- Things to Do
- Plan Your Trip
Blessed with an abundance of inspiration and creative talent, art comes alive in many forms right here in Laguna Beach. In addition to the major summer arts festivals, there is a city-wide art walk on the first Thursday of each month featuring work from over 40 galleries.
This town is also home to the Laguna Playhouse, a longstanding and respected theater with marvelous performing art happening week after week. Whether it be a play, musical, or dance production, you will encounter captivating and moving performances.
Before attending a show or event, we've laid out some superb pre-theater restaurants because we know most things in life are best enjoyed not on an empty stomach; we also know you don't want to be that person with a loud growling stomach during the program. Each spot listed performs their own culinary works of art, and all happen to be either within walking distance or a short drive from your art adventures.
Walk into hotel La Casa del Camino to find K'ya Bistro Bar, a cozy gem with a warm yet modern bistro-like atmosphere. In addition to the ambience, the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine produces bright and flavorful dishes. The menu, mapped out by plate size and dish type, is best shared, an ideal way to dine so no lethargic food comas hit while at a show. Because most of the night acts begin at around 7:30pm, you can take advantage of their valuable happy hour deals from 5-6pm.
Located a quarter mile away from The Laguna Playhouse, Nirvana Grille is in a prime location for a pre-theater dinner. Past this, the food is simply sensational, where owners genuinely follow sustainable practices of working with local purveyors and sourcing natural ingredients. This philosophy guides their seasonal, clean Californian cuisine and delivers delicious results. Owners Luis Rosales and Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales act as directors, molding the ingredients to be the main stars of the show, while their hospitable staff rounds out the whole production, giving you an immersive experience from beginning to end.
Experience Laguna Beach's all-natural sunset show from one of the highest views in town, presented nightly from Skyloft, with act one being Laguna's landscape and act two being the sweeping seascape of the Pacific. The food offerings unite New American and Southern Comfort cuisine, resulting in an excellently balanced meal. Aptly located downtown on Pacific Coast Highway, you can dine at Skyloft before your show, and then indulge in a nightcap afterward for their late night happy hour and live music which happens five nights a week.
Right in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach, 230 Forest Avenue is centrally located for the monthly First Thursday’s Art Walk or performance at the theater. This restaurant is a prominent dining force in Laguna Beach, where chef/owner Marc Cohen has been creating modern California cuisine since 1996. Cohen relies on fresh produce and fosters innovation, the way Laguna Beach breeds fresh, talented artists and constant creation. In a similar fashion of how art has become attached to the identity of Laguna, so has 230 Forest Avenue. Just like the playhouse presents both contemporary shows and iconic classics, the restaurant’s menu has new dishes as well as staples. In Cohen’s case, his Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding is a must-order dessert that’s been on menu since the restaurant’s conception.
Although it is slightly removed from the buzzing downtown city center, a pre-theater dinner at Starfish Laguna is well worth the drive. Reminiscent of a sexy yet classy lounge, the space and atmosphere are vibrantly trendy. The cuisine is the epitome of the Asian-Fusion genre, pulling ingredients and culinary conventions from Thailand, Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, and India. Instead of trying to recreate traditional dishes, Starfish strays away from this and successfully fuses it all together for unique and bold courses. Menu options here seem endless, which can be overwhelming, but trust that you are in caring and quality hands for a delightful pre-performance meal.
Desiring to have dinner and a show in one place? You can spend an entire evening at Mozambique, the all-encompassing restaurant, rooftop veranda, lounge and bar. Whether it’s one of the live bands on their roster for the weekend, Reggae Sundays, Blues Wednesdays, or Pop Thursdays, you are guaranteed to discover an exciting event at this expansive three-floor establishment. Whatever night you choose to spend there, enjoy their exceptional and energetic South African cooking and spirit permeating through the entire place.
To my amazingly fantastical parents, READ MOREREAD BLOG