Taste of the Town: Laguna Beach

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A  Restaurant  Resource

The Fifth Taste Now Open
Umami Burger is now serving up signature burgers and a full bar in Laguna.

On June 13, Umami Burger officially opened its Laguna Beach location. Named “Burger of the Year” by GQ magazine, Umami is a relatively new burger concept by restaurant creator Adam Fleischman, a self-taught chef and successful food and wine entrepreneur. Umami is a Japanese word describing the pleasant and savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides that occur naturally in foods. There are now nearly a dozen Umami locations for this Los Angeles-based startup. Each location features a signature burger, singular décor and a varied list of offerings. Lucky for us, the Laguna location has a full bar, varied beer list, plus wine and specialty cocktails; pitchers of hand-squeezed cocktails will be debuting shortly. Stop by to try Laguna’s signature burger, the Lemon Miso Crab Melt (with jumbo lump crab, burrata cheese, baby heirloom tomatoes and lemon miso dressing) or one of the other specialty burgers like the Manly Burger (with beer cheddar cheese, smoked salt onion strings and bacon lardons) or veggie Earth Burger (with a mushroom and edamame patty, white soy aioli, truffle ricotta, cipollini onions, lettuce and slow-roasted tomato). Add sides like tempura onion rings, house hand-made pickles and smushed potatoes. (610 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-342-1210; umamiburger.com)

Mare Welcomes Summer

A new restaurant takes up residence in the space of Blue Laguna. From the culinary genius who brought you Alessá restaurant comes Alessandro Pirozzi’s new creation: Mare Culinary Lounge. “Mare is just really a simple Italian lounge restaurant, something that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Alessandro says of his stylish new location. Mare is part nightlife, part lounge, and everything on the menu is made in-house or homegrown. “We have a beautiful patio with a fountain and all nice, organic vegetables … so people can enjoy the outdoors. The inside is clean-cut, trendy,” he explains.

The menu includes appetizers to share for late nights, pizza and pasta, and main courses along with wine by the glass or bottle and a full bar. “One of the most popular [dishes] is the tiger shrimp with Manila clams; it comes in a lobster reduction with a lot of lemon juice, and [it’s] spicy from this Calabrian chili … it’s amazing,” Alessandro says of his dishes partly inspired by his uncle from Italy. Mare is picking up speed from its opening in early June, and Alessandro expects summer to bring more guests. “We are going to have a little bit of live music as we are moving forward with this business. As of now, we have lounge music, all night, every night. It’s a very relaxing place and everyone seems to enjoy,” Alessandro adds. (696 S. Coast Highway; 949-715-9581; mareculinarylounge.com)

New Summer Seafood 

Splashes offers up a fresh menu of seasonal dishes.  This summer, Surf & Sand Resort launched a new menu for Splashes, where guests can enjoy seaside cuisine, stunning views and the sea rolling in just 25 feet below.

“The new menu was inspired by the vision of summer,” Splashes’ chef Jeff Armstrong says. “Bold colors, vibrant flavors and a tad seafood-heavy as a nod to our coastal location.” New sensational seasonal dishes listed on the menu include sea bass crudo with grapefruit, pink peppercorns and chili oil; and grilled shrimp with passionfruit mustard, avocado and bacon. “I wanted the dishes to really highlight the flavors of the summer fruits and vegetables that are in season. Sweet corn soup, heirloom tomatoes, lots of citruses and herbs,” Jeff says.

For dessert, guests will enjoy strawberry shortcake made with buttermilk biscuits, cheesecake bites and tarragon; and pineapple carrot cake with cream cheese, coconut ice cream and clear caramel among many other inspiring dishes. For guests craving refreshing, after-dinner drinks, the s’mores martini is sure to delight with a blend of marshmallow vodka and chocolate-flavored liqueur, or try the Summer Breeze made with a fresh and fruity blend of watermelon and mint. (1555 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-4477; surfandsandresort.com/splashes)

Good Vibrations at The Deck
The Deck at the Pacific Edge Hotel entices with music-filled nights.

Locals flock to The Deck for its fresh, simple food, extensive drink menu and beachfront location, but a new spotlight on the musical talents of both local musicians and diners adds further incentive. If you’re looking for an escape from your typical workweek, take a break with the near-therapeutic combo of good food, good drinks and good music from local musicians Mondays through Thursdays, from 5 – 8 p.m.

The Deck also offers those with confidence and vocal ability the chance to win a free dinner at “Sing for Your Supper,” where a musician hosts a singing contest every hour from 5 – 8 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month. At the end of the week, grab a seat to enjoy summer’s orange and pink sunsets with the company of a colorful drink and equally vibrant live reggae music; every Sunday from 5 – 8 p.m. (627 Sleepy Hollow Ln.; 949-494-6700; deckonlaguna.com)

American

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

bjsrestaurants.com

The Deck on Laguna Beach
627 Sleepy Hollow Ln.; 949-494-670; deckonlaguna.com

Broadway
328 Glenneyre St.; 949-715-8234;
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;
lblumberyard.com

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;

949-234-3405; stregismb.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; ritzcarlton.com

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

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 

enosteak

One Ritz-Carlton Dr., Dana Point; 949-240-2000; ritzcarlton.com

maro wood grill

1915 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-793-4044;

marowoodgrill.com

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

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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