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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coyote Grill - Review #1

Coyote Grill
31621 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 499-4033

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Taking note of all the times that coyotes have been in the news recently and my own recent face to face encounter with one on the San Joaquin River Trail (photo taken moments after the coyote and I were face to face) it seemed apropos that I'd meet up with a group of friends at Coyote Grill in Laguna Beach for some summertime dining and socializing.

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Coyote Grill was opened in 1989 by Kim Bryant who has since passed on management of the restaurant to his children. Bringing the laid back Baja vibe a little north of the border Coyote Grill seems right at home in Laguna Beach. And it's good to know they've got Gringo Bandito on the table:

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I made my own combo plate by getting the zucchini enchilada platter (" Fresh shredded zucchini, jack and cheddar cheese, ranchero sauce and sour cream. Served with black beans and rice.") and adding a carnitas taco to it:

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Others got chicken enchiladas:

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Or beef tacos:

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I've been trying to cut down on dessert recently but when I see a unique item on a Mexican menu I usually get it. Fortunately others in the group helped me finish off this very rich dulce de leche dome: "A dark chocolate dome encases a caramel mousse, an oozing core of caramel, and a chocolate spongecake bottom."

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But that dessert was nothing compared to the leviathan that was brought out next, the Banana Chimichanga: "Sliced banana in a fried flour tortilla, sprinkled with walnuts, cinnamon, and topped with whipped cream. You'll need help with this one. Maybe served with ice cream." While I was situated so that my back was turned to our waiter as he came walking up with this dish I began to hear gasps from those in my party who were on the opposite side of the table and whose field of vision became more and more obstructed as the gargantuan dessert approached.

I admire that the menu states very honestly and forthrightly that this item is "Maybe served with ice cream." Apparently we ordered the Banana Chimichanga when it did come with ice cream. Due to the walnut content I couldn't have any but the rest of my group sure enjoyed it. I was told by one of the owners that Coyote Grill is not known for its desserts but I think they definitely have a number of unique dessert items worth checking out.

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Coyote Grill earns a four Speedy Gonzales rating:

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Click here to see the unedited album (20 photos) at .

11 comments:

joy said...

Those desserts look great, especially the chocolate and caramel one, mmmm. How was the zucchini enchilada?

ChristianZ said...

It was pretty good. The zucchini inside seemed to be sliced in lengthwise strips and it was a little stringy so I'm wondering if maybe it should've been cubed or something. So, no complaints but if I went in the kitchen I might make a modification or two, maybe even cook it with some of that Gringo Bandito.

HotForWords said...

You should check out Sharky's! The food is so good there, just had a chicken burrito. The salads are great there also!!!

Marina

inland empire restaurant and food reviews said...

Yeah, those desserts look good. The banana chimichanga looks huge!!

ChristianZ said...

Oh, I've been to Sharky's alright. You can check out our coverage of them at this blog.

California-Lineberry said...

Great, comprehensive review. A small, oceanside place in South Laguna that is worth the drive down the coast. It is one of our favorites, as it has good food, moderate prices, and terrific atmosphere/oceanview!

Anonymous said...

Come here ONLY for the view, and maybe the atmosphere. They have THE most bland 'Mexican' food you will ever taste. The food did look amazing... my wife and I were severely disappointed with their food. We eat all over OC at Mexican restuarants as it's our favorite cuisine.... trust me, don't waste your time.

Veronica said...

that looks GREAT! I was there for breakfast last month and it was very tasty, and peaceful atmosphere... but will have to go back for dinner. Thanks!

ChristianZ said...

And I've got to try the breakfast.

Arnold said...

I love this place! It does pack out pretty easily during the busy hours. The view and the smell of the sea air are just two more nice compliments to the delicious food.
Gringo Bandito is by far my favorite hot sauce as well.
So cool to see a local product like that in restaurants!

ChristianZ said...

Gotta love the Gringo Bandito.