A spectacular Mexican Restaurant overlooking Laguna Beach.
If I have any disagreement with the luminaries over at Zagat’s, it is over this restaurant overlooking Laguna Beach. Zagats has sought fit to denigrate it with a rating of only 16 out of 30.
First thing is the beauty of the place. It may just have the most spectacular view in all of Southern California. To be bathed in that warm sunlight as you gnosh on your…your, well whatever you’ve ordered is a heavenly experience. But the food is the part that is underrated.
Zagat’s rated the food pretty ordinary. I cannot disagree more. One of the California staples I cannot stand anywhere or anytime is Guacamole. Hate it. Loathe it. Las Brisas remains the only place in all the world where I can eat the stuff. They claim to have a secret family recipe. I cannot help but believe them. Any place that can do that, does not suck in the food department.
The place is part white-linen tablecloth first class, elbows-off-the-table joint, and Party Bar. You’ll be waiting for your table, with complementary chips and salsa in the Party Bar. But hopefully, your wait won’t be long, and you’ll soon be escorted in for one of the best, and most beautiful looking meals you’ve ever had.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Now, Las Brisas is primarily a Seafood place, and they served a mean plate of seafood. But since me and Seafood don’t can’t get along, I usually aim for the La Asada, which in Las Brisas-world means and all Natural Certified Angus New York steak, with a chicken enchilada. If I come to the Sunday Brunch (my preferred means), I have the Steak then too. Seriously, they do a great job with it.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Two things. One, if you’ve coming from as far as I’m coming (San Fernando Valley), you’re talking an hour there, and an hour back. It is a seriously draining drive. I don’t usually recommend 5 Hour Energy, but some kind of energy boost is a damn good idea if you’re going to be driving that much.
Two, the Patio. There are no reservations for the Patio, which is mainly for just drinking and partying al fresco. You just show up and grab a table. Learned that one the hard way.
PARKING: Las Brisas has their own Valet-powered lot. It costs a little, but when you consider the fact that its centrally located, and gives you easy after-dinner/breakfast/lunch access to the Beach afterwards, its a bargain. You can try the Meters on Cliff Drive, but…seriously, good luck with that. I have never seen a space open up near the Restaurant when I’ve been there (admittedly on heavy-business days).
361 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Tel: (949) 497-5434
Monday-Thursday: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm