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“One of top 3 in Laguna Beach”

Watermarc Restaurant
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Ranked #15 of 178 Restaurants in Laguna Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $60
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Laguna Avenue
Description: Watermarc is a chef owned & operated local gem in the heart of Laguna Beach offering interesting & inspired daily seafood specials and an array of imaginative grazing plates.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

Chef/Owner Marc Cohen has succeeded in making both 230 Forest and Watermarc premier restaurants. I had dinner at both highly rated restaurants two times. 230 Forest and Watermarc are both within walking distance of each other in downtown Laguna Beach.

I love Laguna Beach's marine layer, June gloom. The sun struggled to appear by noon time almost every day.

I like both of these restaurants for different reasons. They are both among the top 3 restaurants in Laguna Beach. Watermarc is the larger of the two restaurants with a second floor terrace dinning area. My first dinner was downstairs between the outdoor seating and the bar area so a great location for me. My second dinner was the more sedate, but, happy hour casual upstairs overlooking the terrace area.

Watermarc is a mark showing the greatest height. The Watermarc Restaurant is intended to be a dinning experience at its greatest height. The first time I visited Watermarc I truly enjoyed their seafood paella for $34 with maine lobster, shrimp, the larger New Zealand greenlip mussels, calamari, and Linguica. I did not care for the greenlip mussels at either 230 Forest or Watermarc.

During our first dinner we learned about their half price hamburgers before 6pm so we returned for hamburgers. At that time we were seated upstairs

My second dinner was the more sedate, but, happy hour casual upstairs overlooking the terrace area during their happy hour, everyday from 4pm to 6pm [excluding holidays] with $2 off all grazing plates, $2 off all specialty cocktails, $2 off all wines by the glass, $2 off all bottled beer, and finally 1/2 off all burgers.

The burgers are normally $12 including grilled 1/2 Lb. blend of angus chuck, sirloin and short rib served with shoestring fries, cheese for +$2 for white cheddar, gorgonzola, guyere or manchego. The Burrata was an extra $3 for mozzarella, vine ripe tomato and pesto. The Burgundy was +$3 for wild mushrooms and gruyere. I had the delicious duck confit for +$4 with red onion marmalade, bries, aioli, and braised bacon. This was my second duck confit burger. Could this be burger trend in the U.S.? Other burgers are the braised bacon with grilled pineapple and fig jam.or the surf and turf for +$5 with lump crab cake, asparagus, and béarnaise.

We also ordered their house chipswhite with truffle oil, sea salt and garlic aioli for $8. These were potato chips rather than fries at Capitol Grill. I prefer the fries at Capitol Grill rather than these chips.

What is my third favorite you say? Nicks, which is also adjacent to Watermarc, but, I have only been there for brunch so check out my review soon to come.

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4  Thank Tony J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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469 - 473 of 612 reviews

Reviewed July 15, 2013

From the hostess to the waiter and bill payment. we found the restaurant staff warm, welcoming and fun! Since spending time in Spain, i now seek out small bite menu's. Watermarc was not a restaurant I was familiar with and found it by chance when we were figuring out where to go for a couples night out with friends. It was perfect- delicious food, wonderful cocktails and a really nice crowd. Our waiter was efficient and charming.

I hesitate to rave on and on since we plan on revisiting next time we come to OC. sometimes the serendipity of the one moment is never to be repeated....but this restaurant is not new and Chef Marc has a solid reputation so our hunch is that it will not disappoint next time! Looking forward to it!

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Thank T J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2013

Some of the largest, best tasting and beautifully presented burgers you'll ever have. Mine came with burgundy and mushrooms. The home made chips with dip are a great tasting diversion from fries. The appetizers and all of the meals on the menu looked very good. The drinks are fun, we tried a champagne kiss which was very enjoyable. Can't wait to go back.

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1  Thank palmspringsdoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

Fun place located right on PCH in the middle of Laguna Beach. Picture window lets you watch the passing parade of beach bunnies, art-gallery lurkers and upscale shoppers. The restaurant itself has about 20 tables on the ground floor plus seating at the bar. There’s an upstairs, but I didn’t look at it.

The most notable thing is the menu of spectacular, original dishes. The kitchen really knows what it is doing and offers a variety of unusual combinations. All that I have tried in 4 or 5 visits are at least good and some really outstanding. The menu’s sections are “grazing plates” (small dishes about half the size of a typical entree), soups-salads, burgers and sandwiches. I and my companions typically order a selection of grazing plates for the table so we can pick and choose from them. This is not a beach-burger place but a high-concept restaurant.

Last trip we had toasted garlic yellowtail ($14) (long slices of charred yellowtail with a terrific set of spices, all set on very thin-sliced pineapple), crab cakes ($14) (a pronounced crab flavor with an avocado sauce) and chicken foie brulee ($14) (fois gras in a ramekin with a brulee-type crust on top, along with tiny, airy pastries to spread it on). Haven’t yet had the duck burger, called the “chuck & duck,” but plan to soon.

Parking in the middle of Laguna Beach is usually tight, but I have had luck in the two-level parking structure pretty much across an alley from the rear of the restaurant.

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Thank glendale-member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Night out with the girls and we all enjoyed our food immensely. Beautiful setting, hidden from the street and wonderful food and service. Will be back soon!

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Thank sunara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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