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The Ranch to host “A Day in the Canyon” benefitting Adventure Camp Youth Outreach 

Locals are invited to attend “A Day in the Canyon” at The Ranch at Laguna Beach on Thursday, Aug 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Held on at the property’s coveted Scout Camp, this interactive community event will include outdoor activities, delicious organic cuisine, beer and wine pairings, and fun for the whole family. 

At 7 p.m., the day will shift to a separate adults-only VIP event called “A Night in the Canyon” featuring an outdoor movie screening under the stars in a remote part of the canyon.

The Ranch sunset

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A Day in the Canyon will include delicious BBQ, entertainment, and more

 “A Day in the Canyon presents a rare opportunity to experience one of the most treasured locations in Orange County, while helping to create opportunities for underserved youth to forge a meaningful connection with the Great Outdoors,” said Kurt Bjorkman, General Manager of The Ranch at Laguna Beach. 

“Scout Camp has a rich history of immersing Orange County youth in nature, born from its past as a former YMCA and Girl Scouts camping location in the 1940’s. That spirit echoes through Aliso Canyon to this day, and we are thrilled to share it with the community while benefitting California kids.”

The Ranch at Laguna Beach will open its ultra-exclusive Scout Camp to community members and visitors, along with food, entertainment, and immersive outdoor experiences for all ages. The full day of programming begins with a Santa Maria-style BBQ, sustainable and local seafood, and artisan cheese station, plus wine, beer and whiskey tastings, live music, and interactive tours of The Ranch at Laguna Beach’s organic Harvest Garden with Farmer Leo, The Ranch LB’s on-site Farm Manager.

The Ranch screen

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The Ranch will host a VIP movie screening under the stars

Sponsored by Cox Charities, the adults-only “A Night in the Canyon” VIP experience kicks off in a remote part of the canyon and is open to a limited number of guests. Tickets must be purchased separately from “A Day in the Canyon” and will include a private outdoor screening of Academy Award-winning documentary Free Solo, as well as hosted dessert, wine, beer and cordials, live music, and astronomer-led stargazing and night sky photography. 

Attendees will mix, mingle, and dance before settling into cozy chairs and plush custom souvenir throw blankets for a private movie screening under the stars.

Tickets to “A Day in the Canyon” are $75 per person and $25 for children ages 6-12. Tickets to the adults-only “A Night in the Canyon” VIP Experience are $150 per person. 

All proceeds for the ticketed events will benefit The Ranch at Laguna Beach’s Adventure Camp, which provides no-cost overnight camping and enriching day programs for nonprofit organizations serving underprivileged youth. Adventure Camp is made possible by The Ranch at Laguna Beach, The Ocean Institute, and Cox Charities.

To purchase tickets to the family-friendly “A Day in the Canyon” event or the adults-only “A Night in the Canyon” VIP experience, visit www.ocean-institute.org/day-night-canyon or call (949) 496-2274. 

For additional information on The Ranch at Laguna Beach, visit www.theranchlb.com.


Night at Nirvana Grille 

Night at food

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

One of the dazzling dishes at Nirvana Grille

Night at group

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Fun night for Stu News at Nirvana Grille, get the full story of the fantastic fare in Barbara Diamond’s Column in Friday’s edition


The Ranch launches beer and wine menu at Lost Pier Café

The Ranch at Laguna Beach announced this week the addition of a new beer and wine menu at its oceanfront dining venue, Lost Pier Café, located on Aliso Beach. Added due to popular demand, the new menu includes a mix of craft brews and West Coast wines to complement the restaurant’s beach-friendly, locally sourced cuisine.

The new wine and beer menu at Lost Pier Café includes wines from beloved California producers, including Sterling Vineyards Rosé, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon; Tangent Wines Sauvignon Blanc; Nielsen Wines Chardonnay; as well as Pinot Gris from Wines by Joe, a cult favorite producer which crafts wines from Oregon’s top vineyards. 

The beer menu offers classic refreshers for California beach days, including Corona, Modelo, Stone IPA, Stem Cider, and Coors Light.

The Ranch umbrellas

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Lost Pier Café, located on Aliso Beach, has launched a new beer and wine menu

“We are thrilled to now offer wine and beer at Lost Pier Café. The beverage list was thoughtfully curated by our culinary team to best complement the restaurant’s cuisine and sunny days on Aliso Beach,” said Kurt Bjorkman, General Manager of The Ranch at Laguna Beach. “A dinner menu and extended hours are in the works as well to encourage locals and guests to make the most of our golden summer evenings in Laguna Beach.”

Lost Pier Café opened August 2018 as the first official beachfront extension of The Ranch at Laguna Beach, allowing guests to enjoy delicious local cuisine, exhilarating ocean activities, or a relaxing day on the sand. 

With menus by Executive Chef Kyle St. John of The Ranch at Laguna Beach’s Harvest Restaurant, the refreshing coastal oasis serves fresh California cuisine highlighting the region’s bountiful array of vibrant year-round ingredients.

The Ranch beer

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The new beer menu offers classic refreshers for California beach days

Menu highlights at Lost Pier Café range from hearty breakfast burritos, avocado toast, and Paper Bag Beignets for breakfast, to fresh fish tacos, burgers, salads, and seafood for lunch. The kid’s menu is also a crowd-pleaser, with handheld summer classics like cheese quesadillas, burgers, and hot dogs.

Lost Pier Café also offers daily rentals for beachgoers, including chairs and umbrellas, as well as sunscreen and towels for purchase.

Lost Pier Café is located at the south end of Aliso Beach and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

For more information, visit www.lostpiercafe.com or call (949) 715-4210.


Taste of Laguna and KX 93.5 concert join for special event on Oct 3, tickets available now

The Taste of Laguna Food & Music Festival combines two of Laguna’s favorite events, The Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Laguna and KX 93.5’s concert, into one mega evening for foodies and live music fans. Early bird tickets, starting at $75, are available now for the event on October 3 at The Festival of Arts. 

“By partnering with KX 93.5 we are giving Laguna an elevated event with amazing food and fun music. We believe that by creating this relationship you get a two for one experience,” said Chamber Executive Director Paula Arnold.

Taste of Laguna with concert 1

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The Chamber’s Taste of Laguna and KX 93.5 concert event are teaming up as one fun-filled evening for the community to enjoy

More than 30 local restaurants and award-winning chefs will showcase their most popular menu items, signature recipes, and specialty dishes. The festival stage will spotlight four decades of cover bands each hour with ‘60s music at 6 p.m. with Woody and the Longboards, ‘70s music at 7 p.m. with Polyester Express, ‘80s music at 8 p.m. with Flashback Heart Attack, and ‘90s music at 9 p.m. with Sega Genecide. 

“We are committed to bringing an epic concert to Laguna Beach every year, but we always felt that our ‘vendor village’ had room for improvement, so we’re extremely excited to create this dual-event with The Chamber,” said KX 93.5 General Manager Tyler Russell. “Decades of awesome tunes, delicious food, the best venue in Laguna, and one affordable price…what’s not to like?”

Taste of Laguna with concert 2

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Enjoy amazing cuisine and ‘60s to ‘90s musical groups during the Chamber and KX 93.5’s combined mega-event

Woody and the Longboards is one of the highest-demanded cover bands in the country, with a focus on Beatles and Beach Boys songs. Polyester Express is known for their fun-loving vibe, spot-on horn sections, and the authentic approach to 1970s dance music. Flashback Heart Attack, known for their red jumpsuits, is a Laguna Beach staple, and has played with Alice Cooper, Eddie Vedder, and Green Day. Sega Genecide is one of Orange County’s premiere ‘90s tribute acts, previously nominated for several OC Music Awards. 

Taste of Laguna 2017

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Don’t miss the deliciousness of the Chamber’s Taste of Laguna cuisine with the perfect mix of KX 93.5’s music event

The bar will include special selections from Laguna Beach Beer Company and Wine Gallery, as well as handcrafted cocktails made with Tito’s Vodka. Plus, attendees will get to take advantage of a robust mobile auction featuring unique experiences, vacations, and items. 

All of this is offered at a reduced ticket price of $75 early-bird admission. Early-bird VIP tickets are $125, which include early admission, reserved complimentary parking, two drink tickets, and a private bar/reception/viewing area. Ticket prices will become $85 and $150 on August 2. 

All of the proceeds of this event co-benefit nonprofits The Chamber and KX 93.5. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Chef Craig Strong introduces new summer menu at Ocean at Main

Michelin-starred Chef Craig Strong has unveiled a new menu at his scenic Laguna Beach restaurant Ocean at Main. Inspired by his recent travels through Italy, Greece, and Croatia, Strong’s new summer dishes mark the first major menu overhaul since the restaurant opened in October 2018.

Recently honored as a Best New Restaurant by Orange Coast Magazine and named among James Beard award-winning critic Brad A. Johnson’s “75 Best Places to Eat,” Ocean at Main has made a splash in the heart of Laguna Beach. 

Since its debut last fall, the restaurant has attracted a loyal crowd of locals and curious travelers alike. As the restaurant heads into its first peak season of summer, Strong presents new dishes that artfully display both his pedigree and personal style.

Chef Craig salad

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Start off with a mouth-watering Watermelon Heirloom Tomato Salad

“Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work in Barcelona. My time cooking there made a big impact on my life and career,” comments Chef Craig Strong who held a sous chef position at the prestigious Hotel Arts. “When it comes to art and cuisine, Spain holds on to tradition while simultaneously pushing its boundaries; I find myself inspired by that same duality when I’m cooking.”

Awakening the senses to a summer spent abroad, Strong’s new menu delivers the richness of European fare through Spanish chorizo and housemade pasta with a contrast of refreshing seasonal ingredients like English peas, rhubarb, and watermelon. With vibrant, geometric pops of color, Strong’s dishes visually resemble the Gaudí-adorned streets of Barcelona where you’ll find a convergence of classic technique and modern design.

Chef Craig Halibut

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Dive into the Halibut with saffron couscous, rhubarb, buttermilk sauce, tarragon oil, asparagus and almond

While staples like Strong’s Oxtail Kale Risotto and Roasted Beet Salad remain, Ocean at Main’s new summer menu includes the following new dishes:

--Crab and Melon Salad - Dungeness crab, vanilla aioli, cantaloupe, honeydew, daikon radish, honey vinaigrette

--Watermelon Heirloom Tomato Salad - watermelon, cucumber, tomato, jicama, gazpacho

--Summer Cavatelli - cherry tomato, English peas, pea tendrils, brodo, sugar snap peas, chorizo

--Corn Ravioli with Lobster - lobster, corn, truffle butter, brown butter crumble, lime cream, lime zest

--Halibut - saffron couscous, rhubarb, buttermilk sauce, tarragon oil, asparagus, almond

--Scallops - sunchoke, cordycep, kumquat, chicken jus

--Lamb Chop and Croquette - lamb, haricot vert, fava bean, maitake mushroom, mustard frill

--Grilled Una Salmon - artichokes, squash blossom, fennel salad, bouillabaisse

--Charred Garden Pizza - burrata, arugula, fennel, cauliflower, onion, black garlic

Chef Craig dessert

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For dessert, the vegan Coconut Pavlova will take you to the tropics 

Pastry Chef Keara Wilson’s new dessert menu featuring dishes like Dulcey Panna Cotta shows off summer strawberries while a vegan Coconut Pavlova gives a taste of the tropics with passion fruit, guava, and coconut.

Ocean at Main is located in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach (222 Ocean Ave) and is open for lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., and for weekend brunch from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

For more information, visit www.oceanatmain.com or connect with @oceanatmain on Instagram and Facebook.


BBQ with Kitchen in the Canyon this Memorial Day

Let Kitchen in the Canyon take care of your Memorial Day BBQ this Sunday, May 26, as the restaurant will be serving a special holiday menu for $18 a plate from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase. 

Kitchen in the Canyon is a neighborhood café where friends, family and enthusiastic food lovers can come together, eat delicious food and enjoy amazing Kean coffee in a warm, casual atmosphere, with a commitment to exceptional customer service. 

Kitchen in the Canyon is open every day from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 845 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

For more information, visit www.kitcheninthecanyon.com.


Three new chefs helm the luxury culinary experiences at Montage Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach is pleased to announce three new talented chefs holding key positions on the culinary teams for the resort, including the elegantly casual all-day dining venue The Loft and the standalone signature restaurant Studio.

“With the addition of these three exceptional, highly experienced and innovative talents, we are excited to provide new destination-worthy dining pleasures throughout Montage Laguna Beach,” said Anne-Marie Houston, general manager for the 255-room resort. “New Executive Resort Chef David Serus, The Loft Chef Joosung Lee and Studio Sous Chef Robert Rando each bring enthusiastic dedication to his craft and expert culinary management leadership skills to the various dining venues at the resort.”

Chef David Serus brings to Montage Laguna Beach his refined approach to food preparation by outsourcing the best seasonal products, applying well-executed classic techniques and keeping flavor profiles clean and distinctive. With over 25 years of luxury culinary experience, he is well equipped to oversee operations for the resort’s special events, meetings, weddings, and banquets. Additionally, lending his culinary support and business acumen to the resort’s restaurants, Serus is looking forward to perfecting the exceptional dining options Montage Laguna Beach offers.

Raised in Le Mans, France, and taking early inspiration from watching his grandmother in her kitchen and working at his uncle’s bakery during school vacations, Serus knew early on excelling at fine hotel restaurants would be his chosen career. After attending cooking school in Quimper, France, he served a year in the French navy and then worked at two Michelin Star restaurants – one in London and the other in the South of France. 

Three new Serus

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Executive Chef David Serus joins the Montage s

He went on to work seven years at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, followed by 17 years working for The Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts across the U.S., including serving as executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Arizona; The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grand Lakes, Florida; and The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. In 2013, Serus was awarded the prestigious title of Maître Cuisiniers de France (Master Chef of France) from the French culinary community, of which there are only 86 in the U.S. He’s an avid cookbook collector and enjoys exploring the region on his motorcycle.

Seoul, Korea-born and raised, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park graduate Chef Joosung Lee is leading the culinary team at The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach. He is introducing enticing lunch and dinner menus that reflect inventive California cuisine heightened by Asian and other global food influences and flavors. 

With over 15 years of working in prestigious kitchens, including the now closed The Dining Room Ritz-Carlton Pasadena, Charlie Palmer in Costa Mesa, and at Scarpetta, Montage Hotel and Spa, Beverly Hills, Lee is excited to be creating new dishes at The Loft drawing on his love for the bounty of seasonal, interesting multi-cultural ingredients available from area markets and purveyors and the use of fresh herbs from the resort’s gardens.

Overlooking the Pacific, The Loft, a chic all-day dining destination for Montage Laguna Beach guests and local casual food lovers, is known for its outstanding dining experience and interactive Cheese Gallery with over 30 selections of regional and international cheeses. 

Lee’s innovative new lunch menu offers temptations including Artisan Sandwiches such as Arugula Pesto Wrap and Crispy Chicken with emmental and red cabbage. New entrées include Shrimp Chitarra, Seared Ahi Tuna Niçoise, and more. His new dinner menu designed for food devotees features refreshing Cantaloupe and Cucumber Gazpacho; Superior Farms Lamb Chops with sorrel pesto, vanilla-braised treviso and aged balsamic; Sunburst Squash with tarragon, chili flakes and lime; and other new selections. The chef has also created new Pasta and Grain dishes, Choices From The Ocean and local side Accompaniments.

Since attending The Culinary Institute, Hyde Park, New York, Studio’s new Sous Chef Robert Rando’s culinary career trajectory started when he worked at various starting positions at Relais & Châteaux Toppers at the The Wauwinet hotel in Nantucket, Mass. Then it was on to NYC’s Eataly and positions at Mario Batali’s former Lupa Osteria Romana, also in Manhattan. From there, Rando gained the job as saucier chef de partie and then sous chef at famed Relais & Châteaux Castle Hill Inn, Newport, Rhode Island, and most recently he returned to Toppers as sous chef and then chef de cuisine.

Rando has left the East Coast to bring his years of high-end luxury dining experience to the West Coast, where he will be in the kitchen of Studio, working in collaboration with Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Martinek at this luxurious signature restaurant perched bluffside over the Pacific. Rando will be an important part of the team that creates Studio’s à la carte menus, much-loved tasting menus, special wine dinners, and private dinners at the Chef’s Table – all featuring exquisite French cuisine inspired by local purveyors and markets, as well as Studio’s expansive garden. Rando says he “is particularly excited to be cooking with diverse seasonal Southern California ingredients in such a stunning ocean setting.”

 For more on the Montage Laguna Beach, visit www.montagehotels.com/lagunabeach

The Montage Laguna Beach is located at 30801 South Coast Hwy.


Las Brisas debuts new two-level bar & lounge complete with weekday Happy Hour and live music

Las Brisas’ 40th anniversary celebration continues as the restaurant puts the finishing touches on a redesign to match its new culinary offerings. Perched above the scenic Laguna Beach coastline, Las Brisas unveils an entirely redesigned bar and lounge space, updated with new seating, light fixtures, and hand-painted accent walls, giving an entirely refreshed look with a modern, beachy bohemian feel. 

Las Brisas patio

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New sitting area

Along with the new bar, Las Brisas launches a new Weekday Happy Hour – offered Monday through Friday from 3 - 6 p.m. and available throughout the entire restaurant – featuring $5 bottled beers and $4 off house wines and specialty cocktails, that pair seamlessly with signature dishes from the new culinary menu such as the Contramar Fish for Two or White Shrimp and Crab Ceviche. 

Additionally, starting May 21, Las Brisas debuts live music in the bar, featuring local musical artists performing on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 6 - 9 p.m.

Las Brisas bar

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Redesigned bar 

Weekday Happy Hour specialty cocktails include: Laguna Pearl – Roca Patrón Silver, Hennessy, Patrón Citrónge, lime juice, and agave; Spicy Margarita – Pueblo Viejo Blanco, lime, agave, and chile tincture; Paloma – Casa Noble Crystal organic tequila, grapefruit, lime, Sierra Mist, and agave; Cadillac Margarita – Casamigos Reposado, Grand Marnier, lime juice, and agave; House made Sangria – Brandy, white port, sparkling wine, citrus, and seasonal fruit (available in red or white); Las Brisas Margarita – Pueblo Viejo Blanco, lime juice, and agave; Dark and Stormy – Whaler’s Dark Rum, ginger beer, and lime; Mai Tai – Plantation Pineapple Rum, Curaçao, lime, orgeat, and bitters; Negroni – Beefeater Gin, Campari, and Carpano Antica; Salty Dog – Tito’s Vodka and grapefruit juice with a salted rim; and Old Fashioned – Four Roses Bourbon, bitters, and an orange twist.

For updates and more information on the live entertainment, visit Las Brisas on Instagram @LasBrisasRestaurants. 

Las Brisas is located at 361 Cliff Dr.

For more information, go to www.lasbrisaslagunabeach.com or call (949) 497-5434.


Kitchen in the Canyon presents Mother’s Day “Brunch and Blooms in the Canyon”

Mother’s Day is on Sunday and Kitchen in the Canyon is hosting a very special “Brunch and Blooms in the Canyon.” The Flower Stand will be on hand with dried flower bouquets for the moms to cherish for a lifetime. 

Kitchen in toast

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Photo by Grant Puckett

Treat mom to some tasty French toast at Kitchen in the Canyon 

As for brunch, for those moms with a sweet tooth, the French toast topped with a homemade strawberry sauce is a top choice. For those craving a more savory plate, the avocado toast garnished with micro greens and pickled red onions is highly recommended. Pair it with a warm cup of coffee or grab a mimosa and celebrate. 

Kitchen in the Canyon is open everyday from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 845 Laguna Canyon Rd.


“Changes in Latitude Happy Hour” kicks off at Royal Hawaiian next week

It’s been one month since the newest rendition of The Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill opened with Chef Owner/Operators Maro Molteni and Martin Molteni. 

“My brother and I have opened many restaurants around the world, but we’ve never experienced an opening like this one,” said Chef Maro Molteni. “Everything started off with a giant bang and it hasn’t slowed much since. 

“It’s been great to see so many of my former patrons from my previous restaurant show up, and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know the North Laguna contingency of locals and their friends,” he said. 

“Changes in Latitude Happy Hour” kicks off next week

In celebration of its one-month anniversary, and in thanks to all the many loyal patrons who have supported the restaurant’s opening, the Molteni brothers are announcing their newest addition, the “Changes in Latitude Royal Hawaiian Happy Hour.” 

The “Changes in Latitude Happy Hour” begins Tuesday, May 7, from 4 to 6 p.m. The happy hour will continue six days a week, Tuesdays through Sundays (the restaurant is dark on Mondays). It will not be available on Mother’s Day but will otherwise stay in play year-round.

“If you’re going to name your happy hour ‘Changes in Latitude,’ you have to provide that attitude-shifting experience all year long for your locals and incoming visitors. We really want this to be the place where everyone goes to celebrate all the good in our lives,” said Chef Maro. 

A revolving, evolving Happy Hour Menu

With summer approaching, the initial “Changes in Latitude” menu focuses on signature, frosty RoHi cocktails, select summery wines, craft beers, and well drinks at special pricing.

Changes in Lapu Lapu

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The infamous Lapu Lapu cocktail is still the restaurant’s #1 best-selling cocktail

The restaurant has reintroduced the original recipe for the infamous Lapu Lapu cocktail. Still the restaurant’s #1 best-selling cocktail, it is also available on the new “Changes in Latitude Happy Hour Menu” at special pricing.

The popular Blue Hawaiian cocktail is also making an appearance on the new “Changes in Latitude Happy Hour Menu” at special pricing. 

Much like the ever-changing dinner menu of entrées, the chef brothers have created a Happy Hour menu that will also change and evolve through the seasons. 

Pair your drink with an innovative appetizer menu with all items priced between $5 and $10. Try authentic Hawaiian Ahi Poke served with house-made sweet potato chips, Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Wood-Grilled Shishito Peppers and Edamame, Provoleta Flash-Fried Cheese Bites, steaming Empanadas with a variety of delicious fillings, and more. 

“Everything is finger food for a reason,” said Chef Maro. “We’re the Royal Hawaiian. Everything is casual and fun. And this is your vacation time now…even if you’ve worked all day.”

The Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill is located at 331 N. Coast Highway, a half block north of the Laguna Art Museum.

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