Freshest Finds: Your Trusted Guide to Seafood in Laguna Beach

Situated right along the sea, Laguna Beach is perfectly positioned with the treasures of the Pacific Ocean right in its backyard.

It is a blessing that fresh fish is not a luxury but a standard here in town. The numerous choices can be overwhelming, but we've created a guide for you to discover some of our beloved, trustworthy seafood establishments. This list is packed with such a variety of outstanding options, it would be shellfish of us not to share.

Driftwood Kitchen 

With a modern, refined beach aesthetic and youthful, energetic vibes, Driftwood Kitchen brings fun and ease to waterfront dining. Their slogan, "any closer and you would have to swim," rings 100% true at this California-seafood focused restaurant situated right on the beach. This Instagram worthy spot with crystal clear views will draw you in, but their supremely executed ocean-to-table dining experience will be why you keep coming back. From raw bar options like oysters and crudo to heartier ones like their signature Lobster Spaghetti Carbonara "Rustichella D'Abruzzo", this place is seafood heaven with the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop. Everything is gorgeously presented, so good luck choosing whether the #views or #foodporn will make it to your ‘gram. For slightly more casual, happy hour vibes, head down to The Deck, their buzzing sister restaurant right below. 

Nick's Laguna 

Nick's Laguna aims, "to operate in a spirit of excellence," which is exactly what pulls through when it comes to the cuisine here. They are detail oriented and fillet all their fish in-house daily. The seafood recipes are immaculately prepared and highlight the quality and freshness of ingredients. Nick's succeeds in simplicity, consistency and comfort. These are just a few of the reasons why this spot is one of the most popular in Laguna and why it deserves a spot on this roundup. 

Starfish Laguna

This coastal Asian restaurant fuses various Asian cultures and flavors together to create dynamic flavor explosions in each dish. While Starfish is not traditional by any means, it respectfully absorbs some of the best from Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese, Korean, and Indian cuisine. The menu is extensive, but seafood is the star here. Each recipe contains a proper balance of salt, acid, fat, heat and sweetness, all the components that make a dish great. While all the items are scrumptious, the Chilean Sea Bass with Thai Green Curry is a powerhouse, worshiped by both the staff and customers. Chef Claudia Uribe says it certainly is one of their signatures, and after the first bite, you will understand why. The sea bass with the curry sauce is sweet, spicy, creamy, and buttery, while the garlic green beans and coconut jasmine rice tremendously offset and balance out those flavors.

Singapore Bamboo specialty sushi roll at Starfish Laguna

Splashes Restaurant and Bar 

Splashes personifies elegant, oceanfront dining at its finest. Nestled within Surf and Sand Resort, you will find refined New-American cuisine with artful twists. Executive Chef Ron Fougeray brings his passion for food history and techniques to elevate the culinary experience at Splashes. This expertise, combined with unadulterated views of the Pacific and warm hospitality creates a blissful experience. Just sit back and watch the sea playfully send waves in and out twenty-five feet below you, while you dine on refreshing and vibrant seasonal fare. 

Slapfish

Looking for a fast-casual seafood shack? Slapfish is your answer, which founder and chef Andrew Gruel specifically designed to serve affordable and sustainable American seafood. From creative options like Chowder Fries and the Epic Shrimp Burrito to more classic Fish Tacos and Lobster Rolls, fresh seafood is king and dominates the entire menu. In addition to their staple menu, they have an array of daily fish options to choose from. Order takeaway and chow down across the street at Main Beach. 

La Sirena Grill

La Sirena is another great grab and go spot serving seafood with a Mexican flare. The menu choices range with tacos, burritos, tortas, and salads, which are all fully customizable to have seafood options like Blackened Wild Salmon, Blackened Daily Fish, or Calamari. Not only is the food delicious, but you can feel good about eating this mexECO eatery. La Sirena's mission is to serve the community through environmentally friendly ideals and practices. 

Wherever you decide to visit, know that these spots are shrimply sensational. Be sure to share your experiences with us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and INSTAGRAM by tagging us @VisitLaguna and utilizing our citywide hashtag, #MyLagunaBeach.
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Caitlin Sakdalan

Caitlin Sakdalan

Caitlin Sakdalan is a social media influencer and food writer. Through her passion for food as an experiential connector of people and cultures, coupled with expertise in social and digital, she shares her extensive food knowledge and experiences to thousands of followers daily. Caitlin is one of Dovetale's "5 best Influencers to watch in 2017," and her photography is featured on Tasting Table, Yahoo, Huffington Post, and other online outlets. Follow her on Instagram @befatbehappy.

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