• Laguna Beach hotel rooms

    Rooms

    Casa Laguna Inn & Spa offers ten unique room-types, each with luxurious seven-layer bedding, gas or ambiance fireplaces, flat-panel HDTV with DVD, and air conditioning. Read more...

  • Gourmet Bed and Breakfast in Laguna Beach, CA

    Food

    Casa Laguna Inn & Spa's guests choose from a menu of acclaimed gourmet breakfast entrees and sides each morning and enjoy a selection of hors d'oeuvres and wine every evening. Read more...

  • On-Site Spa at our Laguna Beach Hotel

    Spa

    Casa Laguna Inn & Spa's exclusive on-site spa pampers guests with a variety of indoor and outdoor rejuvenating massage, reflexology, salt scrubs, and relaxing therapeutic soaks. Read more...

Welcome to Casa Laguna Inn & Spa

Operated as a tranquil alternative to bustling family-style resorts, Casa Laguna Inn & Spa is the perfect place for a romantic getaway or a relaxing escape from work and worry. Built on a terraced hillside in the 1920s and 40s, today’s Casa Laguna is often compared the to the Mission-style villas of Spain. In order to assure a romantic, calming ambiance, room occupancy is limited to a maximum of two persons regardless of age. Accordingly, our inn would not be suitable for children, infants, groups, or events. Our guests can relax on a garden patio, schedule a massage and therapeutic soak, or take a picnic to nearby Victoria Beach. Our inn is only 1.5 miles from downtown Laguna Beach shops, restaurants, art galleries, and renowned summer art festivals. Public transportation is available just outside our door. Our inn is famous for fabulous gourmet breakfasts. We have been recognized as one of the Top 25 Small Hotels and Top 10 Hotels for Romance in the United States, as well one of the Top Ten Luxury Inns in the world. Read more...

Welcome to Casa Laguna Inn & Spa

With historic Mission architecture, lush gardens, and expansive ocean views, Casa Laguna Inn and Spa is unique among Laguna Beach hotels. Unlike bustling family-oriented resorts, Casa Laguna is intended as a tranquil getaway for couples and individuals. Our bed & breakfast-style inn is all about all about romance and serenity. Read more...

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Jun 11, 2011 · 0 Comments

Reviewing Starfish Asian Coastal Cuisine

We’ve been anxious for Tabu Grille’s owner, Nancy Wilhelm, to open her newest Laguna Beach venture, Starfish, and we recently had the opportunity to stop in for drinks and appetizers. Starfish occupies the same space that was formerly home to China Bistro One in Albertson’s Plaza at 30832 Coast Hwy, across from the Montage. This is what’s usually called a “strip mall,” which made us even more anxious to see what Nancy could possibly have done with the space to make it anything more than what it has always been—which is ordinary. We were not just pleasantly surprised, but basically in awe of the transformation into an upscale, very untraditional Asian fusion concept. The restaurant space is spectacular, with high open beam ceilings, soft lighting, and minimal intrusion from the very not-so-extraordinary world just outside the door. The bar is the center of attention, which we like. Tables line one wall across from the bar and high-top banquettes line the other. If you’re not into the bar scene—and it is very much the scene from the moment you enter—there is additional seating away from the bar area at the back of the room. The design and décor of Starfish would be impressive anywhere, but it is especially impressive when you realize where it is, and what the space was before it became remarkable. Anyway, you get the idea. We were visually impressed.

But what about the food? Well, the first thing you need to know is that this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a typical Chinese restaurant. Don’t come here expecting to order Chow Mein and Sweet and Sour Pork. According to the website Your Restaurant Connection, the Starfish menu features "AmerAsian" cuisine, highlighted with ingredients from the mysterious and magical countries of Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, and India. Delightfully unpredictable, the menu will pleasure your palate with tastes of Ginger, Lemon Grass, Thai Basil, Jasmine, Daikon, curries and soy sauces. Summer rolls, pho, udon and soba noodles, Bhutanese rice, wok sauté, ribs and other chef's expressions of American renditions of classic Asian cuisine will be served.”

In short, the menu is highly eclectic and unexpected, but with a great price point – the highest price item on the menu is a whole side of Slow Cooked Five Spice Baby Back Ribs - $32. Wanting to sample a good cross-section of appetizers, we had the Saigon Spring Rolls - $9, Lemongrass Fillet - $14, Green Curry Chicken - $10, and Madras Curried Roast Pork - $9. All were beautifully served and delicious. We’ll be returning soon to try some of the “Mains,” perhaps the Princess Prawns - $18, Ginger Scallion Shaking Beef - $26, or the Wok Thai Chicken - $17.

The Starfish drink menu is as exotic as the food menu, listing $12 cocktails with names like Buddha’s Kiss, Yen & Yang, and the Red Lotus, which contains prosecco, Pama pomegranate liqueur, blood orange bitters, and hibiscus syrup. The bar is well stocked for just about any taste. With the help of our very efficient and attentive server, we created our own Lemongrass Martini, which was made with their house-infused lemongrass simple syrup, and was smooth and delicious.

Our bottom line for Starfish – An unbelievably beautiful bar and restaurant in an unlikely location with excellent service, an eclectic and exotic menu, delicious food and drink, and a price point that won’t drain your pocketbook. And best of all, it’s just ½ mile south of Casa Laguna – perhaps too far for most to walk, but certainly close enough for a really inexpensive cab ride.

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