It’s been quite some time since my last visit to Sapphire Laguna. Recently, I was invited to join some fellow foodies for breakfast here. I always forget about Sapphire, but not only does the patio offer a view of the ocean, but there is complimentary parking for 3-hours in the parking structure behind it. This is the perfect time to soak in the summer months by dining al fresco. Up until Labor Day, you can enjoy breakfast Monday to Friday from 8am to 10.30am (there is brunch all year round on weekends between 9am and 3pm).
We start with refreshing juices such as Chef Azmin’s V6 ($7) comprising beet, carrot, apple, orange, celery, parsley and sea salt. I love that there is no tomato in it, which often overwhelms the rest of the ingredients. A beautiful red hue from the beets is visually pleasing. Fresh Juice of the Day ($7) obviously changes depending on what’s available seasonally, and today, it is a concoction of kale, spinach, apple, lemon, ginger, turmeric and cayenne.
Greek Yogurt Parfait ($6) is smooth and the kids loved it. Topped with orange zest, mixed berry compote and housemade fruit and nut granola for textural contrast, the combination of flavors is uplifting, especially that from the citrus. Then, there is Swiss Muesli, something I grew up eating — no cereal. The flaxseed, apple, grapes and local honey adds a hint of sweetness and texture to the mix. The result is one I am familiar with, especially the very low sweetness level! It definitely brought back childhood memories.
Not having a sweet tooth, I don’t usually order anything but savory breakfast items. However, I will take a taste of something if someone else is ordering. Cinnamon Brioche French Toast ($13) is topped with banana slices, peanut butter, and drizzled with honey. The peanut butter adds protein, while cutting the sweetness from the honey. The kids loved this one.
However, having just said I am not a fan of sweet, I was so enamored by the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes ($12) I eat more than one piece of it — simply addicting. These are the lightest, most airy pancakes I have ever eaten. It is so delicate it almost melts in my mouth. The blueberry-ginger syrup is subtle, the vanilla chantilly, an added touch of decadence.
Moving on to savory selections, Corned Beef Hash ($17) here is a little different to what you’re used to. The hash is topped with poached eggs, salsa fresca and potato straws, elevating this homely dish to another level. The salsa brightens while the crispy potato straws add texture.
Whenever I am in an unfamiliar restaurant for breakfast or brunch, I veer towards eggs Benedict. My philosophy is that a restaurant’s caliber is easily gauged by its eggs Benedict, and I don’t believe I am alone in this observation. A Study of Eggs Benedict ($18.50 brunch only) allows diners to sample two different styles of this traditional dish — on toasted English muffin with Canadian bacon and Hollandaise; and sweet soy marinated grilled flap steak, fried rice, poached egg, pickled vegetables. I prefer sticking to the traditional, which is always an option.
If you’re not one for traditional breakfast items, then Turkey Chili Baked Eggs ($16 brunch only /please note photo of corn bread depicts several orders) is sure to please. I thoroughly enjoy this one-pot dish, with perfectly runny eggs nestled within the chili. It is served with jalapeño cornbread and a side of honey butter. The portion is generous so definitely share — it is enough for two meals in my opinion.
Take a leisurely drive to Laguna Beach and enjoy a quiet breakfast during the week with your friends. It is one of those moments you keep telling yourself you don’t have time for, but you’ll be glad once you’re there.
1200 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651