What's New in Laguna Beach

Restaurant Happenings

Now Open

HARVEST marries the bounty of the season with the atmosphere and creativity of Laguna Beach, inspired by the local flavors, ingredients and traditions of American and California Cuisine. HARVEST features outdoor patio seating with inspiring Aliso Canyon and golf course views. As an homage to the original homesteaders, handcrafted food and drink will be a focus throughout your dining experience with many ingredients grown on property and sourced thoughtfully. The menu will change seasonally and take advantage of the herbs, fruits and vegetables grown on site from our ¼ acre Harvest Garden. http://www.theranchlb.com/

Reunion Kitchen + Drink, owned by Scott McIntosh, opened in October 2016 and offers hearty, all-American comfort food. www.visitlagunabeach.com/restaurants

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 is located at 248 Forest Avenue. www.moulinbistro.com

After a few years of being closed, the 65-year old Royal Hawaiian reopened in late September 2016 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 Restaurant 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. http://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 Kitchen + Bar 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

Coming Soon

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.

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. http://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  

Other Restaurant News

Cafe Zoolu, a 24-year dining fixture in Laguna Beach (known for its baseball filet-sized swordfish that Zagat named "Best Swordfish on the Planet," closed its doors in May 2016, as owner/chef Michael and his wife Toni Leech seek a welcomed retirement. Michael Byrne, a Laguna resident who was a Zoolu regular and co-owner of The Saloon bar in town, has plans to take over the space and open a new restaurant, Creole, along with business partner Norm Theard.

For a complete list of Laguna Beach restaurants, please visit www.visitlagunabeach.com/restaurants

Hotel Happenings

Exciting updates have taken place at hotels around town! Check-in and find out what's new.

The Laguna Beach House made its grand debut in April 2015; after its $1.5 million renovation to the boutique hotel. All 36 deluxe guestrooms and public spaces - including the lobby as the hotel's social hub, an expanded pool deck and the brand new meeting space - have been remodeled to reflect the carefree spirit of the property's beach town location. Chic coastal décor and vintage furniture create the look and feel of an open, airy beach cottage with a palette of natural, warm colors with vibrant pops. Oceanic scenes are depicted in the design and the artwork, and surf, skate and sand accents are spread throughout the property. The accommodations are designed specifically to reflect the laidback California vibe, with beach accents abound. Succulents, vintage surf books, with custom-made surfboards hanging over the beds. Your will also find a Surf Shop displayed throughout each guestrooms; where you can take home small handcrafted instruments, canvas totes and coastal-inspired accessories by Australian brand Sunnylife and Venice Beach-based Convivial.

In 2015, Montage Laguna Beach completed its newly renovated Catalina, Sunset and Aliso Suites. Inspired by the resort's surroundings, each suite has a natural palette, modern furnishings, brick and stone hearth gas fireplaces and state-of-the-art technology. The 2,000-square-foot Catalina Suite offers panoramic ocean views and boasts an expansive balcony spanning the length of the entire suite. State-of-the-art technology allows guests to personalize all aspects of their accommodations, including LED ceiling lighting and sound system, housekeeping requests, hotel restaurant menus and prompting the Do Not Disturb signal. Spa Montage has a collection of new treatments, packages and personalized series as an addition to the award-winning menu of services. The updated menu features the latest innovations in beauty, wellness and European spa science. New treatments include: HydraFacial - a resurfacing system that cleanses, exfoliates, extracts and hydrates using the Vortex-Fusion of antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid. Salt and Stone Kur - salt crystals soften and exfoliate while stimulating circulation as ocean botanical water soaks away tension and prepares muscles for a full body massage incorporating Himalayan salt stones infused with pink grapefruit and lemon oil.

Casa Laguna Inn and Spa redesigned the guest rooms and lobby, partnering with famed celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard whilst honoring the historic nature of this property. Each furnishing is bespoke for the property from their signature MLB drapery to the hand painted imported French tile throughout the guest room bathrooms and lobby. The project was completed in March 2016, and is positioned as a 23-room luxury boutique hotel, debuting under the new name, Casa Laguna Hotel and Spa.

The Ranch at Laguna Beach is undergoing a sweeping transformation - select hotel rooms are open during the preview at discounted rates. The 9-hole Ben Brown's Golf Course is open for regular business hours, and The Harvest Restaurant is serving breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The full resort is set to open in Summer 2016.

Other recent renovations that are taking place or have been completed include: The Inn at Laguna Beach's brand new exteriors with new awnings; and Best Western Plus Laguna Brisas Spa Hotel's guest rooms, parking lots and balconies.

For a complete list of Laguna Beach hotels, please visit www.visitlagunabeach.com/hotels.

Check out the 2016-17 Official Laguna Beach Visitors Guide and start planning your trip Today!

eNewsletter Sign-Up