Dining Highlights in Laguna Beach

We wined and dined on vacation and I’ve got to admit, I loved taking advantage of the opportunity to splurge. Our trip to Laguna was such a fun celebration of our marriage (we had our 7th wedding anniversary this summer!!!!), and a rare opportunity to spend time together, free from work, computers, house projects, and distractions.  Aah…so nice.

As I mentioned earlier, we hopped in a cab to Laguna Beach to access a few more dining options with a lower price…

Nirvana Grille: Located in downtown Laguna, Nirvana has both indoor and upstairs patio seating.  David and I both loved our meals here and more importantly, they have a very clearly marked gluten-free menu, which states what gluten-free diners can enjoy, and specifically lists what modifications need to be made.

David and I shared the artichoke, spinach and parmesan stuffed poblano (with bread on the side, for David).  It was so delicious we devoured it before I could even think to take a photo.  I’ve given you the pitiful remnants below.

The remnants of our stuffed pepper

For my entrée, I chose the Coconut Curry Tofu and loved it.  After a lot of heavy eating, the curry tofu was a different and lighter option and yummy!  Nirvana also has plenty of vegan and vegetarian options as well and the entire menu has lots of variety so all diners have plenty of choice.  Also, a great wine selection!  Definitely a must visit if you’re in Laguna.

Nirvana Grille's Tofu Curry

 

Another dinner spot that we checked out was Coyote Grill, located between the St. Regis and downtown Laguna (only about a $10 cab ride from the hotel).  There’s nothing fancy about Coyote but it’s ocean front location is not to be missed.  While they don’t have a gluten-free menu, I had read online before our trip that Coyote had lots of GF options and is familiar with the gluten-free diet.  I ordered the chicken fajitas with corn tortillas which came with tons of veggies, black beans, guac, and all of the delicious additions I love.  The meal was huge and David and I definitely could have split it, but he went with the ribs at the suggestion of the waiter.  Coyote is also known for their brunch but we didn’t make it back to check it out for ourselves.

BJ’s Restaurant: This casual, family-friendly restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway in downtown Laguna, makes gluten-free pizzas!  I’m always eager to sample a new variety of GF pizza and there’s was delicious.  Their thin crust pizza has a hint of sweetness to it, with rosemary baked into the crust.  All of their toppings, except their meatballs are GF.  I ordered a pizza with sausage and artichokes and loved it.  Half was plenty for me so I took the leftovers back to the hotel for lunch the next day.

BJ’s also has a gluten-free/allergen menu so all dietary needs can be taken into consideration when dining here.  If you’re not in the mood for pizza, try one of their salads or giant stuffed potatoes.  BJ’s also sells GF ciders and Redbridge beer, a perfect addition to a pizza dinner!

BJ’s doesn’t take reservations so be prepared to wait a little while for a table as it has a pretty small dining area.  You can call 30 minutes ahead, to get your name on the list.  BJ’s is a great choice if you’re looking for a more casual, laid back dinner in Laguna.  While I was sad not to be able to enjoy the glutenous deep dish pizza, my GF pizza was pretty darn good.

Ok, I’m finally done boring you with the details of our California trip.  Maybe I’ve inspired you to take a trip vacation of your own.

  1. Chili T. says:

    Oh, B…
    I’m only just now able to explore these beautiful ingredients of what appears to have been SUCH a glorious, full vacation. LOVE the pictures, LOVE the celebration, and HOPE that you can still vacate and go back to Laguna in mind and spirit…

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