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Updates for Laguna Christmas dining

By Diane Armitage

“Since Friday’s column, I’ve had more than 30 changes in availability reported by restaurants in Laguna Beach. Here is an updated list. If your favorite restaurant is missing from the list, there’s a good chance it’s either fully booked already or is closed for the holiday.

Please check my column for all listings, including all closures.   

Christmas Eve & Day feasts for take out

Brussels Bistro – Order by Wednesday, Dec. 22 to pick up on Christmas Eve (Friday) between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the Laguna Beach or San Clemente locations. Choose a la carte options that include 24-count oysters, Norwegian Smoked Salmon and three options of entrées that include Christmas lobster, Beef Wellington and Christmas turkey with all the trimmings. 

If that doesn’t suit you, scroll through their many a la carte options for your own Christmas feast. 

Order Take Out: (scroll down for their Christmas package.)

Updates Brussels apple tart

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Brussels Bistro

Brussels Bistro offers a Christmas Feast To Go, which includes four Apple Tarts. Choose a la carte items as well.

Nirvana Grille – Build your own feast with Chef Lindsay Smith’s Mix & Match for Christmas. Order by Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 12 p.m. Pick up Christmas Eve (Friday), between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. (designate your pickup window when ordering). Choose from two pages of Christmas a la carte options at their website. Shop ‘til you drop, and don’t forget the house-crafted desserts.
Order Take Out:

Three Christmas Eve prix fixe menus

To date, just three restaurants have reported specialty menus, but they’re all quite memorable: 

C’est La Vie – Christmas Four-course Prix Fixe Menu, 12-9 p.m. $69 per guest, $16 for kids under the age of 12.

Chef Antonio starts the meal with an amuse bouche of wild mushroom cappuccino and fennel pollen foam. From there, it’s salad options and four entrée options that include Barramundi, Scallops & Shrimp Pappardelle, Grilled Ribeye and Duck Leg Confit with a Pan-Seared Breast.


Larsen at Hotel Laguna – Chef Craig Strong is offering both A La Carte items and a Christmas Four-course Prix Fixe Menu, which is $150 per person, $25 for kids under 10 years of age. (This same menu is served on Christmas Day, too.)

A la carte items include items such as chilled oysters, Grilled Spanish Octopus, his famed Short Rib Cigars and the Hotel Laguna Burger. 

The Prix Fixe menu includes salad, Butternut Ravioli and entrée choices of Sautéed Salmon, Roasted Prime Rib or Oven Dried Tomato & Eggplant Terrine. 

Dessert options include Craig’s Spice Cake, Lemon Tart and more.   

Reservations: Go directly through OpenTable for LARSEN.

Updates Larsen lemon tart

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Diane Armitage

Larsen is offering both prix fixe and a la carte menus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which include Chef Craig Strong’s famed Lemon Tart recipe

Christmas Eve restaurant options – closing early

The following restaurants will be serving their regular menus and closing early. Reservations are recommended at all wait service restaurants. 

Closing in the afternoon: 

Avila’s El Ranchito – The kitchen closes at 4 p.m., bar closes between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

G.G.’s Bistro – open 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Gina’s Pizza & Pastaria – open 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Laguna Beach Beer Company – open until 4 p.m.

McClain Cellars – open until 3 p.m.

Papa’s Tacos – open 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Poké Tiki – open 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Rasta Taco – open 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Ruby’s Auto Diner – open until 3 p.m.

Sergio’s Empanadas – open 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Starbucks – open 5:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sueños – open 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Cliff Laguna Beach – open until 4 p.m.

The Stand – open 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Wharf – open 12- 5 p.m.

Urth Caffé – open until 6 p.m.

Wild Taco – open until 4 p.m.

Z Pizza – open 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Zeytoon Café – open until 4 p.m. 

Zinc Café – open 7 a.m.-12 p.m.

Open through evening (though closing earlier than regular hours): 

Domino’s – open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Mandarin King – available for take-out only until 7 p.m.

Nirvana Grille – open 5-9 p.m.

Ristorante Rumari – open until 8 p.m. 

Salerno by Chef Pirozzi – open 3-9 p.m.

Slice Pizza & Beer – open until 7 p.m.

Thai Bros – open from 4-8 p.m.

The Deck Laguna Beach - open 3-8 p.m.

Christmas Eve restaurant options – regular hours

These restaurants will be open on Christmas Eve, too, serving their regular menus and staying open through standard operating hours: 

Closing in the early afternoon:

Anastasia Café 

Heidelberg Café

Orange Inn


Open through evening:

BJ’s Restaurant 


Las Brisas 


NEA Pizza

O Fine Japanese Cuisine

Pizza Bar

Romeo Cucina


South of Nick’s

Thai Brothers 

The Rooftop at La Casa del Camino

Wahoo’s Fish Tacos

Christmas Day dining room & outdoor dining options

Closing in the afternoon: 

Lost Pier – Certainly good news for beachgoers, their crafty beach hut at Aliso Creek is open regular hours, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

South Swell Donuts – SoLag’s go-to for the best donuts in town is open Christmas Day until they sell out. The owners will be doubling up on favorites that day and are open from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. (or closing earlier if sold out).

Starbucks – open 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Open through the evening: 

C’est la Vie – The regular menu is available throughout the day, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.


Domino’s – open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

GG’s Bistro – Enjoy the full menu fare from 11:30 a.m. to an early close at 7 p.m. 


Greeter’s Corner – Holding down the south corner of Main Beach Park, Greeter’s is offering its regular menu, regular hours, 8:15 a.m.-9 p.m.

Larsen at Hotel Laguna – Chef Craig is offering both A La Carte and a Christmas Prix Fixe menu, see details above for Christmas Eve. 

Reservations: Go directly through OpenTable for LARSEN.

Las Brisas – Christmas Brunch is available at 11 a.m. with dinner options available thereafter. 


Taco Loco – open until 9 p.m.

Thai Bros – open 4-8:30 p.m.

The Wharf – open 12 p.m.-12 a.m. with live music

Z Pizza – open 12-9 p.m.

For confirmed Christmas Day closures…

Please see my website at for the complete list of closures. Thank you, again, for your continued support of our great Laguna Beach restaurants. 

The best-selling author and blogger on The Best of Laguna Beach™, Diane Armitage is on an endless quest for the most imaginative adventures in Laguna’s restaurants, events, and lifestyle. Check out chef interviews, retail and restaurant news, and favorite events at and follow on Instagram @BestofLagunaBeach (look for Diane’s smiling face).


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