We’re definitely spoiled living in Southern California; yes, the state is in a shambles and there are absolutely too many people in cars dashing madly about, but if your soul were nourished by a view like this each morning, you would have to agree that it’s worth it.
Not that this is what I wake up to every morning… I happen to be in Boston for a few days and woke up to a view of the Charles River on a damp and foggy fall day. No offense to Boston – I love the spirit and history of this city and rather enjoy experiencing some “weather” for a few days! After all, to southern Californians, the autumnal equinox brings heat and Santa Ana winds for a few days here and there, followed by temperatures plummeting below 65°F necessitating a hoodie, brrrrr.
Meanwhile, back at the beach. The Surf and Sand Resort in picturesque Laguna Beach might be the best kept secret in this area overshadowed by newer, larger, flashier resorts. Every room has a gorgeous ocean view to nourish your soul and calm your mind. There’s the casual, outdoor bar 15fiftyfive that’s like being on the A-list at a wealthy somebody’s private party with live music and weekly features such as craft beer, artisanal spirits, or wine varietal or region samplings.
Mixologist and pastry chef Ryan Velilla served two handcrafted cocktails: their Musa Mule, a twist on the Moscow, featuring banana-infused Russian vodka and housemade ginger beer, and a Margarita L’Orange rimmed with black sea salt.
Don’t miss Denny White (does a spot-on Ray la Montagne) on Friday and Saturday nights.
Then there’s the stunning 4-star Splashes Restaurant, with waves breaking 25 feet below, as close to the Pacific as you can be without getting wet 🙂 I’ve celebrated at least one wedding anniversary, Mother’s Day, and several romantic dates leading up to those landmark days at Splashes.
On this day, I was among a group of media types invited by The OCeanfront, CA and JC Resorts for a Seafood BBQ on the Surf and Sand’s glamorous pool deck, with an exciting Hollywood-meets-South Beach vibe, to meet Executive Chef Jeff Armstrong and experience Splashes’ Mediterranean-inspired coastal menu and the simple, yet elegant, farm-to-table seasonal fare that has garnered Chef Armstrong national recognition.
Chef Armstrong worked his magic on a huge round stone grill by the sea, is there any doubt that he loves his job!
Life is good when savoring BBQ octopus, grilled shrimp skewers and red snapper with sides of local fish ceviche with flavors of coconut and green curry, roasted corn salad, and chips with guacamole and fresh salsas by the sea!
While these particular dishes and desserts aren’t on the Splashes menu, I’m hungry to try more and thinking, since Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, our anniversary, and my birthday are all past, perhaps a dinner and night’s stay during the holidays is in order. That way I can check out their intimate Aquaterra Spa and soak up more of this stunning gem in Orange County.
1555 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651-3226