Las Brisas in Laguna Beach is always a restaurant that holds a special place in my heart. I went there for one of my first dates with my husband and the view is captivating and simply takes your breath away as you are seated right on the water in Laguna Beach.
Recently Las Brisas got a new executive chef, Jay Scollon that arrived with a diverse culinary background and wide range of experience as he revamped the menu. They have also redone the entire interior with major upgrades in the dining room in terms of wall art and just a general changeover of the ambiance.
I was recently invited to check out the new patio menu at Las Brisas, but when I arrived, management pulled me off the patio and brought me into the new upgraded dining room and insisted that I try some of their new Specialties on their menu designed by their new executive chef, Jay Scollon. Of course, I kindly obliged and I do plan to go back as well to try some of the outdoor items this summer on the patio menu that also look amazing! As we were mulling over the menu outside and I was about to order the Ahi tuna burger, we were moved inside and they insisted on us trying the New York Steak and the Grilled Branzino, which also goes by the name of European Sea Bass or loup de mer! These are two of my favorite dishes so I was super excited to enjoy them.
In looking at the libations menu, we decided on two Margaritas to start the evening. My eyes gravitated to “The Clooney,” which to my surprise when I asked our waiter if it was actually designed by Clooney, I did not expect them to say yes, but they did. Let me tell you, Clooney does have good taste! This Margarita had casamigos blanco, cointreau, & agave nectar. My husband got The Don Margarita prepared with Don Julio reposado, grand marnier, organic agave nectar which was also delicious, but I was really partial to the Clooney.
To start, a fresh ceviche prepared with cured sea bass, shrimp, orange, onion, cucumber, cilantro, chile, house made guacamole, chips and salsa arrived on the table promptly and while we enjoyed the view of the ocean and our cocktails we fell in love with these appetizers which are also part of the new patio menu!
Upon finishing our appetizers, our waiter recommended a lovely white blend, a 2015 by Conundrum to pair with the fish and a fabulous full-bodied red, a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon by Daou based out of Paso Robles, California to pair with the New York steak. These were both excellent choices and were delicious until the last drop!
As the main courses arrived, the New York Steak and the branzino, we were very excited to dig in and experience the world of flavor that was to come. The branzino presentation was fabulous with the fish butterflied open and most of the bones were removed as well. This was a buttery delicious fish and the potatoes that complimented it were perfect. I would definitely recommend this dish to any Seafood lover.
The New York steak was cooked perfectly. I ordered the steak medium rare as I always do and they definitely cooked it to a tea. The asparagus on the plate was done very nicely and was cooked softly yet still a little crunchy with just enough butter, but not overdone. The garlic mashed potatoes brought a sense of happiness to my palate and I literally could have sat there eating them all day. Of course, at the end of my meal I had to ask for boxes as I usually do to take part of my meal home. Soon after, when our waiter came to the table asking what we wanted for dessert, my husband started to shake his head no and explained that he was full. Of course, I had to stop that interaction immediately because what is a dinner without dessert? I absolutely love dessert!
After being given a selection of four or five choices of sweet delicacies and feeling like I should definitely take the Mexican tortilla option with ice cream, I insisted on the New York cheesecake with strawberries. I do believe I made the 100% correct decision because every bite of that cake was eaten by my husband and I and neither of us regretted it for a minute. Such a delicious moist cake full of flavor and not overdone on strawberry… Just the right amount.
I definitely recommend visiting Las Brisas at your nearest convenience to check out the new menu, new interior and the patio menu and dining as well! The patio is absolutely exquisite and the view is definitely something to be noted.
After visiting this restaurant, I recommend walking the paths along the ocean that lead down to the beach. This is definitely a stellar atmosphere that you should visit for any occasion! Have you been to Las Brisas lately? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I love this place and I would love to know of any items you recommend.