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A hearty congratulations to this year’s winners of the Dana Point Times 4th Annual Lantern Awards. In 2011, it was the best of times and the worst of times for the small, medium and large businesses that keep this beautiful harbor community moving. While the economy continued to recover, companies and their employees hunkered down and some, sadly, didn’t make it. This just gives us all the more reason to salute — and patronize — the ones who survived not by taking shortcuts but by streamlining their business and continuing to impress us. With our hectic schedules filled with school, work and play, we often take for granted the folks who ease our lives. They groom Fido. They clean our work shirts and keep our water craft up and running. They help us keep our fitness routines. They keep our bellies filled and put smiles on our faces. So cheers to all the winners and the hundreds of nominees. — Andrea Swayne The Shwack Beach Grill earned top burger honors their first year in Dana Point. Photo by Andrea Swayne


• Best Happy Hour •

Gold Lantern

Wind & Sea 34699 Golden Lantern, 949.496.6500, www.windandsearestaurants.com

With a beautiful harborside patio, drink specials and pupus, it’s no wonder Dana Point locals voted Wind & Sea a top choice for best happy hour. Specially priced beer, Mai-tais and wines paired with calamari strips, teriyaki tidbits or sashimi are just a few available accompaniments to an enjoyable afternoon sunset on the lanai. —AS

Silver Lantern

Harpoon Henry’s

34555 Golden Lantern, 949.493.2933 www.windandsearestaurants.com/harpoonhenrys NOMINEES: 180 Blu at The Ritz-Carlton • Brio Tuscany Grille • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons Restaurant • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant &Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Dana West Yacht Club • El Torito • Gemmell’s Restaurant • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Harbor House Café • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s Restaurant • Jolly Roger • Luxe Restaurant and Bar • Mahé • Mori Sushi • OverVue Lounge at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Proud Mary’s • Renaissance • Salt Creek Grille • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis • Sunsets Capo Beach • Taco Surf • Thai This • The Fish Bucket • The Shwack Beach Grill • Turk’s Restaurant • Vivo Rooftop Lounge at Doubletree Doheny Beach • Yappy Hour at The Ritz-Carlton 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Mahé; Silver: Wind & Sea

• Best International Eats •

Gold Lantern

Thai This 24501 Del Prado, 949.240.7944, www.thaithis.com

For two decades, Thai This owner “Jib” Roungchun has put his love in every meal. Customers are made to feel as if they’re having a meal at a friend’s house — high-end food in a very casual environment. Family recipes form the basis of the menu. “Even though we live in a different latitude, I try to bring all the Thai-titude here,” the owner said. —SNG

Silver Lantern

Peking Dragon 34171 Pacific Coast Hwy., (949) 4939499, www.pekingdragonrestaurant.com

NOMINEES: Agostino’s Ristorante and Bar • A’s Burgers • Aurora’s Taqueria • Bonjour Café • Brio Tuscany Grille • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chronic Tacos • Dana Kai Japanese Cuisine • El Patio • El Torito • Gemmell’s Restaurant • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Hennessey’s Tavern • Harbor House Café • Ichibiri • Jack’s Restaurant • Las Golondrinas Mexican Food • Little Kitchen Asian Café • Luciana’s • Mahé • Mario’s by the Sea • Mori Sushi • Motif at the St. Regis • Olamendi’s Mexican Restaurant • Quench Bar & Bistro • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Ristorante Ferrantelli • Round Table Pizza • Shanghai Charlie’s • Stacks Pancake House • Stella’s Serious Italian • Taco Surf • Thai Dara • The Harbor Grill • The Shwack Beach Grill • Tutor and Spunky’s Deli • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Thai This; Silver: Mahé

• Best Restaurant for a • Date/Romantic Evening

Gold Lantern

Chart House 34442 Green Lantern, 949.493.1183, www.chart-house.com

Chart House gives customers sweeping views of Dana Point Harbor and beyond from a bluff

PAGE 3

Nu Tangjaitrong, Linette Roungchun and Tan Wenk of Thai This. Photo by Andrea Swayne

on Green Lantern. The restaurant chain, owned by Landry’s, prides itself on tailoring its cuisine to local offerings and preparing it expertly. Add a comprehensive wine list and a dessert menu to die for and the eatery is the ideal backdrop for a date to remember. —SNG

Silver Lantern

Luciana’s Ristorante 24312 Del Prado, 949.661.6500, www.lucianas.com

NOMINEES: Agostino’s Ristorante & Bar • A’s Burgers • Brio Tuscany Grille • Beach Cities Pizza • Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Dana West Yacht Club • El Torito • Gemmell’s Restaurant • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Harbor House Café • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack’s Restaurant • Jolly Roger • Luxe Restaurant and Bar • Mahé • Mario’s By The Sea • Motif at the St. Regis • Quench Bar & Bistro • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Renaissance • Ristorante Ferrantelli • Salt Creek Grill • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis • Thai This • The Coffee Importers • The Harbor Grill • The Little Kitchen Asian Café • The Shwack Beach Grill • Tutor and Spunky’s Deli • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Chart House; Silver: (TIE) Brio Tuscany Grille, Luciana’s Ristorante

• Best Overall Restaurant •

Gold Lantern

The Harbor Grill 34499 Golden Lantern, 949.240.1416 www.harborgrill.com

Thursday oyster night is just one of many specials that keep Harbor Grill regulars coming back. The menu also features favorites like lobster ravioli, crawfish etoufee, angus steaks and burgers. The chefs even use fresh seasonings from the restaurant’s onsite herb garden. “We’re feel honored to be recognized by our customers in this way. Thank you all,”

said owner John Hicks. —AS

Silver Lantern

Brio Tuscany Grille

24050 Camino Del Avion, 949.443.1476, www.briorestaurant.com NOMINEES: A’s Burgers • Agostino’s Ristorante and Bar • Aurora’s Taqueria • Beach Cities Pizza • Bonjour Café & Bistro • Brio Tuscany Grille • Cannons Restaurant • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Dana Kai Japanese Cuisine • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dana West Yacht Club • El Patio Café • El Torito • Gemmell’s Restaurant • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Harbor House Café • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Ichibiri • Jack’s Restaurant • Jolly Roger • Jon’s Fish Market • Luciana’s Ristorante • Mahé• Mario’s by the Sea • Motif at the St. Regis • New York Deli • Olemendi’s Mexican Restaurant • Peking Dragon • Proud Mary’s • Quench Bar & Bistro • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Renaissance Café • Rib Joint • Ristorante Ferrantelli • RJ’s Café • Salt Creek Grille • Shanghai Charlie’s • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis • Subway • Taco Surf • Thai Dara • Thai This • The Brig • The Shwack Beach Grill The Coffee Importers • Turk’s Restaurant • Tutor and Spunky’s Deli • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Brio Tuscany Grille; Silver: The Harbor Grill

• Best Breakfast •

Gold Lantern

RJ’s Café 25001 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.218.5757, www.rjscafe.com

RJ’s serves a wide variety of tasty breakfast foods all day. There are plenty of choices for egg lovers, from eggs Benedict to awesome three-egg omelettes. The heavenly potatoes—home-fried spuds with bacon, mushrooms, spinach, onions and jack and cheddar cheese—live up to their name. The breakfast burritos, stuffed French toast and fluffy pancakes are great choices as well.—AS

Silver Lantern

The Coffee Importers 34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

NOMINEES: A’s Burger • Bonjour Café & Bistro • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Denny’s • Dippity Donuts • Donut World • El Torito • Harbor Deli • Harbor House Café • I Love Bagels • Jack’s Restaurant • J.C. Beans • Jolly Roger • Pain du Monde • Proud Mary’s • Quench Bar & Bistro • Renaissance • Salt Creek Grille • Stacks Pancake House • Starbucks • Subway • The Brig Restaurant • The Coffee Importers • The Harbor Grill • The Shwack Beach Grill • Turk’s Restaurant • Tutor and Spunky’s Deli • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: RJ’s Café: Silver: (TIE) Harbor House Café, What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering

• Best Cup of Coffee •

Gold Lantern

The Coffee Importers 34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

Since 1957 The Coffee Importers has been the most popular place locals go for coffee and conversation. Hot or cold, sweet or bold, Jim Miller’s popular harbor-side hangout has something to satisfy every coffee craving. It’s no wonder they have swept this category every year since the first Best of Dana Point Lantern Awards in 2008. –AS

Silver Lantern

J.C. Beans 34114 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.4700, www.jcbeans.com

NOMINEES: ampm • Bonjour Café & Bistro • Dana Point Donuts • Harbor House Café • Brio Tuscany Grille • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Circle K • Dana Point Donuts • Denny’s • Dippity Donuts • Harbor House Café • Jolly Roger • McDonald’s • Pain du Monde • Proud Mary’s • RJ’s Café • Stacks Pancake House • Starbucks • Subway • The Brig • The Shwack Beach Grill • Turk’s Restaurant • Tutor and Spunky’s Deli • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering 2010 WINNERS: Gold: The Coffee Importers; Silver: J.C. Beans

WWW.DANAPOINTTIMES.COM


• Best Donut •

Gold Lantern

Dippity Donuts 33621 Del Obispo, Ste. C, 949.240.6064

Dippity Donuts is a no fuss, no muss business. They serve up a variety of confections from the fruity-frosted cake donuts to cinnamon-coated twists. Jelly donuts, maple bars and muffins also round out the mix. If donut goodness isn’t the customer’s thing, Dippity offers breakfast, burgers and more at what reviewers describe as good prices.—SNG

Silver Lantern

CLOSED

• Best Bagel • The Coffee Importers 34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

The Coffee Importers takes gold in this new category for 2011. More than a coffee shop, this popular harbor eatery offers a variety of freshly baked bagels and toppings for breakfast or lunch on the “deli side” of the restaurant. The Lox & Bagel—a toasted bagel topped with cream cheese, onions, tomatoes, capers, smoked salmon and a sprinkle of lemon pepper, is a local favorite.—AS

Silver Lantern

Gold Lantern

I Love Bagels 32545 Golden Lantern # B, 949.443.3300

NOMINEES: Dana Point Donuts • Donut World • Harbor House • J.C. Beans • Pain du Monde • RJ’s Café • Starbucks 2010 WINNERS: This is a new category for 2011.

Da Vine Food & Wine 34673 Golden Lantern, 949.493.4044, www.davine-wine.com

Owner Marla Sherman Balmuth and husband and wine buyer Steve Balmuth say their loyal customer base was built not only on the shop’s carefully chosen selection of fine wines, but also on the total experience offered there. The duo passes on their contagious love of good food, good wine and good times with every event and wine tasting.—AS

Dana Point Donuts

NOMINEES: Donut World • J.C. Beans • Ralphs • RJ’s Café • Starbucks • The Brig • The Coffee Importers 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Donuts; Silver: Dippity Donuts

Gold Lantern

• Best Wine Selection •

Silver Lantern

Luciana’s Ristorante 24312 Del Prado, 949.661.6500, www.lucianas.com

NOMINEES: Agostino’s Ristorante & Bar • Brio Tuscany Grille • Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Dana Point Cigar and Wine • Dana West Yacht Club • Eno at The Ritz-Carlton • Ristorante Ferrantelli • Gelson’s • Gemmell’s Restaurant • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack’s • Luciana’s Ristorante • Luxe Restaurant and Bar • Mahé • Monarch Beach Market • Quench Bar & Bistro • Ralphs • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • The Renaissance • The Ritz-Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis • Stella’s Serious Italian • Thai This • The Harbor Grill • Turk’s Restaurant • Vivo Rooftop Lounge at Doubletree Doheny Beach • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott• What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Da Vine Food & Wine; Silver: Brio Tuscany Grille

• Best Menu for • Healthy Choices

Gold Lantern

The Coffee Importers 34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

The “deli side” of Coffee Importers has a fresh juice bar offering fruit smoothies with add-ins like oat bran, protein, vitamin C, bee pollen, ginseng, calcium, flaxseed, spirulina and more, as well as veggie tonics, detoxifying juices, green tea and wheat grass shots. Health-conscious customers can also choose soups, salads and wraps to keep taste buds happy and bodies healthy. –AS

Silver Lantern

What a Dish Café & Catering

24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Suite B100, 949.276.4884, www.whatadishoc.com NOMINEES: Bonjour Café & Bistro • Brio Tuscany Grille • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Cannons Restaurant • Chronic Taco • El Pollo Loco • Gelson’s • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack in the Box • Jack’s Restaurant • Jamba Juice • Jon’s Fish Market • Luciana’s Ristorante • Luxe Restaurant and Bar • Mahé • Monarch Beach Market • Quench Bar & Bistro • RJ’s Café • Stacks Pancake House • Subway • Thai Dara • Thai This • The Harbor Grill • The Little Kitchen Asian Café • The Shwack Beach Grill • Tutor and Spunky’s Deli • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: The Coffee Importers; Silver: What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering

• Best Sandwich •

Gold Lantern

Tutor & Spunky’s Deli

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

The Coffee Importers owner Jim Miller with the popular Lox & Bagel. Photo by Andrea Swayne

PAGE 5

Readers know Tom Blake is the author of our “Life and Love After 50” column. But Blake’s got another side, too, one that runs the popular sandwich shop Tutor & Spunky’s.

Tutor and Spunky’s staff (L to R) Teresa Gonzalez, Veronica Sanchez, Fidelina Peralta, owner Tom Blake, Irene Arteaga, Ryan Brintle and Debbie Pachyn. Photo by Andrea Swayne

It’s the sort of place where sandwiches are named after customers or a bit tongue-incheek (take the “Cheat a Little,” which is the veggie with a slice of cheese). —Jonathan Volzke

Silver Lantern

The Coffee Importers 34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

NOMINEES: A’s Burgers • Beach Cities Pizza • Bonjour Café & Bistro • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Dana West Yacht Club • Gelson’s • Harbor Deli • Harbor House Café • Hennessey’s Tavern • Monarch Beach Ranch Market • Proud Mary’s • Quench Bar & Bistro • Ralphs • Renaissance • RJ’s Café • Salt Creek Grille • Stacks Pancake House • Subway • The Brig • The Harbor Grill • The Shwack Beach Grill • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Tutor and Spunky’s Deli; Silver: The Coffee Importers

• Best Taco •

Gold Lantern

Taco Surf 34195 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.661.5754, www.tacosurf.com

Taco Surf continues to live up to its reputation—merging the cuisine and the laid back surf town vibe of Baja, Mexico—to take top honors for a fourth consecutive year. Scratch-made taco fillings like carne asada, chicken, fish, pork carnitas or shrimp combine with crunchy lettuce, guacamole, cheese and more in a choice of soft or crispy tortillas, keep hungry customers coming back for more. –AS

Silver Lantern

Chronic Taco

34255 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.481.3720, www.eatchronictacos.com NOMINEES: A’s Burgers • Aurora’s Taqueria • Beach Cities Pizza • Buena Vista Market • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Coconuts • Dana West Yacht Club • Del Taco • El Patio Café • El Pollo Loco • El Torito • Island Style Taco • Jon’s Fish Market• Las Golondrinas • Olamendi’s Mexican Restaurant • Proud Mary’s • Renaissance • RJ’s Café • Taco Bell • The Harbor Grill • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Taco Surf; Silver: Chronic Taco

• Best Burger •

Gold Lantern

The Shwack Beach Grill 24502 Del Prado, 949.218.2731 www.theshwack.com

Since opening in July, Shwack Beach Grill has made a big impression on burger lovers in Dana Point. Owner Max Fisher owes it to his star ingredient, Vintage brand prime or chuck only beef. “It’s all natural, antibiotic and hormone free and comes loose packed so we can form our own patties,” he said. “It makes a big difference in retaining all the juices and flavor.” –AS

Silver Lantern

A’s Burgers 34344 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.4460

NOMINEES: Brio Tuscany Grille • Cannons Restaurant • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Carl’s Jr • Coconuts • Coffee Importers • Dana West Yacht Club • Dippity Donuts • Donut World • House Café • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack in the Box • Jolly Roger Restaurant • McDonalds • Monarch Beach Club • Proud Mary’s • R J’s Café • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • The Renaissance • Salt Creek Grille • Smokey’s House of BBQ • The Brig Restaurant • The Harbor Grill • Turk’s Restaurant •The Harbor Grill • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: A’s Burgers; Silver: Hennessey’s Tavern

• Best Sushi •

Gold Lantern

Gen Kai 34143 Pacifc Coast Hwy., 949.240.2004 www.mygenkaidanapoint.com

Sushi lovers and fans of Japanese cuisine in general are sure to enjoy this local favorite. Gen Kai offers a large selection of menu items from traditional sushi preparations to the innovative sushi burritos, Japanese taquitos and sushi nachos. Customers can choose to enjoy a meal at the sushi bar, a main dining room or private tea rooms for a more intimate settings.—MB

Silver Lantern

Mahé 24961 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.240.6243, www.eatatmahe.com

NOMINEES: Dana Kai Japanese Cuisine • Ichibiri • Maki Yaki • Mori Sushi • Ralphs • Sushi Kiyo • Thai This 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Gen Kai; Silver: Mahé

WWW.DANAPOINTTIMES.COM


to rock and pop can be enjoyed alongside a delicious dinner and wine. “Live music every day for 18 years” is the hallmark of the restaurant’s success, says manager Bill Milton.—MB

• Best Pizza •

Gold Lantern

Beach Cities Pizza 34473 Golden Lantern, 949.496.0606 www.beachcitiespizza.com

Sauce made from scratch, fresh veggies and quality meats and cheeses expertly combined atop a “not too thick, not too thin” crust have earned Beach Cities Pizza gold medal honors for the fourth straight year. “Everything is fresh and of high quality,” said employee Paul Arsenault. “Our homemade pizza dough and real Wisconsin cheese really bring it all together.” –AS

Silver Lantern

Silver Lantern

Stuft Pizza

• Best Jewelry •

24821 Del Prado, 949.240.6444, www.stuftpizza.com

Gold Lantern

Silver Lantern

From the outset, Swiss Connection strived to carry top quality jewelry that’s both unique and eclectic. Nina Mamie, who owns the shop with her husband and jeweler JeanJacques, described their collection as having a “European flavor.” Customers return again and again to see new pieces. “We have a lot of people that come back year after year,” she said. —SNG

Wind & Sea 34699 Golden Lantern, 949.496.6500, www.windandsearestaurants.com

Harpoon Henry’s

34555 Golden Lantern, 949.493.2933 www.windandsearestaurants.com/harpoonhenrys NOMINEES: 180 Blu at The Ritz-Carlton • Beach Cities Pizza • Brio Tuscany Grille • Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Da Vine Food & Wine • El Torito • Gemmell’s Restaurant • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Harbor Grill • Harbor House Café • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s Restaurant • Luxe Restaurant and Bar • Mahé • Motif at St. Regis • OverVue Lounge at Laguna Cliffs • Marriott Proud Mary’s • Quench Bar & Bistro • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Renaissance • Salt Creek Grille • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis • Thai This • The Shwack Beach Grill • Turk’s Restaurant • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Wind & Sea; Silver: Mahé

• Best Spot to • Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

Gold Lantern

Scoop Deck Ice Cream at The Coffee Importers

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

Scoop Deck at the Coffee Importers is a destination of choice for Dana Point locals looking to satisfy a sweet tooth. With over 20 ice cream flavors to choose from and specialty treats like sundaes, shakes, malts and Italian sodas, the Scoop Deck is a sweet treat not only for their menu but also for their beautiful waterside harbor location.—AS

Silver Lantern

It’s All About the Cake

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

PAGE 6

Swiss Connection Fine Jewelry and Watches

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

• Best Appetizers •

Wind & Sea takes top honors once again as a great place to nosh on a variety of delicious appetizers while enjoying a 180-degree view of the harbor. The menu features Pacific Rim choices like ahi poke and kalua pork sliders as well as snack time faves like nachos and chips and guacamole.—AS

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

NOMINEES: Caliente Coastal Cantina • Coconuts • Dana West Yacht Club • Dana Pride • Da Vine Food & Wine • Doheny Blues Festival • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jolly Roger • Lord of the Strings Concerts • Mahé • OverVue Lounge at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Salt Creek Grille • St. Edwards Church • Sunsets Capo Beach • Taco Surf • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Renaissance; Silver: Brio Tuscany Grille

NOMINEES: Agostino’s Ristorante & Bar • Brio Tuscany Grille • Bubba Kahuna’s • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Dominos Pizza • Jack’s Restaurant • Kokomo’s Pizza • Papa Murphy’s • Pizza Hut • Quench Bar & Bistro • Round Table Pizza • Slice of New York • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stuft Pizza • The Market Place at The Ritz-Carlton 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Beach Cities Pizza; Silver: Stuft Pizza

Gold Lantern

Brio Tuscany Grille

Wee Loft owners Erin Kelly and Annette Garcia with loyal customer Brooke Northway (4) of Dana Point. Photo by Andrea Swayne

NOMINEES: Baskin Robbins • Brio Tuscany Grille • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Dana Point Donuts • Da Vine Food and Wine • Dippity Donuts • El Torito • Gelson’s • Gemmell’s Restaurant • Harbor House Café • Harpoon Henry’s • J.C. Beans • Jack’s Restaurant • Pain du Monde • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Stacks Pancake House • Starbucks • The Brig Restaurant • The Chocolate Solider • Tutor & Spunky’s Deli • Wind & Sea • Yogurtland 2010 WINNERS: Gold: It’s All About the Cake; Silver: Scoop Deck Ice Cream at The Coffee Importers

• Best Margarita •

Gold Lantern

El Torito 34521 Golden Lantern, 949.496.6311, www.eltorito.com

For an after work drink or weekend night treat, El Torito’s margaritas are a popular choice among Dana Point locals. The house margarita is made with Premium Gold Tequila and the Cadillac is crafted with Premium 1800 Reposado Tequila and comes with a side shot of Grand Marnier. They also offer a wide selection of fruit flavors, a supercharged 100-proof margarita and the top-shelf Patron Perfect Margarita. –MB

Silver Lantern

Olamendi’s Mexican Restaurant

34664 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.661.1005, www.originalolamendis.com NOMINEES: Brio Tuscany Grille • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannon’s • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s Restaurant • Jolly Roger • Mahé • Raya at the Ritz-Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • Sunsets Capo Beach • Taco Surf • Turk’s Restaurant • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: El Torito; Silver: Caliente Coastal Cantina

Silver Lantern

White Pelican

34475 Golden Lantern, 949.240.1991, www.danapointharbor.com/WhitePelican.html

• Best Bar •

Gold Lantern

Turk’s Restaurant 34683 Golden Lantern, 949.496.9028

Turk’s is famous as much for its lively clientele and harbor side location as it is for its bartenders’ notoriously generous mixing of cocktails—watered down, overpriced drinks have no place at this establishment. Customers also appreciate the tasty selection of food on the menu.—AS

Silver Lantern

Hennessey’s Tavern 34111 La Plaza, 949.488.0121, www.hennesseystavern.com

NOMINEES: Aventura Bar and Grill • Brio Tuscany Grille • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannon’s Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Coconuts • Dana West Yacht Club • El Torito • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • Luxe • Mahé • OverVue Lounge at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Proud Mary’s • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Renaissance Café • Rib Joint • Salt Creek Grille • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis • Sunsets Capo Beach • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Turk’s Restaurant; Silver: (TIE) Hennessey’s Tavern, Mahé Restaurant

• Best Venue for • Live Music

Gold Lantern

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

Renaissance is the go to place for a fun night out on the town in Dana Point. A wide range of live acts that varies from jazz and blues

NOMINEES: About Time Watch Co. • Azalea Salon & Boutique • Bella Bazaar • Dana Point Jeweler • Doheny Clothing Exchange • Gift Chateau • Girl in the Curl • Golden Galleon • Harbor Jeweler • Hobie Surf & Sport • JunQies • Marinelli Fine Jewelry • Mille Fleurs • Salon Rouge • The Downstairs Store • The Upstairs Store • Tutta Bella 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Swiss Connection Fine Jewelry and Watches; Silver: Marinelli Fine Jewelry

• Best Store to • Buy Gifts for Kids

Gold Lantern

The Wee Loft 32585 Golden Lantern, Ste. K, 949.489.9202, www.theweeloft.com

Generations have delighted in the neighborhood toy store The Wee Loft. For 22 years in Dana Point and 32 years overall, owners Annette Garcia and Erin Kelly have engaged and entertained children with their selection of toys, books and gadgets. “Our families and our customers, they just make us so happy,” Garcia said. Stop by for whimsical toys and unusual trinkets.—SNG

Silver Lantern

JunQie’s 24662 Del Prado, 949.496.4406, www.junqies.net

NOMINEES: Doheny Clothing Exchange • Fairytales Children’s Boutique • Gift Chateau • Girl in the Curl • Hobie Surf Shop • Hogan’s Bait & Tackle • Jack’s Surf Shop • Killer Dana Surf Shop • Ocean Institute • Momilani’s Island • The Country Fox • The Upstairs Store 2010 WINNERS: Gold: (TIE) Girl in the Curl, The Wee Loft; Silver: Fairytales Children’s Boutique

WWW.DANAPOINTTIMES.COM


• Best Clothing •

Gold Lantern

Doheny Clothing Exchange

34276 Doheny Park Road, 949.240.4800

Mother, daughter owners Pamela Vandergrift and Caia Curiale say their customers appreciate the wide variety of fashions they find in the store. “I have a more bohemian style and Caia has a more dressy Newport style so we bring that together and it works for our customers,” said Vandergrift. “Exchanging gently used clothing is good for the environment too.”—AS

Silver Lantern

Golden Galleon 34677 Golden Lantern, 949.493.8521, www.danapointharbor.com/Golden.html

NOMINEES: Bella Bazaar • Carmady Street • Chez Nuveen • Fuller’s • Girl in the Curl • Hobie Surf Shop • Hogan’s Bait & Tackle • Infinity Surfboards • Jack’s Surfboards • JunQie’s • Killer Dana Surf Shop • Millie • Monarch Silks Fine Boutique • OC Surf & Sport • Rococo • Sea Styles • The Country Fox • The Downstairs Store • Top Brass • Tutta Bella • West Marine 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Golden Galleon; Silver: Doheny Clothing Exchange

• Best Surf Shop •

Gold Lantern

Killer Dana Surf Shop 24621 Del Prado, 949.489.8380, www.killerdana.com

Killer Dana the surf break has been gone since 1966, but the surf shop by the same name seems as popular among surfers as the break ever was. “We’ve been here 20 years. I surf a lot and I surf with all the boys. We’ve got good product in the store,” owner Ralphie Andrews said. “And we’re super-cool to everybody who walks in the store.”

Silver Lantern

Hobie Surf Shop 34174 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.2366, www.hobie.com

NOMINEES: Girl in the Curl • Infinity Surf Shop • Jack’s Surf Shop • OC Surf & Sport 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Killer Dana; Silver: Hobie Surf Shop

• Best Store to Buy Gifts • for Adults

Gold Lantern

The Upstairs Store

34505 Golden Lantern, 949.661.3787, www.danapointharbor.com/Upstairs.html

Personalized service and free gift wrapping are just a few of the reasons our readers voted The Upstairs Store the best place to buy gifts for adults. Owner Marla Sherman Balmuth says she also pays careful attention to selecting unique and unusual gifts—

treasures, unlike the usual stuff you find in ordinary gift shops. –AS

Silver Lantern

Hobie Surf Shop 34174 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.2366, www.hobie.com

NOMINEES: About Time Watch Co. • Art Sea • Azalea Salon & Boutique • Bella Bazaar • Browne’s Flowers • Da Vine Food & Wine • Doheny Clothing Exchange • Gift Chateau • Golden Galleon • Hogan’s Bait & Tackle • Infinity Surfboards • Intimate Obsessions • Jack’s Surf Shop • JunQie’s • Killer Dana • Massage Envy • McCool’s Flowers • Mille Fleurs • The Country Fox • The Downstairs Store • The Woody Hut • Tutta Bella 2010 WINNERS: Gold: The Upstairs Store; Silver: The Downstairs Store

• Best Home Décor • and Furnishings

Gold Lantern

2nd Hand Treasures

34272 Doheny Park Road, 949.218.7962, www.2ndhandfurnitureandhomedecor.com

Just one year after opening, 2nd Hand Treasures scored points for its variety of furniture and dedicated customer service, said Helen Mahshi who owns the business with her husband Ziad Mahshi. “We know it’s all about developing good relationships and honest relationships,” she said. Not just for

2nd Hand Treasures’ interior designer Debbie James. Photo by Andrea Swayne

antiques, 2nd Hand Treasures also features contemporary pieces and at what Helen Mahshi described as reasonable prices.—SNG

Silver Lantern

The Upstairs Store

34505 Golden Lantern, 949.661.3787, www.danapointharbor.com/Upstairs.html NOMINEES: Bella Bazaar • McCool Flowers • McGee Construction and Remodeling • Out of Africa • The Downstairs Store • Timeless Teak • Tutta Bella 2010 WINNERS: Gold: (TIE) The Upstairs Store, Bella Bazaar; Silver: The Downstairs Store


• Best Place to Buy • Flowers

Gold Lantern

McCool Flowers

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

Whether it’s a boutonniere for the formal or bouquet for a wedding, McCool Flowers offers it all. “We feel that we have unparalleled service and quality products,” owner Cathy McCool said. The florist has earned awards not only for designs, but also community work and environmentally friendly ways. McCool’s creates all styles of arrangements but is known as a tropical specialist, receiving shipments of exotic flora weekly.—SNG

Silver Lantern

Browne’s Flowers 31456 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.661.4748, www.brownesflowers.com

NOMINEES: Albertsons • Dana Point Nursery • Iva Bloom Signature Florist • Ralphs • Tempting Tulips • The Beach Flower • The Flower Girl 2010 WINNERS: Gold: McCool Flowers; Silver: Browne’s Flowers

• Best Overall • Customer Service

Gold Lantern

The Coffee Importers 34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

Some people take their coffee black, others with cream and sugar. At Coffee Importers in Dana Point Harbor, you get your java with a smile. Owner Jim Miller said customer service is one of the elements he stresses when hiring and training employees. “We’re always reminding everybody how important the customer is. Without them, there’s no paycheck,” Miller said. —JV

Silver Lantern

It’s All About the Cake

24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Ste. B100, 949.240.7100, www.itsallaboutthecake.com NOMINEES: 2nd Hand Treasures • A’s Burgers • Aegis of Dana Point • Albertsons • Artistry Salon • Aventura Sailing Associations • Azalea Salon & Boutique • Beach Cities Pizza • Beacon Printing • Bella Bazaar • Bon Jour Café • Brio Tuscany Grille • Browne’s Flowers • Cannons Restaurant • Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Chick’s Plumbing Inc • Chronic Tacos • DBugged Computers • Dana Point Auto • Dana Point Bodycentre • Dana Point City Hall • Dana Point Cleaners • Dana Point Hardware • Dana Point Marina Inn • Dana Point Pet Grooming • Dana West Yacht Club • Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching • Da Vine Food & Wine • Dawgy Style • Dawn’s Day Spa • Doheny Clothing Exchange • El Patio Café • Fitness Together • Ganahl Lumber • Gelson’s • Gemmell’s Restaurant • Gift Chateau • Girl in the Curl • Golden Galleon • Golden Lantern Animal Hospital • Hannegan Plumbing • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Hobie Surf Shop • Hogan Bait and Tackle • Infinity Surfboards • I Love Bagels • Iva Bloom Signature Florist • J.C. Beans • Jacks Surf Shop • Jig Stop • Killer Dana Surf Shop • Kings Club Barbershop • Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Luciana’s Ristorante • Mahé• Mario’s By the Sea • Marinelli Jewelry • Massage Envy • McCool Flowers • Mille Fleurs • Minuteman Press • Ocean Institute • Pacific Cleaners • Pacific Sign Center • Peking Dragon • Posh Nails • Proud Mary’s • Rado’s Fitness • Ralphs • RJ’s Café • Royal Cleaners • Ruben Imports • Salon de la Mer • Salon Revelation • Salon Rouge • Scoop Deck Ice Cream at The Coffee Importers • St, Regis • Stacks Pancake House • Stella’s Serious Italian • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Swiss Connection Fine Jewelry and Timepieces • Subway • Sun Salute Yoga • Taco Surf • Thai This • The Beach Flower • The Brigg • The Downstairs Store • The Harbor Grill • The Kings Club Barbershop • The Mint Gallery •

PAGE 11

The Ritz-Carlton • The Shwack Beach Grill • The UPS Store • The Upstairs Store • The Wee Loft • The Woody Hut • Threads Dry Cleaning • Tracie Taylor Weddings • Turk’s Restaurant • Tutor & Spunky’s • Tutta Bella • Union Bank • Vivos Fitness • Westwind Sailing Center • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering Cafe and Catering • White Lotus • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Smokey’s House of BBQ; Silver: Westwind Sailing

• Best Manicure • & Pedicure

Gold Lantern

Posh Nails 24040 Camino Del Avion, Ste. 8, 949.496.7674

Dana Point’s top choice for a professional manicure or pedicure for the fourth year in a row is Posh Nails. The expert staff of friendly technicians and impeccable cleanliness continues to impress. With a wide selection of pampering services and ultra-comfy massaging lounge chairs, Posh Nails owner Alice Doan says they make every attempt to spoil their customers. –AS

Silver Lantern

Salon Rouge

34255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 117, 949.489.1565, www.salonrougedanapoint.com NOMINEES: Azalea Salon and Boutique • Dana Skin & Nails • JTC Salon • Judy’s Coiffures • Mylee Salon • Ocean Nails and Spa • Paragon Salon and Day Spa • Pro Nails • Ritz-Carlton Spa • Spa Gaucin at St. Regis • The Spa at Laguna Cliffs • Tic Tac Nails • Top Nails and Hair 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Posh Nails; Silver: Salon Rouge

• Best Hair Salon •

Gold Lantern

Salon Rouge

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

Whether it be an updo for a party or special occasion, or a complete cut and color you’re looking for, owner Tate Clifton and her experienced staff are ready to deliver expert service at a fair price. The beautifully decorated shop also features a small boutique offering a selection of fashionable accessories and the very best in hair care products and cosmetics. –AS

Silver Lantern

Young have successfully preserved the look and feel of the classic American barbershop that’s been in business continually since 1963.—AS

Silver Lantern

Sports Barber 34221 Golden Lantern, 949.493.6081, www.sportsbarberdp.com

NOMINEES: Aloha Barber • Azalea Salon • Hairmasters • Martha’s Beauty Salon • Reflections Salon • The Captain’s Chair 2010 WINNERS: Gold: The Kings Club Barbershop; Silver: Sports Barber

• Best Grooming/Pet Care •

Gold Lantern

Dana Point Grooming & Pet Spa

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

Dana Point Grooming and Pet Spa gives customers and their furry friends the “ultimate experience,” owner Tamara Muslin said. With more than 15 years of experience, Muslin and her five fellow professional groomers are passionate about their work and treat the pups and pets as if they’re part of the family. The business offers anesthesia-free dental cleanings, blueberry facials and other treatments.—SNG

Silver Lantern

Dawgy Style 34085 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.3315

NOMINEES: Beach Dogue • Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital • Estrella Pet Grooming • Golden Lantern Animal Hospital • Grooming by Jane • Home Town Pet Grooming • OC Happy Tails Dog Grooming • Waggin Wagon Mobile Pet Grooming 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Dawgy Style; Silver: Dana Point Grooming and Pet Spa

Fitness Together has made getting healthy a science. For 11 years, trainers have worked one-on-one with customers to assess clients initially, create goals and measure progress at six-week intervals. “We hang on to clients because we show them results,” said Amy Elder, manager and personal trainer. The gym recently started its PACK program for training of up to four people at a time.—SNG

Silver Lantern

Vivos Fitness

24941 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.388.7000, http://danapointfitnessclub.com NOMINEES: Dana Point Athletic Club • FIT Club • Kardia Life Fitness Center • Palestra Gym • Rado’s Fitness • Reform Pilates • United Studios of Self Defense 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Rado’s Fitness; Silver: Fitness Together

• Best Yoga/Pilates •

Gold Lantern

Sun Salute Yoga 24655 La Plaza, 949.371.6097

A neighborhood studio, Sun Salute provides a comfortable, safe place for customers to participate in yoga, said owner Troy Cox. The studio offerings include everything from beginner stretching sessions to power yoga. Those seeking more of workout will find it in the flow yoga courses, he said. Sun Salute prides itself on giving customers one-on-one attention. Classes are available daily. —SNG

Silver Lantern

PCH Pilates and Yoga 34085 Pacific Hwy., #202, 949.248.1993 http://www.pchpilatesandyoga.com

NOMINEES: Dana Point Athletic Club • Diederich Studios • Pacific Ashtanga Yoga • Pilates on the Point • Rado’s Fitness • Reform Pilates • Vivos Fitness 2010 WINNERS: This category is new for 2011

• Best Gym •

Gold Lantern

Fitness Together

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

Salon Revelation 34192 Violet Lantern, 949.248.8595

NOMINEES: Artistry Salon • Azalea Salon and Boutique • Beach Town Salon • Bella Moda Salon • Brenda’s Hair House • Daniel Paul Salon • Ego Salon • Hairmasters • Howard Jones Salon • JTC Salon • Martha’s Beauty Salon • Paragon Salon and Day Spa • Reflections Salon • Salon Connection • Salon de la Mer • Salon Palisades • Salon Surreal • Supercuts • The Captain’s Chair • Ritz-Carlton Spa • The Spa at Laguna Cliffs Marriott 2010 WINNERS: Gold: (TIE) Salon Rouge, Artistry Salon; Silver: Salon Revelation

• Best Barber Shop •

Gold Lantern

Kings Club Barber Shop

34085 La Plaza, 949.496.4644, www.thekingsclubbarbershop.blogspot.com

Classic cuts, hot towel shaves and great conversation have earned Kings Club Barbershop the gold medal for three years straight. Since taking over the shop five years ago, owner Mike Swenson and head barber Scott

Fitness Together’s Matthew Davidson and Amy Elder. Photo by Andrea Swayne WWW.DANAPOINTTIMES.COM


• Best Car Repair •

Gold Lantern

Dana Point Auto Service 34342 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.1086 www.danapointautoservice.com

Not just a place for expert auto repair when your car isn’t working, they also offer complete maintenance services to keep it in good shape. From checking fluid levels, tire pressure, hoses, belts, to scheduled oil changes they are a trusted provider of their customers’ car care needs. Manager Steve Weinmann says you can find “honesty, integrity and a clean shop” at Dana Point Auto Service.—MB

Silver Lantern

Rubens Imports 34134 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.493.5050, www.rubensimports.com

NOMINEES: Autohaus • Dana Point Foreign Car Service • Dana Point European Repair • Dana Point Hermenez Auto Center • Luna Auto Repair • Old Town Garage • Pep Boys Auto Parts, Tires and Services • Performance Haus • Dana Point Shell • Sparks Performance • West Coast Tire and Service 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Shell; Silver: Rubens Imports

• Best Spa for Massages, • Facials, Etc.

Gold Lantern

Massage Envy

32585 Golden Lantern, Ste. C, 949.545.0444, www.massageenvy.com

At Massage Envy, the customer comes first. “We try to make them feel like each one of them is special,” said Clinic Manager Darcey Holdt. Employees go out of their way to learn each client’s name, meet their needs and adapt services to any changes, Holdt said. Massage Envy also offers facials, using Murad products that are specially designed for the company. --Stacie N. Galang

Silver Lantern

Dana Point Bodycentre 24629 Del Prado, 949.487.0891, www.danapointbodycentre.com

NOMINEES: Azalea Salon • Dana Skin & Nails • Dawn’s Day Spa • Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa • Not Just Faces • Pure Clover Skin Spa • Rescue Skin Care & Waxing Studio • Ritz-Carlton Spa • Spa Alana • Spa Gaucin at St. Regis • White Lotus Day Spa 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Bodycentre; Silver: Massage Envy

• Best Dry Cleaners •

Gold Lantern

Pacific Cleaners 34098 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.240.2994

For two years running, Pacific Dry Cleaners earned props from satisfied customers who appreciate their work to spiff them up. Conveniently located on Pacific Coast Highway, the dry cleaners also offer cleaning services for comforters and other household items. Tailoring is also available.—SNG

Silver Lantern

Royal Cleaners 34119 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. F, 949.661.0988

NOMINEES: Celebrity Cleaners • Dana Point Cleaners • Elite Cleaners • Monarch Bay Cleaners • Raymar Cleaners • Sunny Fresh Cleaners • Threads Dry Cleaners 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Pacific Dry Cleaners; Silver: Royal Cleaners

PAGE 12

• Best Lodging •

Gold Lantern

Dana Point Marina Inn

24800 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 800.255.6843, www.danapointmarinainn.com

Value and location are two reasons locals love the Dana Point Marina Inn, said General Manager Tony Kaspar. The hotel’s proximity to Dana Point Harbor gives guests unrivaled views and plenty of shopping opportunities. The 136-room inn offers traditional rooms, family suites with kitchenettes and even a beautifully appointed honeymoon suite with a jacuzzi. Families enjoy the hotel for weddings and reunions. —SNG

Silver Lantern

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

25135 Park Lantern, 949.661.5000, www.lagunacliffs.com NOMINEES: Blue Lantern Inn • Doubletree Suites by Hilton Doheny Beach • Holiday Inn Express • St. Regis Monarch Beach • The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa; Silver: The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

• Best Full-Service Jeweler •

Gold Lantern

Swiss Connection Fine Jewelry and Watches

Dana Point Marina Inn General Manager Tony Kaspar. Photo by Andrea Swayne

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

After 20 years, Swiss Connection has earned its reputation for quality work one customer at a time. Owner and jeweler Jean-Jacques Mamie brings to the business watch making training from his native Switzerland and certification from the Gemological Institute of America, said his wife and owner Nina Mamie. Bench jeweler Jeremy Cisneros, also a GIA gemologist, designs jewelry, sets stones and makes repairs. “People trust us,” she said. —SNG

Silver Lantern

Marinelli Fine Jewelry 12 Monarch Bay Drive, 949.443.4030

NOMINEES: About Time Watches & Other Luxuries • Dana Point Jeweler • Harbor Jeweler Jean-Jacques Mamie Fine Jewelry • PCH Jewelers 2010 WINNERS: This is a new category for 2011

• Best Place to • Take Out-of Towners

Gold Lantern

Dana Point Harbor 34624 Golden Lantern, 949.923.2255, www.danapointharbor.com

Always a hub of activity, Dana Point Harbor draws both visitors and locals with their out-of-town guests. Sights, sounds, shopping, special events and restaurants bring thousands of people a year to the harbor. For more than 40 years, it’s truly been a spot with something for everyone. The harbor also features attractions like the Ocean Institute, the marina with slips for 2,500 vessels and Baby Beach. —SNG

Silver Lantern

Ocean Institute

24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.496.2274, www.ocean-institute.org NOMINEES: Agostino’s Ristorante & Bar • Baby Beach • Bella Bazaar • Blue Lantern Gazebo • Bonjour Café & Bistro • Brio Tuscany Grille • Cannons Restaurant • Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari • Chart House • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dana West Yacht Club • Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center • Dana Point Jet Ski • Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching • Da Vine Food and Wine • Doheny State Beach • Downstairs Store • El Torito • Golden Galleon • Headlands Nature Preserve • Heritage Park • Hogan’s Bait and Tackle • It’s All About the Cake • Jack’s Restaurant • Killer Dana Surf Shop • Kings Club Barber Shop • Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa • Luciana’s Ristorante • Mahé • Massage Envy • Monarch Bay Beach Club • Palisades Gazebo • PCH Rides • Proud Mary’s • Ristorante Ferrantelli • RJ’s Café • Salt Creek Beach • Strand Beach • Strand Vista Park • St. Regis Monarch Beach • Sunsets Capo Beach • The Harbor Grill • The Coffee Importers • The Downstairs Store • The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel • The Shwack Beach Grill • The Wee Loft • Tutor and Spunky’s Deli • Turk’s Restaurant • Westwind Sailing • What a Dish Café & Catering Cafe and Catering Cafe and Catering • Wind & Sea 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Harbor; Silver: Ocean Institute

• Best Beach •

Gold Lantern

Dana Strand Beach

Access from Strand Vista Park at 34201 Selva Road, 949.923.2280, www.ocparks.com

The gorgeous stretch of beach below Strand Vista Park has taken this year’s gold medal for best Dana Point Beach. Although the beach is owned by the county, the city maintains three of the five new pathways down to the sand—including a funicular

inclined elevator. Beachgoers can also access the beach via two paths through the beautiful Headlands development during posted daylight hours.���AS

Silver Lantern

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

NOMINEES: Baby Beach • Capistrano Beach (Hole in the Fence) • Doheny State Beach • Monarch Beach 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Salt Creek Beach; Silver: Dana Strand Beach

• Best Surf Break •

Gold Lantern

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

Salt Creek Beach has long attracted surfers from Southern California and beyond. Although the break offers something for most skill levels, it is not generally regarded as a place for beginners. Long lefts peeling from the point offer long rides and the rights out front—although usually fast and steep—often hollow out providing thrilling barrel rides for the more advanced surfers.—AS

Silver Lantern

Doheny State Beach 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.496.6172

NOMINEES: Dana Strand Beach • Gravels • Heroins (Monarch Bay Point) • Killer Dana 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Salt Creek Beach; Silver: Dana Strand Beach

WWW.DANAPOINTTIMES.COM


34675 Golden Lantern, 949.496.5794, www.danawharf.com

• Best Park •

Gold Lantern

For over 40 years Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching has played a big part in making happy memories for thousands of anglers and whale watchers. General Manager Donna Kalez also offers special themed events—like music cruises and the new Art Lessons in the Wild with Wyland—as well as events directly benefitting local charities.—AS

Lantern Bay Park 25111 Park Lantern Road, 949.248.3557, www.danapoint.org

For a fun and/or relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Lantern Bay Park is just the place. With an ocean view, spacious grass and picnic tables, locals and visitors alike feel right at home in the outdoors. Kids can enjoy the park’s playground and nearby basketball courts are available for a quick pick up game among friends. —MB

Silver Lantern

Silver Lantern

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

Pines Park

NOMINEES: Aventura Sailing Association • Captain Ken’s Underwater Connection • Catalina Express • Curlew Charters • Dana Point Jet Ski & Kayak Center • Dana Wharf Boat Rides with Santa • Ocean Institute R/V Sea Explorer • Westwind Sailing • Wheel Fun Rentals 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching; Silver: Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari

34941 Camino Capistrano, 949.248.3557, www.danapoint.org

NOMINEES: Capistrano Beach Park • Creekside Park • Dana Crest Park • Dana Point Harbor • Dana Point Headlands • Dana Wood • Del Obispo Park • Doheny State Park • Heritage Park • Salt Creek Beach Park • Sea Canyon Park • Sea Terrace Community Park • Sea View Park • Shipwreck Park • Strand Vista Park •Sunset Park • Thunderbird Park 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Pines Park; Silver: Heritage Park

Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching. Photo by Andrea Swayne

• Best City Event •

Gold Lantern

Concerts in the Park 949.248.3530, www.danapoint.org

Family friendly, free and al fresco, Dana Point’s Concerts in the Park have been entertaining locals for two decades. The Sunday summer series of songs draws hundreds of picnickers and music lovers to enjoy the outdoor tunes. Every year, the city books a wide variety of acts to please all types. Concerts run from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. but arrive early to get a prime spot.—SNG

Silver Lantern

Festival of Whales 949.496.5794, www.festivalofwhales.com

NOMINEES: 4th of July Fireworks Display • Boat Parade of Lights • California Wine Festival • Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Turkey Trot • Dana Point Concours d’Elegance • Dana Point’s Farmers Market • Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling • Dana Point Jazz Festival( ?????) • Dana Point Lobster Fest • Dana Point Movies in the Park • Dana Point Symphony • Doheny Blues Festival • Doheny Days • Festival of Whales • Ocean Institute Artist by the Sea • Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle • Relay for Life • Ritz-Carlton Tree Lighting • Surf-A-Rama • Taste of Brews • Toshiba Tall Ships Festival • Wag-A-Thon 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Concerts in the Park; Silver: Festival of Whales Parade

Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari

• Best Yacht Club •

Gold Lantern • Best Wedding Venue •

Gold Lantern

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

25135 Park Lantern, 949.661.5000, www.lagunacliffs.com

Excited engaged couples planning their big day should definitely consider Laguna Cliffs as their special spot to tie the knot. With lovely harbor and ocean views, expansive ballrooms and beautiful balconies, Laguna Cliffs offers a wide variety of venues for ceremonies, receptions, dining, dancing and socializing. And the great year-round Dana Point weather is an added bonus.—MB

Silver Lantern

The Ritz-Carlton One Ritz-Carlton Drive, 949.240.2000, www.ritzcarlton.com

NOMINEES: Aventura Sailing Association • Blue Lantern Gazebo • Blue Lantern Inn • Cannons Restaurant • Chart House • Dana Point Yacht Club • Dana West Yacht Club • Heritage Park • Lantern Bay Park • Ocean Institute • Palisades Gazebo Park • Pines Park •Salt Creek Grille • South Shores Church • St. Regis Monarch Beach 2010 WINNERS: Gold: The Ritz-Carlton; Silver: Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

Dana West Yacht Club 24601 Dana Drive, 949.661.1185, www.dwyc.org

With memberships offered to boat owners and non-boat owners alike, Dana West Yacht Club prides itself on offering fun for everyone. If you’re looking for a place to meet new friends, enjoy sailing, racing or just cruising—whether you own a boat or not—DWYC is the little yacht club for big fun on the water. The club even offers kids’ sailing classes. —MB

Silver Lantern

Dana Point Yacht Club 24399 Dana Drive, 949.496.2900, www.dpyc.org

NOMINEES: Aventura Sailing Association 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Yacht Club; Silver: Dana West Yacht Club

• Best Tackle Shop •

Gold Lantern

Hogan’s Bait & Tackle 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. G, 949.493.3528

Hogan’s Bait & Tackle is a friendly, family run shop with a large selection of everything needed by anglers of all levels. From families introducing the kids to fishing to expert deep-sea anglers, Hogan’s has what you need. Employee Ron West says service is what makes the store great. “We’re all really friendly here and everyone is willing to talk to you,” he said.—MB

Silver Lantern

Jig Stop Tackle and Tours

34186 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.3555, www.jigstop.com NOMINEES: Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching • West Marine 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Jig Stop Tackle and Tours; Silver: Hogan’s Bait and Tackle

• Best Harbor • Recreation/Excursion

Gold Lantern

Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching

• Best Yacht/ • Boat Maintenance

Gold Lantern

Outbound Yacht Services Inc.

34241 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 201, 949.488.0652, www.outboundyachtservices.com

No need to worry if you find a glitch or scratch on your vessel, Outbound Yacht Services is here to help. Outbound offers every service to keep your boat shipshape. From electronics, heating and plumbing to watermarks and troubleshooting complex problems, Outbound has it covered.—MB

Silver Lantern

Tie: Aqua Tech Yacht Services

29541 Seahorse Cove, Laguna Niguel, 949.466.3156, www.aquatechyacht.com

Silver Lantern

Tie: Mission Hull

24681 Aquilla Drive, 949.493.2321

NOMINEES: Capistrano Marine • Captain Choice • Captains Crew • Dana Point Marine Services • Dana Point Shipyard • Dana Point Yacht Maintenance • Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching • Nordhavn • Ocean Diving Service • Philip McSherry Refrigeration Air Conditioning & Heating • Ricardo’s Boat Service • Ryan and Son • Topsiders Boat Maintenance •Yacht Ready Consultants 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Outbound Yacht Services; Silver: Dana Point Shipyard

• Best Hull and Bottom • Cleaner

Gold Lantern

Dolphin Divers 24382 Caracas St., 949.661.6878

Dolphin Divers offers the best in cleaning services at a good price and now has its third straight gold medal to prove it. Employee Shelly Barnett says they strive for perfection in all they do, and it seems local boat owners agree. Consistency and quality are a given when you place your boat in the hands of Dolphin Divers.—MB

Silver Lantern

Dana Harbor Marine Service 949.493.6762

NOMINEES: Bare Bottoms Boat Cleaning • Captain’s Crew • Dana Point Yacht Maintenance • Dana Point Shipyard • Easley Enterprises • Ed Reiner Diving • Mission Hull • Ocean Diving Services • Scuba Duba 2010 WINNERS: Gold: Dolphin Divers; Silver: Ed Reiner Diving



Dana Point Times