Welcome to another week of imaginative cookery and cocktailing from our Laguna Beach restaurants!

First, thanks to all of you out there who stepped up and ordered your Easter Sunday dining fare from one of our Laguna Beach restaurants. It buoyed many of our restaurants in a lovely way. They’re all reporting great adoration and appreciation for you.

Given that we seem to be faced with at least a few more weeks of shuttered restaurants, our creative chefs and restaurateurs have, once again, emerged from their mad scientist laboratories to offer a new round of fun options.

Family Meals Still Booming and Expanding

Any Laguna restaurant offering some level of “family” meal is winning, and the options just keep increasing.

G.G.’s Bistro has expanded its family meals now to five options, all of which are being offered for a limited time at 40% off. Francesca Gundogar tells me that all are selling briskly, with the meaty Spaghetti Bolognese and Family Burgers & Fries meals at the head of the pack.

GG’s Family-style meals are 40% off and new jams and dressings have joined the to-go menu

When you pick up your order at GG’s, be sure to check out their pop-up market which has expanded this week to include GG’s popular bottled Mediterranean salad dressing and fresh homemade plum jam.

Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill reports that its Friday menu of wood-grilled Salmon invariably sells out. (Sorry, all you Friday readers – you have to order at least a day in advance on Royal’s daily menu items. Get on it now.). No matter the day, Royal’s Chef Maro Molteni is piling on the love with large orders for 2 priced at just $30, and orders for 4 priced at $60. Each family meal includes daily protein, piles of wood-grilled vegetables and a super-fresh farmer’s market salad

Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill offers meals for 2 at just $30 and for 4 at just $60. Pictured here, wood-grilled salmon plank for 2.

“This isn’t about making a lot of money right now,” Molteni told me. “This is about all of us working together as a community to get through this.”

San Shi Go’s “combo platters” (see large photo above) offering multiple sushi, rolls, teriyaki, seafood, tempura and more are gaining in fast popularity, to

Slice Pizza & Beer’s “Family Four Pack” allows you to custom build your pizza and add a large Caesar salad for $39.95.

The “U Take U Bake Emergency Pizza Kit” is $25 at Pizzabar.

Meanwhile, PizzaBar by Main Beach is enjoying brisk sales of its “U Take U Bake Emergency Pizza Kit” for $25. Pre-order your favorite toppings and it all comes bundled with two large discs of pizza dough (even gluten free if desired), plenty of sauce and cheeses and six large cookie dough balls. Owner Laila Tenn notes that adults can order “Emergency Beer” for pick-up as well.

“We’ve also just launched 2-for-1 pizza orders,” Tenn added. “It applies to any size, any time and any day of the week during our hours of operation,” she added.

(Looking for all those hours? My Best of Laguna Beach Restaurant Directory, Version 9 has been updated again with all open restaurant hours, specials and discounts. This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date directory in Laguna Beach as I’ve been calling each restaurant owner weekly from the first week of March and updating weekly. Click here for the latest downloadable edition, updated through this morning, April 17th.)

Craft Cocktails Expanding, Too

Restaurants like Reunion Kitchen and Selanne Steak Tavern are still reporting sizable sales in their craft cocktails. Laguna Beach Beer Company actually closed its kitchen on Mondays and Tuesdays because of slow food sales but had to keep its doors open on those same days because beer sales have “been through the roof, regardless of the day” Brent told me. SoLag’s Coyote Grill is still reporting giant sales in margaritas and sundry tequila drinks. Avila’s El Ranchito is now offering “buy 3 margaritas, get the 4th for $1.”

Pantry at Sapphire Introduces Laguna’s Own Craft Cocktails

Happily, the eagerly anticipated craft cocktails from our new owners of The Pantry at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook are available now, too. As you come in the Pantry door, a refrigerator case to the left boosts unique bottled drinks, waters, craft beers and cocktails in to-go jars.

The craft cocktails at Sapphire come bottled with garnishes on the side. Just add ice and your favorite cocktail glass.

“Gabe Whorley is our Beverage Director over all of our restaurants,” said new Sapphire owner Russ Bendel. “He creates 10 craft signature cocktails for each of our locations, so the few we’re introducing here will become the signature cocktails for Sapphire.”

Currently, four craft cocktails stand sentry in the refrigerated case – One & Done (Russ’ favorite with vanilla-infused Bourbon), Tequila Mockingbird with tequila, Luxardo and Aperol, English Kiwi with gin, Elderflower and Sauvignon Blanc, and the apparent Laguna best-seller already, Rescue Dog (My friend, Anita Jameson, will be so proud of that name.) Rescue is a concoction of Vodka, lime, mint and fresh grapefruit juice.

Last week for my backyard happy hour, I had the luxury of trying the Tequila Mockingbird. I have to admit, there’s nothing like a craft cocktail. I don’t know what kind of magic they put in these drinks, but there’s definitely something there in addition to the main ingredients they list. (There has to be, I assure myself.) It was just like being in a real establishment with a real bartender. Gosh, I miss those days. We do, however, have these moments of hope when we order craft cocktails from our favorites!

Lastly, Win a Spin Bike!

In case you’re suspecting this lock down is also locking onto your girth, Boat Canyon’s Jan’s Health Bar is offering a spin bike give away. They’ve teamed up with Union Ryde in an Instagram raffle with a couple key steps to follow to be qualified for the bike. You have till April 26th. Check it out at Jan’s Instagram account!

Updated Restaurant Directory, Version 9, Available Now

I’m posting daily restaurant finds in my social platforms and updating my large Restaurant Directory on all open restaurant hours, food specials and discounts here in Laguna Beach (confirmed closures are also noted on the last page). Click here for the latest downloadable edition, updated through this morning, April 17th.)

Thank you for continuing to support your favorite restaurants and chefs of Laguna Beach!


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