Taste Of The Town

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A restaurant Resource for Dining out in Laguna Beach

Brunching at Tamarind

Tamarind of London, which opened at Crystal Cove Promenade last year, is now open for lunch/brunch Fridays through Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. (followed by happy hour and dinner). The unique and flavorful brunch, crafted by Executive Chef Shachi Mehra, features baked eggs with kidney beans spiced with garlic and Kashmiri red chili; keema baked eggs with minced lamb, cilantro and red onion; masala scramble flavored with garlic, red chili and cilantro; and a Delhi-style omelet with black pepper, onions, ginger and Serrano chili—all priced at $13 or under. Bar Chef Shanti Dutta has concocted several cocktails to accompany the menu, including the “Bloody Good” Mary, the Mangosa (Cruzan Mango Rum, Kesar Mango and Prosecco) and the Pimms O’Clock (Pimms No. 1 and lemonade with fresh muddled strawberries, cucumber and oranges).

In addition, new lunch items include a trio of Thali plates, each featuring a sampling of traditional Indian dishes—seafood, meat and vegetarian, all accompanied by the vegetable of the day, tasty black lentils, rice, naan and raita. Specialty salads are also showcased, such as the quinoa and avocado, lime leaf salmon salad, grilled shrimp salad and more. (7862 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-415-8865; tamarindoflondon.com)

Wine Time 

The Wine Gallery will become Laguna Beach’s first wine bar, offering
small bites and selective sips.

Since opening his first boutique wine store in Corona del Mar more than 10 years ago, Chris Olsen has grown his vision into a first-class experience for wine aficionados. Described by Chris as a gallery, wine bar and kitchen, the Wine Gallery is slated to open in Laguna in late June.

A standout feature of the new Wine Gallery is the introduction of wine kegs to Laguna Beach. “It’s fairly new idea,” Chris explains. “Only some wineries are doing it, but it’s gaining momentum. Believe it or not, [keg wines] are just like the stuff that people are pouring by the glass,” he adds, noting that a good winery will know the logistics of developing a high quality wine from a keg. The Wine Gallery will offer four house keg wines—two whites and two reds—as well as weekly wine flights, three-glass flights and featured wines of the week.

The 150-seat space will also offer international tapas, artisan pizzas and other small plates from its full kitchen, while placing a focus on its handcrafted, limited-edition wines.

But above all, Chris, a Laguna local, is excited to bring this growing trend a little closer to home. “There are no wine bars in Laguna,” he explains. “I’m hoping to fill a niche here.” (1833 S. Coast Hwy. Ste. 110; lagunawinegallery.com)

 Café Vienna Closes

Laguna Stand by Ends Its 10-Year Run

Joining the Royal Hawaiian in a rough month for restaurants, Café Vienna shut its doors for good after not renewing its lease at its south Laguna location. Café owner Ferdinand Lettner opted not to sign a fresh 10-year lease that would have included a recurring 3.5 percent rent increase every year of its terms.

The now-vacant space is slated to become a David Mainiero-owned pizza place, as he picked up the lease offer. David is also heading up Urbun, the new burger joint that will replace the former KFC on Coast Highway—assuming he doesn’t leave his wallet lying around again.

Café Vienna served breakfast, lunch and dinner since 2002, and the owner will continue to work locally, as he began working at the Aliso Beach’s Sands Café when it opened Memorial Day weekend.


On a Sunday night, May 20, the last rounds of beers and Lapu Lapus were passed around and enjoyed as the legendary local tiki bar, Royal Hawaiian, prepared to close for good after 65 years in business. The Hawaiian bar and restaurant faced a large revenue gap after losing its battle with the city of Laguna Beach over live music performances and noise control.

Owner Lyndon Douglas Cole explained, “There wasn’t any way to make this work out without music.” The restaurant ran afoul of local noise restrictions and faced the loss of its operating permits from the city if they didn’t adhere to municipal live music guidelines. The owner pointed to incredible profit losses as patrons would leave to go catch live music elsewhere as the primary reason that the Royal Hawaiian couldn’t keep its doors open any longer—explaining that other places in the vicinity such as the Sandpiper or White House picked up his former live music business.

The Royal Hawaiian was known for its stellar beach-adjacent proximity, its immersive island digs and its signature Lapu Lapu cocktail, made with two different types of rum, pineapple juice, orange juice and passion fruit juice.

World-Class Chocolate
A state-of-the-art facility opens for demonstrations and classes. Orange County is now home to a world-class chocolate and pastry institute. Qzina Institute of Chocolate & Pastry recently debuted in Irvine, offering a $3.5 million state-of-the-art training and research and development facility designed for chocolatiers and pastry chefs. Home chefs will enjoy baking and pastry demonstrations, and classes featuring the Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Lab, where participants can make their own chocolate from start to finish.

“Customers who visit the institute will be inspired and surprised with what they can make and learn,” says Qzina founder and CEO, Richard Foley. “The vision of the Qzina Institute is to provide a place for professionals to experience the best of the chocolate and pastry industry. Our goal is to help chefs expand their dessert repertoire and bring new creations to their guests.”

Qzina Specialty Foods is the premier importer and distributor of specialty chocolate, pastry and dessert ingredients in North America. This year also marked the company’s 30th anniversary and with the new facility, it hopes to bring chefs and food enthusiasts together to expand their dessert and pastry skills and explore new techniques. At the grand opening, the world’s largest chocolate sculpture was unveiled—a replica of a Mayan temple comprised of 18,000 pounds of chocolate. (9461 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine; 949-208-8462; qzina.com)


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

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;


Hennessey’s Tavern
 213 Ocean Ave.; 949-494-2743

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;  949-234-3200; 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



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

The Deck at Pacific Edge Hotel
627 Sleepy Hollow Ln.; 949-494-6700; deckonlaguna.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

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

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



Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen 

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



Mandarin King 

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



Dizz’s As Is 

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



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


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



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




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


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



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



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


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



Laguna Culinary Arts 

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



242 Café Fusion Sushi 

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


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);



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



Zinc Cafe 

350 Ocean Ave.; 949-494-6302; zinccafe.com


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