A first look at Comedor in Laguna Beach which offers a menu by Marcel Vigneron – Orange County Register

Last summer, La Casa Del Camino, a boutique hotel in Laguna Beach, refreshed its ever-full ocean-view bar, the Rooftop Lounge. The dining room is now getting a facelift with a gentle refurbishment of the decor and a new tapas menu created by Marcel Vigneron, vice-champion of season 2 of “Top Chef”. Here is a first look at Comedor.

  • Mixologist Nick Hoy creates one of Comedor’s signature cocktails at a special event at the newly opened Laguna Beach restaurant on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Comedian owner Richard Ham, center, stands alongside his food and beverage managers Spencer Kushner, left, and Freddy Braidy at a special event at the Laguna Beach tapas restaurant on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Comedor owner Richard Ham welcomes friends to a special Friends event at the new Laguna Beach tapas restaurant, located on the first floor of the La Casa Del Camino hotel, on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore , collaborating photographer)

  • Guests raise their glasses for Comedor owner Richard Ham during a smooth opening at the new Laguna Beach tapas restaurant, located on the first floor of La Casa Del Camino, on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Comedor carrot fritters with apricot, dill and raisins, served with a herb yogurt sauce. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Comedor’s Mariachi on the Beach, one of the many traditional and sweet cocktails available at the new Laguna Beach restaurant, sits on a table during a special event on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Comedor croquettes stuffed with chicken and béchamel fritters. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Comedor’s dining room, decorated by interior designer Matt Winter, uses vintage Thonet bistro chairs, refurbished chandeliers that have been taken out of storage, and restored floors and beams to give the room, built to l Originally in the 1920s, a relaxed look in Spanish Revival style. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • A refurbished fireplace in the lobby of the La Casa Del Camino hotel, near the entrance to the recently opened Comedor restaurant, is among the updated features, created by interior designer Matt Winter, that add to the The neo-Spanish vibe of the Laguna Beach property, seen here Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Comedor Mis Amigos Margarita, one of the many traditional and sweet cocktails available at the new Laguna Beach restaurant, sits on a table during a special event on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mixologist Nick Hoy creates one of Comedor’s signature cocktails at a special event at the newly opened Laguna Beach restaurant on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Bowl of hot Comedor olive with Kalamata, Castelvetrano, Harissa, rosemary and candied lemon. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Chandeliers from the 1920s, which were taken out of storage to add to Comedor’s neo-Spanish look, hang in the dining room of the recently opened tapas restaurant at the La Casa Del Camino hotel in Laguna Beach on Thursday, May 13. 2021 (photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Comedor Las Brisas, with gin, Saint-Germain and rose water, one of the many traditional and sweet cocktails available at the new Laguna Beach restaurant, sits on a table during a special event on Thursday the 13th May 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Guests can dine in the renovated Spanish Renaissance-themed dining room of the new Comedor tapas restaurant, located in the La Casa Del Camino hotel in Laguna Beach, when a smooth opening on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Mixologist Nick Hoy creates one of Comedor’s signature cocktails at a special event at the newly opened Laguna Beach restaurant on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • A refurbished fireplace in the lobby of the La Casa Del Camino hotel, near the entrance to the recently opened Comedor restaurant, is among the updated features, created by interior designer Matt Winter, that add to the The neo-Spanish vibe of the Laguna Beach property, seen here during a special event on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Comedor’s dining room, decorated by interior designer Matt Winter, uses vintage Thonet bistro chairs, refurbished chandeliers that have been taken out of storage, and restored floors and beams to give the room, built to l Originally in the 1920s, a relaxed look in Spanish Revival style. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Comedor Rossejat de Fideos paella-style vermicelli with lobster, shrimp and squid, cooked in seafood broth. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

  • Pan con tomate from Comedor, made with toasted rustic bread, brushed with fresh tomatoes and garnished with prosciutto and Manchego cheese. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Comedor owner Richard Ham welcomes friends to a special Friends event at the new Laguna Beach tapas restaurant, located on the first floor of La Casa Del Camino hotel, on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore , collaborating photographer)

  • Charred Spanish octopus from Comedor with squid ink romesco, romanesco and Spanish chorizo. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mixologist Nick Hoy creates one of Comedor’s signature cocktails, called ‘Smoking Musket,’ competing with a smoke-infused flavor, at a special event at the newly opened Laguna Beach restaurant on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer))

  • Guests can dine in the renovated Spanish Renaissance-themed dining room of the new Comedor tapas restaurant, located in the La Casa Del Camino hotel in Laguna Beach, when a smooth opening on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (photo by Jeff Antenore, collaborating photographer)

Background: The original building was built in the 1920s and it is a local monument. A complete overhaul of what used to be K’ya Bistro could have ruined its neo-Spanish charm. That’s why Mr. Winter Design’s Matthew Winter (he created looks for Gjusta Bakery in Venice, Fia Restaurant in Santa Monica, and Manuela in Los Angeles), was brought in to help. He is a style expert who grew up in such a house and now lives in a stable / groomsman’s house which he has restored. It was once owned by 1930s cinema queen Jean Harlow.

The look: At Comedor, Winter restored the hardwood floors and heavy wooden beams above and kept most of what was there. He even took some parts out of the warehouse. The chandeliers have been rewired and rearranged throughout the room and they are eye-catching – delicately crafted wrought iron with feathers and other Baroque touches, including fake candles.

“We kind of wanted to have a beach vibe, a little lighter, a little more laid back compared to the fancy and unattainable. So we used a lot of original materials that would have been used at the time, ”said Winter.

He paid special attention to the original lobby fireplace, keeping its handmade tiles and echoing them with more painted tiles under the Carrara marble bar he added in the dining room . The seats consist of reconditioned Thonet chairs with swirling backs, a style that was popular during the height of the Spanish revival.

The color scheme is an adobe white background, with ocean hues of emerald and seafoam greens and blues, and a hint of brown driftwood. The dishes, handcrafted in Oaxaca, come in soft neutral tones of off-white and light terracotta. The copper cutlery shines in the candlelight.

The atmosphere: The lobby has a soft bohemian look with comfortable furniture in mismatched patterns and plenty of pillows that say you feel right at home. It’s all reminiscent of Hollywood’s heyday when Bette Davis kept a home in Laguna and the stars dodged the paparazzi by sneaking into Orange County for the weekend.

The drinks: A special cocktail list has been curated by Devon Espinosa. Of course, there is a delicious margarita called Mis Amigos with tequila, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, lime and agave. But there are plenty of Instagram-worthy cocktails with fantastic toppings: La Brisa is made with gin, Lillet Blanc, Saint-Germain, lemon, rosewater, Peychaud’s bitter and a rose petal. floating on top. The lemon and pineapple mezcal-aperol concoction – Mariachi on the Beach – features a pineapple slice with its prickly leaves.

The menu: Winemaker’s family used to vacation in Laguna, so he jumped at the chance to have a restaurant there. He is also the ideal chef to write a tapas menu as he has worked with Spanish superstars José Andrés and Ferran Adrià.

This menu won’t be difficult and formal, he says, but a few bites reveal his gastronomic prowess: the carrot fritters with apricot, dill, raisins and yogurt and tamarind sauce, are a little sweet and surprising; the pan con tomate can be enriched with Serrano ham (Spanish ham) and manchego cheese; and Rossejat de Fideos, paella-style vermicelli loaded with lobster, shrimp and squid, is enhanced by delicate bonita flakes.

Tapas range from $ 4 to $ 18, main courses are $ 25 to $ 34, and desserts are $ 11 to $ 13.

“I think it’s a fun way to eat,” said Vigneron. “Under the tapas umbrella, with all of our ingredients that we have in California – from fresh fish to amazing vegetables – it really gives us an unlimited opportunity to create new tapas on top of what has already been established as a base from Spain. “

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What to wear: You wouldn’t want to come in a wet bathing suit, but almost. Go for the laid back beach or dress for a date this is not your typical hotel dining room.

Insider tip: “Comedor” is the Spanish word for dining, but a lot of people said “commodore” when we visited, which also fits this seaside town. The staff don’t care how you say it as long as you’re having fun.

The dual: Winemaker lives in Malibu and he is constantly in demand as a celebrity chef. He will therefore need a chef or sous chef although this person has not yet been announced. The selection process is like a mini version of “Top Chef”. “Honestly, I have a few guys right now who are worth it,” he said. “But I kind of let them fight for the top. “

The last word: Winter wants diners to feel transported. “I want people to feel like stepping into a time where you were supported by your surroundings to feel familiar, comfortable and cozy,” he said. “Your eyes are looking so around at all the little details inside the space that you don’t have time for your phone. This is what we are trying to do.

Information: Open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday. Inside the La Casa Del Camino hotel, 1289 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949-376-9718, comedorlaguna.com.


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