Sapphire Laguna Laguna Beach Reviews
Sep 16, 2007
THE PHOTOS ARE WHAT I ORDERED. THE OTHER DISHES AND DESSERTS ARE IN THE LA BLOG ATTACHED TO THIS. TOO MUCH YUMMINESS :P
this was a great restaurant. it was walking distance to the beach. open air or inside seating. we went there for lunch. we sat outside in the corner of the patio under an umbrella. the service was great. one thing about eating in a beach community. the food and the service is slow by nature. maybe it just living in LA. HAHAHA
we ordered a variety to dishes to try. i ordered the American Kobe Beef sliders, leek-mushroom fondue, tempura onion rings. my mum ordered the Southern-fried chicken salad, baby field greens, pecans, roast corn,
dried cranberries, buttermilk-ranch dressing. john ordered the Pan-seared Barramundi, “truffle frites,” Café de Paris butter,
frisée-haricots verts tossed in citronnade. and ashley ordered the Vegetarian egg white tower, portobello, goat cheese, ratatouille,
pimento de piquillo coulis.
we all shared for an appetizer, lemon-ricotta flap jacks, blueberry ginger compote. yummy. wow the flap jacks were light and fluffy.
for dessert, i ordered my fave, Warm soft-centered Valhrona chocolate cake, pistachio ice cream, rum-caramel sauce AKA volcano cake :)
my god i think i about died when i took my first bite. my mum ordered Peach Melba crème brûlée, raspberry sorbet, and john and ashley ordered Classic apple cobbler, cinnamon crumble, vanilla ice cream.
all was expectational, with unique flavors and beautifully presentation. my dish was delicious. the onion rings is the best, the batter was light and thin. my sliders were juicey and tender.
While the cuisine at Sapphire Laguna is characterized by Chef/Owner Azmin Ghahreman's distinctive international style, its cornerstone is the freshest possible local ingredients. The evolving menu changes seasonally - based on what is freshly caught and available from small farms, nearby markets and artisan suppliers. Chef Azmin's motto has always been: "When you dine at my restaurants you are traveling through the world's markets with your palate, and you don't even need a passport." Now, Chef Azmin opens global portals to diners and shoppers who visit him at Sapphire Laguna. Sapphire Laguna also features reach-in wine vaults which house an eclectic wine collection – more than 900 bottles, emphasizing varietals from around the world. All vintages are stored in temperature-controlled units behind a rustic wall made from actual wine staves. In addition, approximately 25 wines by the glass are available.
Menu samples and wine offerings can be found on Sapphire Laguna
nside, Sapphire Laguna is rustic-beach-shack chic with colorful swirled glass light fixtures, dark wood beams and distressed wood flooring — nostalgic and cozy, but also extremely noisy if you're seated anywhere near the hyperactive bar scene or the open kitchen. Ah, but that patio — where the smart set wants to sit — is furnished with marigold orange umbrellas and a rectangular fire pit filled with silvery glass and dancing flames. Arrive early enough and you can watch the light fade over the Pacific framed by a Jack in the Box and a fanciful ivy-covered Tudor building.
Settled at one of the slatted teak tables under the shelter of one of those cheerful umbrellas, there's only one thing to do: order potato chips. The house signature potato chips, the finest slices of potatoes, are fried to a perfect gold and strewn with sea salt and crunchy wisps of rosemary and sage. They're impossible to resist. And on each occasion that I ate here, my dining cohorts and I considered getting a second order.
It makes you wonder what the Iranian-born chef and his crack kitchen team has in store for the rest of the menu.
Sapphire Laguna could have been a tourist trap. After all, it is located where the Pottery Shack, a rambling complex of funky cottages, sat on the main drag sprouting an American flag and bursting with ceramics and colorful dishes in every direction. A statue of Laguna's irrepressible unofficial greeter, Eiler Larsen, a Dane with long hair and beard, stood (and still stands, newly restored) at the corner, and you can still find old postcards of the place with big Buicks pulled up in front, the better to haul away dinnerware and garden ceramics. Founded in the '30s, it closed in 2004.
Three years later, Old Pottery Place encompasses a handful of upscale retail spaces, including a chocolate shop, bookstore, gallery, boutique, gourmet shop — and Sapphire Laguna. It is a serious restaurant — and that adjective applies more to the food than to the beach town exuberance of the place. Chef-owner Ghahreman is going for bright, vivid flavors and a menu that flirts with cuisines from far-flung places.
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