During a midday weekday walk around SoCo, Costa Mesa’s latest foodie mecca, Laguna Culinary Arts founder Nancy Milby found herself both envious and excited to tap into the vibe of the thronged shopping center. Meanwhile, the Laguna Canyon center, home for the last decade to LCA’s cooking and wine schools and cheese and wine boutique […]
I approached my next restaurant review with a sense of apprehension. How could the amalgamation of cooking school, deli and retail wine store be a place for great food? Twice before I patronized Laguna Culinary Arts, buying cheese and eating a student created lunch. It was during the latter experience I concluded I would not dine at LCA again. Why patronize a cooking school where upcoming chefs learn to hone culinary skills?
As dining establishments go, the ambience in LCA failed to stimulate any excitement for my upcoming meal. A deli counter filled with prepared foods, a selection of cheeses and meats and retail wine store dominate the dining area. My enthusiasm was further dampened after a trip to the restroom, which is in need of a serious overhaul.
What happened next is a textbook lesson in expectations gone happily wrong.