Tag Archives: laguna beach

OC Restaurant Week Spotlight: Tommy Bahama’s Island Grille

It’s time for another installation of OC Restaurant Week Spotlight.  If you missed the first restaurant, Pizzeria Ortica, check it out here.

The next restaurant I wanted to feature was one I recently discovered this past winter – Tommy Bahama’s Island Grille.

Tommy Bahama’s is best known for their Hawaiian shirts, but they also have a great restaurant as well.  There are two locations in Orange County – one in Laguna Beach and one in Newport Beach and both locations are participating in this year’s restaurant week.  Each location is also offering slight variations to their prixe fixe menus, so why not have lunch in Newport and dinner in Laguna?

After looking at the menus for both locations, I realized they are offering a deal that really can’t be beat.  For lunch you get an appetizer (get the coconut shrimp), an entree and a dessert for only $15!  The lunch items at both locations are pretty fantastic too, ranging from an organic chicken salad to fish tacos and a brie chicken sandwich.

If you can’t make it to Tommy Bahama’s for lunch, then be sure to check out their prixe fixe dinner menu for only $30 (also a great deal).  Choose from an appetizer, an entree (both locations have their famous pork ribs on the menu for dinner) and a decadent dessert.  I personally favor the pina colada cake.

A single entree at Tommy Bahama’s Island Grille can run anywhere from $13-$30, so this is definitely a deal you do not want to pass up.

*OC Restaurant Week runs from February 26th-March 3rd.  Check out all the participating restaurants at OCRestaurantWeek.com*

A Beachy Breakfast

If I had to pick a favorite meal of the day, I think it would be breakfast.  Maybe it’s because as I’m getting ready for bed the night before I’m already thinking about what my next meal will be, or because I love the quiet stillness of the morning as the world is slowly waking up with the sun.  Either way, breakfast and I are pretty much BFF’s.

Most of the time the Englishman and I make breakfast at home – during the week it’s the standard cereal/oatmeal/toast, and on the weekends we jazz it up a bit with some eggs and maybe pancakes.  But recently we’ve decided that we should start a new breakfast tradition where we go out and enjoy the best meal of the day.

For our first breakfast adventure we decided on Nick’s in Laguna Beach.  Nick’s is located in the heart of downtown Laguna, and has a nice patio that is great for people watching/looking at the ocean.

The breakfast menu at Nick’s is pretty simple.  A few egg dishes, waffles and oatmeal with your beverage of choice (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) make up the breakfast menu.  And what better way to start a meal than with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea.

I swear, after being with the Englishman my tea consumption has risen and my coffee consumption has definitely plummeted.  Not that I’m complaining of course – I happen to be a BIG fan of tea.

Anyways where was I?  Oh yes, breakfast at Nick’s.  The Englishman and I both had a hankering for eggs so we each ordered egg dishes with our own preferred sides.

I decided to go with scrambled eggs, wheat toast, applewood smoked bacon and fruit.

While my dish may not have been the most exciting, it certainly was delicious.  Especially the fluffy scrambled eggs on top of the whole wheat toast.

The Englishman decided to go with poached eggs, an english muffin, sausage (along with some of my bacon) and hash browns.

The verdict?  He loved his breakfast as well, especially the poached eggs on the english muffin.  There was nothing special about this dish either, but it was executed perfectly.

We left Nick’s with full and happy bellies and both agreed we’d definitely be coming back to try their lunch or dinner menu since breakfast was such a hit.

I think I’m going to like this new going out to breakfast tradition.

Nick’s Laguna Beach
440 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Boutique Lunching at Cafe Anastasia

One of the great things about working in Laguna Beach is that I’m literally a hop, skip, and a step away from all the cute cafes and shops in downtown, and of course, the beach.  Naturally speaking, all the cute cafes and shops also have cute price tags as well, so I try to limit my downtown lunching to once every other week.

But today the skies were blue and the temperature was giving off the first real indications of spring (in socal anyway), so my coworker and I decided to head downtown for a nice leisurely lunch.  We considered going to our standby favorite Zinc Cafe, but decided we weren’t feeling like spending $$$ on lunch (sorry Zinc!) so we popped into a cafe up the road – Cafe Anastasia.

One of the things I like most about Cafe Anastasia is that it’s attached to a cute little clothes boutique, so you can window shop while you eat.  My coworker decided on the Eggs Napoleon (aka fancy eggs benedict) for lunch and I chose La Greque (aka Greek salad).

When they brought out the Eggs Napoleon it was plated so cute!

My salad however didn’t quite have the same “cute” factor.  But it did have lots of red onion (which I didn’t eat):

The “La Greque” was good, but it was missing something.  Chicken maybe?  Pine nuts?  I loved the fresh feta and olives, but I felt like the salad could use a little more pizazz.  At least the unpictured french bread that was served was delish and my coworker loved her Eggs Napoleon.  They also serve iced earl grey tea here which I thought was interesting.

Overall, Cafe Anastasia  is a cute little brunch/lunch place with lots of affordable options.  I definitely think I’d come back and try more of the breakfast and egg dishes.  And maybe La Greque again if they added chicken 😉

Cafe Anastasia

460 Ocean Avenue

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Dinner with the new kid in town: Rock’N Fish Laguna Beach

I was recently asked to write a review on the newest Rock’N Fish restaurant that recently opened in Laguna Beach (you can read my review here).  So on a lovely Friday evening the boy and I headed out for a delicious fish dinner right in the heart of downtown Laguna.

The Rock’N Fish in Laguna occupies the upstairs half of the old Jolly Roger restaurant with a Tommy Bahama store directly underneath, so you get that cool, beachy vibe the minute you walk in the restaurant.  Much like it’s predecessors Rock’N Fish Manhattan Beach and Rock’N Fish at LA Live, the restaurant has a sleek bar area and cozy booths around the perimeter of the main dining area.  We were seated next to the window overlooking the ocean.  Perfect atmosphere for a date night if you ask me.

But enough about the decor.  Let’s get to the food.  For drinks the boy stuck with various English beers and I decided on martinis.  (I happen to be a big martini fan but rarely have them).  My first martini was a Rock’N Tini, which had vodka, agave thyme syrup and fresh squeezed guava nectar.  I’m not usually a big fan of sweet drinks but this had just the right amount of sweet and tartness combined.

The Rock'N Tini in all it's delicious glory

While we waited for our food to arrive we were served the most delicious sourdough bread.  It was so yummy that we both wolfed it down before I even had time to whip out my camera and take a picture.  It was warm, doughy, and everything fresh baked bread should be.  I would come back to Rock’N Fish for the sourdough bread.  No joke.

Then it was Calamari time.  The Calamari was lightly breaded and came with a variety of dipping sauces.  While it wasn’t the best Calamari I’ve ever had, it was quite tasty.  I think a little more lemon juice and some spices would’ve been a nice addition.

Calamari Appetizer before feasting

Then it was entree time.  Fish ‘N Chips for him, grilled Mahi Mahi for her.  The grilled Mahi Mahi was light and flaky, and came with my two choices of sides (sweet potato fries and vegetables).  While I enjoyed the fish, I would’ve liked to see more offerings on the vegetable front.

See those sweet potato fries? Totally dominated

The verdict on the Fish ‘N Chips was that it was good, but definitely not mind blowing.  After much discussion the “Great Fish ‘N Chips” challenge was born.  What is this you may ask?  A simple quest to find the best Fish ‘N Chips Orange County has to offer.

Then there was dessert.  Sticky toffee pudding to be exact.  Heaven on a plate if you will.  You get my drift.

Foodgasm on a plate

All in all a lovely evening.  Rock ‘N Fish plans to have its whole menu up and running by April and I for one cannot wait.  I’ll definitely be back for Round 2 of delicious seafood, delightful drinks and of course the bread.  It’s always about the bread.