361 Cliff Drive Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 497-5434. lasbrisaslagunabeach.com
Laguna Beach, California--Laguna Beach has the luxury of numerous restaurants with ocean views. Las Brisas, a Mexican / Seafood restaurant from the the Real Mex chain that owns El Torito and Chevy's, is an upscale version of the other restaurants in the chain. It's prime attraction is spectacular views of the Pacific Coast from the hilltop location offset from Coast Highway.
We've eaten at Las Brisas several times and once the food was spectacular, and other time it was average. We haven't returned after the average meal and sizeable bill. Building on the menus of the El Torito chain, La Brisas menu includes entrees with Spanish names and English descriptions so you can understand what the ingredients are.
Fish is a popular item--Mexican seabass, shrimp, fried squid, and ahi sashima, lobster, salmon and red snapper are staples of the menu that includes find cuts of fish available when in season.
If you're longing for the traditional American-style Mexican cuisine, you're not going to find much of it here. For instance, the enchilada is a seafood mushroom enchilada with skirt steak, natural chicken or fish soft taco, beans with cotija cheese and Mexican-style rice.
Filet Mignon, Angus New York Steak and Marinated Chicken Breast are several non-fish options.
Salads and soups (3 kinds) are available --and premier tequila is offered by the shot glass or in your favorite cocktails.
The least expensive way to try eating at the restaurant so you can enjoy the scenery is on the afternoon patio Happy Hour menu when prices are around $8 to 11 for a limited menu of items.
You'll go out the door spending $30 person (and up) if you order a salad, soup, entree and cocktail, which is fine if the meal warrants such a price.
This isn't the best choice of restaurant for tourists seeking an affordable meal with their children. However, we highly recommend the afternoon Happy Hour served on the patio when the sky is blue, the ocean aquamarine, and the birds all sing. That goes Mon-Friday from around 4 to 6 p.m.
Las Brisas is View, View, View, and then there's food.