Let me say first off that I had never heard of Las Brisas before going there and so had no expectations whatsoever. We were recently taken there for breakfast by some relatives while on a road trip through the south-western states.
The first thing that can't fail to strike you about Las Brisas is it's exquisite location. Laguna Beach is an exceptionally pretty town and Las Brisas is perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean, surrounded by green lawns and palm trees. Step inside and you also won't be disappointed - classic and understated decor makes you feel cosseted without detracting from the drop-dead stunning views to be found outside the windows. But then you have to talk to the staff, and things are less rosy. We arrived before our relatives and were given a rather cold shoulder by the snooty hostess. The place was far from packed, but we were told to wait in the lobby as they were still "fixing our table". Felt rather like spare parts loitering there as there weren't really enough seats for three, and we kept getting haughty stares from the staff. Not exactly an effusive welcome. I strolled outside for a minute or two and returned to find my husband gone. Wasn't sure whether he had gone to the bathroom, taken a stroll in another direction or been seated. So I spent some more time wandering aimlessly around the little lobby until I finally collared the hostess to ask where my husband had gone and she unapologetically said he'd been seated. Hmph.
Not a bad word to say about our table - it was right by the window overlooking the ocean and was beautifully laid. So far so good. But once again, as soon as you had contact with the staff, things seemed to take a turn for the worse. Our waiter (who looked as if he was none too pleased to have us there) poured coffee only for some of us and left the rest of us completely dry. He then promptly disappeared, which left us in the end to walk over to the server where he'd left the coffee pot and pour our own! When he returned and discovered this, he was none too pleased about that either - a no win situation!!
Anyhow, the coffee was good and once we moved onto the breakfast buffet, that looked very good as well - fruit, baked goods, all kinds of egg and meat dishes, little pancakes that looked like giant ravoili, waffles with a variety of toppings, and an area for eggs made to order. Had absolutely delicious Eggs Benedict and bacon before going off to try a made-to-order omelette. Mistake. I asked for bacon, mushrooms and cheese. Next thing, I see the guy frying up onions. Asked who they were for and he said for me. Told him I didn't want onions, so he asked again what I wanted. Repeated my order and he threw away the onions with some rolling of the eyes and started again. In the end I got a ham and mushroom omelette with NO cheese - but by then communication had plummeted to such depths that I didn't want to bother trying to explain. The staff gave the impression of being near the end of the breakfast shift and eager to leave - not a happy combination! Finished off with a waffle with maple syrup and cream (light and crispy - very good) and a restorative Screedriver cocktail (don't ask!!) before takign a walk along the cliff path.
For just over $10 a head, I thought the breakfast was pretty good value, considering the stunning setting and the fact that I could have eaten a LOT more for my money, had I wished. I have to say, though, that the staff do the venue a disservice. And having read the other reviews, I have to wonder whether I didn't get a lucky break by going for breakfast instead of lunch/dinner!
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