Tommy Bahama has updated its menu, with some solid offerings, to reflect the laid back lifestyle of its Laguna Beach home. The casual bar food style menu is coupled with daily elevated options to create more substantial options if that’s what you’re looking for.
We are here for a leisurely lunch. Cheeseburger Sliders ($9.50), something I ordinarily would not order, are a delightful surprise. These little burgers were super tasty with sharp white cheddar, smoked bacon marmalade, onion, garlic aioli as well as chipotle aioli for an added level of flavor.
I will never pass up poke, and when I saw Ahi Poke Bowl ($14) I knew I had to have it. This is not your traditional poke bowl. Instead of rice, you have quinoa and farro at its base. Then a melange of components such as edamame, seaweed, crispy wontons, baby greens, island slaw, pickled vegetables, avocado, wasabi aioli, and a sprinkling of sesame seed are placed on top. Mix the whole bowl well before enjoying! The only thing I did not care for was the pickled ginger. I would have liked that on the side.
If you’re more a traditional type of diner, then perhaps sandwiches are more your lunch go-tos. Well, you’re in luck. Prime Rib French Dip ($18) is a lovely offering with spicy pepper Jack cheese, horseradish aioli, and honey roasted onions. The side of brandy au jus is perfect to dip your sandwich in. Served with a side of crispy fries.
Another stellar item is Lump Blue Crab Sandwich ($19) with the most tender blue crab meat sandwiched between buttered brioche, with avocado, heirloom tomatoes, crispy bacon, chervil, and lemon tarragon aioli. The brioche — as are all the bread — is from OC Baking Company.
Each day, Tommy Bahama has a menu of daily specials for its customers. On the day of our visit, the menu featured Lobster Mac & Cheese ($23) using cavatappi pasta and tossed with bacon, roasted mushrooms, truffle oil, cream, and shallots. While it isn’t a traditional mac n cheese, I prefer its less cloying mouthfeel to the traditional creamier version.
Steak Frites ($22) is another option from that menu. Instead of a French-style preparation, this version sees a perfectly grilled skirt steak topped with gojujang (Korean chile sauce) and served with broccolini and a side of garlic fries. It is most definitely a Californian take on a classic dish.
Even though Tommy Bahama restaurants have been in business for quite some time, there are still people who are surprised when visiting for the first time. I’ve always felt that the restaurant is in complete sync with its apparel side, giving customers a feel of the tropics no matter where they are.
400 South Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651