Sometimes you go to places just for the food. And sometimes you go just for the ambiance. Well, at Oak Laguna, you go for both. For today's foodecall, I made the trek to Oak in Laguna Beach. Oak is an ocean view restaurant that boasts both an incredible ambiance and food that will leave you wanting more. I can honestly say that everything was delicious and I wholeheartedly recommend this place.
Executive Chef Chris Tzorin infuses each plate with his flair. I sat down with him to talk about the menu, and it was obvious that what matters most to him is details, details, and more details. Oak features a modern Californian coastal cuisine, ranging from fresh seafood plates to comfort food like Nana's fried chicken. The food and theme of the restaurant are locally inspired.
The appetizers are just as show stopping as the entreés, if not more. I loved each and every single one of them.
I'm never really one to order meatballs because it's rare that places do them well, but I have to say I loved the Brooks Street Classic Meatballs which is simply meatballs in marinara sauce, topped with mozzarella, and brioche crostini. There's something about the texture of the meatballs combined with the crostini's that put this dish quickly to the top of my list.
Next up and quite interestingly enough was the stuffed portobello mushroom. The mushroom was stuffed with mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, and a pistachio pesto sauce, how incredible does that sound! It's even more incredible eating it. I love vegetarian dishes and will try to order them whenever possible. This is one of those dishes where you can skip the meat and you don't even miss it at all!
The duck drums is really what excited me even before my visit to Oak. It's basically crispy duck drumsticks coated in this sweet citrus glaze. These are one of those must orders. Its unique and delicious.
If you're looking for fresh seafood, you have a few options there. You could go with the South-of-the-Border Ceviche, made with shrimp, white fish, pico de gallo, baja seasoning, and lime juice. My husband and I are such big fans of ceviche, we will usually get it if its on a menu, or we will go out of our way to get ceviche. It's our go-to when we want something fresh and light, packed with protein and low on carbs. This ceviche did not disappoint. Loved it and would recommend it. Your other option would be to go with the albacore stack. this one is made with a spicy sriracha marinade, mango, avocado, and wonton chips. I've really come to love fresh mango with my food, and I'm obsessed with fried wontons so this was another winner in my book. Both the stack and the ceviche are two really stellar options.
For an entreé, you could go with the Octopus and Pork belly if you want a taste of both sea and land in one dish. It comes with avocado foam, baby arugula, and a sriracha aioli. My husband loved this, so if you like octopus, you will not go wrong with this dish. I tried it but I'm not entirely at ease with eating octopus so he finished this plate.
The next entreé is one that I'm really excited about...Nana's Fried Chicken. Why am I excited, well, because fried chicken. I don't think that needs any explanation. This one is a buttermilk fried chicken breast, with mashed potatoes, thyme gravy, and sauteéd spinach. This would be great for the pickiest eater in the group because you just can't go wrong with fried chicken.
I love sea bass and have recently decided that it is my favorite fish. So I had to order the Chilean Sea Bass on the menu which is made with whipped potatoes, summer squash, and a blood orange butter. It was delicious.
They also have a selection of tacos to choose from, including pork belly, octopus, and short rib.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention their awesome salads. We went with the heirloom beet salad which comes with burrata cheese, watermelon radish, candied pecans, and garlic aioli. Their chopped salad is also pretty epic and big enough to be a meal or to share.
More importantly, can we talk about the incredible dessert we had? House-made Doughnuts n' Ice-Cream. The doughnuts were coated in sugar, sprinkled with butterfinger crumbs, and the vanilla ice cream drizzled with bourbon caramel. It was divine. A must order.
You can't go to oak and not try their unique cocktails. These were fun to drink, especially the 14K gold drink I had, named after the owner. It was sparkly but unfortunately pictures don't do it justice, you'll just have to see it in person.
Another fantastic foodecall for the books! This was seriously an amazing experience and to all of you reading this, definitely worth checking out. Until next time!