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NEWS
March 19, 2013
A woman suspected of dining at a Laguna Beach restaurant without paying is back in custody. Mary Patricia Taggart, 58, is charged with felony second-degree burglary with intent to commit larceny and defraud an innkeeper, according to a complaint filed with the Orange County District Attorney's office. The alleged incident occurred March 14 at Alessá restaurant on Forest Avenue, the complaint said. The D.A. also charged Taggart with felony theft with three prior convictions. She is accused of stealing personal property from Alessá.
NEWS
September 29, 2011
Marissa Gerlach is the new restaurant chef for Raya at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, according to a news release. Raya is Chef Richard Sandoval's concept that showcases Pan-Latin coastal cuisine prepared with sustainable seafood, local produce, natural and organic meats, and Sandoval's signature Latin flavors, according to the release. With more than seven years of culinary experience, Gerlach is passionate about the food she serves her guests. "Every product we use has a history, a story behind it. For instance, AquaFarm is a small local sustainable seafood farm in Southern California," Gerlach said in a statement.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | March 18, 2013
Marcel Pitz came to tears when asked to describe the outpouring of support the community has provided for one of his sons, Marc Pitz. Marc Pitz, 48, who helps his family run Dizz's As Is restaurant along Coast Highway, is battling pancreatic cancer. Thursday night marked the third fundraiser in the past week for Pitz. Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd and former City Manager Ken Frank escorted guests to their tables beginning with the first customers around 5:30 p.m. Dizz's As Is was booked until 9 p.m. Boyd's son, Sean, played youth soccer with Marc 30 years ago. The mayor, who is also battling cancer, came up with the idea for Dizz's to host a special dinner where he and Frank would help seat diners.
BUSINESS
By By Barbara Diamond | November 4, 2005
Mozambique is ordered to remove extra seats, provide on-site employee parking in keeping with its conditional use permit from city.After listening to a litany of complaints by neighbors of Mozambique restaurant on Oct. 26, the planning commission acted on two documented violations of the restaurant's conditional-use permit. Restaurant owners were ordered to have only the number of seats in the exact location approved in the permit and to provide on-site parking for 10 employees, in keeping with the conditional-use permit.
NEWS
By Joanna Clay | February 23, 2012
The owner of Eva's Caribbean Kitchen said she hopes to have the restaurant open by March 2 after a structure fire damaged it Feb. 17. Eva Madray, who has owned the eatery at 31732 S. Coast Hwy. for 11 years, said crews have been hard at work following the fire, which was believed to have been ignited by a light fixture near combustible materials. Firefighters got to the scene shortly around 4:30 a.m. last Friday and both lanes of Coast Highway were shut down for a couple hours.
NEWS
By: Daniel Beighley | October 14, 2005
Despite a barrage of complaints from neighbors, operators of newly opened Mozambique restaurant are hoping to add seating and extend the restaurant's hours of operation. Mozambique will bring its case to the planning commission on Oct. 26. The African-themed establishment, which opened in July, has been accused by some neighbors of being a nightclub with a rowdy and disruptive crowd. "Granted it's an upscale crowd, [but] they're loud and obnoxious," said John Ferrante of the Woods Cove Neighborhood Assn.
NEWS
By: Darleene Barrientos | August 27, 2005
Residents opposed to a California Chicken Cafe moving into their neighborhood have filed an appeal protesting the Burbank Planning Board's unanimous approval of parking exceptions and allowing the restaurant's patrons to bring their own alcohol. Neighbors of the proposed restaurant, planned for 2921 W. Magnolia Blvd., will meet Monday to discuss the restaurant's impending arrival. "Since the city Planning [department] staff had recommended not approving the application, we felt we should pursue this further, just to make sure," said Penny Church, who lives along Niagara Street, which intersects Magnolia.
BUSINESS
By Josh Aden | March 16, 2007
What do you get when you mix fine imported foods and locally grown produce, add a highly regarded chef, early California design, and set it all down in the Old Pottery Place? You get Chef Azmin Ghahreman's dream project, Sapphire Laguna. Ghahreman, who left his last post as executive chef at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa to found Sapphire, opened the restaurant Feb. 21. In less than a month's time, weekend reservations are already filling up. Ghahreman said his goal was to open a restaurant that served the best foods from around the world with local touches that make it a part of the community.
NEWS
By Elle Harrow and Terry Markowitz | February 23, 2007
On April 7, 1986, we opened A La Carte, Take Away Gourmet, with Elle in the kitchen whipping up "homemade" mayonnaise and chicken pot pie while Terry was out front reading the manual on how to operate a cash register and intermittently dashing back to the kitchen to make sandwiches. At the end of an excruciatingly busy day, and after washing dishes, scrubbing pots and mopping the floors, we collapsed happy and exhausted on the kitchen floor, at the number of people that came through the door on that first day. Twenty-one years later, they are still forming lines to get in and more than a few of them have been customers since that chaotic beginning.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Jennifer Lane | April 3, 2014
What started in 2011 as a food truck business is about to open its second stand-alone restaurant in two years. Slapfish, which is run by Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude, is branching out from its Huntington Beach restaurant and opening at 211 Broadway near Coast Highway in Laguna Beach at the end of April, bringing its sustainable and ecosystem-friendly seafood with it. "We want to bump up the seafood scene and bring fun, sexy seafood to Laguna...
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NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | January 9, 2014
Opening two enclosed areas is part of the preliminary design plans for a specialty coffee-and-tea and breakfast chain set to move onto hallowed ground in Laguna Beach. Urth Caffe, based in Los Angeles, plans to move into the space at 308 N. Coast Hwy., which was occupied by the Cottage Restaurant for nearly 50 years until closing in late 2012. The Laguna Beach location will be Urth's first in Orange County and co-founders Shallom and Jilla Berkman, husband and wife, couldn't be more excited.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | November 14, 2013
Cafe Zoolu owner Michael Leech doesn't pay for tasks he can do himself. He'll order fish directly from the supplier, avoiding the middleman, then roll up his sleeves and prepare a meal out of it. As for managing all the duties that come with running a restaurant? He and wife, Toni, have it covered. The hands-on strategy has worked for the Leeches, who have owned and operated the Laguna restaurant at 860 Glenneyre St. for 20 years. Cafe Zoolu is one of the few long-standing survivors in a beach city that has seen its fair share of iconic places shuttered for one reason or another.
NEWS
November 7, 2013
The wood is in, the ovens are prepared and Selanne Steak Tavern is ready to open its doors in Laguna Beach. The restaurant named for Anaheim Ducks' star Teemu Selanne, one of two proprietors along with Kevin Pratt, will serve its first cocktail and meal beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, according to a news release. Selanne, which will double as both a casual tavern and an upscale steakhouse, opens in a spot formerly occupied by French 75, at 1464 S. Coast Hwy. Executive chef Joshua Severson's menu includes, as the restaurant's name implies, steaks and chops while also giving a nod to fish and poultry.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | October 17, 2013
Laguna Beach is in escrow to purchase property just south of Tivoli Too on Laguna Canyon Road, Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson announced at Tuesday's City Council meeting. Pearson said she approached her council colleagues in closed session and found unanimous support for the privately owned plot of land at 725 Laguna Canyon Road. "This is a game-changer on the [proposed] Village Entrance [Project]," Councilman Steve Dicterow said. "This is not just a mere announcement. " The land covers nearly 4 acres and costs $5.3 million, City Manager John Pietig wrote in an email.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | October 15, 2013
Zinc Cafe & Market is already environmentally conscious, so when representatives from Waste Management approached the Laguna Beach restaurant about a food waste recycling program, management was all ears. Zinc is one of 18 Laguna Beach restaurants participating in a trial program in which workers are placing food waste, such as tomato tops and shucked ears of corn, into separate bags to be recycled at Waste Management's food and organics recycling facility. The 30-day pilot program, the first in Orange County, began Oct. 7. Other participating restaurants, selected at random, include Mozambique, Tivoli Terrace and Tivoli Too, according to Eloisa Orozco, Waste Management's Southern California area communications manager.
NEWS
October 4, 2013
A thief stole $700 from a drawer inside a Laguna Beach restaurant, Laguna Beach police said Tuesday. The burglary occurred at 8:24 p.m. Sept. 25 inside the Nirvana Grille at 303 Broadway St., according to a department news release. Surveillance video shows a man who police suspect committed the crime. Before entering the restaurant, the person allegedly sent or read a text message and then walked directly to one of several desks in the restaurant's business office, removed an envelope from a zipper pouch and stole its contents, according to police.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | September 26, 2013
The music can play on at The Cliff Restaurant. The Laguna Beach Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved certain types of tunes at specific times and days. About 30 supporters of The Cliff raised their hands when Steve Kawaratani, a former Design Review Board member who consulted for the restaurant, asked who was in favor of music at the South Coast Highway locale, which is within walking distance of Main Beach. "We believe it's reasonable for the Planning Commission to approve amplified music," Kawaratani read from a prepared statement before commissioners voted.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton and This post has been corrected, as noted below. | August 8, 2013
Jim Shumate can see the replica Stanley Cup trophy gleaming in its case inside a 1930s building along South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. Workers are giving the former French 75 restaurant a makeover in preparation for new occupant Selanne's Steak Tavern, named for Anaheim Ducks legend Teemu Selanne, who owns the business with Kevin Pratt. Shumate, the restaurant's general manager, walked around the space at 1464 S. Coast Hwy., amid whirring drills and the occasional thuds from hammers last Friday, eyeing the spot where the replica of the trophy marking the Ducks' 2006-07 championship season will reside.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | June 20, 2013
Mindy Hawkins discussed the finer points of making a grilled cheese sandwich with eight Laguna Beach High School students Thursday. Hawkins, a vocational education teacher at the school, spoke of the difference between cooking the sandwich in a microwave, which is quicker, or allowing the cheese to melt slower while the bread crisps atop a griddle. The classic lunchtime favorite and milkshakes were on the menu. "You guys will be living on your own and have to make lunch," said Hawkins, who walks with nine students from the high school to the Assistance League of Laguna Beach twice a month to cook and perform other tasks, such as placing price tags on CDs and DVDs.
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