This week, our little Laguna Beach town has happily climbed in temp from low 60s to today’s 78 degrees. I’m sitting up here looking down at a beach half-packed with people and wondering if anyone works on Fridays anymore.

So, this will be a short post as I’m off to Happy Hour with friends at Laguna Beach’s BEST happy hour watering hole in town – The Rooftop. Granted, we locals usually stay away from this “seen and be seen” hotel rooftop bar on Fridays and weekends, but you’ve got to celebrate the coming of summer SOME time, and today seems to be that day.

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Seriously, how many places can you get a view like this at happy hour anywhere in Southern Cal? (Granted, Las Brisas has that stellar ocean/bay view, yes (but way too many tourists, sorry), and the Hotel Laguna has that beautiful restaurant deck on Main Beach, and I like Splashes at the Surf and Sand Hotel as the waves seem to come right up to the windows . . .  HOWEVER, the Rooftop is certainly Laguna Beach’s bar with the highest elevation. Plus, it’s got a cool jazz/rock kind of thing going on.

Laguna Beach’s Rooftop restaurant sits on top of the Casa del Camino hotel at PCH and Cress. Owned by the same guys who own the great K’ya down below, the Rooftop serves up the same great food, but in a smaller menu that proves “heartier” in fare. (Every dish must be trotted up several flights of stairs or transported by the single elevator in the hotel from the ground floor kitchen . . . so you can’t be ordering stuff like K’ya’s famous lobster mac and cheese dish.)

You still have plenty of snacking with sandwiches, huge salads, and unique appetizers (try the lobster lettuce wraps – yum).

Clambered upon by many a celebrity and celebrity athlete, the Rooftop puts on quite a show of peeps at times, especially between 7:30 and its closing bell at 10:00. But, if you’re looking for an easy table for a quiet lunch, this can (usually) be easily accomplished on weekdays until about 3:00 when the crowds start arriving.

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I’m skeedaddling out the door . . . don’t want to miss the sunset, of course. See you at the Rooftop one of these eves!

P.S. Dog note: The Rooftop allows dogs, too . . . it’s a dog friendly restaurant you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be! Just be prepared to climb about 80 stairs . . .

© 2011, Diane Armitage,
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