Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tommy to a "T"

Tommy Bahama is spoiling Orange County! Out of 13 restaurants in the United States, we get a second TB location. Newport Beach offers the upscale Island Grille and now Laguna Beach has the Beach Bar & Grill. Both venues offer the tropical relaxed setting that Tommy is known for, but the new Beach Bar that sits on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Laguna Avenue boasts a sneak peak of the surreal view of our lovely Pacific Ocean. On a day like yesterday when I enjoyed my 5:15 reservation for a "preview dinner", I watched the sun set and the sky turn red against the horizon of Catalina Island. WOW!!!! Maybe it was the crispy Ahi Tuna Taco sitting in front of me and the Baja Margarita made with scratch sour in my hand, but a piece of me felt like I was in paradise. 
As all evenings do, the night turned dark and the lights dimmed. Quickly this daytime site for families and tourists turned into the new local hot spot. The faint sounds of tropical music became dulled by conversation and laughter.
Our dinners were served and I scarfed down my Smokehouse burger and fries. The Prime Angus beef patty was moist, the bacon was thick and full of taste and the bun was prepared to perfection. Somehow, the Mahi Mahi was the star of the entrée course and stole my burgers thunder. The fish was grilled flawlessly and it was served over a bed of fruity quinoa with a dash of Dungeness crab to garnish the plate. Yum yum. As I looked around the restaurant, I noticed plates going back to the kitchen were completely clear. Obviously, we were not the only table that enjoyed the food!
Some of the other items that looked fascinating were the Lobster Corndogs and Shrimp Avalon appetizers. For the main, the Swordfish Sandwich caught my eye, as well as, the Steak Salad that was served with Maytag blue cheese and fresh watercress. To finish, the Root Beer Float sounded fun, but I saw a good number of Banana Cream Pies served throughout the restaurant.
We let our full stomachs settle as we meandered to the retail part of the venue. I picked up a dress that donned the TB spirit and captured the pure essence of Laguna Beach. How quickly this establishment was able to absorb the beauty of it’s new location with an artful yet lively menu and fun classy line of beachwear. I suppose TB does embody all of the key elements of Laguna Beach.
Without a doubt TB will flourish during the tourist season. Hopefully it will thrive in the off months, too. As a local, make sure you stop in, check it out and show your support. At the very least, indulge yourself with one of their signature cocktails and enjoy a few minutes at the bar.  
Good luck Tommy! Your staff was wonderful and I enjoyed a nice evening with you. I hope you have many years of success ahead. 

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