top of page
  • Writer's pictureOC Edwards Co

Review ~ The Deck at Laguna Beach

This is an exanded review from Yelp with links...

For a SoCal local, a given is to spend at least one summer afternoon at a spot that sits right on the beach. If you add good vibes, wonderful food and drinks, then you’ve won the day. The Deck on Laguna Beach is one such hideaway, an open air deck of a restaurant overlooking a small strip of shore at Laguna Beach.

Like many of our beach cities, there are a few hoops to jump through in order to make the experience as enjoyable as possible - and The Deck has such hoops. Even for us, it took a few wrinkles to work out.

The Deck on Laguna Beach

First of all, parking. As this is Laguna Beach, be forewarned. The Deck does have valet parking at its almost nondescript entrance on Sleepy Hollow Lane. It’s more than likely your best bet and your easiest, provided that all goes well.

Alternate parking options could be on the street. There is metered parking all over Laguna - close to The Deck are some on South Coast Highway, Cleo Street, Glenneyre Street. This is where we found parking - we didn’t want to be restricted and had some walking about to do.

If you need even more options, I’d recommend the beach cities’ newer offerings via their official websites - .

Now, be likewise forewarned that The Deck is quite clear that they do not have reservations. It is based on availability. It’s recommended to go there first and make your reservation before anything else, and get a sense of your timing. They are otherwise very accommodating and, pending you don’t have anything too complex as for your party, you should be able to get in within an hour. I found that larger parties are accommodated but I could see some complications should there be too many at the same time.

As for sitting right on the railing, which is what you’ll want - you may want to ask to wait for a railing sit (then perhaps slip the ol’ $20 to cement the concept). There’s nothing like sitting right there on the shore. If not, you’ll still get the open air and a smattering of sunshine, which is fine for some. Also, bring a light jacket for those that run cooler than hot - this is a coastal restaurant and wide open to the elements, for the most part. There are umbrellas that cover the entirety of the deck, so don’t worry too much about sun.

The Deck is fairly straightforward - this structure is purpose built right on the shore, with a deck that butts right above a strip of beach. Seating appears to be all outdoors, with a variety of levels of seating, but not a ton. A rough count, in my opinion, looks to be about 200 seats overall - including the bar.

But it is the view and service that you go for - the ocean is there, in all of its quiet, hypnotic glory. The servers were friendly and eager. All in all a great experience.

We started the afternoon with a pair of cocktails - the Seaworthy and The Red Tide. The former was rum, lemon sour, strawberries, basil and soda - a solid cocktail to wake one up and get ready for lunch. The latter vodka, watermelon, cranberry-lime sour and mint - likewise an alert cocktail and one that woke me up.

To start us off, we went for the server’s recommendation - a Tuna Poke Stack. This was a bit of a surprise - I have to say that, my expectations for shore-lined restaurants are not exactly high. But this starter had a few layers of tastes where it couldn’t have been woefully straight-forward. Instead, it was a delicious way to start off - with papaya, seaweed salad and sweet soy sauce.

I had to have a Dungeness Crab Louie Salad - I needed something light and full of green. This was real crab, a good portion in a balance of fresh tasting greens and asparagus. All in all, likewise wonderful and a great complement to the starter.

We also had the Laguna Cioppino - full of both bold and delicate flavors. This was a great way to top off the healthier options of the meal thus far, shifting toward a hearty, sea-kissed broth with delicious crostini served atop a hearty cioppino of mussels, clams, shrimps, scallops, the daily fish - all swimming in a tomato-saffron broth. The warmth of the broth suited the mood of the day. With the ocean air right upon us, eating delicious seafood.

The only feedback we had on the trip were the cocktails - typically a straight-forward drink is the right thing to do. I think, for The Deck’s unique position on the beach, I would come up with some cocktail options that befit such a grand location on the shore. I’m thinking Strongwater’s line of cocktails would suit them well - go for the dramatic and some panache on such a spot - but I also get that this is a local place where unencumbered cocktails are also the way to go.

Secondly, there didn’t appear to be any take-out. We tried. I asked the host at the very top of the restaurant, who said that the bartenders may take in take-out orders, but, when I tried that, I was kindly told that is not the case. “Well, it depends on who you ask.” I think it would help the restaurant out, since the Pacific Edge hotel is right there, to put in an order and enjoy it back on the beach.

All in all, though, you come as you are and The Deck has a lot to offer.

Please like and subscribe all things!


17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page