Joe and I celebrated the new year the same way we celebrate everything: with delicious food. On January 1st we went to The Beachcomber in Crystal Cove. It was so much fun. First of all, I absolutely adore restaurants by the beach because they combine two of my favorite things which are, of course, eating and going to the beach. The Beachcomber is literally right on the beach. You can see the ocean from any seat in the restaurant. The wait was pretty long, just a little over an hour, but we explored the tidepools and visitors center so the wait wasn’t bad at all. Plus the pagers they give you have an incredibly long range so you can explore alot shoreline without worrying that you’ll loose your table.
The service at The Beachcomber was great. Our waiter was very friendly and always promptly refilled our drinks (this is Joe’s big thing. He drinks like a camel and if waiters don’t refill his drinks their tip goes down.) The food was delicious. Joe and a Kobe burger with bleu cheese (they had about 7 different cheeses to choose from.) It was fresh and juicy and it was on a really good bun. I forget what kind of bun it was but it was delish. I had a cranberry chicken salad sandwich. Most places put too much mayonnaise but not Beachcomber. They put just enough to make it creamy but not so much that it overpowered the taste of the chicken, apples and cranberry. The best part of the sandwich was the thin, crisp, sweet apple slices they put on the bottom. It was that extra detail that took it from being a good sandwich to an amazing one. Although we didn’t try it, a friend of mine said the calamari there is excellent. Guess we’ll have to go back to celebrate…February 1st.
A couple of things to note about The Beachcomber and Crystal Cove. You have to park in a parking lot across the street called the Los Trancos lot. Parking is $15 but the restaurant will validate it for you as long as you spend at least $15 there. There is a shuttle that will take you down to the cove but it costs $1 a person each way. The walk is doable so long as you are not extremely hungry or extremely full. Definitely resist the temptation to wear nice shoes. Like I said, the restaurant is right on the beach and you will most likely give into the temptation to explore the tidepools or walk along the pristine coastline. Just wear your Rainbows or your sneakers, shorts or easily rolled up pants and explore the beautiful beach before or after your delicious meal.
Sunday morning we decided to celebrate the second day of the new year with a trip to the Original Pancake House in Aliso Viejo. I tried something I had never had before, a Dutch Baby. It is a pancake that is puffed up and has a distinct eggy taste. I put butter, lemon and powdered sugar on it. The sugar soaked up the lemon juice to make a delicious glaze. Joe had an apple cinnamon waffle that was really good, but much too sweet for me. We both had hot cocoa which was yummy and the bacon, though expensive, was the perfect side dish. The service was great, but they were very busy so the waiters were more focused on efficiency and speed than being super friendly. Our waitress did, however, take the time to explain to me how to eat the Dutch Baby, for which I was very grateful.