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Christmas Eats Abound in SoCal


In Orange County, some of the area’s top restaurants are not only providing a most delicious dining experience for the holidays but also throwing in extras like holiday treats, complimentary champagne toasts and visits and photos with Santa. In Laguna Beach, Montage Laguna Beach is offering the poshest of celebrations while Hotel Irvine is pulling out all the stops for fun and festivities al fresco. And at Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, a most stylish Christmas brunch and dinner await.

Award-winning Christmas dining overlooking the Pacific at Montage Laguna Beach: Christmas Eve at Studio on Monday, December 24, from 4 to 10 p.m.

A special chef-driven Four-Course Tasting Menu of seasonal gourmet fare will be a meal to remember. The first course is a Roasted Heirloom Beet Salad, followed by Crispy Chicken Ballotine and then Roasted Filet of Beef with accompaniments and huckleberry beef jus. To end this wonderful dinner is celebratory Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon Semifreddo. Studio’s customary á la carte menu will also be served. To toast to a Merry Christmas for all, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for every two adult guests will be part of this festive meal.

$175 for adults; $50 for children (ages four to 12 years), $80 for young adults (ages 13 to 20) plus tax and gratuity.

Christmas Day at The Loft on Tuesday, December 25, from 3 to 9 p.m.

At The Loft, the Christmas Day celebratory meal will be a Four-Course Holiday Tasting Menu with a choice of appetizer including Winter Squash Soup, Escarole, and Treviso Salad or Christmas Ham Rillette. The second course is either Fig and Chestnut Ricotta Ravioli, Petite Lobster Thermidor or Seared George’s Bank Scallops. Then the main course selections are Panko-Crusted Pacific Petrale Sole Almondine, Beef Wellington or Seared Long Island Duck Breast and Leg Confit, all with delectable sides. For the sweet ending: Torta De Verona or Caraïbe Chocolate Gingerbread.

$130 for adults; $50 for children (ages four to 12 years), plus tax and gratuity; the customary á la carte menu will not be available. 

Christmas Day at Studio: Brunch Buffet and Five-Course Holiday Tasting Menu on Tuesday, December 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch; 4 to 9 p.m. for dinner.

There are two Christmas Day options being offered at Studio on Christmas Day. A Brunch feast will offer guests holiday foods served at a Salad Station, choices of Globally Sourced Artisan Cheeses, a Charcuterie Station, Crab and Shrimp selections, Eggs Benedict made-to-order, Carving table with Roasted Tenderloin, Maple Glazed Pork and Salmon en Croûte and Desserts created by Executive Pastry Chef Lee Smith. Brunch comes with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for every two adult guests and holiday entertainment. The special spectacular Chef’s Five-Course Holiday Tasting Menu of fine dining celebratory dishes is composed of Mixed Red Lettuce Salad, Lobster Cavatelli, Seared Diver Scallops, Blackened Lamb Loin, and Apple Chestnut Tatin.

Brunch pricing: $170 for adults; $50 for children (ages four to 12), $80 for young adults (ages 13 to 20), plus tax and gratuity.

Dinner pricing: $175 for adults; $50 for children (ages four to 12), $80 for young adults (ages 13 to 20), plus tax and gratuity.

Grand Ballroom Masterpiece Christmas Celebration 2018 on Tuesday, December 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This Grand Ballroom Masterpiece Christmas Celebration is a favorite family holiday event at Montage Laguna Beach. It includes a bounteous multi-station buffet, live music, complimentary champagne toast, and complimentary family photographs. The buffet will feature Cheese and Charcuterie, a delicious array of Soups and Salads, Seafood on Ice, Sushi, a Chef’s Carving Station with Old-Fashioned Baked Ham and Roasted Prime Rib. Also, there will be many other hearty selections of vegetables and a Children’s Buffet with all their favorites. The Dessert Lounge will be highlighted by an elaborate dessert display created by Executive Pastry Chef Lee Smith.

$180 for adults; $50 for children (ages four to 12 years; children under four are complimentary), inclusive of tax and gratuity.

For Montage Laguna Beach reservations can be made by calling 949.715.6420.

Montage Laguna Beach is at 30801 Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.

No one will be arriving fashionably late at these delicious options at Fashion Island Hotel: Oak Grill’s Christmas Best on Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25, from 4 to 9 p.m.

‘Tis the season to indulge in the Christmas spirit and all its gaiety. Executive Chef Brittany Valles and her talented team are preparing Oak Grill’s Four-Course Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings. To start, a choice of Chicken Fried Quail with Buffalo sauce or Crispy Sunchokes with mustard frill. Next is either Wild Mushroom Soup or Little Gem Salad with yuzu vinaigrette. The main course selections are Beef Filet Bourguignon, Truffle Chicken Pot Pie, Kale Pesto Crusted Salmon or Beet Bolognese, and all served with accompaniments. And for dessert, there is Egg Nog Crème Brûlée with gingerbread cake or Peppermint Mocha Crémeux.

$90 per adult, $35 per child ages five to 12. Free for children four and under. Pricing excludes tax and gratuities. Reservations can be made online or by calling (949) 760-4920.

Oak Grill is at 690 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach. 949.760.4920

Brunch of Christmas Cheers on Tuesday, December 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At Fashion Island Hotel, they’re decking the halls and setting the table for a Christmas Brunch full of good cheers. This Christmas Day celebration will include champagne and mimosas with Farmers Market goodness such as Roquefort and Pear Salad; Brussels Sprouts with pancetta, dried cranberries and slivered almonds; and more. There will be Potato and Leek Soup and From the Ranch, Plank-Roasted Salmon with an array of vegetables. The Carving Station will feature Whole-Roasted Filet of Beef, Roasted Crown of Pork and Marinated Chicken Breasts. From the Coop tempts with eggs, and sides of breakfast potatoes, applewood smoked bacon and breakfast sausages. Also, there will be a tamale grill, chilled seafood, and Pain Perdu made to order with a choice of luscious toppings. Christmas-themed treats and assorted holiday pastries will be served for dessert.

$80 per adult, $20 per child ages five to 12. Free for children four and under. Pricing includes tax, gratuities and unlimited mimosas. Reservations are available by calling 949.760.4913.

Fashion Island Hotel is at 690 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach. 949.760.4913.

At Hotel Irvine, festive fun and dining for the entire family: Christmas Brunch in The Backyard on Tuesday, December 25; seatings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Backyard offers yummy seasons eatings for those near and dear at Hotel Irvine’s Christmas Brunch. This spectacular holiday “moveable” feast features AM favorites including scrambled farm eggs, fresh cut fruit and berries, and quiche Lorraine; sea legs station has mussels, ahi poke and more; the bouillabaisse is filled with mussels, scallops, shrimp and sea bass; green thumb offers jumbo asparagus, Chinese chicken salad, and other fresh salads; artisanal cheese board; carved and braised selections are Berkshire ham with honey bourbon glaze, garlic salt-crusted prime rib of beef and roasted turkey with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce. Also, there will be sides such as mushroom risotto, mashed potatoes, and butternut squash. There’s a kids buffet, and sweets for all tempt with a Christmas yule log, Christmas cookies, cinnamon apple pie, and flourless chocolate cakes. Bottomless bloody marys will be available for $10, and bottomless mimosas are included in the purchase price. And, there will be pictures with Santa, live music, a kids craft table with face painting and a balloon artist, photo booth and lawn games.

$75 per adult, $35 per child ages five to 12. Pricing excludes tax and gratuities. Visit for more information or call 949-225-6780.

Hotel Irvine is at 17900 Jamboree Road in Irvine. 888.230.4452

For Eats Kitchen & Bar: 949.225.6780.

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