Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nick's Laguna Beach


Laguna Beach, CA. Finding a trendy new American eatery off the coast isn't as easy as it sounds. With restaurants opening and closing like an of-the-moment crush, I felt like I lucked out when I stopped at this eatery in Laguna Beach.  New eats ahead of us, my friend and I headed down to Orange County using this restaurant as only a marker. Ah, but with hunger in the belly and American on the mind, we were already walking to this restaurant before we agreed on the venue.

The interior decor of Nick's Laguna Beach is simple but pleasant. There is good lighting bouncing in from the street with soft filters overhead. There is ample indoor and outdoor seating, depending on the day and time, but there are passer-bys aplenty in front of the restaurant. In looking around at the aesthetic, it was hard to determine how the food would actually be. The menu featured a few twists on American classics but if you are willing to try, do so,  and your taste buds will thank you. Service was consistent during the experience, from the server, to the manager, to the bus boy.

Fried Deviled Eggs
Fried Deviled Eggs - with no idea other than "they might look cool," my friend and I ordered this appetizer. First thoughts were right but they tasted even better. A fancy deviled egg, how about that? Tastes and looks like the usual dish, but the egg whites are flash fried, changing the taste just enough for innovation. The breading is light and the dish was easily split amongst my friend and I. Cool idea to integrate into your own family pot lucks.

Ribeye Melt

Nick's Ribeye Melt - for a sandwich, was just plain tasty. The sourdough bread was grilled with parmesan cheese, forming a crispy crust along the outer edge. The steak was cooked at a medium rare, layered with Swiss, caramelized onions, and a very light spread of creamy horseradish. There is a selection of sides, but I found that the Thai Peanut Cole Slaw was a great side to offset the carb-heavy sandwich. Creamy horseradish comes on the side for extra dipping madness. Although I ate the meal slowly, the taste held form throughout. The only 'negative' point of note: the onions gelled as they cooled, turning into an onion paste on the heated sourdough.

The beverage shown at the start of this post is called "Farmer's Market Cocktail" served on Saturdays and made from freshly purchased and pressed berries with lime juice and gin. It was a light, refreshing blend for a hot summer day and hit the spot quite easily. My venture here was more about the food, but as a digression, it was a good little addition to our menu. The takeaway: I enjoyed the eat enough to warrant a return, although next time, more food and maybe...hmm...dinner?

Nick's Laguna Beach
440 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 376-8595

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