This last weekend, my BF, Lisa, and I decided on a spontaneous weekend breakfast out in Laguna Beach. Now, because this is  rare and special treat, we had to choose a breakfast restaurant here in town that does more than dole out a couple eggs and strips of bacon. Anastasia’s on Ocean in downtown Laguna Beach was – of course – the answer.

Anastasia Cafe sits at the end of Ocean Avenue, about 3 blocks from Main Beach in the downtown village of Laguna Beach. Because it’s somewhat tucked in, it tends to cater more to residents than out-of-towners simply because we know where to find it! It’s a gracious, sophisticated favorite that offers one of the most unique breakfast menus in Laguna Beach.

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Added bonus: Anastasia Cafe in Laguna Beach is dog friendly. Your favorite pooch is more than welcome to join you in the outside patio seating area.

Anastasia is a combo upscale clothing boutique and restaurant. When owners Zore and Amir Gharavi first came to Laguna in the early 1980s, they started with a clothing shoppe, importing some of the finest names in designer clothing (Roberto Cavalli, TAO, Alberta Ferretti, Gaurav Guptka and Ritsuko Shirahama to name a few). In a matter of months, they had developed a loyal following from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and all parts of the world.

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The Gharavis moved to their Ocean Avenue location in the late 1990s and, in 1997, opened their restaurant adjacent to the expanded clothing boutique. The Anastasia Cafe has a Euro flair to it … something you’d find in upscale regions of the south of France or Milan, perhaps. The couple developed a menu around Mediterranean and French breakfast and lunch foods, and the place has been packed since its first day’s opening.

Anastasia offers phenomenal omelettes and egg dishes (their Eggs Anna is my favorite with poached eggs on a tower of arugula and lean procsuitto), but you really can’t miss the construction zone plate of Caramel French Toast (with warm caramel drizzle sauce on the side, simply killer.) Their juices are fresh squeezed and their Euro-style coffee is – in my opinion – one of the top four coffees in all of Laguna.

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Anastasia isn’t a “turn-em-and-burn-em” kind of breakfast joint. Don’t expect your egg dish to arrive, slightly slopped, in less than 3 minutes. You may wait 10 or 15 minutes for your plates to arrive, and when they DO arrive, they’re a work of art. So, while you’re waiting, sit back and people watch, or pop over to the connected boutique for some new seasonal fashions.

Further,  expect to pay an average $10-$14 per plate. Anastasia makes no excuses and it doesn’t have to. This Laguna Beach gem is truly a piece de resistance in our lovely town.

© 2011, Diane Armitage,
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