Page 1

2009 BEST OF

DANA POINT

PEOPLE’S CHOICE L A N T E R N

AWA R DS

Debbie Pachyn, Sandy Pinel, Rosalinda Ceballos, Jean Shetley serve up Tutor and Spunky’s award-winning sandwiches. Photo by Sara Borman

W

elcome to the second annual DP Times Best of Dana Point People’s Choice Lantern Awards, our annual celebration of Dana Point’s favorite businesses, services and places as selected by you, the readers. We received almost 2,000 votes over the past month—doubling last year’s response—through online polls and mailed in ballots. After a careful tallying , we have compiled your results here in this handy pullout section. We hope that you will keep it and refer to if often in the coming year when you’re looking for a new place to dine, shop or play in Dana Point. It is also chock full of great service providers, so whether you need a dry cleaner or a mechanic, we hope you will find this information valuable in your efforts to shop locally. Make sure to look for the distinctive Gold and Silver Lantern Award stickers in the windows of all of our winners and tell them you read about them (or maybe even voted for them) in the DP Times. This entire pullout section will be available online at www.danapointtimes.com for the entire year. —Andrea Swayne 2009 Best of Dana Point | Page 1 | www.danapointtimes.com


2009 BEST OF

DANA POINT

PEOPLE’S CHOICE L A N T E R N

AWA R DS

BEST RESTAURANT FOR A DATE/ROMANTIC EVENING

Gold Lantern

BEST COFFEE

Gold Lantern

LUCIANA’S

24312 Del Prado, 949.661.6500, www.lucianas.com

CHART HOUSE

34442 Green Lantern St., 949.492.1183, www.chart-house.com

NOMINEES • Restaurant 162’ • Agostino Ristorante • Beach House • Bella Napoli • Bonjour Café • Brio Tuscany Grille • Café Mezzaluna • Cannons • Cassanova Ristorante • Chart House • Dana Kai • Dana Point Yacht Club • El Torito • Gemmell’s • Gen Kai • Harbor Grill • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Ichibiri • Jack’s • Jon’s Fish Market • Luciana’s • Mahe • Mario’s by the Sea • Mori Sushi • Pain du Monde • Ristorante Farrentelli • Renaissance • RJ’s Café • Salt Creek Grille • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern • Thai This • Turk’s • What a Dish • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Chart House; Silver: Gemmell’s

BEST INTERNATIONAL EATS

Gold Lantern

THAI THIS

24501 Del Prado, 949.240.7944, www.thaithis.com

Since 1992 it’s won over the hearts and stomachs of so many people in and around Dana Point. Two year’s, two gold’s, and now you know why. —DZ

Silver Lantern

PEKING DRAGON

34171 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.493.9499, www.pekingdragonrestaurant.com NOMINEES • Agostino’s Ristorante • Aurora’s Taqueria • Bella Napoli • Bonjour Cafe • Brio Tuscany Grille • Buena Vista Market • Café Mezzaluna • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Cassanova • Chronic Taco • Dana Kai • Dana Point Yacht Club • El Patio • El Pollo Loco • El Torito • Gemmel’s • Gen Kai • Harbor Grill • Ichibiri • Jack’s • Kaleyard • Las Golondrinas • Luciana’s • Mahe • Maki Yaki • Mario’s by the Sea • Mori Sushi • New Mandarin Garden • Olamendi’s • Pain du Monde • Peking Dragon • Pick Up Stix • Ristorante Farrentelli • RJ’s Cafe • Shanghai Charlie’s • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Steer Crazy International BBQ • Stella’s Serious Italian • Taco Surf • Thai Dara • Thai This • Yama Teppan House • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Thai This; Silver: Peking Dragon

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

Coffee Importers takes the gold again this year. This harbor fixture has been the morning coffee stop of choice since 1975. With delicious drinks to satisfy coffee-lovers of varied tastes, Coffee Importers offers a delicious array of choices from hot and cold to sweet and bold. Regulars come for the coffee and stay for the conversation as Jim Miller’s beloved hot spot has become an important place where locals come to meet and greet. The Coffee Importers even hosts the Dana Point Civic Association Coffee Chat the third Friday of every month. Stop by and try one of our favorites—the Borgia—a scrumptious concoction of coffee, chocolate and orange. —AS

Featuring homestyle Northern Italian dishes, Luciana’s is like a trip back to Old World Italy. Don’t miss the Pappa al Pomodoro (country style tomato soup) or Thursday night wine tastings.—NG

Silver Lantern

COFFEE IMPORTERS

Silver Lantern Specialty coffees on the patio at Coffee Importers. File photo

BEST BREAKFAST

Gold Lantern

RJ’S CAFÉ

25001 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.218.5757, www.rjscafe.com

Jumping ahead from last year’s second place finish, this is the best breakfast option in town that offers large portions at a reasonable price and a relaxing home-like atmosphere. “We’ve got a great atmosphere, great service and great food at reasonable prices,” server Marina Small said. “Our cozy, tropical-theme at the restaurant allows people who come in to really feel at home.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

HARBOR HOUSE CAFÉ

34157 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.496.9270, www.harborhousecafe.com

NOMINEES • A’s Burgers • Aurora’s Taqueria • Beach Cities Pizza •

Blaz’n Blenders at Coffee Importers • Bonjour Cafe • Café Mezzaluna • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Chronic Tacos • Coffee Importers • Denny’s • Dippity Donuts • Donut World • Harbor Deli • Harbor Grill • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennesseys Tavern • JC Beans • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • Las Golondrinas • Olamendi’s • Pain du Monde • Proud Mary’s • RJ’s Café • Renaissance • Ritz Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Tutor & Spunky’s • St Regis • Starbuck’s • The Brig • Turk’s • What A Dish • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Coffee Importers; Silver: RJ’s Café

34114 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.496.4700, www.jcbeans.com

NOMINEES • Beach Cities Pizza • Bonjour Cafe • Brio Tuscany Grille • Burger King • Carl’s Jr. • Cassanova Ristorante • JC Beans • Café Mezzaluna • Coffee Importers • Dana Point Donuts • Dana Point Yacht Club • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • Juice Stop • Lavender Lounge • McDonalds • Pain du Monde • Proud Mary’s • Renaissance • RJ’s Cafe • Starbucks • The Brig • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Coffee Importers; Silver: Starbucks

BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT

Gold Lantern

BRIO TUSCANY GRILLE

24050 Camino Del Avion, 949.443.1476, www.briorestaurant.com

Brio Tuscany Grille offers a contemporary Italian cuisine ranging from Fettuccine to Filet Mignon with a variety of fine Italian and California wines. Its warm atmosphere, array of moderately priced foods and themed entertainment seven nights a week, make Brio a top pick. This is Brio’s second year winning Best Overall Restaurant. Pepe Rivera has managed Brio Tuscany Grille for the past 12 years and has become well known with the locals. “We make ‘em feel good,” said Rivera. It’s not just ambiance and cuisine that keep a customer coming back. Customer service is paramount. “Ninety percent of the clients that come in, Pepe knows their name,” said Enzo Scognamiglio, proprietor. —SL

Silver Lantern

Best overall restaurant: Brio Tuscany Grille. Photo by Andrea Swayne

JC BEANS

HARBOR GRILL

34499 Golden Lantern Street, 949.240.1416, www.harborgrill.com

NOMINEES • Agostino Ristorante • Aurora’s Taqueria • A’s Burger • Bella Napoli • Blaz’n Blenders at Coffee Importers • Bonjour Cafe • Brio Tuscany Grille • Café Mezzaluna • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Cassanova Ristorante • Chart House • Coffee Importers • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dana Kai • El Patio • El Torito • Gemmell’s • Gen Kai • Harbor House • Harbor Deli • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Ichibiri • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • Jon’s Fish Market • Las Golondrinas • Luciana’s • Mahe • Mario’s by the Sea • Mori Sushi • Olamendi’s • Pain du Monde • Peking Dragon • Proud Mary’s • RJ’s Cafe • Renaissance • Rib Joint • Ristorante Ferrantelli • Salt Creek Grille • Slice of New York • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern • Taco Surf • Thai Dara • Thai This • The Brig • Turk’s • Tutor and Spunky’s Deli • What A Dish • Wind & Sea • Zushi • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Brio Tuscany Grille; Silver: Gemmell’s

2009 Best of Dana Point | Page 3 | www.danapointtimes.com

Voters chose Wind & Sea as their pick for best happy hour. File photo

BEST HAPPY HOUR

Gold Lantern

WIND & SEA

34699 Golden Lantern, 949.496.6500 www.windandsearestaurants.com

So many tasty options, so many great prices. Plus, the waterfront setting adds to the fun when your day’s done and it’s time to unwind. “People get a great value on food and drinks at our happy hour,” Jay Styles, General Manager, said. “Our unique selection of Hawaiian dishes and drinks during our Hawaiian themed happy hour is really popular. I’d say our Mai Tai’s are the biggest selling item. On a busy Friday we’ll sell over 200 of them–sometimes even 300.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

HARPOON HENRY’S

34555 Golden Lantern Street, 949.493.2933, www.windandsearestaurants.com NOMINEES • Agostino Ristorante • Bella Napoli • Brio Tuscany Grille • Café Mezzaluna • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons • Cassonova Ristorante • Chart House • Coconuts • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dana West Yacht Club • El Torito • Gen Kai • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • Mahe • Mario’s by the Sea • Mori Sushi • Pain du Monde • Renaissance • Rib Joint • Salt Creek Grille • St Regis • Stella’s Serious Italian • Steer Crazy International BBQ • Sunsets • Taco Surf • Turk’s • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Brio Tuscany Grille; Silver: Harpoon Henry’s


2009 BEST OF

DANA POINT

PEOPLE’S CHOICE L A N T E R N BEST TACO

Gold Lantern

TACO SURF

34195 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.661.5754, www.tacosurf.com

Purely positive vibrations emanate from this world-renown restaurant and they’ve got the best tacos around in order to satisfy the soul. “Everything is made from scratch, we make it to order and we’ve got a wide selection,” owner George Blake said. “We’ve also got really distinctive flavors that’s a lot better than the fast food mush out there.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

CHRONIC TACOS

34255 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.481.3726, www.eatchronictacos.com

NOMINEES • Aurora’s Taqueria • A’s burgers • Beach House • Buena Vista Market • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Chronic Tacos • Dana Point Yacht Club • Del Taco • El Patio • El Pollo Loco • El Torito • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • Jon’s Fish Market • Las Golondrinas • Olamendi’s • RJ’s Cafe • Salt Creek Grille • Taco Bell • Taco Surf • 2008 WINNERS • Gold (Tie): Taco Surf, Chronic Taco

BEST CUP OF TEA

Gold Lantern

AWA R DS

BEST DONUT

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT DONUTS 34135 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.240.3087

When morning breaks and a quick sugary fix is in order, this store is where you go to find your favorite donut–any kind, any style. “Our donuts are just really good compared to others. They’re nice and soft, not hard, and we have some great baker’s,” Sue Martinez, an employee with Dana Point Donuts, said. —DZ

Silver Lantern

DIPPITY DONUTS

33621 Del Obispo, Suite C, 949.240.6064

NOMINEES • Coffee Importers • Dana Point Donuts • Donut World • Dippity Donuts • Doheny Donut • Donut House • Kelly’s Doughnuts • Starbucks • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Dippity Donuts; Silver: Dana Point Donuts

BEST MENU FOR HEALTHY CHOICES

Gold Lantern

BLAZ’N BLENDERS AT COFFEE IMPORTERS

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

Healthy consumption at all levels is key to enjoying all life has to offer. When you’re out and about looking for that esoteric option that A healthy alternative to the daily grind, Lavenincludes blended smoothies, juices, tonics der Lounge provides patrons an opportunity to and teas, look no further than this particular enjoy a relaxing cup—or glass—of tea in an enestablishment. “We put all natural and organic vironment that is part traditional tea house part ingredients in everything we make,” Lead Barista stylish California café. Lavender Lounge makes Dottie Guido said. “Whether it’s using nutritiona point of buying their teas in small quantities al patterns in our juices and smoothies or just frequently rather than buying in bulk and storing coming up with something fresh and brand new large quantities. This ensures that their beverfor our customers, we make sure everything we ages are always fresh and tasty. Check out one serve is top-notch.” —DZ of their quarterly tea tasting events to sample the many varieties offered here. —AS JAMBA JUICE 32585 Golden Lantern, 949.488.3435 COFFEE IMPORTERS LAVENDER LOUNGE

34135 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.481.3730, www.lavenderloungetea.com

Silver Lantern

Silver Lantern

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

NOMINEES • Beach Cities Pizza • Bonjour Cafe • Café Mezzaluna • Cassanova Ristorante • Coffee Importers • Dana Point Yacht Club • Harbor House • Ralph’s • JC Beans • Lavendar Lounge • Pain du Monde • Peking Dragon • Proud Mary’s • Ritz Carlton • RJ’s Cafe • Shanghai Charlie’s • Starbucks • Thai This • What A Dish • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Coffee Importers; Silver: JC Beans

Lavender Lounge. Photo by Sara Borman

NOMINEES • Blaz’n Blenders at Coffee Importers • Baja Tacos • Bella Napoli • El Pollo Loco • Bonjour Cafe • Brio Tuscany Grille • Café Mezzaluna • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cassanova Ristorante • Dana Point Yacht Club • Denny’s • Gelson’s Market • Harbor Deli • Harbor Grill • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • Ichibiri • Jack in the Box • Jack’s • Jamba Juice • Jolly Roger • Juice Stop • Pain du Monde • Peking dragon • Proud Mary’s • Renaissance • RJ’s Cafe • Salt Creek Grille • Slice of New York • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Starbucks • Subway • Taco Surf • Thai This • Tutor & Spunky’s • What A Dish • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Coffee Importers; Silver: RJ’s Café

Norma Olivares of Dana Point Donuts. Photo by Sara Borman

BEST WINE SELECTION

Gold Lantern

BRIO TUSCANY GRILLE

24050 Camino Del Avion, 949.443.1476, www.briorestaurant.com

The wine list has over 100 varieties to choose from by the bottle and about 25 by the glass. “I believe we have one of the largest wine-by-theglass programs in South County and our customers love that,” said owner Enzo Scognamiglio. “We have become a sort of Cheers-type gathering place for Dana Point. Our customer base is about 95 percent locals. —AS

Silver Lantern

RENAISSANCE

24701 Del Prado, 949.661.6003, www.renaissance-danapoint.com

NOMINEES • Restaurant 162’ • Bella Napoli • Brio Tuscany Grille • Cannons • Cassanova Ristorante • Chart House • Club 19 • Dana Point Cigar & Wine • Dana West Yacht Club • DaVine Food & Wine • Dana Point Yacht Club • Eno at Ritz Carlton • Gelson’s • Gemmell’s • Harbor Grill • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s • Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Luciana’s • Mahe • Motif at the St. Regis • Party Time Liquor • Proud Mary’s • Ralph’s • Renaissance • Ritz Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern • Thai This • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Purple Feet; Silver (Tie): Chart House, Brio Tuscany Grille

2009 Best of Dana Point | Page 4 | www.danapointtimes.com

BEST SANDWICH

Gold Lantern

TUTOR & SPUNKY’S DELI

34085 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.248.3851, www.tutorandspunkys.com

With their “sack lunch special” and free wi-fi, Tutor and Spunky’s Deli offers a wide range of sandwiches with great names like “USC Forever, Humpty Mermaid and The Turkey Trot,” the deli offers something for everyone and the great staff is happy to make your sandwich just the way you like it.—JA

Silver Lantern

BLAZ’N BLENDERS AT COFFEE IMPORTERS

34531 Golden Lantern Street, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

NOMINEES • A’s Burgers • Beach Cities Pizza • Bella Napoli • Blaz’n Blenders at Coffee Importers • Blazing Blenders • Bonjour Cafe • Brio Tuscany Grille • Bubba Kahuna’s • Burger King • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dippity Donuts • El Pollo Loco • Gelson’s • Gemmell’s • Harbor Deli • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jolly Roger • Jon’s Fish Market • Juice Stop • Mahe • Monarch Beach Market • Proud Mary’s • RJ’s Café • Ritz Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Tutor & Spunky’s • Subway • Togo’s • What A Dish • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Coffee Importers; Silver: Tutor & Spunky’s


2009 BEST OF

DANA POINT

PEOPLE’S CHOICE L A N T E R N

AWA R DS

BEST PIZZA

Gold Lantern

BEST MARGARITA

BEACH CITIES PIZZA

Gold Lantern

34473 Golden Lantern Street, 949.496.0606, www.beachcitiespizza.com

Locals know this is the spot to gnosh a slice or order a pizza for take out or delivery. Only the best ingredients are used and that’s why they’re winners. “Our pizza crust is made purely from sourdough and we bake it fresh every day,” 13year employee Francisco Rojas said. “Everything we use is fresh from our vegetables to our Boar’s Head meat.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

34521 Golden Lantern Street, 949.496.6311, www.eltorito.com

There’s nothing chain-related about their margaritas–they’re the best in town for two straight years now. “The quality of the products and using the proper amounts in the recipe is what makes a good margarita,” Federico Iglesias, general manager, said. “We use various types of tequilas depending on what the customer wants, but it is our house margarita that is so popular because of its price and quality.” —DZ

STUFT PIZZA & BREWING 24821 Del Prado, 949.240.6444, www.stuftpizza.com

Silver Lantern

NOMINEES • Agostino Ristorante • Beach Cities Pizza • Bella Napoli • Brio Tuscany Grille • Bubba Kahuna’s • Cassanova Ristorante • Domino’s Pizza • Dana Point Yacht Club • Izza Neapolitan Pizza • Jack’s • Kokomo’s • Papa Murphy’s • Pizza Hut • Round Table • Slice of New York • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stuft Pizza • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Beach Cities Pizza; Silver: Stuft Pizza

TACO SURF

34195 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.661.5754, www.tacosurf.com

NOMINEES • Aventura Sailing • Brio Tuscany Grille • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Dana West Yacht Club • Dana Point Yacht Club • El Torito • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack’s • Mahe • Olamendi’s • Proud Mary’s • Ristorante Farrentelli • Salt Creek Grille • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern • Taco Surf • Turk’s • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: El Torito; Silver: Taco Surf

BEST SUSHI

Gold Lantern

EL TORITO MEXICAN GRILL

GEN KAI

34143 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.240.2004

Despite suffering a fire in late October that shut the restaurant down through the start of 2010, Gen Kai repeats as your favorite sushi spot. The sushi bar is the place to be seen in town. —NG

Silver Lantern

MAHE

24961 Dana Point Harbor Dr., 949.240.6243, www.eatatmahe.com

NOMINEES • Dana Kai • Gen Kai • Ichibiri • Mahe • Maki Yaki • Mori Sushi • Sushi Kiyo • Yama Teppan House • Zushi • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Gen Kai; Silver: Dana Kai

Elise Hart and Audrey Borman at the Scoop Deck. Photo by Sara Borman

BEST BAR

Gold Lantern

TURK’S

Silver Lantern

BEST SPOT TO CURE A SWEET TOOTH

34683 Golden Lantern, 949.496.9028

The waterfront view and colorful crowd draw people here and the talented mix-ologists behind the bar keep them coming back. Hate watered-down drinks? No worries; that never happens here. Turk’s friendly bartenders are notorious for not skimping on the good stuff. —AS

Gold Lantern Francisco Rojas of Beach Cities Pizza holds an award-winning pie. Photo by Sara Borman

BRIO TUSCANY GRILLE

24050 Camino Del Avion, 949.443.1476, www.briorestaurant.com

NOMINEES • Agostino Ristorante • Brio Tuscany Grille • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cassanova Ristorante • Coconuts • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dana West Yacht Club • El Torito • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • Luciana’s • Mahe • Proud Mary’s • Renaissance • Ritz Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • Savanah • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern • Sunsets • Taco Surf • Thai This • Turk’s • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Turk’s; Silver: Brio Tuscany Grille

BEST BURGER

Gold Lantern

34344 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.496.4460

It’s no secret that A’s Burgers is the best around. It’s like eating a little slice of heaven when you sink your teeth into a tender, juicy and madeto-order burger from this restaurant. And delicious sides like fried zucchini, onion rings and awesome crispy fries keep your mouth watering and planning that next trip in almost as soon as you’re done. —DZ

Silver Lantern

Turk’s waitress Annie Kay. Photo by Sara Borman

A’S BURGERS

HENNESSEY’S TAVERN 34111 La Plaza, 949.488.0121, www.hennesseystavern.com

NOMINEES • A’s Burgers • Blue Dolphin • Brio Tuscany Grill • Burger King • Carl’s Jr. • Dana Point Yacht Club • Del Taco • Denny’s • Dippity Donuts • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • McDonalds • Proud Mary’s • RJ’s Cafe • Renaissance • Ritz Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Stonehill Tavern • The Brig • Turk’s • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: A’s Burgers; Silver: Hennessy’s

BEST APPETIZER

Gold Lantern

SALT CREEK GRILLE

32802 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.661.7799, saltcreekgrille.com

Featuring a wonderful, warm California contemporary setting, Salt Creek Grille offers a dynamic menu featuring its award-winning pork chop, Chilean sea bass and delicious steaks. Don’t miss Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. —NG

Silver Lantern

HARPOON HENRY’S

34555 Golden Lantern St., 949.493.2933, windandsearestaurants.com

NOMINEES • Beach House • Bella Napoli • Brio Tuscany Grille • Café Mezzaluna • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons • Cassanova Ristorante • Chart House • Dana Point Yacht Club • El Torito • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • Luciana’s • Mahe • Motif at the St. Regis • Pain du Monde • Peking Dragon • Renaissance • Ritz Carlton Sundeck • Salt Creek Grille • Smokey’s House of BBQ • St Regis Lobby Lounge • Stella’s Serious Italian • Thai This • Turk’s • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold (Tie): Harpoon Henry’s, Jack’s

2009 Best of Dana Point | Page 5 | www.danapointtimes.com

SCOOP DECK AT COFFEE IMPORTERS

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

Would you like that in a cup or a cone? Scoop Deck overlooks the harbor and is a great place to satisfy that sweet tooth. On the harbor, the patio is a relaxing spot where customers can enjoy a refreshing ice cream, and with a variety of 24 flavors, one is sure to be a favorite. Since 1975 Jim Miller has been serving customers a variety of foods and beverages with a view. “This patio represents the character and family atmosphere of Dana Point,” said Miller.—SL

Silver Lantern

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CAKE (tie)

Silver Lantern

CHOCOLATE SOLIDER (tie)

24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive, # B100, 949.240.7100, www.itsallaboutthecake.com

34513 Golden Lantern Street, 949.493.4135, www.thechocolatesoldier.com

NOMINEES • Agostino Ristorante • AM PM • Baskin Robbins • Bella Napoli • Café Mezzaluna • Cannons • Cassanova Ristorante • Chocolate Soldier • Circle K • Coffee Importers • Dana Point Donuts • DaVine Food & Wine • Dippity Donuts • Dana Point Yacht Club • Gelato Paradiso • Gelson’s Bakery • Gemmell’s • Harbor House • Harpoon Henry’s • It’s All About the Cake • Lavender Lounge • McDonalds • Pain du Monde • Salt Creek Grille • Scoop Deck at Coffee Importers • Sprinkles • Starbucks • What a Dish • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Scoop Deck; Silver: It’s All About The Cake


2009 BEST OF

DANA POINT

PEOPLE’S CHOICE L A N T E R N BEST VENUE FOR LIVE MUSIC

Gold Lantern

RENAISSANCE

24701 Del Prado, 949.661.6003, www.renaissance-danapoint.com

There’s no other venue in town like it. A well-placed stage, lush atmosphere and open acoustics make for a great live music experience. “We’ve just got a great atmosphere and we get awesome bands from around southern California to play here,” manager Angie Del Rosso said. “I really think we’re spoiled with the kind of talent we get – really great musicians. Plus, our crowd is about 95 percent local which adds to the flavor.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

BRIO TUSCANY GRILLE

24050 Camino Del Avion, 949.443.1476, www.briorestaurant.com

NOMINEES • Brio Tuscany Grille • Café Mezzaluna • Cassanova Ristorante • Coconuts • Dana West Yacht Club • Dana Wharf • Doheny Beach • Dana Point Yacht Club • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Heritage Park • Lantern Bay Park • La Plaza Park • Lord of the Strings at Community House • Mahe • Ocean Institute • Renaissance • Rib Joint • Salt Creek Grille • St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort • Stella’s Serious Italina • Taco Surf • Turk’s • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Renaissance; Silver: Brio Tuscany Grille

BEST HAIR SALON

Gold Lantern

SALON ROUGE (TIE)

34255 Pacific Coast Highway Ste. 117, 949.489.1565, www.salonrougedanapoint.com

If you are looking for that special cut, new color, hair extensions, or just want to get your nails done, Salon Rouge is at the top of the list. Tate Clifton, owner, wants her clients to feel like they are in an upscale salon yet feel comfortable and relaxed knowing they will be taken care of by true professionals. “We really value customer service, clients feel listened to,” said Clifton. After 20 plus years of styling hair, Clifton decided to go into business for herself. She is three years into it and attributes some of her success to the energy she puts into making her clients feel like they have gotten their money’s worth, especially in this economy she said. She speaks highly of her stylists and how they work well together. “All of us feel the same way, our client comes first,” said Clifton. —SL

Gold Lantern

SALON REVELATION (TIE)

BEST DAY SPA

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT BODY CENTRE 24629 Del Prado, 949.487.0891, www.danapointbodycentre.com

Who wants to unwind and feel the pleasures of physical and spiritual relaxation in a crowded and noisy environment? That just won’t do. Dana Point Body Centre offers an array of body therapy and skin care in a quiet environment where you can enjoy the fruits of life in all its tantalizing and harmonious glory. “We’re a small low-key place without hustle and bustle that a big time spa attracts,” staff receptionist Tiffany Herzog said. “People come here to get quality massages, facials, body wraps, scrubs and such and really get to enjoy the setting and the experience.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

WHITE LOTUS

24582 Del Prado, 949.496.2977

NOMINEES • Azalea Salon and Boutique • Dana Point Bodycentre • Dawn’s Day Spa • Laguna Cliffs Marriott resort and spa • Massage Envy • Paragon Salon • Pacific Acupuncture Center • Pure Clover • Real Skin Solutions • Ritz Carlton • Spa Gaucin at St. Regis • Talega Day Spa • Vivos Fitness • White Lotus Day Spa • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Ritz Carlton; Silver: Spa Gaucin

BEST BARBER SHOP

Gold Lantern

THE KINGS CLUB BARBERSHOP

34085 La Plaza, 949.496.4644

This classic and clean setting is so inviting it’s come leaps and bounds from second all the way to the top spot for the first time. “We are the home of the old-fashioned hand shake – you come in, get a nice haircut with a straight razor clean up, and a splash of Bay Rum after shave that will have you smelling good for ladies,” owner Mike Swenson said. “And we’ve got a humidor in the barber shop too, so our clients can hang out and have a stogie after their haircut.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

SPORTS BARBER

34221 Golden Lantern Street, 949.493.6081

NOMINEES • Aloha Barber • Hair Affair Salon • Johns Barber Shop • JTC Salon • Kings Club Barbershop • Monarch Bay Haircutters • Pro Hair Cutters • Reflections Salon • Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa • Salon Connection • Salon Revelation • Salon Rouge • Sports Barber • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Sports Barber; Silver: The Kings Club Barbershop

Pulse Fitness. Photo by Sara Borman

BEST GYM OR FITNESS STUDIO

Gold Lantern

PULSE GYM

24470 Del Prado, 949.488.7700, www.pulsefitnessdp.com

Their mantra: “We know how to get people in the best shape possible.” The bottom line: No gimmicks, only the best in gym quality and in personal training service. “Part of the main attraction is that we have a small intimate setting in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere,” owner Kristie Hugstead-Brotherton said. “We also have effective cutting edge workouts that we provide and our overall facility encompasses every component of fitness in one stop.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

FITNESS TOGETHER

34255 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste 107-108, 949.488.0005, www.fitnesstogether.com

NOMINEES • Biodynamax Training Gym • Curves • Dana Point Health Club • DP Athletic Club • Fit Club Outdoor Bootcamp • Fitness Together • Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu • Jazzercise • Kardia Life Fitness • Palestra Gym • Pulse Fitness • Reform Pilates • Westwind Sailing, Stand Up Paddle in the Harbor • Vivos Fitness • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Pulse Fitness; Silver: Dana Point Athletic Club

34192 Violet Lantern, 949.248.8595

Gold Lantern

POSH NAILS

24040 Camino Del Avion #8, 949.496.7674

Attentive service and friendly technicians set this nail salon apart. Customers enjoy the pampering while lounging in ultra-comfortable massaging lounge chairs in an impeccably clean environment. Posh Nails offers an experience that lives up to its name—posh. —AS

Silver Lantern

TOP NAILS & HAIR

33611 Del Obispo St, #E, 949.234.9863, www.topnailsandhair.com

NOMINEES • Aloha Nails • Azalea Salon & Boutique • Dana Skin & Nails • Design Nails • Friendly Nails • Happy Nails • JTC Salon • Laguna Cliffs Marriott Spa • My Le Salon • Natural Nails • Ocean Nails • Paragon Salon • Posh Nails • Pretty Nails • Pro Nails • Salon De La Mer • Salon Rouge • Salon Surreal • Spa Gaucin at St. Regis • The Nail Company • Tic Tac Nails • Top Nails • White Lotus Day Spa • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Posh Nails; Silver: Top Nails

BEST PET GROOMING DAWGY STYLE

34085 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.496.3315, www.todawgystyle.com

Offering top quality grooming for “dawgs and kats,” Dawgy Style is Dana Point’s premier pet grooming shop. Not only do they shampoo, groom and cut your pet’s hair, they offer hair coloring and will work with difficult dogs and cats. If you want the best, Dawgy Style has it. —JA

Silver Lantern

SOUTH PAW DOG WASH (TIE)

Silver Lantern

DANA POINT GROOMING AND PET SPA (TIE)

34155 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.248.9910

AZALEA SALON AND BOUTIQUE

24452 Del Prado Avenue, 949.248.3406, www.azaleasalonandboutique.com NOMINEES • Azalea Salon and Boutique • Ego Salon • Howard Jones Salon • JTC Salon • Kings Club Barber • Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa • Martha’s Beauty Salon • My Le Salon • Paragon Salon • Reflections Salon • Salon Connection • Salon De La Mer • Salon Revelation • Salon Rouge • Salon Surreal • Salon Utopia • Shine Hair Studio • The Haircutters • Vogue Salon • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Salon Rouge; Silver: Azalea Salon and Boutique

BEST MANICURE AND PEDICURE

Gold Lantern

If you are looking for one of the best places to get a haircut or style, or maybe some color try Salon Revelation. The salon has been owned and operated for nine years by, Dayna Dallas, master stylist and colorist. Customers receive good quality service and feel comfortable in the salon; they don’t feel like they have to get dressed up to get their hair done, and customers like that, said Dallas. Set between two landmarks in Dana Point, Salon Revelation is in a good location and is easy to locate. —SL

Silver Lantern

AWA R DS

34102 La Plaza, Suite B, 949.429.7297, www.danapointgrooming.com

Scotty Young of The Kings Club Barbershop. Photo by Sara Borman

2009 Best of Dana Point | Page 6 | www.danapointtimes.com

NOMINEES • Alpha • Animal Crackers • Aussie Pet Mobile • Beach Dogue • Beauty in the Beast • Dana Niguel Veterinary • Dana Point Grooming and Pet Spa • Dawgy Style • Estrella Pet Grooming • Golden Lantern Animal Hospital • Home Town Grooming • Petsmart • South Paw Dog Wash • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Petsmart; Silver: Dawgy Style


2009 BEST OF

DANA POINT

PEOPLE’S CHOICE L A N T E R N

AWA R DS

BEST LODGING

Gold Lantern

ST. REGIS

One Monarch Beach Resort, 949.234.3200, www.stregismb.com

Where elegance and fine relaxation meet and melt away stress, the St. Regis in Monarch Beach is the best in lodging while offering other excellent benefits. “St. Regis Monarch Beach compliments the uniqueness of Dana Point as a luxurious destination that offers 5/5 service, the finest dining options, amenities and activities that are bespoke to the resort,” Amanda Feld, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator, said. —DZ

Silver Lantern

LAGUNA CLIFFS MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA

25135 Park Lantern, 888.476.2405, www.lagunacliffs.com

NOMINEES • Blue Lantern Inn • Capistrano Surfside Inn • Dana Marina Inn • Doubletree Guest Suites • Holiday Inn Express • Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa • Ritz-Carlton • Riviera Beach and Spa Resort • St. Regis Monarch Beach • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Ritz-Calrton, Silver: Laguna Cliffs Marriott

BEST JEWELRY

Gold Lantern

SWISS CONNECTION

32565 Golden Lantern Ste. A, 949.488.0900, www.jeanjacquesmamie.com

The Swiss Connection offers the highest quality jewelry with an equally impressive selection to match. Jean-Jacques Mamie is a second generation watch maker straight from Bonfol, Switzerland, and still carries the heavy Swiss-French accent to prove it. A GIA Graduate of Gemology, Jewelry and Watch making, Mamie came to the states to share his knowledge and work on watches such as Piaget, Corum, Movado and Cartier. What other than credentials makes the Swiss Connection stand out in a crowd? “I try to do the impossible for the customer,” said Mamie.—SL

Silver Lantern

MARINELLI FINE JEWELRY 12 Monarch Bay Drive, 949.443.4030

NOMINEES • Angelo’s • Art Sea • Azalea Salon & Boutique • Bella Bazaar • Dana Point Jewelers • Downstairs Store • Festival of Whales Street Faire • Girl in the Curl • Golden Galleon • Hobie • Jean-Jacques Mamie at St. Regis • JW Jewelry • Marinelli Fine Jewelers • Momilani’s • Monaco Jewelers • Salon Rouge • Swiss Connection • White Pelican • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Swiss Connection, Silver: Dana Point Jeweler

BEST CAR REPAIR

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT SHELL

34137 Pacific Coast Highway, 949.496.2090, www.danapointshell.com

With some of the best ASE certified master technicians around, this crew cares about your safety on the road, your car’s performance and honest dealings. —DZ

Silver Lantern

OLD TOWN GARAGE

25861 Domingo Avenue, Capistrano Beach, 949.489.1281

NOMINEES • Dana Point Auto Service • Dana Point Foreign Car Service • Dana Point Shell • Luna Auto Repair • Old Town Garage • Performance Haus • Ruben’s Imports • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Shell on PCH; Silver (Tie): Performance Haus, Ruben Imports

BEST CLOTHING

Gold Lantern

HOBIE

24825 Del Prado, 949.496.2366, www.hobie.com

Hobie Alter opened the first surf shop in Dana Point in 1954, and since then Hobie has been a cornerstone shop for surfers and watermen and women of all ages. —NG

Silver Lantern Silver Lantern

Hobie’s Taylor Rosskopf. Photo by Sara Borman

GOLDEN GALLEON (tie)

34677 Golden Lantern, 949.493.8521

KILLER DANA (tie)

24621 Del Prado, 949.489.8380, www.killerdana.com

NOMINEES • Bella Bazaar • Carmady Street • Fuller’s • Girl in the Curl • Golden Galleon • Hobie • Infinity Surfboards • Jack’s Surfboards • Junqies • Killer Dana • Mel’s Boutique • Millie • Monarch Silks • Roxanne’s • Sea Styles • Shades of Red • Gift Shop at the St. Regis • Top Brass • Tutta Bella • Upstairs Store • West Marine • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Golden Galleon; Silver: Hobie

BEST STORE TO BUY GIFTS FOR KIDS

Gold Lantern

THE WEE LOFT

32585 Golden Lantern, Ste. #K, 949.489.9202, theweeloft.com

It’s back-to-back Golden Lanterns for The Wee Loft, your favorite spot for unique, classic kids toys. “We offer something different you won’t see anywhere else,” said Annette Garcia, who along with Erin Kelly opened the shop 20 years ago this summer. —NG

Silver Lantern

OCEAN INSTITUTE

24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., 949.496.2274, ocean-institute.org

NOMINEES • Bella Bazaar • Ocean Institute • Colors of the Wind • Downstairs Store • Fairytales Boutique • Girl in the Curl • Hobie • Infinity Surfboards • Kenny’s Music • Killer Dana • Momilani’s • The Wee Loft • Upstairs Store • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Wee Loft, Silver: Fairy Tales

BEST STORE TO BUY THE PERFECT GIFT FOR ADULTS

Gold Lantern

Stop in and see co-owner Annett Garcia at The Wee Loft for unique gifts, educational toys and those that are just plain fun, like these popular and very collectible, UGLYDOLLS. Photo by Sara Borman

THE UPSTAIRS STORE

34665 Golden Lantern Street, 949.661.3787, www.danapointharbor.com/Upstairs.html

Located in the Dana Point harbor, The Upstairs Store offers an outstanding range of gifts for your friends or loved ones. Whether you’re looking for jewelry, home décor or just any gift; The Upstairs Store has it. Drop by and pick up something for that special someone or treat

2009 Best of Dana Point | Page 8 | www.danapointtimes.com

yourself to something unique and beautiful.—JA

Silver Lantern

BELLA BAZAAR

34091 Pacific Coast Hwy, 949.429.6200, www.bellabazaar.com

NOMINEES • Art Sea • Bella Bazaar • Dana Point Body Centre • Chocolate Soldier • Club 19 Pro Shop at St. Regis • Downstairs Store • Hobie • Infinity Surfboards • Intimate Obsessions • Junqies • Kenny’s Music • Killer Dana • Kings Club Barbershop • McCool Flowers • Mille Fleurs • Momilani’s • Monarch Bay Pharmacy • Ocean Institute • Radio Shack • Upstairs store • West Marine • Whimsey Hollow • White Pelican • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Downstairs Store, Silver: Hobie

BEST DRY CLEANER

Gold Lantern

RAYMAR CLEANERS

Silver Lantern

PACIFIC CLEANERS

34085 La Plaza Place, 949.496.2640

Dana Point’s first dry cleaner is now its Golden Lantern winner. Opened 47 years ago, Raymar has been owned by Steve and Ann Chung for the past six years. “I love our customers,” said Ann. “We offer quality service and have a strong relationship with our customers.” —NG 34098 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.240.2994

NOMINEES • Celebrity Cleaners • Dana Point Dry Cleaning & Laundry • Elite Dry Cleaners • Excel Cleaners • Good Hands • Michel’s Cleaners • Monarch Bay Cleaners • Pacific Dry Cleaners • Raymar Cleaners • Royal Cleaners • Sunny Fresh Cleaners • Sunshine Cleaners • Threads • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Celebrity Cleaners, Silver: Raymar Cleaners


2009 BEST OF

DANA POINT

PEOPLE’S CHOICE L A N T E R N

AWA R DS

BEST HOME DÉCOR AND FURNISHINGS

Gold Lantern

THE DOWNSTAIRS STORE

34525 Golden Lantern Street, 949.496.1424, www.downstairsstore.com

“We know most of our customers by name, even regulars from out of state. We love to provide a high level of customer service and it keeps people coming back,” said owner Louise Olson. Head to The Downstairs Store located in the Dana Point harbor! With constantly rotating merchandise no two visits to the store are the same. Give it a visit and see what treasure you can discover. —AS

Silver Lantern

BELLA BAZAAR

34091 Pacific Coast Hwy,949.429.6200, www.bellabazaar.com

NOMINEES • Bella Bazaar • Downstairs Store • Ganahl Lumber • Jeddy’s Interiors • McCool Flowers • Ocean Institute Gift Shop • Stats • Timeless Teak • Treasures • Tutta Bella • Upstairs Store • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Upstairs Store; Silver: McKee & Co.

BEST PLACE TO BUY FLOWERS

Gold Lantern

McCOOL FLOWERS

32585 Golden Lantern, Suite J, 949.488.7988, www.mccoolflowers.com

From formal dance corsages for high schoolers to wedding flowers for your special day, McCool Flowers has it all. Stop in to speak with a talented floral designer eager to create a beautiful design you are sure to love. If you’re in a hurry, they also stock gorgeous freshly made arrangements every day. McCool Flowers has become a community favorite and part of many local families’ holiday traditions by hosting an annual Holiday Open House complete with refreshments, carolers and a visit from Santa himself. —AS

Silver Lantern

BROWNE’S FLOWERS

31456 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.661.4748, www.brownesflowers.com

NOMINEES • Beach Flower • Browne’s Flowers • Farmer’s Market • Flower Girl • Iva Bloom • McCool Flowers • Ralph’s • Salt Creek Flowers • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Browne’s Flowers; Silver: McCool Flowers

Killer Dana’s Eric Simons. Photo by Sara Borman

BEST SURF SHOP

Gold Lantern

KILLER DANA

24621 Del Prado, 949.489.8380, www.killerdana.com

Unbeatable selection at unbeatable prices is why Killer Dana has once again nailed down the gold for the second straight year. Not only is the surf apparel sharp and couth, but the gear is solid. Also, if you’re ever looking for a new or used board to dig on for that next sweet barrel this place will get you moving again and hook you up without breaking the bank. Ride on! “This is a local spot where everyone comes,” Kayla Brawner, floor salesperson, said. “I would say the staff that works here handle customers really well, providing excellent customer service, while at the same time trying to make every visit that much better so you’ll come back again and again.” —DZ

Silver Lantern

HOBIE

24825 Del Prado, 949.496.2366, www.hobie.com

NOMINEES • Girl in Curl • Hobie • Infinity Surfboards • Jack’s Surfboards • Killer Dana • OC Surf and Sport • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Killer Dana; Silver: Hobie

BEST SURF BREAK

Gold Lantern Cathy McCool of McCool Flowers. Photo by Sara Borman

SALT CREEK

33333 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.923.2280, www.ocparks.com/saltcreekbeach

Salt Creek has always been a fave among surfers. The waves here are often fast, steep and challenging offering up thrills for recreational and competitive surfers alike. Long lefts peeling off the point and rights straight out front often

stay hollow giving surfers many chances at getting barreled. —AS DOHENY STATE BEACH

Silver Lantern

25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.496.6171, www,ocparks.com

NOMINEES • Doheny • Gravels • Salt Creek • Dana Strands • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Salt Creek; Silver: Dana Strands

BEST BEACH

Gold Lantern

SALT CREEK BEACH

makes this park an ideal setting for a wedding. Heritage Park plays host to a number of city events such as the Shakespeare Festival. —AS

Silver Lantern

LANTERN BAY PARK

25111 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.248.3530

NOMINEES • Baby Beach • Bluff Top Trail • Badlands Park • Canyon Park • Capistrano Beach • Creekside Park • Dana Point Harbor • Doheny State Park • Dana Point Harbor Island • Palisades Gazebo • Harry Otsubo Community Gardens • Heritage Park • Highland Park • Lantern Bay Park • Ocean Institute • Pines Park • Sampson Overview Gazebo • Salt Creek Beach Park • Sea Canyon • Sea Terrace Park • Shipwreck Park • Sunset Park • Thunderbird Park • Vista Park at Strand • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Pines Park; Silver: Strands Park

33333 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.923.2280, www.ocparks.com/saltcreekbeach

With ample parking, a snack bar, showers and restrooms this beautiful stretch of sand is a favorite among both locals and tourists. The beach sits below the Ritz-Carlton and can be accessed easily via a paved path from the parking lot on Ritz-Carlton Drive. Though the walk down is easy, some may find the uphill return trip a bit strenuous. Most visitors agree that the walk back up to the parking lot is worth it—and a good workout for the “glutes” too. —AS

With top-notch dining, boutique shops, fishing trips, legendary bars, the Catalina ferry and much more, Dana Point Harbor is a must-stop for all visitors to town. —NG

Silver Lantern

Silver Lantern

DANA STRAND BEACH

NOMINEES • Baby Beach • Capistrano Beach • Doheny • Monarch Beach • Salt Creek • Dana Strands • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Salt Creek; Silver: Dana Strand

BEST PARK

Gold Lantern

HERITAGE PARK

25111 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.248.3530

One of the most picturesque parks in Dana Point, Heritage Park offers a great view overlooking the harbor and the large grassy area

2009 Best of Dana Point | Page 9 | www.danapointtimes.com

BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT HARBOR

949.923.2255, danapointharbor.com

OCEAN INSTITUTE

24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., 949.496.2274, ocean-institute.org

NOMINEES • Beach House • Bella Napoli • Blaz’n Blenders • Blue Lantern Gazebo • Brio Tuscany Grille • Cannons • Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari • Cassanova Ristorante • Chart House • Coffee Importers • Dana Point Harbor • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching • Doheny State Beach • Gemmell’s • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Heritage Park • Infinity Surfboards • Jon’s Fish Market • Killer Dana • Kings Club Barbershop • Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Lantern Bay Park • Luciana’s • Mahe’ • Monarch Bay Club • Ocean Institute • Proud Mary’s • R.J.’s Cafe • Renaissance • Ritz Carlton • Salt Creek Beach • Scoop Deck • Smokey’s House of BBQ • St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort • Strand Beach • Taco Surf • The Ocean Institute • Turk’s • Vista Park at Headlands • Wind & Sea • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Dana Point Harbor; Silver: Chart House


2009 BEST OF

DANA POINT

PEOPLE’S CHOICE L A N T E R N

AWA R DS

BEST CITY EVENT

Gold Lantern

BEST YACHT/BOAT SERVICING/MAINTENANCE COMPANY

FESTIVAL OF WHALES

949.496.5794, www.festivalofwhales.com

The annual celebration of the migration of the California Gray Whale has become a two weekend extravaganza with parades, parties, whale watching cruises, live music and much more. This year’s event will be held March 6-7 and March 13-14. —NG

Silver Lantern

Gold Lantern

TURKEY TROT www.turkeytrot.com

Silver Lantern

DANA POINT YACHT CLUB 24399 Dana Drive, 949.496.2900, www.dpyc.org

Silver Lantern

LAGUNA CLIFFS MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA

25135 Park Lantern, 888.476.2405, www.lagunacliffs.com

NOMINEES • Blue Lantern Inn • Cannons • Chart House • Dana Point Harbor • Dana Point Yacht Club • Doheny Beach • Dana Point Sailing and Event Center • Heritage Park • Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Lantern Bay Park • Monarch Bay Club • Ocean Institute • Park over Strand in Niguel Shores • Pines Park • Ritz Carlton • Salt Creek Beach • Salt Creek Grille • Sampson Overview Gazebo • St. Regis Monarch Beach • St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Laguna Cliffs Marriott; Silver: Blue Lantern Gazebo

DANA POINT SHIPYARD 34671 Puerto Place, 949.661.1313, www.danapoint-shipyard.com

NOMINEES • Aqua Tech • Aventura Sailing • Captain’s Choice • Custom Yacht Service • Dana Point Marine Services • Dan Brown • Dana Point Shipyard • Dana Point Yacht Maintenance • Detail Depot • Dick Simon Yachts • Dolphin Divers • John Ross Marine • Marine Care & Repair • Mariner’s Yacht & Ship Brokerage • Mission Hull • Nordhavn • Outbound Yacht Services • Philip McSherry Refrigeration • Sea Power Marine • South Mountain Yachts • The Glass Bottom Boat • Tony Cozad Yacht Services • VMG Sails • West Marine • White Water Marine • 2008 WINNERS (Last year the word “service” was not specified as maintenance services) • Gold: Dana Island Yachts; Silver: Curlew Charters

BEST WEDDING VENUE

For beautiful harbor views and spectacular sunsets plan your special day at Dana Point Yacht Club. The elegant and romantic feel are part of what makes it the best wedding venue in the area. With chandeliers and high-vaulted ceilings the banquet room is second to none. —SL

24681 Aquilla Drive, 949.493.2321

“We’ve been in the harbor for 34 years and a lot of our clients have been with us for that entire time,” said owner Dave Greuel. “We take great pride in our work and treat our customers the way we would like to be treated ourselves.” —AS

NOMINEES • 4th of July • Boat Show • Boat Parade of Lights • Dana Point Grand Prix • Shakespeare Festival • Doheny Blues Festival • Arts Festival • Festival of Whales • Movies in the Park • Concerts in the Park • Surf Fest • Tall Ships Festival • Turkey trot • Wag-A-Thon • Winter Festival • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Festival of Whales; Silver: Tall Ships Festival

Gold Lantern

MISSION HULL

Best wedding venue: Dana Point Yacht Club. Photo by Sara Borman

BEST TACKLE SHOP

Gold Lantern

THE JIG STOP

34186 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.3555, www.jigstop.com

For 46 years The Jig Stop has been serving its customers in Dana Point and the surrounding area. It is known to be the largest seller of saltwater fishing equipment locally. The shop offers a huge selection, low prices, and knowledgeable help backed by years of experience. What makes The Jig Stop the best pick for a tackle shop? “We know the area better than anybody,”

BEST HULL AND BOTTOM

said David Myers, owner. “We know the town; CLEANER we know the people; we know the fishing.” Another aspect of what makes this shop special is DOLPHIN DIVERS 24382 Caracas St., 949.661.6878 the travel department, so if you are interested in taking your fishing trip on the road, talk with the “We are honest, have integrity and answer tour department and let their travel experts plan the phone. In a nutshell we do what we are supposed to do,” said owner Jeff Barnett.“Our every aspect of your trip. —SL consistent quality earns customer loyalty.” —AS DANA WHARF SPORTFISHED REINER DIVING (TIE) ING AND WHALE WATCHING

Gold Lantern

Silver Lantern

34675 Golden Lantern Street, 949.496.5794, www.danawharf.com

Silver Lantern

760.721.1928, www.edreinerdiving.com

NOMINEES • Ace Hardware • Dana Wharf Sportfishing • Hogan’s Bait & Tackle • Jig Stop • Moody Marlin • West Marine • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Jig Stop; Silver: Dana Wharf Sportfishing

Silver Lantern

DANA HARBOR MARINE SERVICE (TIE)

11 Brighton Place, Laguna Niguel, 949.493.6762

NOMINEES • Bare Bottoms Boat Cleaning • Dana Harbor Marine Service • Dana Point Marine Services • Dana Point Shipyard • Dana Point Yacht Maintenance • Dolphin Divers • Ed Reiner Diving • Efishensea Marine • Leading Edge Yacht Services • Mission Hull • Ocean Divers • Ocean Diving Services • Pacifico Yacht Services • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Ed Reiner Diving; Silver: Dolphin Divers

BEST HARBOR RECREATION/EXCURSION BEST YACHT CLUB

Gold Lantern

DANA WHARF SPORTFISHING AND WHALE WATCHING

34675 Golden Lantern, 949.496.5794, www.danawharf.com

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT YACHT CLUB 24399 Dana Drive, 949.496.2900, www.dpyc.org

Dubbed “the friendliest yacht club on the coast” the Dana Point Yacht Club offers its members a wide range of benefits. Owned by the members, the club offers social gatherings, activities and boat racing for its members and guests. —JA

Silver Lantern

DANA WEST YACHT CLUB 24601 Dana Dr., 949.661.1185, www.dwyc.org

NOMINEES • Aventura Sailing • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dana West Yacht Club • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Dana Point Yacht Club; Silver: Dana West Yacht Club

From sportfishing and dolphin and whale watching to cruising the harbor, Dana Wharf offers many opportunities for fun in the waters around Dana Point. Seasonal nighttime squid fishing trips also offer an adrenaline pumping fast and furious experience for more adventurous types. This full-service outfitter has rental rods/reels, tackle and supplies—all the gear needed to reel in the catch of the day. —AS

Silver Lantern

CAPT. DAVE’S DOLPHIN & WHALE SAFARI

24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.488.2828, www.dolphinsafari.com

NOMINEES • Aventura Sailing Association • Boat Rides with Santa • Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari • Catalina Express • Catalina Flyer • Curlew Yacht Charter • Boat Parade of Lights • Dana Point Youth Center • Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching • Dana Point Yacht Club • Jet Skiing • Kayaking • Ocean Institute • Seahorse Sportfishing • Stand Up Paddling • Turkey Trot • Wag-a-thon • Walking the Harbor • Westwind Sailing • 2008 WINNERS • Gold: Dana Wharf Sportfishing; Silver: Dana Point Jet Ski

Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching. Photo by Sara Borman

2009 Best of Dana Point | Page 10 | www.danapointtimes.com


Dana Point Times Best of 2009  
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