Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tommy Bahama Not Just for Your Mama

Want to get a linen shirt that keeps you cool in more ways than one? Maybe you want a bikini that's oh so teeny weeny. You can get that and a whole lot more at Tommy Bahama in Laguna Beach and their other locations all over the world, but you can also fill your belly with delicious grub and cocktails. We stopped in the other night, because why else? I had a coupon! If you know me at all, you know that I'm a HUGE bargain shopper! I don't try places or products I'm not interested in just because I'm saving money, but if it's something I WANT to try, you'd better believe a good deal is going to get me through the door. Spend $100, get $50 off?!? Fabuloso! I'm there! So, when you're saving some money, why not go big? (Insert "Go big or go home" here, if you must.) Of course, it didn't hurt that we both came with an empty stomach. Bring it on. Starter salad? Done. We'd be idiots not to try the wedge. The usual - iceberg lettuce, bacon and bleu cheese with tomato, red onion and a sweet onion vinaigrette drizzle on the side for those of you, who don't like everything on it. It was gooooooooooood! It was also cool of them to separate it into two plates without us even asking. Of course, we had to order the grilled french baguette, because I'm the carb queen. Sorry, waistline! Next up, OH... MY... GOD!!! Coconut shrimp appetizer!!! I now know first-hand why they call it WORLD FAMOUS coconut shrimp. I've had plenty of coconut shrimp in my day, but THIS is scrum-diddly-umptious. Yes, that's a word! You'll find it in the Lynda Halligan Dictionary available at your local mom and pop book store. Now, on to the main course. While I may be the carb queen, I'm also a serious carnivore! Where's the beef??? On my plate! We ordered the filet mignon with maytag bleu butter, crispy onions, whipped chive potatoes and black pepper demi-glaze. Whaaaaaattttt??? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Oh, it came with broccolini too. I've liked broccoli since I was a kid (back then, did broccolini even exist?), but for people who don't really like the green stuff (kids, I'm talking to you), THIS may change your mind. After we stuffed our faces, we had no room for dessert, but we DID complement our fine meal with a lovely bottle of Tempranillo (TEM-pruh-NEE-oh) - a red wine from Spain, which I love. Did I mention how friendly the hostess and server were? Just fab. OK, I have to go now. I'm literally salivating thinking about dinner now. Thanks, Tommy Bahama! I'll be back soon. Hope to see you there - 400 S. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Making "One Laguna" Your Number One Stop

I've often wondered why people spend thousands of dollars to travel to Southern California to sight-see and visit various attractions, but when you ask a local what they think about Olvera Street in Downtown L.A. or Griffith Park Observatory, they tend to answer "I don't know. I've never been there." or "I went there once on a field trip when I was a kid, but I don't really remember it." SoCal has so much to offer... to visitors AND residents. I mean, isn't that why so many of you moved here in the first place? I'm a Los Angeles native - yes, born and raised! People are always so shocked that some of us are really FROM L.A. Apparently, there are a few of us running around. I've moved to many parts of the country as a news anchor and television host (Alaska, Minnesota and Iowa to name a few - brrrrrr!), but for me, home truly IS where the heart is. I have recently moved back to Orange County, where I lived during my college years (U.C. Irvine - fight on, oh mighty Anteaters!). I have recently gotten engaged to my soul mate and have moved in with him and his amazing son. I have made Laguna my home and already feel like I belong. Thanks, everyone, for being so welcoming! No matter where I go, whether it's some podunk town in the middle of South Dakota or a lively, bustling city like Charleston, South Carolina, I looooooove to explore! I like to be the authority on where to eat when I want to wine, dine and wear a cloth napkin, but I also want to know where to get the juiciest, messiest cheeseburger and tastiest seasoned fries. I want to know which beach is the place to go when I want to read a book and enjoy some peace, but I also want to know where to plop down my towel when I need action, noise and conversation. Even though I've been coming to Laguna Beach for years, I never lived like a local here until I actually became a local. I try to experience a different business, bar or park every day and I'm excited to share my experience with YOU. Right now though, I'd like to share a really hip, cool, unique experience with you. Whether you're visiting Laguna for the very first time or you've lived here for 50 years, you should put One Laguna at the top of your list of places to check out. Located in an historic building at 225 Forest Avenue in the heart of Downtown Laguna, One Laguna is a discovery center featuring a high-tech way to get the scoop on where in the city you'll want to eat, play, shop and stay. Come through the doors and feast your eyes on diverse art work from the Laguna College of Art and Design or LCAD, but then, head upstairs, where you'll be greeted by a friendly expert, who can guide you through all the interactive media center has to offer. There are floor displays, wall displays, even coffee table displays that will help you get to know Laguna in so many different ways. Trying to plan a perfect Saturday for you and your out of town visitors? You can actually set up an entire itinerary. Looking to buy property or you just want to see how the privileged people live? Take a virtual stroll through multi-million dollar homes featuring stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Want to see what Laguna looked like before you were even a twinkle in your parents' eyes or how the city has changed over the years? One Laguna features photos that take you back to the way it used to be. And speaking of photos, why not get a picture of yourself in front of a beautiful Laguna backdrop while you're there and email a personalized postcard to your friends and family all over the world. It's an original way to say "Wish you were here" (and "Aren't you jealous of my awesome life?!?"). Here's something else that's awesome. Local radio station, KX, has a dj booth there. You can watch a broadcast as it's happening... LIVE! Where else can you do that? There's so much to say about One Laguna, but the most important thing to say is "Stop reading this and go see it for yourself. No, don't SEE it. EXPERIENCE it. It's open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Stop in... and interact.