I was driving from home in Altadena to Laguna Beach and I had drastically underestimated how far of a drive I had begun. I knew I was going to be on the freeway and streets for a while, but as I hit the hour mark I realized it was becoming longer than I had planned. My only hope was that the destination, Las Brisas in Laguna Beach, would be worth it. The minute I arrived to the beach-side restaurant and was seated adjacent to a window that opened to the beautiful blue ocean, clear skies, and palm trees every mile felt worth it.
As I let myself get lost in the views outside the restaurant, the waiter Ricardo arrived. From the moment he said hello he was full of energy! The way he walked me through the menu and made suggestions on what I should order was better than I have ever had before. I loved how charming he was and how it was his goal to make the brunch delightful. Even better, he didn’t do this with me alone. I listened to him interact with other tables the same way and couldn’t help but smile as I heard him make other people laugh as well.
With his suggestions, ordering was a breeze.
I started out with Mimosas ($13). The champagne paired with orange juice and cranberry was a great way to the brunch. While I enjoyed both of the variations, the cranberry version was my favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed just how flirty, fruity, and refreshing it was to the point that I couldn’t help but ask for a second round. I mean, I needed something to take edge off from that long drive, right?
In between the mimosa sips the Grapefruit Brûlée ($4) arrived. The single half of grapefruit was lightly brûléed and served on a white plate with a spoon. As I dove into it, I found that it wasn’t the easiest to eat with a spoon in hand. There was no way to get around the grapefruit squirting all over the place so I was glad I wasn’t wearing white. The difficult part was scooping the grapefruit on the spoon and keeping it in place as I moved it towards my mouth. Not having it slip all over was a bit of a challenge, but once it worked it was delicious! It was tart and sweet and made me wish all fruit came this way. I mean, a brûléed papaya might be a bit of a mess but it could be completely worth it!
Pushing the scooped grapefruit aside I made space for Ricardo as he put the next dish in front of me. It was the Cinnamon Roll ($10). The large homemade cinnamon roll came with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and a pecan sauce on the side. As Ricardo poured the thick pecan sauce on top of the roll all I wanted to do was go face first into it. As he finished, I finally got to taste it. The frosting was so smooth and whipped that it tasted like clouds while the pecan sauce carried the ideal amount of sweetness. The roll itself was pillow-like soft, rich without being too decadent, and the cinnamon scattered throughout it was just right. I loved it!
The Crab Cake Benedict ($24): took a seared crab cake, free range poached eggs, English muffin, hollandaise sauce and was served with breakfast potatoes and a salad. It was the priciest item on the menu, but eating it alongside with the beach view made it seem ok—at least this one time. I really liked the way the poached egg mixed with the crab cake. Adding the lightly toasted English muffin only enhanced the taste of it all. It was definitely a dish that would be perfect to have on a warm and sunny morning like this.
The final dishes of the brunch were the Las Brisas Omelet ($19) and the Pot Pie ($15). The omelet took three free range eggs, scallops, shrimp, mushrooms, manchego cheese, and corn served with a salad. I really loved all that they put into this omelet. While the seafood was fresh and brought the essence of the restaurant into the folds of the egg, it was the sweetness of the corn that made it feel complete. Every aspect of it was delicious and should be ordered if you visit them. The pot pie on the other hand was comprised of free range eggs, Nueske’s bacon, country sausage, Bechamel sauce, jack and cheddar cheese, and breakfast potatoes. As a person who loves a single dish that is hearty, it was clear that this was that type of dish! I originally assumed the potatoes were on the side but I was wrong. They were inside of the pot pie that was already packed beyond capacity. It was easy for me to enjoy the beautifully golden puff pastry with every ingredient within. How they managed to place so much in this one dish was beyond me but I’m glad they were able to achieve such a task.
With the last few bites that I could take of the brunch, I felt so full and happy. The two kind of go hand-in-hand for me anyway. I loved how beautiful each dish was, the view that came with it, and the incredibly kind gentleman Ricardo who made it perfection. I know the ride to the restaurant was a long one, but after all the plates and the great view, it was exactly what I needed.
Address: 361 Cliff Dr. Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: (949) 497-5434
Hours: Sunday to Thursday – 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and Friday & Saturday – 8:00 am to 11:00 pm
Social: Website, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Food tastes great
- Friendly staff
- Nice location
- Street parking only