Dining Alfresco at Las Brisas in Laguna Beach

My husband, Lance and I, were looking to have dinner recently at a location that offered outdoor dining. It never ceases to amaze both of us how difficult it is to find **really** pleasant outdoor dining in Southern California. We live in a place that offers nearly perfect weather year round, yet finding an establishment with a well situated outdoor dining area is like looking for the proverbial “needle in a haystack.”

We made out way down the coast to the lovely seaside city of Laguna Beach. My husband was in the mood for Mexican food, so I suggested we try Las Brisas. I did not know much about this restaurant other than it’s part of the “Real Mex” family and that it offers Mexican food.

My GPS took us along an interesting route, and when we finally arrived to Las Brisas, what we saw from the car did not impress us. It looked like a glorified take-out restaurant, at least from the street we were driving upon. My husband got a bit flustered and said we should leave and find somewhere nicer.

Thankfully, I turned off Cliff Drive and made a right onto Pacific Coast Hwy (PCH). This brought us to the front area of the restaurant and the valet parking lot. I turned to my hubby and said, “We’re here. Why don’t we give it a try. This looks much nicer from this angle then it did from Cliff Drive. What do you say”?  My husband acquiesced and agreed to give the place a try.  We’re both glad he did.

We entered the restaurant’s patio area which is quite large. To our delight, seating was first come, first served. We found a lovely table overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was a picture perfect spot. 

The patio menu is a bit limited. I would guesstimate that there are a total of 15 food items to choose from and this includes the appetizers. My understanding the drinks are quite incredible, but it as a rather warm night and liquor just makes me even warmer. So, I opted to skip indulging in any alcoholic libations.

My husband and I settled upon burgers for the evening. We both ordered the same type of hamburger.  It’s called the Brisas Burger, and it’s a special blend of beef served with maple chilie bacon, manchego cheese, tomato, lettuce, chipotle aioli, and handmade house chips (potato chips). My burger when it arrived looked delicious!


My poor husband on the other hand did not get a burger that looked like mine. His had a completely charred bun, and the bacon was literally **black***.

Manager of the restaurant, Jeffrey, had been chatting with us earlier in the evening. He happened to drop by to check on us, and my husband showed him the less than desirable burger. Jeffrey immediately removed the burger and said he’d have it remade ASAP. In the meantime, my husband and I continued to enjoy the incredible views from out table.

The kitchen was very prompt with remaking my hubby’s hamburger and within about 10 minutes a freshly and perfectly cooked burger was delivered to our table. Jeffrey came over to check on us, and this time we were both very happy with our meals.

Later in the evening we decided to find out what sort of desserts they offered. Jeffery came by and went over all the decadent offerings and we settled upon cheesecake with strawberry sauce. Jeffrey also informed us that “dessert was on him.”  We felt that was a very sweet gesture.

Just like the burger the cheesecake was incredible! It was thick and creamy, but not pasty. It tasted like a good combination of cream cheese and sour cream. Every bite was a bit of heaven in my mouth.

We were both very happy with our food, the delightful location, and the ambiance of Las Brisas. Once our meal ended, and our check was delivered, our server informed us that Jeffrey had also removed one of the burgers from the tab. We thought this was above and beyond what he needed to do, especially since he had already comped our dessert.

The last surprise we received was at the valet. We got into our car and there were two bottles of water for us and small bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Las Brisas definitely sets themselves apart from their competition with their excellent customer service skills. Many places claim to give “World Class Service,” but in the case of Las Brisas they are the perfect example of that statement.

You can find Las Brisas at: 361 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. They are right at the corner of Pacific Coast Hwy and Cliff Drive, and you enter the parking lot from PCH. Their phone number is: 949-497-5434.

Until next time, don’t forget to enjoy all the pleasures in your life both big and small.


Lance and Theresa Maska



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