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SPECIAL TOPICS: Taco TuesdayDisneylandMenudoMexican Flavors on the High Seas

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mosaic Bar and Grille

Mosaic Bar and Grille
30801 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(866) 271-6953

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I bet you didn't know it but today, September 16, is National Guacamole Day. (It is also Mexican Independence Day but that's a subject for a different entry. And tomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate Day.) Now, don't get National Guacamole Day mixed up with Spicy Guacamole Day, which is on November 14.

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Longtime readers may remember that about a year and a half ago I was contacted by editors of Tu Ciudad magazine for my opinion on where the best guacamole could be found in Orange County. I e-mailed back my opinion but my opinion was never printed. Instead, the editor gave it as his opinion that the best guacamole in Orange County could be found at The Montage resort in Laguna Beach. Later on I met the editor in person and asked him what made it stand out and he said, "I can't remember. I just remember it being really, really good."

I decided I would have to try out this really, really good guacamole and more than a year later I finally made it to The Montage with a couple friends to try to track down this guacamole. The Montage has a number of restaurants and we guessed that the guacamole might've come from the poolside bar which they call the Mosaic Bar and Grill.

Once we were seated we quickly scanned the menu for anything that might come qith guacamole and we spotted the Mosaic Nachos ("Pinto Beans, Tomatoes, Olives, Scallions, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Mozzarella and Jack, Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa") and Local Halibut Tacos ("Cabbage, Pico de Gallo and Cotija Cheese, Lime Cream Sauce, Pinto Beans and Avocado Salsa, Tortilla Chips"). We ended up sharing the nachos:

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There was a little guacamole on the side and we all agreed that it was good stuff. We weren't quite sure if it was spectacular though. Nothing wrong with it, just not spectacular. I also got some with my entree, the halibut tacos:

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Food in picture is bigger than it appears

As you can see, the nachos and the tacos are both served in big brass bowls and we noticed many other patrons were also ordering the nachos and the tacos. Once again, the guacamole was pretty good. It seemed to strike the right balance between chunky and mushy and had some good spice to it and I can't say anything bad about it but I'm not sure if we went to where the Tu Ciudad editor had been before.

I tried to find something from the dessert menu that was Mexican-related (no, I wasn't looking for guacamole on the dessert menu) and figured the dulce de leche sundae ("Bananas, Pecans and Cocoa Nibs, Dulce De Leche Ice Cream and Sauce") was the closest thing. I can't eat pecans so I asked if they had peanuts. Our waitress went and checked and came back and said they don't have peanuts but that another restaurant at the resort did and if I didn't mind waiting a couple extra minutes they could get me peanuts from there. I replied that I didn't mind waiting a couple extra minutes. When I got it I found out peanuts was a good choice. The peanuts they used seemed to be ever so slightly candied (I could be wrong but they seemed that way) and melded perfectly with the ice cream, caramel and bananas:

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My own total came to something like $40-45. On my budget that's something I can do maybe once or twice a year. But they have a great setting and great service so it may be worth checking out if you want to relax on the beach sometime in a nice resort setting . . . or if you are staying in a room at The Montage.

See the unedited photo album (22 photos) at

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oy there....Talk like a pirate day is the 19th...........matey!

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the correction. Now I have an extra two days to prepare.

Anonymous said...

First of all - love your blog, it's in my RSS reader permanently!

My question: you mention that you sent your opinion of best guac in OC to the editor.. But you didn't say what it is! Care to elaborate, I'd love to try it out :)

ChristianZ said...

Well, I told them I knew it sounded funny but that I really liked the guacamole made tableside at El Torito Grill and that I also liked the guacamole from Olamendi's. I didn't mention it to them but I also like the guacamole from Taleo and it gets even better when you squeeze some lime into it and grind in some of their sea salt and pepper.

Diamond Dog said...

I think the #1 problem I find with Guacamole is too many people put too much citrus in it.

IN the picture with the tacos, those portions look soooo small. I bet I could have stuffed everything on that plate in my mouth over 2 mouthfulls.

ChristianZ said...

The picture is a little deceiving. I had to take a wide shot from a good distance back to fit everything in. When I was done I was so stuffed I could hardly walk away. No, not all of that was from the two tacos.