Roux is a Creole restaurant in Laguna Beach. This space was once the long-running and beloved Cafe Zoolu. And from it, chef Norm Theard and his team inherit not only Laguna Beach’s coziest dining room, but also one that’s sufficiently far away from the tourist rabble of the main drag. What you encounter immediately as you come in is Theard and his crew of two sautéing, deep-frying and salting dishes in a small, open kitchen behind the counter. Anywhere you sit, you get whiffs of browned butter. You also notice the restaurant’s smaller details: the fleur-de-lis pattern on the windows, the Mardi Gras mask on a high shelf, and the curlicue script written above a hallway spelling out “Laissez les bons temps rouler” ("Let the good times roll"). But above all else, Roux feels like a neighborhood joint made for locals. There’s a noticeable and complete lack of ego here, not just from the staff, but also from the customers.