Laguna Beach is a gastronomical delight. But then, gastronomical is a word that doesn’t go down right. You could choke on any one of those five syllables. Let’s say instead, Laguna Beach has good places to eat. Much yummy-er. Put away the tums. Laguna Beach is a tummy ache free belt.
Locals love their restaurants and the restaurants love the residents. The dynamic is tantamount to a food-fest. Probably the most prominent day of the week for food-fest is Tuesdays. Taco Tuesdays and Zpizza specials tickle the palette. And then, there are the many happy hour treats that take place all over town. It makes me want to be a cow because cows have two stomachs. I could use the extra stomach on Tuesdays. Of course, it wouldn’t be practical to be a cow because there’s no place to carry your wallet.
A few Tuesdays ago was a bittersweet moment. The Marine Room Tavern held its last Songwriter’s Showcase. For the last eight years, Beth Fitchet Wood and her husband Steve Wood orchestrated music that was food for the soul and will be achingly missed on the Tuesdays to come. The showcase’s end also puts pressure on the new owner, Chris Keller to fill in Tuesdays at the Marine Room Tavern. That’s a tall order on Tuesdays already fat with specials.
I’m sure Chris Keller is up to the task. He is an experienced restaurant proprietor who has done wonders with Casa Del Camino Hotel and Big Fish eateries. He certainly doesn’t need advice from me. My mother agrees that I have no place to give food advice because I don’t chew my food properly. Mother says to chew your food 30 times each before swallowing. I have tried to live up to my mother’s expectations. This manic obsession with chewing is the reason our family was ex-communicated from the Catholic Church. The Crantzes would begin a meal on Fat Tuesday and finish it three days into Lent. The parish priest told us to get out and we could hardly object with our mouths still full. Another Mom rule that couldn’t be broken. So instead, I’m going to follow my dog’s rule and swallow my food without chewing. Now I can give Chris Keller my food for thought on Tuesdays to come. Here are my do’s.
Play to your strengths. Do continue to honor your motto, “Where locals gather.” Just expand on the commitment. I recommend that Chris Keller expand the motto to “Where locals gather because.”
Local residents support great causes. One such distinguished organization is the ZeroTrash group. These great people dedicate themselves to picking up trash in and around my house. Oops, I’ll try to be neater. To make ZeroTrash night special, I suggest using small dumpsters as table centerpieces, whereby the guests can eat great hors d’oeuvres right out of. This food service novelty supports less consumption of plates, utensils, and napkins. The ZeroTrash volunteers will not have to pick up trash to put into dumpsters. Second, hook up with Kaiser Permanente to provide liver screenings on one Tuesday each month. This service shows patrons you care about their health and their individual tolerance to happy hour beverages. The third Tuesday can be reserved for intervention when needed.
And the last Tuesday should be saved for “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Shirley MacLaine will channel Morrie’s afterlife lessons. And Mother agrees because Morrie chews his food correctly and has more inspiring food for thought than me.
Oh well, maybe the dog and I’ll just go out for a bite and swallow.
Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased border collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.