Although people in L.A. tend not to be overly opinionated about much of anything (sun damaging the brain perhaps?), they do tend to be pretty polarized regarding Orange County. You know, the O.C.? Here people seem to really love it (it’s so clean, the streets are wide and parking generous) or hate it (tract housing, planned communities, big box stores everywhere, so clean it is sterile).
For many years, the hubs and I have felt that Orange County was a sterile part of SoCal that lacked any kind of grit or spice. Our assumption was that the O.C. was where (white) people moved to have a family and a greeting card-like existence. We are white, obviously, but we love the cultural mish-mash in L.A. Especially because of the food that is available here. How could we ever think of living down there? Things change, people change (sometimes) and migration is made easier by family ties.
Turns out, my sister and her husband are likely moving down there in June. My first reaction was– GASP!?!–how could they do that?!? Then, I could not survive living life behind the Orange Curtain. And now it is, I love my sister and don’t want to live far from her ever again. She lives a couple of blocks from me now and it is such a blessing. On top of it, my parents are planning on moving there in the next year or so. What a dream that would be. I would love to live closer to my parents.
So hubs and I took last weekend to scope out Laguna Beach. We ended up having a fantastic time. We walked around this mellow and beautiful beach town on Saturday and stopped for gelato. I wish I had had the camera with me. I don’t usually get deserts like this but decided to go for it. Sure glad I did because it was the most delicious gelato I’ve ever had: salted crem caramel. O…M…G….!!! Seriously freakin’ delicious.
Dinner was steller. We went to the Watermarc Grill. Since we didn’t have reservations we had to sit at the bar. But you know what? It was a nice change of pace–I could hear everything the hubs was saying. My hearing is not great so in loud restaurants I usually have trouble staying with the conversations because I can’t make out what people are commenting on. But I digress…
Onto the food. We choose several small plates and the food was spot on. There was not one dish that was lacking and in fact they were all beautifully seasoned. The only thing not pictured is our side of sauteed mushrooms with garlic and thyme. I’m sure there was a butt-load of butter in them because they were outstanding. The bartender asked us if we were both eating them. When we said yes, he said, “oh good…because you know, the garlic…if one person was having them…” and kind of trailed off. They weren’t that garlicky but he seemed concerned. We, on the other hand, were not. When you’ve been together for 13 years, you kind of forget to care about that kind of stuff.
Here are the dishes we chose. I highly recommend this restaurant–with or without a reservation.
We walked back to our hotel happy with bloated bellies. Next morning we took a long walk at the beach then went for brunch. Before brunch I couldn’t help myself. I had to scope out the WholeFoods. That’s how I roll. I cannot live in a place with sub-par grocery stores.
I was not disappointed. In fact, the weekend showed us that we could live in Laguna Beach and be pretty happy. Life behind the Orange Curtain looks pretty, pretty, prett-ay good.