[singlepic id=280 w=320 h=240 float=left] OK, I realize I’m stepping into hallowed ground here. Ranking and rating margaritas in Laguna Beach is as subjective and dicey as that renowned (and surprisingly highly controversial) column I wrote on the Top 12 Soups of Laguna Beach.

So, my dear readers, here’s my plan for the Best Margarita of Laguna Beach list. As we’re heading into the Fourth of July weekend, I figure there’s no better time than to ask you to do some sampling of your own and report back to me. TOGETHER, we’ll compile the Best Margaritas of Laguna Beach list. I’ll start you here with two of my favorites, and we’ll take it from there, OK?

One caveat: I will not accept a vote from Las Brisas. Seriously, folks. I know that restaurant gets a ton of customers (primarily tourists. You’re not going to see many in-the-know locals there.) And it has an amazing, intoxicating view, but that’s exactly why this place gets away with serving less than stellar food and drinks there. (Yes, I like their breakfast buffet, but that’s for another column and it has nothing to do with margaritas.)

Oh. One more caveat: Yes, I love Javier’s too. I loved them while they roosted here in the heart of Laguna Beach. No one has been able to fill their space (quite literally) since their departure, and we can only hope the soon-to-be-open Mexican restaurant replacement in their old stomping ground will suffice. However, Javier’s is no longer in the city limits of Laguna Beach and, well … read the title of this blog. As a neighboring ally, YES, Javier’s might qualify on the “Best Of” list, but we need to stay focused on Laguna Beach proper.

Last note before you head out to find your lost shaker of salt: I know memorable margaritas are often connected to one bartender who knows how to make them particularly well. A fellow bartender standing right next to a Fabulous Margarita Makin’ Bartender might make crappy margaritas. So, if you have a chance, catch the name of the bartender at said establishment when you send me your Best Margarita of Laguna Beach vote.

OK, here are my initial votes:

[singlepic id=278 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left]

#1 Best Margarita in Laguna Beach – Ask for Jason’s double concoction margarita at The White House. Ask only for Jason. I happened upon this Margarita Master when I was doing my Taco Tuesday story on the White House a couple years ago. He’ll toss in the tequila of your choice, but favors orange juice to sweet-n-sour mix, and throws in a couple citrus extras he’ll never mention by name.

#2 Best Margarita in Laguna Beach – Tucked back behind the Hotel Laguna right in the heart of Laguna Beach downtown is the lovely Terrace restaurant. Many people think this restaurant is exclusive to patrons staying in the hotel – not so. Just head in the lobby at Hotel Laguna and head straight down the hall, making a left at the bar ( I’ve mentioned this bar in a previous post about great Sunday football viewing.) [singlepic id=279 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=right]

When the sun is shining and the dolphins are playing, there are few better places in all of Laguna to sit for a spell and sip a great margarita. The Terrace’s “363 Margarita” is the bomb because, instead of common skimps on tequila in lesser margaritas, the Terrace brings you your own bottle. [singlepic id=277 w=320 h=240 float=left]

Each margarita comes ready made minus the tequila. That’s what your accompanying mini bottle of Milagro Silver Tequila is for. Add the entire bottle, or toss in dashes in the name of moderation; it’s entirely up to you. (But, please, for a great tasting margarita, DO toss in the tequila. The waitresses tell me that many people will suck down the margarita mix in the glass without realizing the tequila hasn’t been added.)

OK, I’ll be on the prowl this weekend with more updates to come on the Best Margaritas in Laguna Beach. Get out there and help me with this one – Ill look forward to your comments!

©Diane Armitage, 2011, LagunaBeachBest.com

Get Laguna's Restaurant Updates!