las brisas fish

Restaurant of the Week: Las Brisas

Picture this: You’re staring at a panoramic ocean view while enjoying fresh seafood and a crisp margarita. No, you’re not dreaming. You’re at Las Brisas in Laguna Beach.

Las Brisas came on the scene in 1979, replacing the historic Victor Hugo Inn, which was a particular favorite of actress Bette Davis. Las Brisas’ blue and white décor preserves a certain charm and coastal romance that makes you want to slow down and stay a while.

Whether you’re seated in the dining room next to large windows or in one of two outdoor dining areas, you’re treated to a beautiful view of the Laguna Beach coastline. It’s the perfect setting for a happy hour with friends, Sunday brunch or a romantic night out with your significant other.

Upon sitting down, your first difficult decision of the evening is to choose a drink. Las Brisas has an expansive wine menu and multiple cocktails of note. The Laguna Pearl is what we’d consider a gentleman’s margarita, complete with Roca Patrón Silver, Hennessy and Patrón Citrónge. Acapulco Style has a flirty and sweet taste that complements the setting perfectly. For mezcal lovers, the Pineapple Express won’t disappoint. Each sip captures that smooth, smoky flavor but with a light, sweet pineapple finish.

With a primarily seafood-forward menu, the BBQ pork spare ribs appetizer understandably stand out. The agave-chipotle BBQ sauce is a deliciously spicy and sweet addition to their fall-off-the-bone meat. Dip back into the sea with the tuna poke from the raw bar; you can taste how fresh the fish is with every bite, and the avocado and mango bring a balanced brightness. Another appetizer not to miss is one of its four tostada offerings: calamari ceviche, white anchovy boquerones, spicy tuna or corn mousse.

Las Brisas has the ideal date meal all ready for you with its “For Two” offering. Choose from Maine lobster, dry-aged prime ribeye or the immensely popular Contramar, a whole grilled fish with a red chile marinade on one half and a parsley marinade on the other. Add it to fresh corn tortillas with black beans and rice on the side.

The entrees are just as dreamy. Perfectly seared, large sea scallops sit atop a creamy cauliflower purée with green olives and a sweet surprise in the form of golden raisins. The butter-poached lobster is sensationally decadent, perched on top of a thinly sliced potato-chile gratin. Two traditions meet with the steak and lobster enchiladas. Surf and turf are tucked into tortillas and are each covered in a different, complimentary sauce.

They say all good things come to an end, but luckily Las Brisas has a dessert menu that makes saying goodbye a little sweeter. Enjoy the tres leches cake for a light, traditional taste or the chocolate mousse cake if you’re a chocolate devotee.

For more information about Las Brisas, visit www.lasbrisaslagunabeach.com.

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