New Restaurants in Laguna Beach
Laurent Vrignaud's Moulin Bistro opened its doors in September 2016 with the mission of making guests feel as if they have been transported to France. For breakfast, request a made-to-order crepe or waffle. Lunch will introduce a hot dog utilizing pork sausage made in-house. At dinner, locals will covet the patio while sipping on French beer and wine. Your sweet tooth may also choose between a selection of ice cream crafted by Stephane Treand. It opened at 248 Forest Avenue. www.moulinbistro.com
After a few years of being closed, the 65-year old Royal Hawaiian reopened in late September and features classic Hawaiian fusion cuisine.
Asada Tacos + Beer in the Boat Canyon shopping center opened in late August and features Mexican fare. http://asadatacos.net/
Jan's Health Bar opened in the Boat Canyon shopping center in North Laguna and offers quick/healthy fresh juices and smoothies, sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as vegetarian and vegan options.
Laguna Beach Brewery & Grille opened in June 2016 in the former Ocean Avenue Brewing space at 237 Ocean Avenue under new ownership. The brewery offers lunch & dinner, Mexican food, craft beer and cocktails, burgers, seafood and more.
Taverna Laguna opened in Spring 2016 in the heart of downtown. This is the first California location for Lombardi Family Concepts, with eateries in Texas, Las Vegas and Mexico. The menu features a variety of Italian specialties including risottos, homemade pastas and wood fire pizzas. Libations include aperitifs, craft cocktails, beer and wine. They make their own gelato and desserts. Taverna is committed to using fresh and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Open for lunch, dinner and brunch. www.tavernabylombardi.com
Ti Amo in South Laguna re-opened its doors in January 2016 after a partial remodel. Co-owner Veronica Scala and her team are serving fine Italian cuisine. They bring diners a scratch kitchen using the most authentic ingredients, including flour and olive oil imported straight from Italy. Their pastas and bread are handmade fresh daily, and everything on the menu is made in-house, from the salad dressings to the desserts. www.tiamolaguna.com
Rasta Taco, founded in 2006, is Southern California's original made-to-order taco cart catering company, selected Laguna Beach for its first brick-and-mortar location. It opened in January 2016 at 170 Beach St. Patrons can order and pick up food from the takeout window and enjoy Mexican fare on their outdoor patio. Rasta's menu includes tacos with fillings such as carne asada, carnitas and Jamaican chicken, burritos and salads. www.rastataco.com
TS Gourmet Shoppe, opened December 2015, an offshoot of Selanne Steak Tavern, is located in a 200-square-foot intimate space adjacent to Selanne Steak Tavern. It purveys thoughtfully sourced and hand-crafted gourmet foodstuffs. Aged prime steaks and chops are cut-to-order by Chef Joshua Severson and his butchering team. Also sells fresh seafood, cookies, nuts, condiments, and signature Teemu Selanne apparel and other gift items. www.selannesteaktavern.com
Skyloft opened in late October 2015 in the downtown corridor above Tommy Bahama. Executive Chef Arthur Ortiz offers creative twists on classic Americana favorites and signature smokehouse items. This is Mozambique owner Ivan Spiers' second Laguna restaurant, offering a rooftop bar and stage for live music. www.skyloftoc.com
Urth Caffé, known for its organic specialty coffees and fine teas, opened its first Orange County location in September 2015, moving into the space occupied for nearly 50 years by The Cottage Restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in North Laguna Beach. The structure was built in 1917 as a house, becoming a restaurant in 1938. The owners have maintained the house's original integrity and charm, while opening up an enclosed side room for outdoor dining. Health conscious meals include breakfast items, soups, organic salads, sandwiches and freshly made desserts. Low fat and vegan selections. www.urthcaffe.com
Sergio's Empanadas opened a brick-and-mortar in August 2015. Owner Sergio Ciba used to operate La Copa Empanadas in Laguna Beach, but sold the Shoreline Village food shack in 2013. He retained his recipes and continued selling empanadas at Orange County farmers' markets under the La Copa name. The menu features his signature empanadas along with new additions, such as samosa-inspired empanadas, seafood empanadas, and sweet varieties filled with ingredients such as Nutella and strawberry. There are vegetarian options and sides including quinoa salad and bruschetta. This new venture is located at 977 South Coast Highway. www.sergiosempanadas.com
Gu Ramen Taps & Tapas opened its doors in June 2015 in the former Hearties location next to Thalia Surf Shop. Owners Wicha Thossansin and Kiti Thongdetsakul introduce traditional ramen noodle dishes at various levels of spiciness, along with authentic Japanese tapas and small plates. Vegetarian diners revel in umami broth ramen. Its signature dish is a bowl of Gu Ramen, which comes in a rich, creamy 18-hour pork broth with a choice of pork belly, spicy pork or crispy chicken. There are flat screen TVs playing music videos, wooden booths and a chalkboard listing brews of the day. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gu-Ramen/693220590823595
Centrál Coastal Peruvian opened its doors in June 2015, occupying the space where Sundried Tomato was located on Forest Avenue. It offers rustic Peruvian cuisine derived from the late 1800s in Peru - French, Spanish and Italian cuisine culled from four generations of family recipes, and a whole raft of new peppers to try. According to Laguna local Anna Driggs who co-owns the restaurant with her mother Ana Montoya, the menu also features empanadas, ceviche, salads and main courses such as Pescado a lo Macho with bass, calamari, shrimp and octopus. www.centralcoastalperuvian.com
Salerno by Chef Pirozzi is forecasting an opening before Halloween 2016. Polina's Salerno Restaurant shut its doors on June 30, allowing chef and restaurateur Alessandro Pirozzi to build upon his popular collection of concepts (Alessa, Mare and Pirozzi). Featuring a pasta menu different from Alessa and Pirozzi, chef stated, " . . .Mamma and Pappa Vittorio are here from Napoli to make sure menu and new pasta are made the 101% Napololetana way." will be located at 220 Beach Street.
Reunion Kitchen + Drink is owned by Scott McIntosh, who is opening his second Orange County Reunion restaurant in the old Umami Burger location (in the same building as his Asada Tacos + Beer). Offering hearty, all-American comfort food, it is scheduled to open in late 2016. www.visitlagunabeach.com/restaurants
ROUX Creole Cuisine will bring a touch of New Orleans to Laguna Beach, taking over the space where Cafe Zoolu was, a 24-year dining fixture. The owners are bringing in Chef Norm Theard, whose creole recipes were inspired by this mother, a New Orleans native. Great music, flickering lanterns and an aroma of gumbo, étouffée, jambalaya, rice & red beans, beignets and seasonal dishes - all reminiscent of the French Quarter - are expected. Scheduled to open November 2016. www.ROUXCreole.com
Red Dragon is scheduled to open in the former Mosun/Club M location in early 2017. Restaurateurs Ensan and Ruth Zhao will introduce their native Cantonese cuisine to Laguna Beach. They are bringing in two Hong Kong chefs to ensure authenticity to the nightly menu. In addition to the extensive remodel to both floors, there will be a rooftop terrace. www.reddragonca.com
For a complete list of Laguna Beach restaurants, please visit www.visitlagunabeach.com/restaurants.