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Dining Out

Suzie Harrison

La Sirena Grill is a Laguna Beach charmer. Located on the low-traffic

thoroughfare of downtown, on peaceful Mermaid Street, it’s a local’s

secret.

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The decor is quintessential laid back Laguna. There is outdoor seating

with a couple of places to park a stool and dine inside.

It’s just a stone’s throw away from The Laguna Beach Chamber and

Library, so it’s handy for the to-goers.

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The ambience is laid back but not the service. Every time I’ve gone

there, I have received great, friendly and timely service. The staff

always seems to be smiling, which makes any experience, dining or

otherwise more pleasurable. It’s a small restaurant in stature but the

food is big on taste.

La Sirena defines fresh with freshly chopped vegetables, salsa and

Pico de Gallo. The homemade tortillas are delicious. Everything is fresh

with all food prepared daily. No stale wonders here.

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Contemporary Mexican food is perhaps the best description of the menu.

An array of Mexican food favorites with a healthy twist. Olive oil

enhances the fresh ingredients. Vegetarians have plenty of menu choices.

Lard is not allowed in the vicinity, and the cheese usage is scant, which

works well for me. I find it repugnant to use guesswork when I’m dining

at a Mexican restaurant. To wonder what’s on my plate -- and to feel

trepidation of what hides beneath that greasy tarp of cheese.

The burritos and tacos give a choice of grilled marinated steak,

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chicken, slow-cooked tender pork or fresh fish of the day. The

quesadillas have sauted mushrooms and onions, that’s a contemporary

twist. The avocado lime salad is popular with a flavorful lime

vinaigrette.

Cost is reasonable. Items mostly fall into the $5 range. The Sirena

plate of grilled pasilla chile, herb marinated bell peppers, onions and

cheese served with handmade corn tortillas and topped with spicy de

Gallo, with choice of meat, is on the high end of the menu at $7.50.

The previous Executive Director of The Chamber, Cindy Obrand, turned

me on to this quaint nugget of culinary delight. Being a long time

Lagunan, Obrand had this to say about La Sirena Grill, “They have the

freshest, most delicious Mexican food in Laguna Beach. The staff is

friendly, helpful and fast. My favorite is the fish tacos and the

watermelon beverage too. It tastes like a freshly squeezed watermelon in

my glass.”

Brand pointed out that she likes the interesting, artful design and

feel of the restaurant, “I want to decorate my whole house like that. Who

is their decorator?”

La Sirena Grill just opened a new restaurant that is bigger with more

seating, wine and beer. A breakfast menu is in the works to start this

summer.

FYI

La Sirena Grill

WHERE: 347 Mermaid St.; 30862 South Coast Highway (in Albertson’s

Center)

PHONE: 497-8226; 499-2301

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday


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