Tortilla Republic (480 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA; 949.393.4888) is hitting in Laguna Beach with their inventive, modern Mexican fare and lively atmosphere. You can expect contemporary Mexican recipes, created by Tortilla Republic’s Consulting Chef Cathy Shyne, feature farm-fresh ingredients and organic products when available, free of lard and processed additives. The menu showcases classic Mexican dishes with a contemporary twist, while incorporating unexpected flavors and ingredients.
The restaurant will serve dinner daily, with brunch and lunch added in the near future. The menu, a mixture of small plates and larger entrees, will include original items exclusive to the new Laguna Beach location, as well as many of Shyne’s signature dishes, including spicy and tropical vegan Hibiscus Flower Enchiladas made with hibiscus flowers, roasted tomato chipotle sauce, jicama, carrots, and onion. Other menu highlights include Tacos de Jicama, featuring thinly sliced jicama “tortillas,” shrimp, chipotle mayo, cilantro, red onion, and avocado; Ancho-Seared Salmon with roasted poblano, onions, herb infused rice, cilantro citrus sauce, and habanero carrot sauce; and the Short Rib “chile verde,” a modern take on a Mexican classic.
The bar, that will seat 26, and 12 at high tables, is a great spot to try a wide-ranging list of mezcals and tequilas. Their handcrafted margaritas, cocktails, and tequila flights all use 100% blue agave. The “Margarita Bar,” highlighting organic agave nectar and house made “lime sweet,” will feature twists on Mexican cocktails, including the Beetarita with El Jimador Reposado, Fresh Red Beet Purée, Ginger Purée, Fresh Agave Lime Sweet; and the Jalapeño Margarita with Dos Armadillos Reposado, Fresh Agave Lime Sweet, Stirrings Triple Sec, Fresh Jalapeño; as well as classic margaritas.
Inspired by their frequent travels throughout Mexico, Owners Morten Kaag, John Halter, and Mina Azami, in collaboration with Interior Designer Kirk Pereira, created the design at Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach. The polished aesthetic has custom-made woven equipale chairs, beautiful views of the ocean throughout, two outdoor patios overlooking the bustling Pacific Coast Highway, and a main dining room, surrounded by art from LA-based contemporary artist Paul Robinson. The courtyard patio in the center of the restaurant will feature a retractable roof.
Open for dinner Sunday–Thursday 5-10 pm, and Friday & Saturday, 5-11 pm.