After hotel’s $5M renovation, Lōrea restaurant reopens in Huntington Beach

The land-to-sea-driven menu at Lōrea in Huntington Beach.
The land-to-sea-driven menu at Lōrea in Huntington Beach. The restaurant has reopened after the Paséa Hotel & Spa underwent renovations.
(Courtesy of the Meritage Collection)

When Lōrea restaurant reopens at Huntington Beach’s Paséa Hotel & Spa this Saturday, executive chef Scott Rackliff has only one hope: that guests who eat at the land-to-sea-driven restaurant are still thinking fondly about their dining experience the next day.

Lōrea is a California coastal-inspired restaurant with a land-to-sea-driven menu with Rackliff and chef de cuisine Stefan Pierce at the helm, and one way the team at the renovated space is working to create those lasting memories is with a massive slice of carrot cake. The four-layer spiced cake studded with golden raisins and dressed in cream cheese frosting and candied heirloom carrots isn’t meant to be finished in one sitting.

“We want people to be eating the cake the following afternoon, still thinking about Lōrea,” said Rackliff.


Paséa Hotel & Spa at 21080 CA-1 in Huntington Beach underwent a $5-million renovation of its food and beverage program that transformed not only the hotel restaurant but all on-property dining. Lōrea’s 1,372-square-foot indoor space has plenty of natural light with an open-air feel and a 77-foot-long stone bar. Local artist Chris Trisnan has hand-painted the dining room’s community table, and the ocean front patio offers additional seating with a fire pit and outdoor pool bar.

The menu is designed to not only be approachable but interactive and shareable too. Parker house rolls, laminated like croissants, are presented with a lit melting candle made of Turkish chili-lime butter that softens under the flame for spreading. The Pavlova dessert is presented tableside with a dry ice “smoke” that floods the diner with the scent of lime and mint. Rackliff said those touches are inspired by his time as a corporate chef for chef and restaurateur David Burke.

“We want people to have fun while they are eating,” said Rackliff.

Pork belly wraps, for example, are served with all the components arranged on a plate. Slices of tender pork belly braised in mirin, gochugaru and tamari are fanned out with shavings of salted cucumber, purple ninja radish, pickled heirloom carrots, bib lettuce and chili crunch on top. Guest build their own wrap, and the portion is designed to share.

“It’s so customizable,” said Vincent Savignano, director of food and beverage. “If you don’t like the radish or you are not into the pickles, you can really make it your own.”

A selection of steaks includes a 10-ounce prime hanger from Durham Ranch or a 6-ounce filet from Double R Ranch, with your choice of sauces Savignano said are interchangeable, like chimichurri or L-1 sauce, a tangy house-made steak sauce inspired by A-1.

There is seafood too. Scallops are served with maitake mushrooms and peas just blanched so a little bit of crunch remains, but also a pea puree and with fresh pea tendrils curling around the plate. It’s a set Rackliff anticipates will change up with the seasons.

“After spring, we will get into summer squash,” Rackliff said.

A Laurel cocktail infused with pineapple and a Fizzy Lizzy, a mezcal take on a Ramos Gin Fizz.
A Laurel cocktail infused with pineapple and a Fizzy Lizzy, a mezcal take on a Ramos Gin Fizz.
(Courtesy of the Meritage Collection)

Mixologist Miguel Sandoval has created a menu of bespoke cocktails to accompany the menu, like a Fizzy Lizzy, a variation on a Ramos Gin Fizz but made with smokey mezcal in place of botanic-forward gin.

The hotel’s revamp has also refreshed Treehouse on PCH, the hotel’s rooftop lounge and popular late-night spot, that boasts a more open layout now to maximize views of the Pacific Ocean.

“The spaces offer a unique setting and vibe, creating the laid-back luxury experience that Paséa is known for,” said Savignano.

Besides the carrot cake there are other memorable desserts, like the chocolate soufflé cake, which is baked fresh and served with chocolate sauce, dulce de leche, chocolate pearls and whipped cream.

“It takes about 10 to 12 minutes to cook, so in the time that we are baking this, we send out a bowl of the beaters covered in cake batter,” said Rackliff. “Its the best part of waiting for your cake to bake — licking the beaters.”

With the generous portions, Rackliff and and his team don’t anticipate guests will finish everything, but they are making sure Lōrea is good until the last bite, even if that last bite happens at home the next day.

Lōrea officially opens to the public on Saturday, May 4, at Paséa Hotel & Spa.