Craig Connole combines his love of surfing and sustenance in The Rooftop Lounge's kitchen. He’s been so successful that the OC Business Journal named him Chef of the Year, praising his delicious, yet affordable California and New American dishes. "That he can cram such haute cuisine, style and flavors into all these bargain-priced dishes is a testament to his passion for making fine food accessible to everyone." Read on to learn more about The Rooftop Lounge:
Appetizer: Peruvian-style crab-and-shrimp ceviche
Entree: hibachi salmon with brown rice and spicy slaw
Cocktail: Spiced Mango with Captain Morgan, St-Germaine, and mango
Where to Sit
Just about every seat at The Rooftop Lounge has an excellent view of the ocean and sunset; that's why OC Weekly named it the Best Lounge in High Places. Just follow the paper's advice to snag the best spot: "The Rooftop fills up quickly, and the views (both ocean and crowd) and full bar are best enjoyed while lounging rather than wandering around looking for someone to give up a prized seat."
When to Go
The Rooftop Lounge serves breakfast and lunch, along with cocktails, but switches to only drinks in the evening. Happy hour runs on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., wherein mojitos, beer, wine, and well drinks are all half off.
Several dishes are gluten- or dairy-free, and other special dietary requests can be arranged by speaking to the manager or by only ordering water chilled with free-range ice cubes.
Be on the lookout for a Real Housewife of Orange County or two, where CBS Los Angeles says they're "taking in the scenery and relaxing from the stress of their personal dramas."
Order a mojito. They come in eight flavors, are muddled by hand and served with a stick of sugar cane, and Laguna Beach Magazine calls them "killer."
Diners looking for something to eat at night besides the fruit garnishing drinks should head to K'ya Bistro Bar, also helmed by Chef Connole.
About the Location
When the La Casa del Camino hotel opened in 1929, surfing was still a novel sport in California. About a century later, the hotel's reconfigured some of its Mediterranean-style suites into Casa Surf Project, dedicated to surfing culture. Besides its sporty atmosphere, La Casa del Camino also hosts two foodie hot spots helmed by Chef Connole: The Rooftop Lounge and K'ya Bistro Bar, which specializes in Mediterranean small plates.
Lumberyard serves tasty American-style cuisine.
This restaurant diners can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Parents appreciate this restaurant's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Lumberyard features some of the most affordable happy hour deals in town.
Enjoy a meal with all your loved ones. Lumberyard makes it easy for big groups.
Bask in the sun and enjoy a fresh meal outside at Lumberyard.
Free wifi is on hand here as well.
Tap your foot to Lumberyard's tunes — live performances are often showcased here.
Lumberyard is known for its great food, and it also includes a pup-friendly policy neighborhood locals love.
If your weekend plans include a trip to the restaurant, avoid the packs of people by securing a reservation ahead of time.
Keep it casual at Lumberyard — the restaurant is laid-back and patrons dress accordingly.
Need to get out of the house? Order and pick up from this restaurant.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Lumberyard.
Bring your car to dinner and easily find a space in the area — street parking is available, as is a nearby lot.
Lumberyard offers various parking options, including bike parking.
Customers should be prepared to spend around $30, but more importantly, they should be prepared to enjoy a great meal.
If a trip to the ATM isn't on the agenda, visitors have the convenience of paying by major credit card.
The restaurant is open from morning through evening, but the dinner menu serves the tastiest reviews.
The best American dishes are cooked up by the great crew at Lumberyard, and they're waiting to serve you!
So for some delicious American fare any time of the day, head to Lumberyard.
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.
Fresh fare can be found at Mastro's Ocean Club, where patrons seek to sample every seafood dish on the menu.
It s best to save your lighter eating habits for another day, though, as
is not featured on the menu here.
At Mastro's Ocean Club, you can bring your own beverages and enjoy tasty eats.
Mastro's Ocean Club's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Celebrate the start of a great weekend at Mastro's Ocean Club's great happy hour.
Take a great restaurant, add perfect party food and a fun group of people, and get a night for the ages at Mastro's Ocean Club.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather during your meal at Mastro's Ocean Club.
Live music is often featured for diners' enjoyment.
The crowds come out in force on Fridays and Saturdays, so don't neglect to make a reservation ahead of time.
No need to be formal, business casual will pass.
Bring the Mastro's Ocean Club's great food to your place.
Store your car in a nearby lot or pass it off to the valet service at Mastro's Ocean Club.
Mastro's Ocean Club is a bit of a splurge at around $50 to $75 for a meal.
Chow down on all of your pub favorites at Marine.
Marine is fully loaded with TVs for your viewing pleasure.
Don't be shy — step out on the bar dance floor and soak up the sound of live music.
The bar's background buzz is a bit loud, so those seeking low-key conversation are advised to dine elsewhere.
You may be better off finding a table during the week, as weekends at the bar tend to be packed.
Diners that drive to dinner will find street parking readily available at Marine's Ocean Ave address.
Marine offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
Treating yourself doesn't mean breaking the bank, come taste the great dishes Marine has to offer.
The pub food at Marine is great to munch on while catching up with your friends, so head on over today and enjoy great conversation and a great bite to eat.
Hungry? Get ready to lick your plate clean at Hennessey's Tavern in Laguna Beach.
Open air seating is ready for diners at Hennessey's Tavern when the weather is warm.
Free wireless Internet is also available at Hennessey's Tavern, so bring your tablet or laptop along.
The restaurant has ample room for dancing, and patrons can be seen jamming out on the floor.
A relatively loud restaurant, this is not the place for a quiet night out.
Friendly pooches can come on in at Hennessey's Tavern, which welcomes dogs as well as their owners.
The restaurant fills up on the weekends, so keep that in mind before heading out.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
At Hennessey's Tavern, you can find ample parking that is readily available any time of day.
Bike parking is quick and easy at Hennessey's Tavern.