By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Best Martinis Sorrento Grill. Sorrento's is a popular pickup spot for well-heeled locals and boasts a menu of 20 martinis. We recommend anything made with Bombay Sapphire—it reduces the chance of a nasty hangover—or, if you're adventurous, the Key Lime Pie. 370 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8686.
Best Antidote to Wyland Peter Blake Gallery. Peter Blake's been lording it over all the Laguna Beach crap-and-sunshine galleries since 1993, with blue-chip LA artists like Ed Moses and Joe Goode flocking to sell their Important Art to his moneyed clientele. We've had our differences over the years—we can be sort of mean, sometimes—but if Blake's artists are sometimes coasting along on their years-before accomplishments, at least they're not selling seashells. Or crap. 326 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 376-9994.
Best Museum Laguna Art Museum. This isn't just the best museum in Laguna Beach, but is also one of the best museums in Orange County. Only the Irvine Museum has a bigger collection of early 20th-century landscape art by the masters of the Laguna Beach scene—but Laguna Art Museum does "contemporary" just as well, with seminal low-brow shows like "Kustom Kulture." The permanent collection includes more than 500 works from 80 artists from every major period in California 20th-century art. It's a great place to sober up after binging on margaritas at Las Brisas, conveniently located next door. 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971.
Best Coffeehouse Koffee Klatch. This colorful independent oozes character: cozy sofas, assorted plants, work by local artists, friendly service, free wi-fi, shaded outdoor seating and occasional performances by area musicians. 1440 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 376-6867.
Best Music Store The Sound Spectrum. While no longer in its original location, this store has been around since the 1960s. Ever since Mystic Arts World burned down in 1970, it is all that's left of Laguna's glory days as a hippie mecca: arguably the best record store anywhere in Orange County for reggae—just about the only place where you can find Prince Buster, for example. Otto, who also produces The Reggae Showcase for KSBR 88.5 FM, still runs the place. Drop in during the afternoon, and you're likely to find him there. 1264 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-5959.
Best Champagne Brunch The Beach House. There are other Beach Houses—in Dana Point and Cardiff-by-the-Sea—but this is the original. It's been around since 1968 and features a narrow wooden deck just wide enough for a row of tables for two. Breakfasts and brunches are heapingly large and delicious. Try the smoked salmon benedict or the seafood omelet. A bottle of champagne is de rigueur, but if you're walking home, we suggest the divinely inspired Bloody Mary or our favorite, the Hurricane Laguna, a 24-ounce punch of passion-fruit-infused rum. 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Laguna Beach, (949) 494-9707.
Best Pastries Heidelberg Pastry and Bistro Shop. Across the street from the Sandpiper, Heidelberg has a great patio that's perfect for munching on your pastry while reading this issue.Try the cinnamon nut rolls or almond Danish and test the patience of the elegant, statuesque barristas by asking for a triple-double half-decaf nonfat dry latte. 1100 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-4594.