Holiday Happiness in Laguna Beach

Holiday Happiness in Laguna Beach

Joy and gratitude: two qualities that encapsulate the spirit of the holiday season. In Laguna Beach, we have a lot to be joyful about and grateful for; the winter time is no exception.

Sapphire Restaurant & Pantry  

Sapphire Restaurant is the embodiment of seasonal, and not just around the holidays. Apart from a few core staples, the entire menu changes about every four weeks. Owner and Executive Chef Azmin Ghahreman and his team curate and create innovative items that correlate with what is in season. You can always encounter something current and exciting, while trusting the team’s expertise and experience to deliver excellence. In addition to their exceptional cuisine, indulge in one of Sapphire’s holiday cocktails like a bold Espresso Martini or warming Apple Old Fashioned. Our favorite: their play on a White Russian with Vodka, Cream, Kahlua, Star Anise, Nutmeg, and a Vanilla Chai Honey Reduction from a quality Masala Chai that they sell right next door at Sapphire Pantry. 

They also have a jam-packed Christmas Eve Dinner planned. You can either have them prepare it for you to eat in the comfort of your home or dine in their restaurant, where their warm hospitality will comfortably make you feel as if you were at home. 

Laguna Beach Beer Company

Drink and be merry at Laguna Beach Beer Company, a passion project started by two Laguna Beach natives. These guys have knowledgeably created an extensive offering of amazing guest taps and their own high-quality, noteworthy ales that will make you appreciate the craft whether you are a beer lover or not. Pop in for a tasting flight and figure out your favorites. We loved their festive Trolley Stop Stout, a creamy and wonderfully balanced Strawberry Milk Stout with Strawberries and dairy-free Lactose Sugar, named after the Laguna Beach Trolley that stops right in front of their location. Taste this and one of their many seasonal offerings like Bucktoberfest, Don’t Be So Bitter and St. Bernard’s Christmas Ale, then grab a growler or some crowlers to fill up and bring to your holiday parties. 

Laguna Beach Beer Company is located at The Hive, a fantastic spot to feel the holiday spirit with decorations and lights sprinkled around this artsy area. This creative collective is also home to Laguna Candles, a luxury scented candle shop that makes ideal gifts for your home or someone else’s.  

If you’re around on a weekend, head to Sawdust Winter Fantasy afterward, which is Laguna’s version of a winter wonderland, a magical place to experience the holidays and perfect place to snag unique holiday presents from one of the 175+ local artists and makers displaying an array of paintings, jewelry, photography, fashion, mixed media, and more.

Montage Laguna Beach 

Escape to the Montage and get wrapped up in the holiday season at this luxury resort. Dine at The Loft and appreciate the gorgeous seascape while dining on seasonal New-American cuisine. Afterward, check out the Gingerbread Village outside the restaurant, an ornate and elaborately designed dessert configuration created by Executive Pastry Chef Lee Smith and his team. The village is inspired by fairytales like Hansel and Gretel and Goldilocks, beautifully showing the magic of these tales through a masterpiece village entirely hand made with edible ingredients. As you walk upstairs, the lobby is filled with decorative photo worthy moments, including a brilliant Christmas Tree and mistletoe underneath the fireplace. They also have special events going on all month, including a Champagne Holiday Brunch, Christmas Eve Dinner, and Christmas Day Brunch and Dinner and both The Loft and Studio. 

Broadway by Amar Santana 

Chef Amar Santana and his team take their craft seriously at Broadway by Amar Santana, committed to treating the food and drink as main stage art. They create seasonal, progressive American cuisine in an industrial, New York-inspired space. Visit during the holidays for fantastic food, but stay for their unbelievable drinks. The bar program here takes their craft cocktails to the next level with an entirely winter-inspired menu for the season. Whether it’s a classic Moscow Mule or an imaginative Supermoon Nog exotically infused with Coconut Oil, Turmeric and Cardamom, you will want to come back multiple times this season to try all fourteen options. You can make one of those visits on New Year’s Eve, where they have planned a stellar five-course menu to help you properly celebrate and say goodbye to 2018. 

About the Author

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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