Laguna Beach

Spook-tacular Halloween in the OC

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in News

Spook-tacular Halloween in the OC
How lucky are we that Halloween falls on a FRIDAY this year?! Stay up to the Hallo-“wee”-n hours. Sleep in on Saturday. Perhaps even keep the Halloween-weekend going with a party on Saturday like my crazy, fun neighbors do. Dressing up and going out? Hire a car to drive you around to these not-to-miss events in the OC – Orange County, that is:

Yelloween

If “Yelloween” makes no sense to you at this moment, trust me when I say when my day is done, I want to go out sipping the deliciously decadent “yellow label” Veuve Cliquot through a straw in a marble bathtub. But, you don’t have to wait until that scary day to sip this anything-but-scary champagne, Veuve Cliquot, on a Halloween sort of day. Head to Fig and Olive Newport Beach for their “Yelloween” Spook-tacular night.

In the spirit of Halloween, FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach is partnering with Veuve Clicquot on Friday, October 31 from 9:30pm – 1:00am to host an enchanted “Yelloween” party. Orange County residents are invited to Fashion Island to celebrate the spooky holiday in style with Halloween cocktails, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, special décor, and a Yelloween photo booth. The bewitching bash will be amplified with soulful house and new Downtempo music by St. Tropez‘s celebrity DJ Julien Nolan.

Guests can sit in the lounge—complete with Veuve Clicquot Champagne and a complimentary dessert plate (limited seating available)—or reserve a table in the dining room to enjoy a prix-fixe menu ($45) or à la carte options. Walk-ins are welcome to enjoy the spirited festivities, though reservations are strongly encouraged. Lounge reservations can be made by emailing: yelloween@figandolive.com. Dining reservations can be made by calling 949.877.3005;  Or, experience the…

**Costume Contest…

If Newport Beach is not your spook-tacular locale of the night OR, if you are ready for a “two-party” Halloween evening, head just a few miles south to the newly opened Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach where Executive Chef Chris Tzorin and his team are hosting the first-ever “Boo Ball” complete with spooky-yet-tasty fare:

Tortilla Republic Halloween

With ocean views and breezes from nearly every seat in the house, Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach hosts its Inaugural Boo Ball. Offering a costume contest at midnight and an “Adult trick or treat” and photo booth all night long beginning at the eerily hour of 8pm.

From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Tortilla Republic will provide a Boo Bites menu, which includes Seared Albacore Tuna Bites with ancho Chile crusted, mango & radish slaw, avocado, and salted chili lime; Huarache de Hongos Bites with crispy corn flatbread, cremini & oyster mushrooms, roasted shallots, baby arugula, and Monterey Jack & Manchego cheese; TR Boo Sliders with three mini hamburgers featuring premium American Wagyu beef, roasted poblano, caramelized onion, chipotle aioli, watercress, and sweet potato fries with cilantro & lime zest; and Prime Tenderloin Steak Taco with fajita rub, salsa de mesa, and tequila slaw.

Whether a one-party, two-party, or group night out event, please don’t drink and drive. Call Uber, have a friend drive, hire a limo for the night, dress up and let someone else do the driving. Spooky-fun is fantastic. Anything else… not worth it. Safety first, fun second!

Fig and Olive Newport Beach
151 Newport Center Drive
Fashion Island
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 877-3005

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach
480 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 393-4888


Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach Opens…

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Ceviche

Fast becoming a restaurant scene to contend with, Laguna Beach welcomes Tortilla Republic’s newest location. In an inviting, luxuriously comfortable beach style, Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach celebrates its highly recognized contemporary Mexican fare with the culinary team of Executive Chef Chris Tzorin and consulting Chef Cathy Shyne.
Emapanadas
Having known Chef Tzorin’s uniquely delicious culinary style, you can imagine my delight when I discovered he was on board. I have been a fan of his signature mole’ creations since first meeting him while judging the chef competition at The Chocolate Event about four or five years ago. Since then, Chef Tzorin has been succeeding in the kitchen and on the television airwaves. It comes as no surprise that Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach draws inspiration from the coastal community as well as beautiful Southern California.
Chicken Mole
Utilizing seasonal fresh ingredients and often organic ingredients, signature dishes include Sweet Potato and Beef Empanadas with chimichurri sauce, and cilantro; Shrimp Zarandeado Salad with sautéed shrimp zarandeado style, mixed greens, romaine, melon, jicama, tomato, roasted almonds, queso fresco, and kiwi vinaigrette; Torta de Carnitas with pulled pork, cabbage, candied oranges, pickled jalapeños, black beans, monterey jack cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, and torta bun, with your choice of soup or mixed green salad; Pescado a la Parrilla Taco with tequila passion fruit slaw, pico de gallo, avocado, salsa de mesa, and cilantro crema; and Short Rib Chile Verde Burrito with prime all natural short rib, slow roasted tomatillo & jalapeño chile verde sauce, monterey jack cheese, house rice, and black beans.
Shrimp Salad
The restaurant also features imaginative brunch dishes, such as Huevos Rancheros with two eggs sunny side up, roasted peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, Monterey jack cheese, black been purée, ranchero sauce, crema, and avocado; Egg White Mole Burrito with egg whites, spinach, cheddar cheese, mole de poblano, pico de gallo, and avocado; Seared Albacore Tuna & Sweet Potato Hash with two poached eggs, wilted micro greens, caramelized onions, and jalapeños; and Fresh Roasted Corn & Blueberry Pancakes with whipped salted butter, and maple syrup.
Tacos
From the bar, guest can enjoy Prickly Pear Bellini, Spicy Bloody Mary, Michelada, and Tomato Fresca, while taking in the unobstructed beach views. Open-air dining is a highlight here with two outdoor open-air dining terraces and a courtyard patio boasting a retractable roof.

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach officially opens Wednesday, October 8, 2014 with a special open-to-the-public ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at 5pm.

Tortilla Republic
480 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.393.4888
www.tortillarepublic.com

www.facebook.com/TortillaRepublicLagunaBeach
www.twitter.com/iloveTRLB

Open for lunch: 11am to 3pm Tuesday-Friday
Brunch: 10am to 3pm Saturday-Sunday

Beef Rib Burrito

ABOUT TORTILLA REPUBLIC
Tortilla Republic in Laguna Beach features modern Mexican cuisine in a sophisticated setting. From the owners of Taste on Melrose and Taste in Pacific Palisades, John Halter, Morten Kaag and Mina Azami, the Laguna Beach location is the newest Tortilla Republic in the portfolio for the restaurant group—the first opened in August 2011 in Poipu, Kauai, and the second location opened in West Hollywood, CA in March 2012. In conjunction with renowned interior designer Kirk Pereira, Halter, Kaag and Azami designed Tortilla Republic to reflect a polished aesthetic including custom furniture inspired by their travels to Mexico. Consulting Chef Cathy Shyne and Executive Chef Brandon Warren have created a farm-to-table menu using fresh ingredients and organic produce.


Laguna Beach Oceanfront Dining at Driftwood Kitchen

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Laguna Beach Oceanfront Dining at Driftwood Kitchen
Driftwood Kitchen
Summer may have ended but the ocean views and summer weather sparkle nearly year round at the recently opened Driftwood Kichen, the newest oceanfront dining experience in Laguna Beach from well known Sentinel Restaurant and Hospitality Group. Sentinel is the team behind The Deck on Laguna Beach and Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa so it is no wonder the group chose Driftwood Kitchen to cozy up next door to The Deck.
The Deck at Driftwood Kitchen
Leading the team at Driftwood are restauranteur, John Nye, and Excutive Chef Rainer Schwarz who are also founders and partners, along with Colby Durnin, of Sentinel Restaurant & Hospitality Group. As you can see, before you even enter the rustic beachy oceanfront restaurant, you are in good hands. Chef Schwarz brings an extensive, acclaimed culinary experience to life at Driftwood. Having begun cooking at age 15 in an old Austrian castle, Chef Schwarz has cooked around the world in five-star hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, Germany and France. Interestingly, I discovered that Chef Schwarz’s culinary travels led him to work with the esteemed Chef Joachim Splichal at the Von Pfyffer in Switzerland and before long, Chef Schwarz waved goodbye to Europe and traveled to Carmel and then Los Angeles working with Chef Splichal at what has become Patina Restaurant Group. But Chef Schwarz achievements don’t stop there. He had much success in Vail, Colorado before returning to Los Angeles and launching Public Kitchen and Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Now, Laguna Beach is thrilled to have his talent behind the fresh, delicious, inspiring coastal cuisine at Driftwood Kitchen.

Seared Ahi at Driftwood Kitchen Seared Ahi at Driftwood Kitchen

When I asked Chef Schwarz what influence his culinary journey brings to Driftwood Kitchen, he explained, “I draw inspiration from many places for this menu. Here, the menu features diversity and freshness the ocean provides.” Sounds good to me and I couldn’t wait to dive right in to sample some seafood and steak selections. To my delight, fish is prevalent on the menu which includes Whole Fried Branzino, Soft Shell Crab, Surf and Turf with Maine Lobster Tail and Petit Tenderloin that features a Bearnaise sauce, Zuckerman Farms jumbo asparagus, and Yukan Gold mashed potatoes, and a mouth-watering New York Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and homemade French Fries.

Seabass with Tomato Halibut with Roasted Tomato

But this coastal cuisine inspired menu with a touch of “turf” is not all that will inspire you, the craft cocktails are bottoms-up some of the best I’ve tasted.

Tenderloin with Pepper Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce

Shares Director of Operations, John Nye, “Our Cocktail Program at Driftwood Kitchen pays homage to the location’s rich history. The Stateroom Bar presents a cocktail menu featuring classic libations reminiscent of the historic tenants.” And who were those tenants? One unforgettable Hollywood actor, Slim Summerville had his home library there and he may have enjoyed a fine whiskey or bourbon, too.

Cynar Town cocktail at Driftwood Kitchen Cynar Town cocktail at Driftwood Kitchen

Among the classic cocktails are selections such as “Cynar Town”, gin with sweet vermouth, cynar artichoke liqueur and orange bitters, “Salad Bar”, sage liquor, kale, sweet red pepper, and lemon sour – almost sounds like one of my cleanse drinks minus the liquor, of course, and “Rock My World”, your own customized Manhattan with a lunardo cherry that is worth the bite and the drink and they pair perfectly with culinary sensations such as Oysters on the Half Shell with Uni (shown below).
Uni Oysters at Driftwood Kitchen

Whether you opt for the mesmorizing oceanfront deck views or the cozy al fresco patio with oversized couches and firepits, Driftwood Kitchen is a Laguna dining experience unmatched by any other.
Deck view from Driftwood Kitchen
Driftwood Kitchen front patio
Driftwood Kitchen
619 Sleepy Hollow Lane
Laguna Beach, CA
Open daily: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
visit: driftwoodkitchen.com
(949) 715-7700

Mac 'n  Cheese at Driftwood Kitchen

SMores deconstructed at Driftwood Kitchen SMores deconstructed at Driftwood Kitchen