At The Deck, the sky and the ocean are almost always bright blue; the view is great, and yes, the food is too


Photos by Shaena Stabler

This week’s restaurant report took me to The Deck, one of Laguna’s favorite beachfront restaurants. With its beautiful patio, cool vibe and private cabanas for hire, it is popular with locals and tourists alike and has been a firm fixture in Laguna Beach since its 2014 opening under the watchful eye of Chef Rainer Schwarz. 

Since moving to the United States, Schwarz has opened dining concepts in Colorado and Los Angeles, including Cienega and Public Kitchen & Bar. After the launch of The Deck and Driftwood Kitchen as part of his Sentinel Development Group in 2014, the restaurants were immediately hailed for their commitment to local ingredients, inventive menus, and visually stunning dishes.

Rainer was born in Austria and began his culinary training there at age 15. After his apprenticeship, he traveled widely, working in five-star hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, Germany, and France. 

While serving as Chef de Cuisine at the Grand National Hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland, he met Chef Joachim Splichal, who would later act as his mentor. He left Europe to work with Splichal at Highland Inn in Carmel, and later at the famed restaurants Patina and Pinot in Los Angeles.

For this week’s report, I decided to concentrate on a lunchtime menu as I feel that evening menus have dominated my reports so far. I brought along Shaena Stabler from Stu News and Monica Silva, development director for KX 93.5, Laguna Beach’s only FM radio station. It was a truly beautiful afternoon, blue skies, blue sparkly ocean and a little quieter than previous weeks, with summer coming to an end for many people.

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Our server, Sarah, positioned us in a beautiful spot, overlooking the sand, tucked away for privacy. She explained the menu to us thoroughly and throughout the meal was very attentive and friendly.

My Food Journey at The Deck

To begin we chose the oysters. The Deck sources oysters all year round, depending on “the best location” at the time, and every time I have visited The Deck, they have never disappointed me. Served with grated horseradish, mignonette, and lemon with a small bottle of Tabasco sauce, this is a great, tasty start to ocean dining.

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From here we decided to stick with the shellfish theme and try the Baja Rockin’ lobster quesadilla. This can be found on the Small Share Plates section of the menu and consists of fresh lobster wrapped in a quesadilla accompanied by Oxaca cheese, fresh tomato relish and guajillo aioli.  

The lobster was cooked to perfection, not chewy in the slightest, and even though served with cheese, the quesadilla didn’t end up with the soggy greasy texture that can often be a result. It was a great dish to share.

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There are five delicious salads to choose from and we decided to go for the Tuscan Kale Salad, served with 18-month mature parmigiano reggiano, dried cherries (in season now) toasted almonds and garlic croutons. It was tasty and even though the ingredients were very simple compared to the other salads, the dish was substantial enough to have as an entree.

Moving away from the seafood for a little while, we ordered the Beach Burger from the sandwiches menu. This was accompanied with aged Vermont cheddar, Nueske bacon, and vine ripe tomato chipotle, served on a delicious brioche bun. This was cooked medium and it was perfect. Every flavor worked together, even down to the tasty sweetness of the brioche bun.

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From the entrée menu, we actually allowed the chef to recommend a fish dish for us to share. We wanted to taste something seasonal. We were presented with the Texas Gulf Red Fish, served with crushed purple majestic potatoes and a fresh mussel and saffron broth. 

This dish was exquisite. The fish flaked apart, and the purple potatoes were so creamy that I was convinced they had been buttered and creamed. However Chef Reiner told me that they were Hawaiian potatoes, so starchy that cream or butter doesn’t need to be used. This dish was really great and I was reluctant to share it with my guests.

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We didn’t have a dessert this time as we were pretty full. Shaena and I went for a cocktail. Monica chose a California cooler consisting of Hendricks Gin, cucumber, jalapeno pepper, lime sour, ginger beer and fresh mint. She reluctantly let me taste it (for reporting purposes only ha, ha!) and it was great. I chose the skinny margarita (my favorite), which was perfect, not heavy on agave, and it went down very well indeed.

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My overall experience of The Deck was really great. The food was fresh, the menu seasonal and if you want recommendations, just ask – the staff are so knowledgeable. The location of this place really is magical and I can totally understand why this is one of the most desirable dining destinations in Laguna Beach.  

I’ll be back.

Dizz’s As Is is as good as it was, and it is likely always to be one of Laguna’s favorite dining destinations

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

Originally owned by an eclectic flamboyant couple in the 1970’s, the restaurant couldn’t help but be called Dizz’s, given their love of life, parties and hallucinogenic drugs. When the Pitz family took the restaurant on a couple of years later, they toyed with the idea of changing the name and the 1920’s inspired décor, which included pink walls, a European style bar area, and old-fashioned drapery, not to mention images of long-ago movie stars. However, the consensus amongst the locals was to keep it “as is.”  And so the place we all know and love “Dizz’s as is” was born, and every Lagunan I have met since moving here knows its name.

Sadly this year, Dizz’s suffered a devastating loss as manager Marc Pitz passed away on Feb. 15 at the age of 51 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Marc managed the Pitz family restaurant for the duration of his working career. He was adored by staff and customers alike.

Marc’s death was a devastating blow to the Laguna Beach community. And over this past few months, the Pitz family has worked hard to keep the restaurant “as is,” which has been hard without Marc.

Dominic Pitz, Marc’s brother, now manages Dizz’s along with the rest of the Pitz family. And it’s truly wonderful to see how the family has pulled together and kept Dizz’s traditions alive.

Dominic tells me that having the restaurant to concentrate on over these past difficult months has been therapy for the whole family and has kept them going through the dark days.

My food journey

Dizz’s may have remained the same for 37 years, décor wise. But the menu changes every day. Grandpapa Pitz has so many recipes that the restaurant can offer something for everyone. Upon arrival we were presented with our own individual selection of dishes. My guest and I were encouraged to swap and discuss our preferences. 

My journey began with delicious Vermouth, which Dominic gave us to cleanse our palates.

He then brought us a honey ginger and shrimp dish, which was absolutely yummy, and accompanied by tasty sourdough bread, which is locally sourced from a bakery in the Canyon.

Around this time, Dominic also presented us with Dizz’s famous pate, served once again with delicious toasted sourdough. The pate was light, creamy and really tasty.

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The pate was perfect, especially with delicious sourdough bread

After this it was time to choose an appetizer. I selected a spinach salad and my guest decided on French onion soup. The spinach salad was fresh, nicely crisp, dressed with nothing more than oil salt and pepper and topped with croutons.

The French onion soup was excellent, the Gruyere cheese perfectly melted. 

Next was the main course. I chose the Swordfish Madagascar, which is seared and baked, and topped with cream, cognac, Dijon mustard and green peppercorn sauce. The dish was served with mustard vegetables and rice. It was incredible, wonderfully cooked, and the fish melted in my mouth.  

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The spinach salad was delightfully crisp

My guest chose the Steak Béarnaise, which was “to die for,” served with vegetables and whipped potatoes. The red wine béarnaise sauce was very rich, therefore the simplicity of the side dishes made a great contrast. The steak was cooked to perfection.

Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly eat dessert, Dominic presented me with a big slice of Dizz’s famous Belgium whipped cream pie, which was insanely good. Always served with strawberries, this dish consists of almond sugar, whipped cream and lashings of fruit. I couldn’t finish it, but it was certainly the best dessert I’ve had for a long time.

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The Belgium whipped cream pie was dazzling to look at and insanely good

My experience at Dizz’s was just that, an experience. I loved the quirky magical atmosphere and the rich eclectic décor. I felt that if the walls could talk, Dizz’s walls would be full of stories.

Though Dizz’s has had tough times over the past 12 months, my evening there proved to me that Dizz’s is almost certainly ‘as is, as it was and as it will forever be’: deservedly a favorite dining destination for Lagunans.

Smoothies/sandwiches taste great at Jan’s Health Bar

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

Jan’s Health Bar was established in 1972 in Huntington Beach, operating out of the back of George’s Surf Shop. Soon Jan Gaffney’s smoothies and sandwiches became a ritual for the surf community, Huntington Beach residents and customers beyond the city’s borders. In fact, my good friend Katie used to cycle from Long Beach to Huntington just so that she could have their ‘world class sandwiches.’ 

20 years after Jan’s opened, Poppy Holguin, a sophomore at Huntington Beach High School, started her first job there. Later she went on to manage and eventually own Jan’s Health Bar in Huntington, before opening at another location in Costa Mesa.

On July 11 this year, Jan’s Heath Bar opened in Laguna Beach, the lure of our wonderful beach town proving irresistible. 

Jan’s Health Bar always uses fresh, locally sourced (when available) ingredients and makes sure that every item on their menu contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Their philosophy is moderation, not deprivation. The company believes that if you want to have a side of chips, a scoop of ice cream in your smoothie or even on a cookie, you should indulge. But the one thing they guarantee is that the items they have on their menu are in their purest form with the most natural ingredients. 

My food journey at Jan’s Health Bar

It’s summer! And my children are constantly in the water, therefore always super-hungry, as you may remember from last week’s article about my “bottomless pit” child, otherwise known as my son Jesse. 

This week it was my daughter and her friends, plus another adult, whose turn it was to fill up.

This task was perfect for Miss Lula, as I affectionately call her my Fruit Bat – as you have probably guessed by now, I have many pet names for my children, depending on their behavior. 

There is one thing that Jan’s has a lot of, and that is fruit and veggies…!

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The fruit at Jan’s will bowl you over

Jan’s is a cool, funky contemporary space located in the Pavilions shopping center in north Laguna. Its clean minimal lines with an injection of color on the logos and the menus appeal to the eye and to the youth. Another bonus: its location offers a great outdoor space, shared with Gina’s Pizza. 

The children, desperate for food after a long day in the ocean, (tough life for these Laguna Beach kids), really wanted to try the smoothies. With more than 10 smoothies to choose from, all three girls decided to choose a different one so that they could sample several.

Between them, they went for a “Cool Strawberry,” a “Sunshine Berry” and a ‘Pure Dragon.” Cool Strawberry consisted of strawberry, pineapple, banana and coconut juice. Sunshine Berry contained strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, banana and raspberry juice. Pure Dragon was made of pitaya, raspberry strawberry, mango banana and apple juice.

I tasted each and they were all delicious, super fresh and cold, and the colors were vivid.  Suffice to say these went down pretty quickly.

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The girls sip delicious cold, refreshing smoothies

My friend and I decided to opt for the sandwiches. Jan’s Health Bar is one of the few restaurants I have visited that has the option of gluten free bread.  Most places in Laguna have a gluten free menu, but to get a “sandwich” is often pretty difficult.

We chose the chicken salad and the tuna sandwich and added avocado to both.

These sandwiches were absolutely delicious, packed with cucumber, lettuce, tomato, soy bacon bits, sprouts, spike seasoning, mayonnaise (or vegannaise if you so wish) and mustard. The sandwiches both came with a fresh fruit pot that consisted of berries, melon and banana. 

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Gluten free sandwiches are hard to come by, and these were tasty!

The girls then chose the famous “amaze bowls.” The Berry Blast contained strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry yoghurt topped with granola, bananas, strawberry, bee pollen and agave. The ABC bowl consisted of acai, strawberries, cacao, almond butter, banana, almond milk topped with granola, strawberries, blueberries, agave and cacao chips.

Both of these bowls were fantastic, packed with flavor and large enough for us to take some home.

The adults selected the avocado toast to share, a big favorite of mine, served on gluten free bread and a fruit pot. This is my perfect go-to lunch/brunch and is very reasonably priced at $6.95.

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The avocado toast proved to be a great value and wonderfully good to eat

My overall impression of Jan’s Health Bar was nothing but positive. It’s a great place to pick up a healthy snack in Laguna and a wonderful venue to take children after a busy day on the beach. The patio area is enclosed so it is very safe for young children, and the menu is extensive enough to cater for the whole family.  

Alison, the manager, was warm and welcoming with fabulous recommendations.  The avocado toast is phenomenal, and since writing this article I have already been back for more.

New upscale downtown eatery, the Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille, more than meets expectations

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

When Jim and Kathy Smith agreed to help a friend become a restaurateur, they had no idea that due to a variety of circumstances, they would become owners of Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille, formerly Ocean Avenue Brewery.

Luckily for them, Giovanni Labile and Tiquio Serratos, both former Ocean Avenue employees, stepped up to the challenge and recently they all opened Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille, a new upscale Mexican eatery.

Giovanni, who originally hails from Italy, has been in Laguna Beach for 10 years. He began working at Ocean Avenue under its original owners. He progressed in the industry quickly, becoming bar manager within six months. Prior to Ocean Avenue Brewery being sold to Jim and Kathy Smith, Giovanni was head of operations. Needless to say, he knows the premises and its regulars inside out. 

A dream comes true

He also knew that the bar needed to change. Fortunately, Tiquio Serratas, originally from Guadalajara, was on hand. 

Tiquio has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 15 years old, and like Giovanni, was an employee at Ocean Brewery, in his case from 1999 to 2007. He started waiting tables and eventually became the bar manager.  

From there he moved to Javier’s, where he managed and developed the bar and its menu. He then moved to La Vida Cantrine in Costa Mesa, where he single-handedly developed the food and drink menu. He used his Guadalajaran knowledge of food and his Californian understanding of restaurant standards, and combined the two to create something unique.

Giovanni and Tiquio wanted to create a unique Mexican restaurant in Laguna Beach. Their aim was to design a cool contemporary space with fresh farm-to-table authentic food. They also wanted to feature local breweries, wines and spirits, thus creating an environment where locals would like to hang out and which tourists would be keen to visit. 

Chef Gulielmo Sandoval (known as Memo), formerly an executive chef at the Hilton in Baja, joined the team and together the three of them have created their dream.

My Food Journey at Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille

This week’s guest was my super fussy non-Mexican food loving 10-year-old Lula. In a desperate attempt to encourage her to “try new things” and “embrace Mexican food” I thought this food report might do the trick.

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Lula discovers the charms of Mexican food and the Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille in particular

To begin with we had the ceviche, always a favorite of mine, never tried by Lula. This was delicious, very light, crisp salad, tender crab and shrimp, served with a lightly whipped avocado mousse. The addition of mango to the ceviche was really wonderful as it cuts through the acidity of the lime. 

Lula loved this dish, especially using the homemade tortilla chips to scoop it up.

In addition to this we ordered a side of guacamole, which was smooth, which I normally wouldn’t order as I love the crunch, but it was tasty and creamy.

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Mango enhances the flavor of the ceviche

It was about that time that I felt it only right to order a cocktail. I ordered an “El Chapo” Desmadre premium blanco tequila, limejuice, muddled orange, agave nectar with a tajin rim. I loved how they served this cocktail: flambéing a pepper on the top, and then extinguishing the flame by pushing the pepper down into the glass, thus releasing the spicy flavor into the cocktail.

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Note the red pepper: an unusual element that added nuance

Next up was the octopus and shrimp ajillo. Al ajillo is a condiment in Mexican food that means combining guajillo and ajo (garlic). The octopus and shrimp were beautifully cooked, tender, not rubbery whatsoever. The sauce was rich and the bread accompaniment fresh. It was delicious. Lula pulled her face at the thought of eating octopus (as many 10-year-olds do) but she demolished this particular dish.

I was ready then to order the entrée. Having tried a variety of seafood dishes, I decided to go for the Norteno Grill Faja Rib Eye. This was a huge dish and was fantastic. I always choose medium rare with my steaks and this was cooked to perfection. The dish was served with rice, melted cheese and chorizo, corn cobb, grilled cactus, bone marrow and guajillo mole.

I was amazed that Lula tried everything on this plate, including the bone marrow, and loved it! There were many flavors but they all complemented each other and worked well together.  All I can say is thank heavens for a “doggy bag” so that we could take a lot of this dish home with us. 

We ate every last scrap and then gave my dogs the bone, which they loved.

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The presentation was wonderful and the rib eye was perfection

Time for dessert. I allowed Miss Lula to choose this course. She selected the Noche Romantica - a chocolate flan, with burned marshmallow served with Bailey’s Cream and fresh raspberries.  Needless to say this went down very nicely. The flan was beautifully cooked and there was just enough for our very full tummies to handle.

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We were definitely fans of the flan

Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille impressed me above and beyond my expectations. The servers were knowledgeable, and Giovanni and Tiquio were gracious, enthusiastic and clearly focused on what they wanted for this restaurant. They are listening to what customers, in particular “local customers” want, and the addition of a fabulous “Taco Tuesday” menu has been very well received.

It was wonderful to meet Jim and Kathy Smith and to see how much they are enjoying their restaurant journey.

If Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille keep this level of food and customer service this high, I see great things for them in the future. Miss Lula and I will definitely be back!

237 Ocean Ave – 497-3381

Brothers and their wives make GG’s Bistro a special place to meet and eat on Coast Highway

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

GG’s Bistro is a family owned business. Brothers Ragip and Bulent Gundogar oversee the smooth running of this fine establishment along with their wives Francesca and Hande.

The families moved from Turkey to Laguna Beach 12 years ago and haven’t looked back.  

“We wanted to move to California and share our food [dishes],” says Francesca. “We chose Laguna Beach as it seemed more European than other coastal towns. We thought it was an area we could really make an impact.”

And GG’s has made an impact in Laguna. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is a favorite of many locals as well as a hot spot for many visitors in Laguna Beach, who are attracted to its Coast Highway location, outside eating areas and menu variety (more on that later). 

GG’s also is now catering at The Sawdust Festival through a catering offshoot called GG’s Express, focusing mainly on fast food with a fabulous but more limited menu.

At the restaurant itself, GG’s offers more than 35 gluten free dishes on a separate menu as well as salads, pasta dishes, appetizers, Mediterranean fare, hot pita sandwiches, bistro burgers and Panini sandwiches, plus a kids’ menu.

Then there’s the drinks menu, with handcrafted cocktails, local beers, wines and spirits.

Francesca explained that the menus are not changed frequently – “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” she says – but they have recently added the grilled calamari back to menu as they found a better supplier. They’ve also added a new cocktail, Chartreuse, to the drinks menu.

My Food Journey

I decided to take two girlfriends along with me for this culinary experience. My main focus was the wonderful sharing platters GG’s has to offer. 

To begin with, my guests ordered a watermelon martini (a firm favorite of theirs). I however chose the Pineapple Chartreuse, which is pineapple juice, lime, Chartreuse – a liqueur with over 130 herbs added to it – and vodka.

The watermelon martinis were, as ever, really refreshing and scarily drinkable! The pineapple chartreuse was, well, I don’t know how to describe it except as “something else!” It was delicious. I am not much into sweet drinks but somehow this drink was not at all syrupy. In fact, it was as refreshing as the watermelon martini.

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The watermelon martini set our mouths watering for more

To accompany our wonderful cocktails, we chose the trio of hummus from the gluten free menu. The trio consisted of olive, red bell pepper and plain hummus, served with celery and gluten free bread. The gluten free bread was nutty and full of flavor without that sticky taste that many gluten breads have.

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A triple treat: three kinds of hummus set our taste buds humming

Alongside this we ordered the outstanding meze platter, a selection of borek, piyaz, dolmas, feta cheese, eggplant dip, tabbouleh, humus and pita bread.  Everything about this dish is perfection, and really ideal if you just want to share light bites with friends.

The seafood salad was next and it was huge, plenty big enough for the three of us to share. Consisting of mixed greens and iceberg lettuce topped with capers, cherry tomatoes, smoked salmon (lox), grilled shrimp, and seared ahi tuna with a beautiful homemade creamy dressing on the side, the salad was crispy and the flavors were wonderful.

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The seafood salad was a sight for sore eyes

From the entrée menu we chose the Ali Nazik to share, a typical Turkish dish of seasoned ground beef skewers chopped on roasted eggplant pureed with garlic yogurt and topped with GG’s crushed tomato sauce, rice pilaf and gluten free bread.  

This was so tasty. The skewers of ground beef fell apart they were so tender, the sauce was of just the right consistency, neither oily nor at all heavy.  The eggplant puree was something I could have happily eaten as its own dish, because it was so delicious.

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This is a Turkish dish everyone should taste – it is a puree delight

As always, I had to try a dessert and I was delighted to see gluten free crème brulee on the menu, served with whipped cream and seasonal berries. With three spoons and three ladies who had saved themselves all day for this moment you can guess how long this lasted…. Yup, about five seconds! It was perfect, creamy light and tasty.

I could tell that there was a reason GG’s has been in Laguna for 12 years and continues to thrive. The owners clearly know what works and what doesn’t. They’re smart not to change what already is great. They merely add to a wonderful diverse menu.  

They also value their customers, the locals who visit every week and the traveller who only visits once.  Everyone is given the same wonderful service from the staff here. Francesca, Ragip, Bukent and Hande are always around watching over the staff carefully and checking that customers are happy during their time at GG’s.

GG’s offers a superb happy hour menu Mon- Fri 4 – 6 p.m. (excluding holidays), during which they offer a slightly smaller menu, featuring dishes that are just as tasty. For me and my friends, GG’s is the place to go to share plates, enjoy the cocktails and the family atmosphere, and appreciate sitting outside in our lovely weather.

Congratulations to GG’s on 12 years, here’s to many more…

GG’s is located 540 South Coast Highway. For more information, visit or call 949-494-9306.

A liquid lunch tastes good, but it’s not what you’re thinking. It’s a lot healthier, which is good – right?

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

This week’s restaurant report is a little different and if I’m honest, not one I am majorly excited about. There would be no sit-down meal. No guest to accompany me on my food journey, no description of how aesthetically pleasing the meal was to my eye. It would be just me, six bottles of colored juice, a box full of chia seeds and more water than the Pacific Ocean!  

That’s right, folks. I’m on a juice cleanse.

There are a few juice bars in town, but as a member of the Art of Fitness gym, I decided to try their in-house juice bar. 

Owned in partnership by Joey Lucchesi and Olivia Northrup, The Art Of Juicing offers fresh pressed organic juices, smoothies and amazing super foods from Mother Earth. All their fruits and veggies support local farmers. They believe in the highest quality of juicing by using pressed juicers, which maintain all the enzymes, vitamins, minerals and more. 

My meals for three days

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Their mission is to provide delicious drinks to invigorate the soul, body, and mind. The quality starts from cleaning their fruits and veggies with 2.5 acidic alkaline then bathing them in 9.5 Ph alkaline. 

They believe in the power of fruits and veggies, and sustainability, offering only green cleaning products. And their motto is: Don’t panic we’re organic.

Why Cleanse?

A juice cleanse is said to reboot your digestive system and infuse live enzymes and vital nutrients into your body. Some signs that it is time to cleanse are a weakened immune system, troubled skin, allergies, low mood, sleeplessness, poor digestion, weight gain, low energy and generally just feeling and looking blah…

As well as providing juices and smoothies for all daily meals, the Art of Juicing offers a three-day detox. There are three different juice detox packages to choose from: Weight Loss, Reset and Low Sugar.  

Being a girl and having a July Fourth weekend looming, I decided to go for the Weight Loss option.

I started my detox on a Tuesday; My instructions were simple. For the next three days I was to pick up six freshly made juices in the morning. Each bottle was labeled 1 – 6, and I was to drink one every two hours in order. Also I was to drink as much water as I could handle, and infuse the water with chia seeds to give me the added protein. Sounded simple! But was it?

For the full three days my juices were the same and in the same order:

Juice 1: Celery, Lemon, Parsley, Mint, Cucumber, Cayenne, 9.5ph H20. Juice 2: Kale, Romaine, Parsley, Celery, Dandelion, Lemon, Cucumber, Ginger, Apple Juice 3: Celery, Lemon, Parsley, Mint, Cucumber, Cayenne, 9.5ph H20. Juice 4: Coconut Meat, Coconut H2o, Lacuma, Vanilla, Cashews, Kale, Romaine, Parsley, Celery, Dandelion, Lemon, Cucumber, Ginger, Apple. Juice 5: Celery, Lemon, Parsley, Mint, Cucumber, Cayenne, 9.5 Ph H20. Juice 6: Beet, Carrot, Lemon, Apple, Cucumber, Ginger.

My Juice Journey

Day one: I was so excited to start my detox! I had worked out in the morning and was ready to begin.

The morning flew by and I wasn’t hungry at all. Each juice was delicious and as long as I kept drinking the water infused with the chia seeds, I felt “full.” The only real thing I noticed at this point was my energy level. I felt tired and had a slight headache. Olivia had warned me about this and said it was more likely to be my lack of caffeine than anything else.  

By around 3 p.m. I was hungry. Luckily Juice 4 was ready to be consumed and I realized immediately why this was called the “steak dinner.”Up until that point all my juices had been a watery consistency but this one was creamy and milky (due to the cashew milk) and much more filling than the others.

Wow, so milky!

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By the evening, I was feeling great. I had an event that evening, and although it was pretty hard avoiding the alcohol and not eating the appetizers that came around, I survived and still didn’t feel hungry, just a little tired.

Day two: Having had one of the best night’s sleep of my life (no joke) I was ready for day two of my detox. I had a personal training session that morning and I must admit I did not feel as energized as I normally did. In fact I felt exhausted. 

I picked up my second day of juices and mentioned my fatigue to Olivia, who suggested I needed to consume more chia seeds as those gave me the protein my body needed as I worked out so hard. So that day, in between juices, I loaded up on the chia seeds in a vain hope it would give me that much needed boost.

Praying for a boost


By the evening I was fading fast. I felt grumpy and really didn’t think I could go any longer without food. On top of this, I had a gig with the radio station (another job of mine) and would be out until past midnight hosting an event. 

I struggled through, but this was definitely the hardest day. I couldn’t wait to get into bed!

Day three: What a difference a day makes… I woke up feeling fantastic, lighter (six pounds lighter to be precise), less bloated and full of energy. This day was not tough at all, in fact I didn’t even drink all of my juices as I wasn’t hungry!

Also my hair, nails and skin looked good. I had positive comments from everyone who saw me. 

I was feeling quite beet at this point

So in the end, I would highly recommended this juice detox. The juices were delicious. Olivia made sure they were ready every morning and most importantly they were adaptable. For example, I love ginger, so she added more to my juices. 

I did lose weight and since the detox, I have definitely eaten cleaner and eaten less.  I can’t wait to try the other detox packages soon!

The Art of Juicing is at 1080 South Coast Highway.



Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

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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.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

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