By Christopher Trela | NB Indy
Last fall, Las Brisas restaurant began an extensive makeover that has taken the classic restaurant with the renowned ocean view to a new level of sophistication.
The remodeled dining room features blue and white booths with crystal pendant lights dangling from the ceiling, while the cantina boasts Italian tile and a Koa wood bar top. The patio is scheduled to be completed later this year.
The makeover extends to the menus, which are being revamped by new chef Matthew Robinson. But before his new menus are in place, Robinson, 42, has helped launch a new breakfast buffet featuring a mix of traditional items prepared with a decidedly decadent twist.
“The bacon has a brown sugar and chili rub that we sprinkle on and broil long enough to melt the brown sugar,” explained Robinson. “And the waffle omelet is something you won’t see anywhere else. It’s extremely creative. This is the first time in years I’ve done a buffet. You don’t see a lot of them, and I think we’ve done a really good job with this one.”
Robinson has been helming the kitchens at Las Brisas for two months, but is no stranger to the local cuisine scene. After a stint at Cucina Enoteca, he spent two years at Crow Bar and Crow Burger in Newport Beach, and then consulted with local restaurants prior to the Las Brisas gig. He’s wasted no time in putting his own spin on the Las Brisas menus.
“The menus are all being revamped,” he said. “Lunch is being reinvigorated, and I’m working on the other menus. They should be in place soon.”
Robinson is from Northern California, but also spent time in New Mexico, so his style is based on a seasonally-driven menu.
“That’s what you’ll see here,” said Robinson. “I live on the Balboa Peninsula and we have the dory fish market, and we have the farmer’s market here in Laguna, so the menus are farm driven, locally driven. I’m also hoping to get some edible plants and herbs in our garden here. I want to go in that direction; it’s who I am as a chef.”
Robinson said he’s intrigued to see where the restaurant is food-wise in three months.
“It will be fun to see the evolution of the food. It will be amazing. This place has a very bright future.”
The Las Brisas breakfast buffet is $22 Monday through Friday and $32 on Saturday (with additional menu items). Bottomless mimosas are $12. Visit LasBrisasLagunaBeach.com.