Skyloft revitalizes brunch menu: they had me at fried green tomatoes 

By DIANNE RUSSELL

More than anything else, Ivan Spiers, owner of Skyloft – and Mozambique – wants residents to know that Skyloft is not closing. He says, “Many people think I owned Tommy Bahama and have assumed Skyloft is closing too.”

On the contrary, Skyloft has just introduced a new brunch menu, Happy Hour menu, special prices for Sunday Kickoff sports viewing (they have 17 televisions), and have added new items to the lunch and dinner menus. And hands down, they have the best sound system and musical venue anywhere in town, featuring incredible local bands.

Understandably, Spiers is concerned about all the vacancies in the vicinity. Now that Tommy Bahama has closed, the spaces on either side of Skyloft are vacant.

“We also lost business when Hotel Laguna closed. They could accommodate 300 guests who frequented our restaurant,” says Spiers.

Skyloft revitalizes Ivan

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Ivan Spiers and his dog Max on Skyloft’s patio

However, in the wake of these unfounded closure rumors and existing vacancies, Skyloft has reinvigorated their menus and added unique items.

My husband and I sampled two of their brunch items, and they immediately had me at fried green tomatoes. These crispy disks were panko crusted and seasoned to perfection, yet firm on the inside. Absolutely delicious. These are not an item one typically sees on local menus. They were offered as a meat substitute – a genius choice.

I had the egg white scramble with mushrooms, spinach, sweet onions, tomatoes, avocado, potatoes, and feta cheese, which added a complementary tangy flavor to the other, more mellow ingredients.

My husband had a breakfast of over easy eggs, potatoes, and fried green tomatoes, served with Texas toast, a thick bread perfect for dipping into the eggs.

Even though this was a traditional breakfast, many times, the simplest dishes are the most difficult to do well, so when they are, congratulations are in order. And of course, the addition of fried green tomatoes made it anything but traditional.

Skyloft revitalizes eggs

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Photo by Dianne Russell

Egg white scramble 

Although we didn’t try it, we were told by others that the French Toast is wonderful and has granola included for added crunch.

Spiers adds, “We’re bringing in new things and updating the menu and focusing on BBQ.” They have their own in-house smoker and Cali Smokehouse food items for lunch and dinner.

The NFL Sunday Kickoff menu is available on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the main level only and features unbelievable drink specials and food such as calamari, wings, and rack ribs with fries.

The Happy Hour Menu is offered on Monday from 3 p.m. until closing and Tuesday through Friday from 3 until 6 p.m. It features specials on drinks and items such as tacos, chilled shrimp sliders, and a Cali Smoke Mix plate.

They also offer patio dining – with an incredible panoramic view of the ocean and the trails to the north. The patio and an outside section downstairs are dog friendly which is a huge bonus for dog owners.

The current chef, Matt Nagana, is not the original chef, and when asked what he looks for in a chef, Spiers says, “Consistency, control over the kitchen, and experience.” All of which Nagana possesses.

Spiers is not the only one concerned about all the closures. At a meeting recently with 12 other restaurateurs in Laguna, he relates, “They said they haven’t seen the business climate so bad here in 20 or 30 years.”

Skyloft revitalizes bar

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Photo by Dianne Russell

Traditional eggs over easy breakfast 

Spiers has been here for 25 years and said they just experienced their slowest summer ever. He’s hoping to entice diners to come back and enjoy the new menu.

Spiers has new endeavors on the horizon in other areas of the U.S., ideas that he’s been thinking about for two years. 

He has opened a Skyloft in Albany, New York, in a mall. This Skyloft holds over 1,000 people and focuses more on music and private events. Spiers is incorporating a unique concept. Inside the 18,000 square foot space, there will be food trucks with different cuisines which all will cook out of the same kitchen. Patrons can order from the various trucks and sit where ever they want. There will be bars all around. The only food service is in the VIP area.

He is also opening one in Columbus, OH, close to Ohio State in the German District, in a free standing old brewery and one in Covington, KY, outdoors in a shopping mall on the river. 

Skyloft revitalizes Josh

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Submitted photo

Josh, our server 

But getting back to the Laguna Beach location, Skyloft has much to offer as well. 

The staff is wonderful and accommodating. Josh, who has been with Skyloft for two years, served us. 

Skyloft has so much for the community to experience and enjoy: new menu items and brunch menu, happy hour, the sports bar during the day, live music, and a dog friendly patio with views of the ocean town and hills. 

And then there’s the fried green tomatoes – don’t miss the opportunity to try them!

Spiers says, “We have such beautiful town, and it is my hope that more people start coming to see it.”

Skyloft is located at 422 S Coast Hwy.

For the menu and more information, go to www.skyloftoc.com or call (949) 715-1550.