Those of us who live in Southern California may not always appreciate our coast. The fact that, within minutes, we can drive to it – watch the waves, play in the sand, sun bathe, play beach volleyball, catch a dolphin swimming just offshore, run with our dogs barefoot. I don’t do most of those things on a regular basis, but I CAN if the itch to do so ever comes. What I did do recently is sup a wonderful breakfast beach side at The Beachcomber Cafe at Crystal Cove.
Even if the food were mediocre, it makes a dandy little getaway, just 35 minutes or so from my crib in the LBC. Sitting right on the beach along with the wooden Crystal Cove rental cottages, The Beachcomber is easily accessed via a slight and leafy walk that eventually winds under the Pacific Coast Highway to Crystal Cove (the Beachcomber shuttle will also drive you over for $1.00 – kids under 12 ride free).
The scene itself would be good enough, almost cinematic. But then there’s the food! I can only speak on breakfast, but what I’ve tasted so far has been sublime. The turkey chorizo scramble is savory and balanced with a piquancy that soothes for those who may have enjoyed a bit too much champagne the night before. The brioche french toast is delicate, robust in its vanilla and almond flavors. Perhaps my favorite is the crabcake benedict, the stream of egg and Hollandaise mixing together and syruping into the crabcake is unparallelled. For a starter, the beignets are a nice treat as well – tiny, sugared puffs that melt in your mouth.
So yes, it’s definitely worth the drive if you’re coming from the LA area. Get there early, though, or make a reservation as the place gets busy weekend mornings (does not take same-day reservations). And once you get there, rent some beach toys and hang out. Or, if it’s cold outside, Fashion Island is a 10-minute drive away – shopping can help burn off your Beachcomber calories. Bon appetit!
The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove
15 Crystal Cove
Newport Coast, CA 92657
Parking at the Los Trancos Parking Lot on the east side of PCH – $15 parking ticket validated with a purchase at Beachcomber of $15 or more