The Gilded Bellini at SPLASHES | Surf & Sand Resort
The beach is by far one of the greatest places to brunch by if you ever get the chance to. However, there are only a handful of restaurants that create a dining experience that’s just right: the balmy, beautiful ambiance, the quality in each dish, how creative the cocktails are, and simply has something so special about it that makes it unique from any other restaurant on the beach. SPLASHES Restaurant at the Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach redefines seaside dining, with incredible ocean views and impeccable seaside-inspired cuisine. As a NYC transplant in Southern California, how did I discover such a fabulous spot? Oh, you know, just from a show I used to be obsessed with growing up: MTV’s Laguna Beach.
I knew that SPLASHES had to be my next brunch to try out. I remember watching the first episode of Laguna Beach when Stephen, Kristin, Lauren, Lo and the rest of the cast threw a “Black & White Affair” in one of the suites of the Surf & Sand Resort. That’s how I first had heard of the hotel, and upon doing some research, found SPLASHES. With a few clicks through the stunning photos and the brief rundown of the mouth-watering brunch menu, I was sold.
From the moment I walked in to SPLASHES, I could see just how amazing my experience was going to be. There was a large indoor section, which of course had large panel windows where guests could watch the waves roll in as they ate. My friends Marisa, Jessica and I were seated outside, literally steps from the beach! Next to us was the restaurant's awesome upscale beach bar. I was blown away at the beauty of it all, and kind of had a minor fan-girl moment: coming to this hotel, more so this restaurant has always been something I wanted to do and I was so excited!
We started out with some yummy cocktails. I asked our server what kind of spicy take on one of their tequila cocktails they could do for me. They came up with a yummy conoction called Chili Breeze, consisting of: Casadores Silver, Cointreau, fresh lime, orange juice, sweet and sour, cucumber, chili powder and jalepeño. It was so perfect. I am such a sucker for a spicy cocktail (especially with jalepeño), but you have to do it right! SPLASHES did.
Our food was served in such a beautiful way. The dishes just radiated that they were made with the utmost effort; every last detail about the look and taste were all taken into consideration.
I went with the Breadless Benedict. This item on the menu struck my attention because I haven’t seen this on any menu before! It was the perfect savory, mouth-watering dish of hash browns, asparagus, prosciutto (my favorite – and a treat to my Italian side!), and wholegrain mustard hollandaise. The dish overall left me satisfied and didn’t leave me feeling like I overate, which happens a lot if you overdo it on the bread at brunch. I loved how this was such an uncommon twist on the traditional eggs benedict. This is a must if you’re coming to SPLASHES.
Jessica got the Seasonal Egg White Frittata, which consisted of squash, fingerling potatoes, fine herbs, Parmesan, baby kale and marinated tomatoes. The colors of this dish were just so rich, and the combination of all of the ingredients made for many flavorful bites.
Marisa got the Buenos Dias Burrito (love the name!). If chorizo, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, black beans and salsa picante don’t lure you into ordering this dish, I don’t know what will! These pictures don’t do it justice for how delish it was.
Finally, we got SPLASHES’ famous Red Velvet Pancakes! These were really phenomenal. The sweetness wasn’t overpowering at all which I loved because it meant we could eat a whole lot more of it! The pancakes had whipped marscapone, cocoa powder, white chocolate, raspberries and maple syrup. Oh, so perfect!!! Dusted with powdered sugar, they were absolutely heavenly. I highly recommend ordering these on your next visit to SPLASHES.
But, we couldn’t stop at the pancakes. Obviously dessert was in order! The restaurant was kind enough to send over its Mango Meringue Tart, with green tea crème anglaise. Wow! Out of this world. The crust literally melted your mouth and the texture was just so soft. Its presentation was so pretty too – the meringue on top fluffy, light and looked like gorgeous puffs of sweetness! The dessert was fresh and super unique. Who knew mango, green tea and meringue would create such a delightful medley?
SPLASHES at the Surf & Sand Resort really exceeded my expectations for a brunch by the beach. Everything about my brunch experience was nothing short of enjoyable. I honestly could have stayed there all day! SPLASHES makes everything from the food to the atmosphere whimsical, and is super accommodating to every guest. It’s no wonder that people come to the hotel for vacation and want to dine there… luckily for me, now that I’m a California resident I can come to SPLASHES whenever I want! And, I won’t only associate dining there with the Laguna Beach show. While I’ll always love that characteristic about this spot, I’ll always remember (and crave) its one of a kind, luxurious, beachy and beautiful brunch.
Photography by: Grace + Light Photo