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Laguna food, culture lands at JWA

Travelers at John Wayne Airport will get a taste of Laguna Beach starting early next year with the addition of two local concessions in the newly renovated terminals: the Fresh Market and the Hobie Sand Bar.

The Laguna Culinary Arts’ Fresh Market, a fast-casual concept that serves chef Laurent Brazier’s signature French Mediterranean cuisine, will offer paninis, salads, homemade soups and a variety of other choices.

The chef drew inspiration from Mirepoix, the Laguna Culinary Arts restaurant in Laguna, which offers four-course prix fixe dinners three nights a week.

The Fresh Market menu includes brioche French toast and egg whites scrambled with spinach and feta cheese for breakfast. Mirepoix’s renowned croque monsieur, crab melt and cauliflower soup are some of the hot options for lunch or dinner.


There will also be easy to-go items, such as baguettes by La Brea Bakery, and cheese plates.

Chef Brazier said he wanted to come up with a concept that was fresh and healthy, something different from fast food joints usually seen in airport concession areas.

He plans to use locally grown produce, change the menu seasonally and use natural meats.

“We’ve been here for eight years in Laguna Beach, but not everyone knows we’re here,” the chef said about Laguna Culinary Arts.


He hopes that JWA travelers will take a trip down the coast and check out what the Laguna Culinary Arts has to offer.

Local Mark Christy, owner of Hobie on Forest Avenue, is opening the Hobie Sand Bar at JWA.

The menu includes fish tacos, a bacon and sausage wrap, spinach salad and a Hawaiian quesadilla with teriyaki chicken and pineapple.

The restaurant and surf bar will be decorated with items from founder Hobie Alter’s life, such as memorabilia from the Orange County coastline. Hobie Alter’s son, Jeff Alter, is building a surfboard bar top and shadow box tables for the space, Christy said.

Also assisting in decorating the surf-influenced eatery is Laurie Alter of Laguna’s home-furnishing store Tuvalu. She is Jeff Alter’s wife and Christy’s sister.

“Hobie’s story could only have happened on the beaches of Southern California, and we can promise there isn’t anything like this in any other airport in the country,” Christy said in an email. “The unofficial motto is ‘Hobie Sand Bar — A nice place to run aground.’”

Both restaurant concepts are part of HMSHost’s concessions at John Wayne Airport. They will be between terminals A and B in the central dining area and will open in early 2012.

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