The Rooftop Lounge

A Rooftop Worth Stalking…

Finding a great place to eat in Laguna Beach isn’t really a challenge, but finding a great place with an amazing view, incredible company, AND delicious food and drink can be. So last night, I ventured into K’Ya Bistro and then looked to my left. Led by my friend who walked me right past the entrance of the restaurnt – wait, I thought, where are we going –  towards the Front Desk (because it is also a Hotel), and suddenly shifted my attention to a stairwell to the right. I looked up. A sign posted on the wall reads, “Rooftop Lounge” with an arrow. So, like Alice, I followed the signs. I followed along the carpeted steps spanning the Spanish-like architecture, up to the next floor, made my way through the adobe-styled hallways, and voila! The Rooftop Lounge. Luckily, I happened to arrive just as the sun was peeking down it’s head, almost ready to set over the incredible surface of the Pacific. Breathtaking! The wood-lain flooring opened up to tables and chairs in every direction and a bar was situated to my right. For a lovely Tuesday night in May, the Rooftop was PACKED!

At this point, we’ve now settled into the vacant high-top table in front of us. Soon enough, over comes our server, Marcie. She is delightful (And, as it turns out, about to head off on her own adventure to live in Italy)! She asks us what we’d like to drink. Hmm, I was torn: Sangria or something else. Marcie suggests the Sangria or the Mojito’s. We go with Sangria because after having had “real” ones in Barcelona, I’m always fascinated to see what “version” a bar offers. About 3 minutes later Marcie returns with disappointment on her face. Turns out the Sangria ran out! Apparently, the Rooftop opened at 10am that day and there was a very parched group of Sangria bandits that tapped the Sangria well dry! (Ok, not really but I was shocked that at 7:15p – on a Tuesday no less – the Sangria was no more.) Mojito it is; even if it is by default.

Before long, a tall glass of goodness arrives by way of an “original” Mojito with a stick of fresh sugar cane in it – a truly thoughtful touch. I sip. WOW! Delicious! So let’s just say that the Mojitos are a tasty band-aid for any food shortfall that may precede it. Now onto ordering appetizers:

[list]Cheese Platter: Fruit and nut garnishes$14
(Arriving with Macadamia nuts, pears, candied walnuts, crackers and bread)
Warm Baby Brie: Wild berry sauce, toasted almonds – $12
(Also accompanied with bread and crackers)
Charcuterie Platter: Paté, prosciutto, salami – $14
(Bread, crackers, etc.)[/list]


Everything was good. Not exquisite, just good. The Brie does stand out because of the wild berry sauce – it gives a more sophisticated feel to an otherwise simple appetizer (but when discussing Brie, creamy and rich, it is not a dairy that needs much). Moving on to the other dishes – all fairly predictable and decent, I arrive at the Paté. It was … “ok” – however, the presentation –  well, it looked a bit like it came out of a can. Overall, I cannot say the food was exceptional but it also wasn’t awful. In fairness, not many come to this beautifully situated bar in Laguna Beach for mind-blowing fare. The Rooftop Lounge is known for having food under $15 and drinks that are sublime. THAT is entirely accurate. Lastly, I will add that at 8:55p we were told it was “last call”. We ordered and at 8:56p – they stopped serving so in the end, poor Marcie had to come back to inform us that the 60 seconds it took to take our order and place it with the bartender was, in fact, the golden minute. The bartender was officially done bar-tending. And here I thought they stopped serving at 9p. My tip: don’t order one drink during the weekdays. If you might have an inkling for another, be certain to order two so you aren’t left longing for another nibble of that sugarcane. I also highly recommend talking to others. I met some truly interesting people while there.

Al in all, the Rooftop Lounge is a fun place to come for drinks, a perfect view of the ocean, people watching, a much-needed night out, or just lovely conversation. I am definitely returning with higher hopes for the food. I am certain what was ordered wasn’t the best they have. Thanks to our server, Marcie, for making the experience far more entertaining and fun.

The Rooftop Lounge
PH: 949.497.2446