Executive chef Thomas Crijns of Brussels Bistro teams up with fellow Belgian Philippe De Smedt and French restaurateur Thierry Perreau to give his seasonally inspired menu of Belgian-style cuisine a French twist, earning the restaurant recognition as one of the 2012 Top 10 Orange County Bistro Restaurants in Gayot and named Best French Fries in 2008 in OC Weekly for their signature side with dipping sauces. With live jazz music each Tuesday through Thursday and DJs spinning music under pulsing colored lights Fridays and Saturdays, it is not surprising that OpenTable also took notice of the spot and awarded Brussels Bistro the Diners Choice for Late Night Find.
While known for its late night offerings, Brussels Bistro features a menu of lunch fare including quiche Lorraine packed with gruyere cheese, tomatoes, and bacon and savory ham-and-cheese crepes. Diners may opt to share their bountiful pots of mussels and Belgian-style fries on the sunny outdoor terrace while sipping one of nine Belgian beers on tap or 15 bottled varieties each served with a signature glass etched with its family tree.
Bikram Yoga Laguna Beach's instructors, certified by the technique's creator, Bikram Choudhury, sculpt lean frames with strengthening postures performed in elevated temperatures, earning the attention of OC Lifestyle. They lead patrons of all skill levels through 90-minute Bikram yoga classes, bathing bodies in hot air, which helps to loosen limbs for deeper stretching and coaxes out beads of sweat to flush out toxins and internal snowmen. The 26 postures pair up with two breathing techniques to awaken slumbering organs and keep veins coursing with oxygen-rich blood as students bolster balance, strength, and flexibility. The wall-to-wall mirrors reflect the hard-working bodies, which are bathed in natural light flooding in through the white-walled studio's windows. After class, students may opt to capitalize on the studio's close proximity to the beach and cool off in the ocean one block away.
Private instruction pairs yogis with custom personal-training sessions to ensure guests practice proper technique, and private classes for groups bond coworkers, athletes, or groups of friends through focused movements.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
Beneath the surface of the serene Pacific Ocean, a reef wall bustles with a vibrant mix of coral, fish, and crustaceans. Though known for its beauty, the underwater landscape also shelters the shoreline from choppy waves. In these tranquil waters, the instructors at Laguna Beach Paddle Boarding share their standup paddleboarding expertise with students of all skill levels. The ideal water conditions are augmented by wide, stable Padillac paddleboards. The staff hands these out during lessons and tours of Laguna Beach's Treasure Island Coves, named as such to distract visitors from where the treasure is actually hidden: Dennis Rodman's basement.
Laguna Beach Paddle Boarding also hosts an annual Paddle Party and frequent Paddle Girl Parties to raise awareness for the nonprofit organization Hailey's House, which helps guide teenage girls to make positive life choices.
The Laguna Art Museum began in 1918 as a small gallery in a converted cottage, where local artists would display and sell their pieces to the public. As the exhibits and collections grew larger over the next several decades, the founders moved the gallery into a larger, custom space, and eventually transformed it into a museum celebrating the development of Californian art from the 19th century to the present. The museum currently boasts a permanent collection of more than 3,500 works, as well as rotating exhibits that track the evolution of artistic expression.
To further its mission of spreading public appreciation for local art, the museum hosts informative lectures and open-house receptions. The museum’s Carole Reynolds Art Research Library also intrigues readers with more than 5,000 books, many of which chronicle the history of Californian art.
Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach has showcased the paintings, sculptures, and creations of local artists in an outdoor gallery alongside hands-on workshops and live music shows for more than 80 years. A carefully curated bumper crop of local artwork from 140 artists brightens gallery walls in a spectrum of styles, from romantic gemstone jewelry and modern abstract painting to sculptures that seem to defy the rules of physics.
Mere blocks from the ocean, the exhibits ring a spacious lawn, which brims with spectators for the festival's many events, including live jazz concerts, eco-friendly fashion shows, and live cooking demonstrations. During workshops, those spectators become artists themselves, stretching fingers into paint, pressing prints, molding clay, and post-modernly trying to eat bottles of glitter.