Nick’s Laguna Beach is one of those places so many of my friends have raved about. After much pondering, Priscilla of She’s Cookin’ and I went for lunch, and boy did we choose a great day to go. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, clear blue skies and a nice cool breeze. It was precisely this perfect weather that we chose to sit on the patio.
The restaurant is bustling and there is no shortage of patrons walking into this place. Our server Justin was patient and knowledgeable and answered every question we posed to him.
I’d heard so much about the Fried Deviled Eggs ($5) and there was no way we were leaving without having some of it. Boiled eggs are coated with breadcrumbs and fried on the outside. Once halved, the yolk is mixed with various ingredients and the creamy result is piped back into the fried egg white shell and sprinkled with bacon bits. Bacon makes EVERYTHING taste great!
It was really quite delicious and a unique new way to serve up a traditional favorite. I really like the crispy contrast brought on by the fried coating.
Our main courses arrived shortly: Blackened Halibut sandwich ($14) and House Made Veggie Burger ($11) and you get your choice of sides. We picked fries for one and slaw for the other.
I guess I should feel lucky I got to taste both these sandwiches. The halibut was moist and tender and seasoned well, enough for the flavors to stand up to the toppings and brioche it came on.
It was unfortunate I only managed a couple of bites because a minute or two later, a lady at the next table started choking. She stood up, faced me and coughed profusely. She then doubled over while her face started getting redder and redder until she stuck a finger down her throat to bring up whatever was stuck in her throat.
Water was spewed onto the floor beside us, a huge chunk of rib-eye (from her Ribeye Melt $15) flew out of her gullet and onto the floor, no more than a foot away from me.
I was stunned and aghast at the same time. My stomach churned and I tried to erase what I had just witnessed out of my mind, but to no avail. During this time, the choking woman’s lunching companion, in her effort to help her friend, backed her girthy backside into my half of the veggie sandwich.
Even if I had the appetite to continue eating, the fact that her butt had touched my sandwich deterred me from doing so.
Priscilla and I shook our heads in disbelief. Our lunch was ruined. The General Manager came over and introduced himself and asked how everything was going. SERIOUSLY??? A woman just choked on her food — of course, by no fault of the restaurant’s — vomited next to me AND her rear end touches my lunch, how do YOU think everything was going. I was mind-boggled. And when Priscilla told him we were there writing a review, the only thing he managed to utter was “oh”.
The icing on the cake came when he offered us complimentary desserts to somehow rectify the completely off-putting incident we had just endured. We couldn’t even continue eating the food already on our table, why would we want more?
I was speechless.
Priscilla and I were both ready to come back and give Nick’s another shot because the couple of bites I did have of the halibut sandwich was delicious, but after discussing, we decided we’ll stay away for a while.
Justin was a doll, trying his best to make the rest of our time there a little more pleasant. I was just surprised that it was the GM who was utterly un-savvy when it came to damage control.
I’m just glad neither Priscilla nor I ordered the Ribeye Melt!
Nick’s Laguna Beach
440 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651