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The spirit of Mardi Gras is upon us, and in preparation for Fat Tuesday, I went on an epic food crawl and discovered the best spots to pig out on sumptuous, over-the-top food.
Read along to see these envy-inducing dishes, and then then go have a cheat day for yourself. I promise it’ll be worth every calorie.
My journey started at Skyloft, one of my favorite rooftop spots in Laguna. While watching the downtown buzz, I sipped on a mimosa and ordered the Loco Okimoto, a glorious bowl of Garlic Sticky Rice, Fried Egg, Beef Patty, Grilled Spam, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Brown Gravy and Au Jus. This Hawaiian-Asian creation was so excellently fatty and filling. I also ordered Skyloft’s noteworthy take on a breakfast sandwich. This bad boy came with Fried Egg, Spicy Avocado Salsa, American Cheese, Tomato, Lettuce, Onions, and Maple Glazed Smoked Bacon all sandwiched between buttery Texas Toast. There was sweetness, saltiness, and spice, and the thick-cut bacon was the absolute star, something Skyloft smokes and makes in-house. Oh, did I mention the whole thing comes with seasoned Tater Tots?
P.S. While the Loco Okimoto is technically a brunch item, it’s something the staff can make all day if you wanted breakfast for dinner. All you have to do is ask.
After stuffing myself at Skyloft (it was so difficult to stop eating), I made my way over to brunch stop number two. The menu at Reunion Kitchen and Drink is large but my waitress said I had to go with the Late Night Jalapeño Burger, which comes out with oozing Jalapeño Cheese Sauce down the sides, Pepper Jack, Fire Grilled Jalapeños, Chipotle Aioli, Lettuce, Tomato, and Pickle in between a Brioche Bun. We decided together to add avocado for good measure. To counteract the spiciness, I also got the Breakfast Biscuits & Gravy with Eggs, Buttermilk Biscuits, Sausage Gravy, Fried Chicken, and Hash Browns. This was gluttonous heaven. Reunion also offers a 2 Hour Bottomless Bubbles ($10.95) or Mimosa ($13.95) option, which you should 100% treat yourself to.
P.S. The Late Night Jalapeño Burger comes with a side, and I highly recommend the Thai Coleslaw. If you happen order it after 9PM, it’s half price.
On the way back towards Main Beach, I decided to take the scenic route and detoured to Heisler Park. It’s always a beautiful pathway in Laguna, and I needed to make some more room in my stomach for the Epic Shrimp Burrito at Slapfish. This burrito is filled to the brim with plump Shrimp, Fried Rice, Avocado, Red Onion, and Cabbage Slaw. It’s all bundled perfectly, and I truly don’t know how they fit all of it. The key: ask for Awesome Sauce on the side, which truly is an awesome creamy, tangy, and slightly spicy addition to slather on top.
While Gina’s has many wonderful choices, I had tunnel vision for the “BIGGASLICE” Pizza, a 14”in thin crust cheese slice with available toppings to add on. You may think this is just a gimmick, but Gina’s bakes these to order and take up to ten minutes to make. The crust is perfectly thin and crisp, and it’s a classic slice that reminds me of New York, except it takes both my hands to be able to hold it fully.
From a classic Fish Taco to the atypical Blackened Potato Taco (both of which are amazing), Taco Loco will make you go crazy with the amount of options they have. This time around, I grabbed a few tacos, an ice-cold beer, and a Mexican Seafood Pizza. Think of this as a layered, open-face quesadilla with gooey cheese; it’s excellent. On top of ordering, you get to choose all your toppings at pick-up. I always get onions, cilantro, the medium salsa, and guacamole – and no the guac is NOT extra. I went outside to their colorful and laidback patio and watched people pass by, while crushing some mouthwatering Mexican food.
I decided to end this food-filled day the way it began: dining alfresco, overlooking the ocean. Driftwood Kitchen is positioned above the sand with stunning, unobstructed views. The focus here is seafood and it’s on our official Seafood Guide, but today I had my eyes on one dish: Lobster Spaghetti Carbonara “Rustichella D’Abruzzo”. This creamy and ultra-luxe pasta dish is filled with chunks of sweet lobster, fatty pork guanciale, salty parmesan cheese, and topped with a runny farm egg.
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