The comeback of vinyl isn’t new, but realizing your ambiance is courtesy of a record player is– at least around here [Editor’s Note: We’d like to take a moment to mourn the loss of Second Spin. Okay, moving on.]. If you’re craving a little nostalgia and the occasional skipping, here are a trio of places to get your groove on. Go for the tunes, but stay for the sustenance.
Morning Mashup – Outpost Kitchen
A part of Westside Costa Mesa for the last four years, Outpost has reached their stride with Chef David Osborn and Owner Jay Lewis. They’re doing so well, in fact, it’s full steam ahead with building location number two, across the street from South Coast Plaza. During any given brekkie or lunch service, you’ll get a healthy dose of Van Halen, AC/DC, Beastie Boys and Wu-Tang Clan. Of course, an Aussie-inspired joint isn’t quite complete without some tunes from Hilltop Hoods, Tame Impala or Ocean Alley. We are down with the succulent House Smoked Salmon (pictured). 1792 Monrovia Ave., Costa Mesa, (949) 873-5123; www.outpostkitchen.com.
Afternoon Delight – The Seahorse
Tucked in the back of a general store lies a low-key local hangout that is as coveted as a Laguna resident’s secret parking spot. Seahorse’s eclectic beer and wine bar was the OG neighborhood gay bar back in the 1940s. Promoted as a watering hole for everyone, come sit at the original bar top while they rock out tunes from the likes of Canadian indie rock band Destroyer, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, or whatever mood the bartender is in. Their hearty menu features a gastropub selection of bites and plates. We snacked on chicken tenders while enjoying Obscura Magnifique from Telegraph Brewing (their tap takeover was the weekend prior), as the table behind us chowed on a BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich. Note: Customers are welcome to purchase beverages from the store for consumption within Seahorse. 1796 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 715-4533; www.pearlstgeneral.com/bar
Boutique Eats: Saline
Chef Leo Bongarra’s coastal Mediterranean fare at Hotel Joaquin is a welcome culinary point-of-view at this petite seaside getaway. Dinner has Broccolini with serrano pepper, aji amarillo, hemp seeds and garlic tahini, or perhaps a chef’s whim of scallops in pomegranate juice, for starters. Not only are records prevalent in the restaurant, they’re in each guest accommodation! The master collection includes an eclectic mix of Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones and others found in the living room. As of this writing, only guests of Hotel Joaquin are allowed to dine on-site. Bonus: A nourishing breakfast is already included in the room rate. Time to plan your next staycation. 985 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-5294; www.hoteljoaquin.com/saline.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.