna.com

 

Vegetarian

Zinc Cafe 

350 Ocean Ave.; 949-494-6302;

zinccafe.com LBM

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