There are holidays, and then there’s Easter. We want to enjoy all the bountiful buffets and plated treats, but we can only choose one. Today, we present you with a sizable list of contenders to help you decide your fate. Now run along—time’s a-wastin’.
Prepare for a premium experience when you head to the property off the 405 and Jamboree. Hotel Irvine’s backyard party has you covered with roasted leg of lamb, a build-your-own-mimosa bar, seafood risotto, Brazilian picanha steak and even a gelato cart! Still not satisfied? An egg hunt, photo booth and appearance by the Easter Bunny are also in store. Pricing is set at $65 per person, with children aged 5 to 12 at $20. 17900 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, (949) 225-6780; www.hotelirvine.com.
TAPS Fish House and Brewery, Brea (reopening) and Irvine
The reopening of TAPS’ Brea location is this Friday—just in time for next weekend’s brunch! Choose between two craft beers, lovely champagne or continuous mimosas to complement your meal. Oh, and there’s also prime rib, baked ham, seafood on ice and specially ordered breakfast items. And you’ll always have room for the chocolate fountain. 101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, (714) 257-0101; also at 13390 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, (714) 619-0404; www.tapsfishhouse.com.
Mastro’s Ocean Club
Dinner service is business as usual, but the PCH outpost of Mastro’s celebrates the holiday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. with a delectable buffet. Chilled seafood, a sushi display, and carving and omelet stations are among the highlights. Guests are welcome to order such à la carte entrées as an ahi tuna burger and Maine lobster Benedict to complete their feast. It’s $95 for adults; ages 12 and younger cost $25. 8112 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 376-6990; www.mastrosrestaurants.com.
Old Vine Café
Approaching a decade in business, the kitchen crew at Old Vine know what they’re doing. Expect the ever-popular breakfast menu for Easter: Caramel apple French toast is perfect for your sugary tendencies, while more adventurous tastes will opt for rabbit mole, served with fresh corn bread. Reservations will not be taken, so be prepared for a wait between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 2937 Bristol St., Ste. A-102, Costa Mesa, (714) 545-1411; www.oldvinecafe.com.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
This resort with a view will be hoppin’ with excitement on Sunday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., get your fill of unlimited champagne as you browse the endless stations. With eight special areas to choose from, the combinations are countless. Blueberry French toast casserole, s’mores muffins and basil-spring pea spread make for salivating starters. Halibut ceviche with crispy tostadas and the piping-hot crab cakes in a chipotle aioli are full of flavor. Baron of Beef crusted in herbs and peppers will be worth the wait; have it with a helping of English pea and foraged mushroom risotto. Arts and crafts opportunities for kids, a movie screening, and an egg hunt are also in store. 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 698-1234; www.huntingtonbeach.regency.hyatt.com.
Go buffet or à la carte by the beach this holiday. The Loft will feature a selection of dishes to customize your feast, including slow-roasted leg of lamb with mascarpone polenta, shrimp and grits, Montage crab Benedict, and a curly kale and asparagus salad with truffle vinaigrette. Or head to the Grand Ballroom for a dozen ways to ruin your diet. Stations include a carved Tuscan-spiced prime rib, sushi and sashimi, plus a delightful dessert display from pastry chef Lee Smith. Your $160 brunch (just $50 for kids) includes photographs, live entertainment and an Easter egg hunt. 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 715-6000; www.montagelagunabeach.com.
Braised short rib hash, vegetable frittata and shakshuka with chorizo are just some of the house specialties Seasons 52 will be plating. While everything is à la carte, one thing that isn’t is your beverage service. For an additional $14.90, receive endless sips of Bloody Marys, champagne bellinis or red wine sangria. 3333 Bristol St., Ste. 2802, Costa Mesa, (714) 437-5252; www.seasons52.com.
Monarch Beach Resort
Kids are kings and queens on Easter at this resort. From 11:30 a.m. to noon, they are treated to a complimentary egg hunt, where the ultimate goal is to locate a special golden egg. Afterward, a carnival offers a petting zoo, old-school sweet treats and photos with the all-important bunny. Kids cost $40, but parents do not pay. A cash bar will be ready for your thirsty needs. AVEO’s brunch option includes salt-crusted whole snapper, dodecanese pork gyro and hot cross buns at the carving station. The seafood bar has hot smoked gravlax, grilled octopus and oysters on the half shell. We haven’t even mentioned the classic breakfast spread or sweets table! All for $139, or $59 per child, and served all the way to 4 p.m. Reservations required. 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, (800) 722-1543; www.monarchbeachresort.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.