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These 5 Restaurants Prove Laguna Beach’s Food Is As Vibrant As Its Beaches

Laguna Beach is centrally located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, making it an ideal coastal escape. This area has your typical array of waterfronts and coves, but the food here screams way more than “seaside town.” The diverse and exquisite array of cuisines and dishes you can find here draws in as many food lovers as it does beachgoers.

Among those that frequent Laguna for its dining scene is Josh Elkin, the Undisputed Champion of Breakfast and host of the Cooking Channel’s Sugar Showdown. While he’s from Canada and currently resides in Los Angeles, Elkin has come to love Laguna Beach as a getaway spot. He’s shared five of his go-to spots with us that you can add to your culinary bucket list.

From an assortment of incredibly fresh mussels to some bourgeois toro belly, the dishes on Elkin’s lineup of Laguna Beach restaurants are sure to excite eyes and palates alike.

Elkin knows how to start his day off right, and making sure to not skip “Egg Day” is at the top of his list. At his first stop, Reunion Kitchen, Elkin checks off that requirement with this modern comfort joint’s Short Rib Benedict. It’s made with buttermilk biscuits, a chipotle hollandaise, and crispy onions that make for an ideal brunch to enjoy with friends over mimosas.

For those looking for something more off the beaten path, Elkin recommends Another Kind Cafe and its Vietnamese specialties. The ingredients are coming straight from the source, giving some serious authenticity to plates like the Clay Pot Fish, cooked in a caramelized sauce with cayenne and chives.

Being in a seaside town merits scouting out some fresh seafood. Some of the freshest you can find is at Brussels Bistro. They team up with Penn Cove Shellfish Farm to bring in a plethora of mussels, which Brussels then serves up six different ways.

Elkin’s favorite rendition of Brussels’ mussels is the Provençale style, with fresh tomatoes and basil.

Another spot Elkin recommends for some high-quality seafood is 242 Fusion Sushi. There, chef Miki Izumisawa and her all-female staff craft some fire specials, like the Volcano Sizzle seared tuna with spicy serrano peppers and garlic.

The crown jewel on Izumisawa’s menu, though, is the gold-flecked toro belly served with foie gras. It goes great with just about any sake 242 has to offer.

Finally, you can find some insane tiki drinks at Royal Hawaiian, the craziest of which is the Lapu Lapu. Available by the glass or in a massive clamshell for the squad, it’s made with a couple types of rum, passion fruit, lemon, and orange juice, and an extra rum float on top.

It’s a great way to refresh after a day at the beach, especially at happy hour, where Elkin opts for the ahi poke and coconut shrimp.

The diversity and freshness of the flavors on Elkin’s lineup is a testament to Laguna Beach’s rich food scene. If you’re looking for a foodie-centric beach getaway, Laguna’s got the coastline and the culinary craft to satisfy your desires.

Photos by Marc Kharrat.

Created in partnership with Visit Laguna Beach

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This Laguna Beach Steakhouse Serves An EPIC 40-Ounce ‘Lord Stanley’ Wagyu Cut

Chances are, if you’re choosing to go to a steakhouse, you’re looking to wine, dine, and be impressed by some perfectly cooked, high quality cuts of meat. We’re here to tell you that if you live in Southern California, we know a spot where that’ll happen every time – Selanne Steak Tavern. They have a 40-ounce cut of wagyu ribeye on the menu, and it’s sure to impress.

This “Lord Stanley” cut of steak can be found at Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach, California. This spot is owned by NHL legend and former Anaheim Ducks player, Teemu Selanne. Inside you’ll find the Stanley Cup and his many Olympic medals in a display case. On the meaty side, the Lord Stanley is Selanne’s crown jewel, crafted to life by Executive Chef, Josh Severson.

Chef Severson begins with a 40-ounce cut of Australian wagyu rib chop, which looks like a massive and delicious steak tomahawk. He then treats it with simplicity to bring out the meat’s natural flavors, adding just salt and pepper before searing it on a flat top griddle. The steak is then transferred to an infrared deck oven to get the temperature perfect every time.

Severson’s signature steak comes with a savory side dish of pan-roasted King Trumpet mushrooms. They’re paired with shallots, Cippolini onions, garlic, Madeira wine, and butter to round out and boost the mushroom’s meaty, umami tastes.The flavor train doesn’t stop there, though, as the wagyu rib chop gets basted with more butter and herbs before being topped with the mushrooms. The final touch to Selanne’s steak masterpiece is a healthy dollop of marrow butter, imbued with truffle and shallots for a knockout umami punch.

Selanne’s Lord Stanley takes steak and indulgence to the extreme. If you’re looking to treat yourself while in Laguna Beach, this wagyu dinner is the perfect way to do it.

Created in partnership with Visit Laguna Beach

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This Laguna Beach Rooftop Serves A S’mores Bread Pudding Dish You Need Right Now

Nestled up against the sunny coastline of Laguna Beach, California, Skyloft, a well-known seafood and smokehouse is perched in a prime location, equipped with a spacious rooftop deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Still, while the sprawling ocean-facing views might take your breath away, they are no match for Skyloft’s one-of-a-kind S’mo Bread Pudding Dessert.

Executive Chef Arthur Ortiz starts this decadent FOODBEAST APPROVED creation with a handcrafted mixture of artisan bread, cinnamon and egg to create a soft base, before stacking his fortress of toasted marshmallows, melted chocolate ganache, candied pecans, and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.

Considering that s’mores have — and always will be — a perfect snack to bring to a beach bonfire, this iconic dessert has found a home at Skyloft, just a few feet from the shore.     

Created in partnership with Visit Laguna Beach

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Here’s The Best Short Rib Poutine In Laguna Beach

Poutine, the classic mixture of fries, cheese curds and gravy, has become a quintessential dish of Montreal, Canada. In Canada, the popular, savory dish is frequented by the weekend’s late night/early morning crowds, hungry for some greasy sustenance to subdue their alcohol-fueled hunger pangs before slipping into bed, just in time to beat sunrise.

However, while it’s important to know and understand the history of poutine, you might be able to get your hands on some — without having to renew your passport, or purchase a plane ticket to Canada.

Enter Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drinks. Located in Laguna Beach, Calif., roughly 2,900 miles west of Montreal, you can find a picturesque homage to the Quebecian dish.  

Executive Chef Ryan Adams specializes in more than just poutine – still it would be wise to add 370 Common’s Foodbeast Approved Short Rib Poutine to the list of mouthwatering creations that will grace your palate during your visit.   

Chef Adams, who was voted Orange County’s Chef of the Year in 2014, has spent a great deal of time perfecting his poutine. It should only take one glimpse of a gooey cheese pull, or one taste of Adams’ gluttonously delicious house made short rib gravy, and fries. It’s no wonder this internationally-inspired dish has become a local celebrity.

Created in partnership with Visit Laguna Beach


Umami Burger Invades Orange County, CA

Just a few short weeks after opening their San Francisco location, California-based Umami Burger announces the locations of their upcoming Orange County restaurants today. The first confirmed location will be at 610 N. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach and another location is set to open somewhere in downtown Anaheim. The expansion won’t be halting in Orange County either. Founder Adam Fleischman has also announced plans to open a two-story location in Hermosa Beach so diners can enjoy a fine ocean view with their fifth-flavor burger.

(via The OC Register)


Laguna Beach Reality Star Set to Open 2nd Cupcake Shop

One of the lesser stars to ride out of MTV’s “Laguna Beach” fame is the one and only [/sarcasm] Casey Reinhardt. Apparently, the LB personality is a cupcake fiend, with a storefront at her family’s Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside, CA, and has plans for a second location in her home town of Laguna Beach.


Z Pizza: Triforce Pizza

If you are a pizza lover and your mouth hasn’t made its way to a Z Pizza before, your tastes buds are missing out! Z pizza is a true Southern California based chain which originated in Laguna Beach! All of their pizzas are made to order with fresh and healthy ingredients!  The dough is made from 100% organic wheat flour, hand-thrown and fire-baked daily for its unique crispy crust. They have award-winning skim mozzarella from Wisconsin, organic tomato sauce, MSG-free pepperoni, and additive-free sausage! Check out these delectable pizzas after the jump!