Our primary reason to head to Laguna Beach is for a change of scenery; cooler temps and cruising on Pacific Coast Highway rank right after. We find gazing out into the Pacific more centering than yoga, so ending up at the right spot is most important. While we don't require sand between our toes, being perched right above the beach is ideal. One property that can accommodate such a request appears to have dual dining concepts--those lucky bastards.
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Located at the Pacific Edge Hotel are The Deck and Driftwood Kitchen. At The Deck, sun worshipers can sip and savor to their heart's content. Driftwood is a level above the deck, both figuratively and literally. They've carved out a dining space surrounded by picturesque views. Chef Rainer Schwarz's cuisine may be California chic, but the primary focus on this visit was to blow off steam. Cue the cocktail menu!
Refreshment is divided into two categories: Liquid Homage and Stateroom Cocktails. High Tide is their hat tip to The Royal Hawaiian, in operation up the street from 1947 to 2012 (moment of silence, please). Per John Nye, Director of Operations, "I asked bartenders Dave and Morgan to develop a drink with Hawaiian influence and incorporate rye whiskey in a balanced way that every person would enjoy."
They succeeded. Mint and fresh pineapple are muddled with ginger puree. Once shaken, it's poured over ice with Dickel 8 Rye and lemon sour. Fruity, refreshing and with a kick, it's hands-down their most requested cocktail--so request it, already!