The Loft’s brunch at Montage: the magic of the setting is equaled by the mouthwatering food

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

When you get an invite to attend Montage Laguna Beach for a food report, the first thing you have to consider is who on earth you would take as a companion. As you can imagine, being a food writer makes you pretty popular. And as soon as friends got wind of a Montage invite, I knew they’d all be getting in touch. When my good friend called me with some sad news, it seemed only right to invite her along to cheer her up. And I think it worked.

The purpose of my Montage visit was to sample the new brunch menu at The Loft. Inspired by the elegant yet tranquil environment of Laguna Beach, The Loft presents a unique dining destination to enjoy the scenic beauty and relaxed atmosphere of the beach while sampling inventive yet familiar cuisine. The menus have been carefully created by Chef de Cuisine Michael Campbell using familiar ingredients and re-introducing them in a way that is imaginative but also memorable and consistent. 

Located on the fourth floor of the resort, The Loft overlooks the grand swimming pool of Montage, ornately decorated with a colorful sun motif, and in the distance, the sparkling horizon of the Pacific Ocean.

The Loft introduced weekend brunch beginning in November, the day I sampled the food for this report. After previously only offering brunch on select holidays, the Laguna waterfront restaurant will now offer an a la carte menu every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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The Loft’s brunch offerings are unique: take this pastrami hash, for example (do, you’ll love it), with sunnyside up eggs

“The Loft’s picturesque setting makes it the perfect weekend getaway for those wanting to enjoy a relaxing brunch, whether they are Orange County locals or guests of Montage,” explained Chef Campbell. 

“My weekend brunch menu offers something for everyone, from more traditional brunch dishes, to more eclectic offerings to excite the palate,” he added.

As Chef de Cuisine, Michael Campbell leads a winning team of chefs, sommeliers, servers and fromagiers. He brings an excellent eye for the culinary arts and an unrelenting commitment to the integrity and seasonality of every ingredient. Chef Campbell is passionate about inspiring his team and bringing an enthusiasm to every aspect of the cuisine and day-to-day responsibilities of the restaurant. 

The Loft strives to actively involve guests in their dining experience – from highlighting artisanal ingredients on the creative American menu to pouring hard-to-find boutique wines and serving rare cheeses with the perfect accompaniments from an interactive cheese gallery.

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The mortadella Eggs Benedict were amazing

Chef Campbell brings 20 years of experience in culinary arts. Prior to joining Montage, Campbell moved to Southern California to open Pueblo in Costa Mesa as the executive chef. At Pueblo, he designed a Spanish tapas menu that focused on seasonal SoCal ingredients. 

Before his relocation, Campbell worked for the Mina Group in San Francisco as the executive sous chef at RN74, where he developed weekly programs such as Sunday suppers and weekly wine dinners. His culinary career took him to Europe, where he worked in Avignon, France at Numero 75, and Barcelona at Arrel Del Born, a fine dining Catalan fish house. Campbell began his career at Wildwood Restaurant in Portland, under the leadership of Chef Cory Schreiber, a true mentor in the Pacific Northwest culinary scene.

Every experience at Montage Laguna Beach is pretty special. When we arrived we were presented with two wonderful cocktails, a blood orange mimosa, which contained Piper Sonoma sparking wine and St Germain Elderflower Liqueur with blood orange juice. Also available was a Traditional Bloody Mary, made with Ketel One vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix. All drinks were fabulous.

It was then onto food and, as with the drinks, we were not disappointed. We were served family style. The meal started with a huge and very inviting seafood platter, consisting of oysters, shrimp, lobster and crab claws, accompanied by a variety of condiments. This dish was the perfect start to our brunch. 

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The shellfish platter enlivens a delicious seaside brunch

Following this we were presented with the Montage Eggs Benedict, served with crispy mortadella, poached eggs and hollandaise breakfast potatoes. This dish was perfection, a stunning combination of flavors. The eggs were amazing. 

Next came the pastrami hash, served with sunnyside eggs, horseradish and chile caramelized onion. This dish was heavenly: the saltiness of the pastrami and the spice of the horseradish gave this much-loved traditional breakfast dish a uniqueness that worked perfectly.

The salad served to us was a brunch Caesar, served with braised bacon and chopped egg. It was fresh, crispy and tasty.

It was then onto some sweet treats, and wow, they were sweet in every way. First up were the apple and mascarpone crepes, served with vanilla and bourbon caramel and candied pecans. These were out-of-this-world good, as good as any of the crepes I’ve eaten in France.

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Holy crepes, this was good…

Next was the bananas foster waffle, a delicious large yet light waffle, served with peanut butter cream and salted peanuts. This was also delicious and I know I need to take my daughter to try this. 

My experience at Montage was, as always, exquisite, luxurious and beautiful, with the food complementing the magic of the resort.

The Loft is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is located at Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 Coast Highway. To reserve, call (949) 715-6420.


It’s ale good: Skyloft offers terrific Tastes and Taps menus, pairing a range of beers with delicious dishes

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

Skyloft proudly boasts one of the largest selections of beers I’ve witnessed in Laguna Beach (and I’m English, so I’m pretty good with beers). Beverage director Louie Palmerin has skillfully crafted one of the most innovative selections of craft beers locally, and when I was invited to a “Taps & Tastes” event, there was zero hesitation.

Having tasted Skyloft’s Chef Arthur Ortiz’ delicious fall/winter menu a few weeks earlier, I was already really impressed with Skyloft’s commitment to their food and the management’s intention to change people’s opinion that it is only “a drinking bar.” 

I’ve been delighted to hear that people have been visiting based upon my Stu News recommendation, and everyone has been so impressed.

Palmerin and Chef Ortiz are raising the bar even further with monthly craft beer dinners, entitled “Taps & Tastes.” Set for the second Wednesday each month, the price is $55 (tax and gratuity not included). Reservations are required at (949) 715-1550.

At this first Skyloft beer dinner, the great Stone Brewing Company was in residence, with brewery representatives educating us on six six-ounce selections with a six-course paired dinner menu from Chef Arthur. 

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Summery Citrusy Wit proved a wonderful companion to fried green tomatoes

To begin with, we were given fried green tomatoes coated with a light herb breading and accompanied by lemon dill aioli, spicy avocado dressing with rock salt, pink peppercorn and micro cilantro. This was really tasty. To accompany this dish, we enjoyed a light ale called Citrusy Wit, which had hints of lemon and orange and was a perfect pairing to a light summery dish.

It was then on to the gumbo, consisting of pulled chicken and chicken Andouille sausage served with bell peppers and including okra, garlic sticky rice and cilantro. This had been a favorite of mine at the fall/winter tasting. It was accompanied by the Ripper, an English style pale ale, very malty in flavor, reminding me of sitting in a cold public house back in England with the rain hitting the windows outside. It had a comforting warmth about it that sat beautifully with the gumbo.

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Small dishes, including the smoked salmon, were perfectly proportioned

The third course was smoked salmon, served with tomato lemon dill aioli and chives. This was a very nice, simple dish – great flavors and beautiful salmon – served with the Stone Cali Belgique IPA, which is made with dry hops (for those of you that don’t know, dry hopping means soaking hops in fermented beer rather than boiling them into the wort). This beer was my favorite of the evening, not too pale not too dark, with a slightly more amber taste.

We then enjoyed ribs (which were served with gloves so you didn’t get your hands sticky - perfect touch, chef!). These were black cherry glazed St Louis ribs, exceptional in every way. They were served with the Stone 222 Vertical Epic Ale, which is a bumped-up Belgium style wit, made all more alluring thanks to an infusion of orange peel, coriander, black pepper and a healthy dose of centennial hops. This beer tasted strong and rich. It was a firm favorite with the table.

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If you enjoy wit (beer), think about indulging in Stone 222 Vertical Epic Ale along with St. Louis ribs – served with gloves to avoid sticky fingers

Following this, we went onto the sprouts, charred, with Cajun seasoning and served with bacon and maple syrup. This was a great dish, served with Stone Enjoy IPA – the concept of this IPA is that it is not meant to last. The big bold date emblazoned on each vessel is the 35 days (five weeks) you have to find and enjoy this ale. Different from the others, this was fresh and crispy, complementing the vegetables beautifully.

The final dish was the delicious key lime cake square, a phenomenal dessert that I was happy to try again (I sampled it at the fall/winter tasting). The pie was served with Stone Coffee Milk Stout. I’m not a stout fan and didn’t enjoy this drink. However the stout fans on the table assured me that if you like stout, this is incredible. The roasty character comes from adding coffee beans and is balanced out by milk sugar to add a sweetness and creaminess, perfect with the cake dessert, if you like that kind of thing.

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The pairing of Stone Coffee Milk Stout with key lime cake received raves

Taps and Tastes should be a great hit. The Taste part is perfectly proportioned, with small plates of great food. The beer tasting is interesting to hear about and I feel that even if beer is not your thing, the explanations and the knowledge you gain regarding brewing is really interesting.

I think it would be a great idea for small businesses to give it a go as either a holiday party or a team building experience. Just watch it though… those beers creep up on you… I had a bit of a fuzzy head the next morning.

Skyloft is located at 422 S. Coast Hwy. Visit www.skyloftoc.com for more information or call 949-715-1550.


Mozambique’s Durban Room, with piano bar, is sure to be the LB speakeasy “where everyone wants to be” 

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

Mozambique Restaurant has just launched the opening of their new “Durban Room,” modeled on the speakeasy culture of old.

One year ago Mozambique owner, Ivan Spiers had the restaurant’s lower rooms (which had been used primarily for group dining events) fully remodeled, along with the addition of the full bar, and chose to call it the Durban Room, a nod to his South African past. (Durban is a large port city on the country’s east coast.)

Spiers’ vision was to create an evening and late night lounge for people who might not be interested in the larger crowds and louder music on the second floor of the incredibly popular Mozambique.  

Cocktails by the sea: could life get any better?

The Durban Room was beautifully redone with this vision in mind. Then Ivan asked for the creative input of Laguna’s wonderful marketing guru, Diane Armitage. With her input, it was decided that the Durban Room should be marketed as its own distinct personality, given that it had all the makings of a classic speakeasy – but it needed to reflect more of that gritty, old school image.  

The “speakeasy” concept has origins that date back to the first decades of the 20th century, in the city of New York during Prohibition. During that era, New York  was governed by the dry law, a controversial measure that prevented the manufacture and consumption of alcohol. Demonstrating that all law is born to be broken, hidden bars began to appear behind closed doors, which over time evolved into night restaurants.

Generally, speakeasy bars are bars behind closed doors that offer exclusive cocktails and food menu items in an environment that is only accessible to a few. 

The speakeasy-style bar will feature entertainment three nights a week

A few years ago when speakeasy-style bars started popping up around Los Angeles, the trend may have seemed destined to be short-lived. But now with secretive watering holes opening nearly every month -- each with an entrance more elaborate than the last -- it’s clear we have an obsession with drinking in hidden places. 

And while LA has long been full of exclusive bars and clubs that demand you be on the “list,” these clandestine spots offer a fun and often low-key alternative to the velvet ropes and only require a bit of curiosity and resourcefulness to get in. 

With this in mind, Diane enlisted the help of a good friend (who just happens to live here locally) to take a look at the place for ideas on how they could make this concept happen here. He is one of Hollywood’s top production designers and Diane says, “He immediately started talking about how simple tweaks could be done to really transform this lounge into that sexy, everyone-wants-to-be-there kind of speakeasy.” 

At the same time, they decided to start a piano lounge and bring in truly great national and regional talent including pianists, renowned singers and acts including top-of-the-line jazz, blues and classic talent for weekend performances.

The chicken peri-peri is very very good

The dining menu is changing as well as the cocktail menu and will include many more high-end wines by the glass and true mixology-type cocktails. Wines and champagnes by the bottle will include very popular brands as well as those higher-end luxuries such as Louis Roederer Cristal, Moet & Chandon’s Dom Perignon, Joseph Phelps Insignia, Opus One, Cain Five and Lokoya Mt. Veeder.  

With champagne served on arrival at the restaurant, highly motivated staff, craft cocktails to sample and delicious appetizers to tease us, as well as spectacular musical accompaniment from the fabulous Tommy Benson and Addie Hamilton, my experience of the Durban Room was exciting and tantalizing. I cannot wait to see how it is transformed over the next few months.

Right now, the Durban Room is open every evening for dinner and late night, with entertainment on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Each week, people will be seeing more changes occurring.

(There is also a little whisper that there will be a launch of the full Durban Room Speakeasy experience on New Year’s Eve, but that the party will be an invite-only event, complete with unique passwords that interested parties might have to vie for in hopes of being added to the list. But that’s just a whisper...  I’m not one to gossip…)

The Durban Room at Mozambique Restaurant is located at 1740 S. Coast Hwy. For more information, visit www.mozambiqueoc.com or call 949-715-7777.


With its serene canyon setting and creative cuisine, Harvest provides a unique experience for foodies

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

An exquisite night was had by all at the press night for the opening of Harvest Restaurant, located at The Ranch in Laguna Beach. Harvest aims to be one of the OC’s newest and buzziest culinary experiences designed to expand our appreciation of terroir food, drink and hospitality, and I can assure you that on its opening night, the restaurant more than delivered.

General manager Kurt Bjorkman led the evening’s events with his witty honest speech detailing the concept of this fine restaurant and introducing us to executive chef Charles Imbelli, whose enthusiasm for the restaurant was animated and exciting. 

Then Mark Christy gave a touching tribute to the team involved in the redeveloping of The Ranch, a speech which was both heartfelt and beautiful, as were his personal thanks to his wife, whom he noted has been a pillar of strength to him during this arduous re-development. 

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Appetizers were, well, so very appetizing!

Christy has a great deal of passion for the Ranch, stemming from his childhood when he golfed at Ben Brown’s with his father. He describes his ownership as more of a caretaker role, ensuring that this tiny piece of Laguna history never disappears. Harvest is aesthetically beautiful. 

Laurie Alter, a Laguna Beach native, has created a breathtaking interior, which combines the history of the storied property with the comforts of the modern day. Laurie is an interior designer by profession and a boutique owner by passion. She founded Tuvalu Home—part décor destination and part design studio—in downtown Laguna in 2003. Her elegant touch and her coastal familiarity is evident in every square inch of The Ranch. It is classic, comfortable and chic, using the beautiful natural setting as a backdrop to a wonderful design.

Located in this genuinely magical and timeless natural setting of The Ranch, Harvest is dedicated to celebrating the revival of California’s organic farming, ranching, brewing, distilling and oenology rituals. 

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Shellfish dishes were beautifully presented and tasty

The menu will change with each season, integrating fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables grown and gathered from their own half-acre harvest garden. 

Executive chef Charles Imbelli moved himself, his wife and his four-month-old baby to Laguna Beach in a heartbeat, overjoyed at the prospect of taking on the role at Harvest. Charles, a 2014 Zagat New York “30 under 30” honoree, has worked in the Pacific Northwest, New York and California during his culinary career. He began with an “under the table” apprenticeship at the age of just 14, working alongside some of the industry’s preeminent names, including David Waltuck at Chanterell and the Samuelsson Group in New York. He also headed recipe testing and standardization for the Group.

Prior to joining Harvest, Charles had been in California for three years working for Ace Hotels’ culinary operations, before joining Venue 66, a full service boutique event caterer in Los Angeles. 

His vision for Harvest is to share his creative and intensely local take on seasonal comfort food.

The beauty of the setting at Harvest Restaurant is overwhelming

To be entirely honest, I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of Harvest you could have served me nothing to eat and I would still have struggled to write anything negative about this place. And even so, as the night went on, things just got better and better.

The restaurant was busy yet felt incredibly relaxed. We were served with champagne on arrival and encouraged to walk the space and explore the different areas of the restaurant, including the beautiful outdoor patio with serene golf course views. 

There was no sit-down meal at the event. Instead butlers served us hors d’oeuvres as we mingled. These included deviled eggs with crispy shallots, caperberries, smoky Maldon burrata, tomato jam, brioche, micro basil, smoked Gouda Gougeres, Mexcal cured salmon, herbed crème cheese, scallion puree, chicken skewers, roasted lemon marinade, chimichurri, harvest burger, horseradish: yes, really, all those things! Each was an incredible tasty light bite.

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Ranch burgers march to the beet of a different drum: horseradish-beet sauce

Alongside this (yes, there was more), was an amazing raw bar station featuring hamachi crudo, pickled pears and fresnos, yuzu, shiso, shrimp cocktail, avocado mousse, curried almonds, hearts on fire, oysters and lemon mignonette all fresh and beautifully presented.

The entrée station was located on the outdoor patio, serving pan-seared salmon with red pepper tzatziki, quick dill pickles, wild rocket, marcona almonds, bloody mary mussels and lamb meatballs with Harissa tomato sauce. Chef Kyle St John was on hand at this station, cooking on the open outdoor grill. Everything was perfect.

The sweet station offered a wide range of beautiful mini desserts including pot de crème, espresso whipped cream, chocolate mint panna cotta, salted caramel, popcorn shots, saba apple fritters with cinnamon sugar and orange whipped cream. I’m not a dessert girl, but this was all seriously good.

The bar area is outstanding and in Kurt’s opening speech, he declared that it is “the best bar in Laguna Beach.” It certainly has an amazing cocktail menu, all handcrafted, featuring specialty releases of aged cocktails that coincide with seasonal holidays and special events. There is an array of wines and local craft brews from pale ales and lagers to hefty stouts.

My experience at Harvest Restaurant was nothing short of outstanding and I cannot wait to go back and write a full food report. Congratulations to all involved. Harvest is most definitely a Laguna Beach treasure.

For more information, visit www.theranchlb.com or call 949-499-2271.


Taps & Tastes at Skyloft will feature innovative craft beer pairings during monthly dinner events

Skyloft Beverage Director Louie Palmerin is one proud papa, and deservedly so, as Palmerin has skillfully crafted the largest and most innovative selection of craft beers in Laguna Beach. 

Now, Palmerin and Skyloft Chef Arthur Ortiz are raising the bar even further with monthly craft beer dinners, entitled “Taps & Tastes.” Set for the secondWednesday of every month, Taps & Tastes will premiere at Skyloft on Wed, Nov 9 at 6 p.m. The price is $55 (tax and gratuity not included), and reservations are required at (949) 715-7700. 

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These ales and more should help cure whatever ails you: the allure is obvious

At this first Skyloft Beer Dinner, the great Stone Brewing Company will be in residence with brewery representatives educating guests on at least six 6-ounce selections. The frothy tastes only get better with a six-course paired dinner menu from Chef Arthur. 

“When you work with a great beer company like Stone Brewing, you have to pull out all the stops,” says Chef Arthur. “We will be tasting pale ales, Belgian style ales, porters and stouts, so the paired foods have to both hold their own and complement these great beers.” 

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Fried green tomatoes prime the taste buds for a good beer

The decadent six-course menu includes fried green tomatoes with spicy avocado dressing; Chef Arthur’s homegrown gumbo recipe with pulled chicken, smoked andouille sausage and garlic sticky rice; in-house smoked salmon with lemon dill aïoli; black cherry glazed ribs, best-selling Brussels sprouts with charred, Cajun-seasoned pork belly bacon and, finally, Chef’s crowd favorite, key lime cake. 

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Delicious smoked salmon simply begs for a beer chaser

Future Taps & Tastes beer dinner dates are set for the following Wednesdays: Dec 7, Jan 11, Feb 8 and March 9. Beer lovers and gourmands should mark their calendars and watch for upcoming announcements on each month’s chosen brewery by visiting www.SkyloftOC.com and by following @SkyloftOC on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

“We’re looking forward to staking our claim as the area’s only provider of gourmet beer dinners,” says Palmerin. “Our guests are in for a very memorable and fun experience.” 

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Black cherry glazed ribs and beer: a combination made in gourmet heaven

Just nearing its one-year anniversary, Skyloft has made an impact with slow-smoked steaks, ribs, brisket and more. Additional entrees in fresh fish, seafood, innovative salads, sandwiches and pastas pair beautifully with craft cocktails and the finest selection of local and regional craft beers around. 

Skyloft serves lunch and dinner daily with a weekend breakfast that welcomes early birds and late risers, one and all. 

A favorite drop-in for locals, Skyloft also offers the only locals’ “secret menu” in town – The Artifacts – named after Chef Arthur Ortiz. 

With roof deck bar and dining that looks onto Laguna’s famed Main Beach, the city’s largest, swankiest bar on the main level, and live music seven nights a week, Skyloft has quickly become the meet-and-greet destination for great food, lively fun and top-notch entertainment. 

Skyloft is located at 422 S. Coast Hwy. For reservations, call 949-715 7700.


Mandarin King, a family-owned restaurant, offers familiar and oh-so-tasty dishes to famished families

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

Mandarin King Restaurant is a small family owned restaurant that has proudly served Laguna Beach and its visitors since 1984. We all know that the restaurant industry is tough, especially given the rising levels of health consciousness, so for a business to survive for 34 years anywhere is commendable, and particularly admirable here given the assumption of many people that Chinese food is laden with calories, over-fried and even worse than that, coated with MSG. 

(MSG is used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer with an umami taste that intensifies the meaty, savory flavor of food, but its use is controversial and often linked with nausea and headaches.)

At Mandarin King, keeping the health of their customers in mind, they do not use MSG. They adjust their traditional dishes to fit the diet of their customers. The chefs cook each dish to order, allowing the kitchen to make gluten free, vegan, low-sodium or low-sugar meals upon request. Moreover, they are more than happy to work around any food allergies as well. 

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Soup’s on: a tasty way to start a meal at Mandarin King

My children are big fans of Mandarin King’s orange chicken. This dish is delivered and served in both Laguna elementary schools once a month and is a huge hit with the children. The restaurant has provided this meal for 15 years, starting with the high school first before moving onto the elementary schools last year.

Its longevity is something Mandarin King prides itself on – not only how long it has been open, but also the length of time served by each staff member. Glenn Yu, the manager, has been there since day one, while many of the servers, plus the three chefs in the kitchen, have worked at the restaurant for 20 years plus. 

Mandarin King is very much a family ran business in every sense of the word. The menu has never changed in 34 years. They serve Chinese American food at its best, healthiest and most affordable.

It made perfect sense to take my children for this tasting and we decided to opt for the “family dinner” for $15.55 per person. This meal is an outstanding value. Depending on the number of people at the table, the restaurant might add an extra dish, and there was plenty of food. 

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Mongolian beef, one of the dishes served as part of our “family dinner”

What I also love is that this approach encourages people to try new things. This is particularly important for my daughter who is notoriously picky and will always order the same dish. It’s a great way of getting kids to try new things.

My Food Journey at Mandarin King

To begin with we were presented with a Three Flavor Sizzling Rice Soup. This was a wonderful broth, incorporating chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and spices with the addition of some crispy sizzling rice. We all thoroughly enjoyed this, it was tasty and a great way to start a meal. 

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Pot stickers, egg rolls, and fried wonton make delicious appetizers

It was then onto an assortment of appetizers, including egg rolls, fried wontons, pot stickers (steamed dumplings) and a paper wrapped chicken.

These were all delicious, not at all greasy and each enjoyed tremendously by the children. I was gobsmacked  (as we say in the UK) that my daughter ate the pot sticker, something she always maintained she didn’t like. However, she had two…

We then shared main dishes including Mongolian beef, garlic chicken and mu-shu pork. All dishes were outstanding. 

The sweet and sour special sauce was just sticky enough and the shrimp was just lightly battered. To me, there is nothing worse than too much greasy batter, so I was pleased. 

The Mongolian beef was also really good, consisting of velvety tender beef, stir fried with white and green onions. The beef was tender and the vegetables were al dente and so fresh.

The garlic chicken was the last dish and this was amazing, made up of chicken stir-fried with garlic, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and water chestnuts. 

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Mandarin King’s garlic chicken dish has been on the menu for 34 years

All of the above were accompanied by special fried rice and amazing sticky rice, which I wish I could do myself. I never get sticky rice right and my children love it.

Glenn bought us an added dish, one that isn’t featured on the menu, but you can ask for it. Sadly I didn’t get a very good photograph of it, so I will try my best to describe it – perhaps you can ask for the Laura Buckle special? 

The dish was basically a Chinese burrito, filled with pork and crispy white and green onions, and served with plum sauce.  

This was by far my favorite dish of the evening. We took an extra one home and the kids had it for lunch the next day. For me this was a really amazing healthy Chinese option – nothing fried, just a delicious stack of veggies wrapped in a light rice-based tortilla. I would happily order this for a to-go lunch.

Dessert wasn’t necessary, but Glenn presented us with almond cookies and fortune cookies – not that I need any more luck: I live in an amazing place, have wonderful family and friends and get to report on restaurants every week. 

Life is sweet, not sour.

Well done on 34 years, Mandarin King!

Mandarin King is located at 1223 N. Coast Hwy. Call 949-494-8992 or visit www.mandarinkinglaguna.com for more information.

Kya

 

Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena is the Publisher and Stu is the Editor-in-Chief.

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Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

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