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3rd AnnualBEST

OF DANA POINT

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L A N T E R N

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Contents Eateries, Watering Holes & More... Best… Appetizers • 4 Bar • 6 Breakfast • 3 Burger • 4 Cup of Coffee • 4 Cup of Tea • 4 Donut • 3 Happy Hour • 3 International Eats • 4 Margarita • 6 Menu for Healthy Choices • 4 Overall Restaurant • 3 Pizza • 6 Restaurant for a Date/Romantic Evening • 3 Sandwich • 6 Spot to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth • 6 Sushi • 3 Taco • 4 Venue for Live Music • 6 Wine Selection • 3

At the Shops... Best… Clothing • 6 Home Decor and Furnishings • 8 Jewelry • 8 Place to Buy Flowers • 8 Store to Buy Gifts for Adults • 8 Store to Buy Gifts for Kids • 8 Surf Shop • 8

Services on the To-Do List... Best… Barber Shop • 10 Car Repair • 12 Dry Cleaner • 10 Pet Grooming • 10 Gym or Fitness Studio • 10 Hair Salon • 10 Lodging • 12 Manicure & Pedicure • 10 Overall Customer Service • 8 Day Spa • 10 Best Breakfast winner RJ Breeden, owner of RJ’s Cafe. Photo by Jasmine Smith

elcome to our annual celebration of the very best our city has to offer in the third annual Dana Point People’s Choice Lantern Awards. We received thousands of responses through online voting and printed ballots as you, the readers, weighed in on your favorite businesses, places, attractions and services in town. After a careful tally of your votes, we have pulled all of your choices together into this handy pullout section that we hope will serve a useful guide in your effort to dine, shop, play and find services locally throughout the year. As part of our special Best of Dana Point edition, Gold and Silver Lantern Award winners are presented with stickers to place in the windows at their places of business. When you’re out and about, be sure to look for these medals of distinction and know that these businesses have been voted among the very best the city has to offer. If somehow the handy paper edition gets lost—don’t fret—the entire section will be available all year on our website at www.danapointtimes.com. —Andrea Swayne

Getting Outside... Best… Beach • 12 City Event • 12 Harbor Recreation/Excursion • 14 Hull and Bottom Cleaner • 14 Park • 14 Place to Take Out-of-Towners • 12 Surf Break • 12 Tackle Shop • 14 Wedding Venue • 12 Yacht/Boat Maintenance and Repair Company • 14 Yacht Club • 14


3rd Annual

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Eateries, Watering Holes and More... BEST RESTAURANT FOR A DATE/ROMANTIC EVENING

Gold Lantern

CHART HOUSE

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

Chart House restaurants across the country have a well-known reputation for serving delicious gourmet cuisine, but the Dana Point location is often singled out for one of the most breathtaking views in the group. Perched high atop a bluff overlooking the harbor, Chart House is the perfect place for a romantic dinner. —AS

Silver Lantern

BRIO TUSCANY GRILLE (TIE)

Silver Lantern

LUCIANA’S RISTORANTE (TIE)

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

24312 Del Prado, 949.661.6500, www.lucianas.com

NOMINEES: 180 Blu at The Ritz-Carlton • Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • El Torito • Eno at The Ritz-Carlton • Ristorante Ferrantelli • Gemmell’s French Restaurant • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Harbor House Cafe • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s Restaurant • Mahe Restaurant • Mario’s By The Sea • Motif Restaurant at the St. Regis Resort • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Renaissance • Salt Creek Grill • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern • Thai This • The Harbor Grill • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What A Dish • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Luciana’s Ristorante; Silver: Chart House

BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT

Gold Lantern

BRIO TUSCANY GRILLE

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

Voted best overall restaurant three years in a row, it is Brio’s signature mix of delectable Italian cuisine, impressive wine selection, entertainment and warm hospitality that keeps people coming back and has earned a huge local following. “People tell me we are the local ‘Cheers,’ said proprietor Enzo Scognamiglio. “Our customers are all very special to us.”—AS

Silver Lantern

THE HARBOR GRILL

34499 Golden Lantern, 949.240.1416, www.harborgrill.com

NOMINEES: A’s Burgers • Agostino’s By the Sea • Blue Dolphin Restaurant Restaurant • Bonjour Café and Bistro • Cafe Mezzaluna • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Dana Kai Japanese Cuisine • El Patio Café • El Torito • Ristorante Ferrantelli • Gemmell’s French Restaurant • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Harbor House Cafe • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s • Jon’s Fish Market • Luciana’s Ristorante • Mahé Restaurant • Mario’s by the Sea • Mori Sushi • Olemendi’s Mexican Restaurant • Peking Dragon Restaurant • Proud Mary’s • RJ’s Cafe • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Renaissance Café • Round Table Pizza • Salt Creek Grille • Shanghai Charlie’s • Smokey’s House of BBQ • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis • Taco Surf • Thai Dara • Thai This • Coffee Importers • Turk’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What a Dish • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Brio Tuscany Grille; Silver: The Harbor Grill

BEST HAPPY HOUR

Gold Lantern

MAHÉ

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

Mahé may be known for sushi, but options like Mahi-Mahi or Kobe beef sliders served on Hawaiian sweet rolls have made the restaurant the go-to spot for happy hour. Cocktails like the Mahé martini, using pineapple-infused vodka, and the golden mai tai, keep customers returning. Happy hour is 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to close Sunday and 4:30 p.m. to close Monday. —SNG

Silver Lantern

WIND & SEA

34699 Golden Lantern, 949.496.6500, www.windandsearestaurants.com

NOMINEES: 180 Blu at The Ritz-Carlton • Blue Dolphin Restaurant • Brio Tuscany Grille • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • El Torito • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • Harbor House Café • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s Restaurant • Luxe Restaurant and Bar • Mori Sushi • Proud Mary’s • Renaissance • Salt Creek Grille • Stella’s Serious Italian • Stonehill Tavern • Sunsets • Taco Surf • The Fish Bucket • Turk’s Restaurant 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Wind & Sea; Silver: Harpoon Henry’s

Gen Kai’s best seller: The Sashimi Roll. Photo by Jasmine Smith

BEST SUSHI

Gold Lantern

GEN KAI JAPANESE RESTAURANT 34143 Pacifc Coast Hwy., 949.240.2004, www.mygenkaidanapoint.com

Gen Kai has been Dana Point’s authentic Japanese staple since 1983. Though ownership has recently changed, the clientele and quality of food hasn’t and regulars swear by it. Plus, their Caterpillar Rolls actually look like caterpillars. Reservations are recommended because the place is always packed. —CS

Silver Lantern

MAHE RESTAURANT

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

NOMINEES: 180 Blu at The Ritz-Carlton • Dana Kai Japanese Cuisine • Ichibiri Restaurant • Maki Yaki Japanese Restaurant • Mori Sushi • Ralphs • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant; Silver: Mahe Restaurant

BEST WINE SELECTION

Gold Lantern

DA VINE FOOD & WINE

34673 Golden Lantern, 949.493.4044, www.davine-wine.com

Travels in Provence, France, for their 15th wedding anniversary, inspired owners Marla Sherman Balmuth and Steve Balmuth to create this gourmet food, wine and gift boutique in Dana Point Harbor. This beautifully merchandised shop offers an extensive selection of hard to find wines and delectable treats to accompany them. —AS

Silver Lantern

BEST DONUT

Gold Lantern

NOMINEES: Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chart House • Dana Point Cigar and Wine • Eno at The Ritz-Carlton • Ristorante Ferrantelli • Gelson’s • Gemmell’s French Restaurant • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack’s • Luciana’s Ristorante • Luxe Restaurant and Bar • Monarch Beach Wine and Spirits • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • The Renaissance • The Ritz-Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • St. Regis Monarch Beach • Stonehill Tavern • Stella’s Serious Italian • Thai This • The Harbor Grill • Turk’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What a Dish • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Brio Tuscany Grille; Silver: Renaissance

2010 Best of Dana Point • Page 3 • www.danapointtimes.com

34135 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.240.3087

Despite the name, the ham and cheese croissant is their most popular item as well as their many espresso drinks. At this small, spot, “everybody who comes in here is in a good mood,” said employee, Rosalie Armijo. “Our regulars appreciate that we’re a locally-owned, small business.” —CS

Silver Lantern

DIPPITY DONUTS

33621 Del Obispo, Ste. C, 949.240.6064

NOMINEES: Coffee Importers • Donut World • Ralphs • RJ’s Café • Starbucks 2009 WINNERS: Gold: DP Donuts; Silver: Dippity Donuts

BEST BREAKFAST

Gold Lantern

RJ’S CAFE

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

Owner RJ Breeden makes a point to make breakfast a priority—that’s why he’s served it all day long for the past eight years in the harbor. “That’s my meal,” he said. Though they’re known for their apple-stuffed French toast and eggs benedict, sandwiches and steaks are also popular. And the staff never stops smiling. —CS

Silver Lantern

BRIO TUSCANY GRILLE

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

DP DONUTS

Silver Lantern

HARBOR HOUSE CAFÉ (TIE)

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

WHAT A DISH (TIE)

24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.276.4884, www.whatadishoc.com

NOMINEES: A’s Burger • Bonjour Cafe and Restaurant • Cafe Mezzaluna • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Coffee Importers • Denny’s • Dippity Donuts • Harbor Grill • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s Restaurant • J.C. Beans • Jolly Roger Restaurant • Laguna Cliffs Marriott • McDonald’s • Proud Mary’s • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Stacks Pancake House • Starbucks • The Brig Restaurant • The Harbor Deli • The Marketplace at The Ritz-Carlton • Turk’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What A Dish • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: RJ’s Cafe; Silver: Harbor House Café


3rd Annual

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BEST APPETIZERS

Gold Lantern

WIND & SEA

34699 Golden Lantern, 949.496.6500, www.windandsearestaurants.com

Pacific Rim fusion cuisine in a waterfront setting makes diners feel like they’re on vacation. The menu offers tasty island-style bites like rice paper ahi, poke and sliders on Hawaiian sweet bread served three ways—traditional, teriyaki and kalua pig. So lose the suit and tie, don your best aloha wear and sip a Mai Tai on the lanai while sampling the flavor of the islands. —AS

Silver Lantern

MAHE RESTAURANT

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

NOMINEES: 180 Blu at The Ritz-Carlton • Brio Tuscany Grille • Cafe Mezzaluna • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons Restaurant • Chart House • El Torito • Gemmell’s French Restaurant • Harbor House Café • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Jack’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Luxe Restaurant and Bar • Motif • Proud Mary’s • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • The Harbor Grill • Turk’s Restaurant • What A Dish 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Salt Creek Grille; Silver: Harpoon Henry’s

BEST MENU FOR HEALTHY CHOICES

Gold Lantern

COFFEE IMPORTERS

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

“We make everything fresh every day unlike many quick service restaurants. Our food is made to order with the finest and freshest ingredients,” said owner Jim Miller. “Our juices and smoothies use fresh-squeezed juices whenever possible.” From fresh salads and sandwiches to veggie juice tonics, the menu offers something good and good for you, for every taste. —AS

Silver Lantern

WHAT A DISH

24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.276.4884, www.whatadishoc.com

NOMINEES: Brio Tuscany Grille • Café Mezzaluna • Cannons Restaurant • Dana Kai Japanese Cuisine • El Pollo Loco • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • The Harbor Grill • The Harbor House Café • Jack’s Restaurant • Jamba Juice • Jon’s Fish Market • Kaleyard • Mahe Restaurant • Monarch Beach Market • Proud Mary’s • Raya, at The Ritz-Carlton • RJ’s Café • Subway • Thai Dara • Thai This • The Brig • Tutor and Spunkys • Turk’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Blaz’n Blenders at Coffee Importers; Silver: Jamba Juice

C H O I C E

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BEST BURGER

Gold Lantern

A’S BURGERS

34344 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.496.4460

Regulars say that when you drive over the bridge on PCH entering Dana Point and see the A’s Burgers sign, somehow their cars are magnetically drawn to the place. They can’t help it they say. Let them blame it on their cars, but we know people flock to this place for the juicy, flavorful, made-to-order burgers and delicious accompaniments like fried zucchini. The car story— that’s just an excuse for A’s Burger addiction. —AS

Silver Lantern

HENNESSEY’S TAVERN

34111 La Plaza, 949.488.0121, www.hennesseystavern.com

NOMINEES: Blue Dolphin Restaurant • Burger King • Cannons Restaurant • Carl’s Jr • Harbor House Café • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack in the Box • Jolly Roger Restaurant • 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 • Turk’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • The Harbor Grill • What a Dish • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: A’s Burgers; Silver: Hennessey’s Tavern

BEST INTERNATIONAL EATS

Gold Lantern

THAI THIS

24501 Del Prado, 949.240.7944, www.thaithis.com

…Thai anything, here. With plenty of seating, Dana Point’s go-to for Thai food has got so much on their menu under “Appethaizer,” “Cow with Three Legs,” “Go Fish,” “Go Hog Wild,” “Main Man in the Orient” and a bevy of other categories that make it almost impossible to choose. Best to go there with a large group and eat family style—it’s worth it. —CS

Silver Lantern

MAHE

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

NOMINEES: Agostino’s by the Sea • Blue Dolphin Restaurant • Bonjour Cafe and Restaurant • Brio Tuscany Grille • Cafe Mezzaluna • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons Restaurant • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Chronic Tocos • Dana Kai Japanese Cuisine • El Torito • Gemmell’s French Restaurant • Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant • The Harbor Grill • Hennessey’s Tavern • Ichibiri Restaurant • Kaleyard • Las Golondrinas Mexican Food • Luciana’s • Mori Sushi • Olemendi’s Mexican Restaurant • Peking Dragon Restaurant • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Round Table Pizza • Shanghai Charlie’s • Stella’s Serious Italian • Taco Surf • Thai Dara 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Thai This; Silver: Peking Dragon

Diane Macartney and George Blake of Taco Surf. Photo by Jasmine Smith

BEST TACO

Gold Lantern

TACO SURF

34105 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.661.5754, www.tacosurf.com

“It’s either the margaritas or the tacos,” owner George Blake says about why his customers keep coming back. With outside and inside seating, a full bar, Taco Tuesdays and plenty of specials, it’s no wonder he’s served a packed house since ’99. It’s a fun place to enjoy yourself but they don’t stay open much past 10 p.m. so don’t get too rowdy! —CS

Silver Lantern

CHRONIC TACO

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

NOMINEES: Aurora’s Taqueria • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Del Taco • El Patio Café • El Pollo Loco • El Torito • Harpoon Henry’s • Island Style Taco • Las Golondrinas Mexican Food • Olamendi’s Mexican Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • The Renaissance • RJ’s Café • Turk’s Restaurant 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Taco Surf; Silver: Chronic Taco

BEST CUP OF COFFEE

Gold Lantern

COFFEE IMPORTERS

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

Since 1975 Coffee Importers has been a favorite way to start the day with a wide variety of java concoctions. Whether a good old-fashioned cup of joe or a sweet flavored specialty drink is to your liking, customers will find plenty of choices to satisfy their coffee cravings. Jim Miller’s shop is also a popular meeting place where locals gather for conversation. —AS

Silver Lantern

J.C. BEANS

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

NOMINEES: Bonjour Cafe and Restaurant • DP Donuts • Harbor House Café • McDonald’s • Proud Mary’s • R J’s Café • Starbucks • The Market Place at The RitzCarlton • The Renaissance • Turk’s Restaurant • What a Dish • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Coffee Importers; Silver: J.C. Beans

BEST CUP OF TEA

Gold Lantern

COFFEE IMPORTERS

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

Coffee isn’t the only drink on the menu here. Coffee Importers also offers a wide variety of specialty teas. The seaside patio’s relaxing ambiance makes a great place to take a break and sip a cup of your favorite tea. —AS

Silver Lantern Jib, owner of Thai This, winner of Best International Eats. Photo by Jasmine Smith

2010 Best of Dana Point • Page 4 • www.danapointtimes.com

J.C. BEANS

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

NOMINEES: The Market Place at The Ritz-Carlton • McDonald’s • Proud Mary’s • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • RJ’s Cafe • Starbucks • Turk’s Restaurant • What A Dish • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Lavender Lounge; Silver: Coffee Importers


3rd Annual

BEST OF DANA POINT 2 0 1 0

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BEST VENUE FOR LIVE MUSIC

Gold Lantern

RENAISSANCE

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

Renaissance pulled off a hat trick this year winning a third gold medal. Top-notch acoustics and a lineup of uber-talented musicians and bands have kept Renaissance on top in this category. They also offer a full menu of food and beverages to round out a live music experience that is a big favorite of locals. —AS

Silver Lantern

BRIO TUSCANY GRILLE

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

NOMINEES: Coconuts • The Dana Pride • Doheny Blues Festival • Harpoon Henry’s • Mahé Restaurant • OverVue Lounge at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Salt Creek Grille • Sunsets • Taco Surf • The Fish Bucket • The Rib Joint • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Renaissance; Silver: Brio Tuscany Grille

BEST MARGARITA

Gold Lantern

EL TORITO

34521 Golden Lantern, 949.496.6311, www.eltorito.com

Voted the best for the third year in a row, El Torito has a wide selection of tequilas and variety of styles and flavors—like strawberry, melon, coconut-pineapple and raspberry—to please every margarita aficionado. The House Margarita—Premium Gold Tequila, orange liqueur and sweet-and-sour blended or on the rocks—is a best seller for both quality and value. —AS

Silver Lantern It’s All About the Cake’s Diane and Alexandra Richey. Photo by Heidi Mefferd

BEST SPOT TO SATISFY A SWEET TOOTH

Gold Lantern

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CAKE

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

It’s All About the Cake is aptly referred to as, “a cake design studio.” Much more than an ordinary bakery, this shop elevates baking to an art. Their cakes are as delicious to look at, as they are to eat. For weddings, birthdays and other special occasions, It’s All About the Cake is all about pleasing the customer. —AS

Silver Lantern

SCOOP DECK AT COFFEE IMPORTERS 34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

NOMINEES: Baskin Robbins • Brio Tuscany Grille • Chart House • Dana Point Donuts • DaVine Food and Wine • Dippity Donuts • Gelson’s • Gemmell’s French Restaurant • Harbor House Cafe • J.C. Beans • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Smokey’s House of BBQ • The Brig Restaurant • The Chocolate Solider • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Yogurtland 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Scoop Deck at Coffee Importers; Silver: (TIE) It’s All About the Cake, Chocolate Soldier

BEST SANDWICH

Gold Lantern

TUTOR AND SPUNKY’S DELI

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

Fresh delicious deli sandwiches made, “just the way you like ‘em” have kept Tutor and Spunky’s a top choice among the hungry local lunch crowd. Custom order a sandwich with your own favorite combination of ingredients or choose one off the menu—with great names like Cheat a Little, Chill Out Dude and the Longboard. Either way, you won’t be disappointed, either by the food or the friendly staff. —AS

Silver Lantern

COFFEE IMPORTERS

34531 Golden Lantern, 949.493.7773, www.coffeeimporters.com

NOMINEES: A’s Burger • Beach Cities Pizza • Bonjour Café and Bistro • Cafe Mezzaluna • Coffee Importers • Donut World • Gelson’s • Harbor Deli • Harpoon Henry’s • Jon’s Fish Market • Monarch Beach Market • Proud Mary’s • R J’s Café • Ralphs Deli • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Starbucks • Subway • The Market Place at The Ritz-Carlton • Turk’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • What a Dish 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Tutor and Spunkys Deli; Silver: Blaz’n Blenders at Coffee Importers

BEST PIZZA

Gold Lantern

BEACH CITIES PIZZA

34473 Golden Lantern, 949.496.0606

Sour dough crust pizza made from a unique yeast starter separates these pies from the pack. The harbor pizzeria uses top-of-the-line toppers paired with homemade sauces. Pizza lovers can change up the mix with the basil goodness of Beach Cities’ pesto sauce. Customers also appreciate the unique coastal names for pies like the Del Mar, the Doheny and the Newporter. —SNG

Silver Lantern

CALIENTE COASTAL CANTINA 34085 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.493.4319, www.calientecoastalcantina.com

NOMINEES: Blue Dolphin Restaurant • Brio Tuscany Grille • Carlos Mexican Restaurant • Chart House • Fish Bucket • Harbor Grill • Harpoon Henry’s • Hennessey’s Tavern • Las Golondrinas • Mahé Restaurant • Olamendi’s Mexican Restaurant • Proud Mary’s • Raya at the Ritz-Carlton • Renaissance • Sunset Bar and Grill • Taco Surf • Thai This • Turk’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: El Torito; Silver: Taco Surf

At the Shops...

STUFT PIZZA

24821 Del Prado, 949.240.6444, www.stuftpizza.com

NOMINEES: Agostino’s by the Sea • Ambassadors of the Environment, at The Ritz-Carlton • Brio Tuscany Grille • Bubba Kahuna’s • Cafe Mezzaluna • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Dominos Pizza • Fratello’s Italian Family • Jack’s Restaurant • Kokomo’s Pizza • Luciano’s • Papa Murphy’s • Pizza Hut • Round Table Pizza • Slice of New York • Stella’s Serious Italian • The Market Place at The Ritz-Carlton • Turk’s Restaurant • Vue Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs Marriott 2009 Winners: Gold: Beach Cities Pizza; Silver: Stuft Pizza

BEST BAR

Gold Lantern

TURK’S RESTAURANT

34683 Golden Lantern, 949.496.9028

Turk’s expert bartenders are notorious for both friendly service and generosity at the pour—no skimpy, watered-down cocktails here. The crowd is a colorful mix of interesting people and the conversation is always lively. A great food menu and beautiful waterfront view doesn’t hurt either. —AS

Silver Lantern Silver Lantern

HENNESSEY’S TAVERN (TIE)

34111 La Plaza, 949.488.0121, www.hennesseystavern.com

MAHE (TIE)

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

NOMINEES: Aventura Bar and Grill • Blue Dolphin Restaurant • Brio Tuscany Grille • Caliente Coastal Cantina • Cannons Restaurant • Casanova Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge • Coconuts • Eno at The Ritz-Carlton • Harpoon Henry’s • Jack’s • Jolly Roger • Luxe • OverVue Lounge at Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Proud Mary’s • Raya at The Ritz-Carlton • Renaissance • The Ritz-Carlton • Salt Creek Grille • Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis • Sunsets • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Turk’s Restaurant; Silver: Brio Tuscany Grille

2010 Best of Dana Point • Page 6 • www.danapointtimes.com

Golden Galleon’s Marla Sherman Balmuth. Photo by Andrea Swayne

BEST CLOTHING

Gold Lantern

GOLDEN GALLEON

34677 Golden Lantern, 949.493.8521

For three decades, Golden Galleon has offered a great selection of fine apparel, shoes and accessories. Colorful, stylish clothing from some of the most sought after labels keep discerning local fashionistas coming back. Owner Marla Sherman Balmuth says her clothing is personally chosen to fit well with the California lifestyle, be of the highest quality and that every effort is taken to ensure their fashions are made in the United States. —AS

Silver Lantern

DOHENY CLOTHING EXCHANGE 34276 Doheny Park Road, 949.240.4800

NOMINEES: Bella Bazaar • Bella Sea • Carmady Street • Hobie Surf Shop • Infinity Surfboards • Jack’s Surfboards • JunQies • Killer Dana • Millie • Monarch Silks Fine Boutique • Rococo • Roxanne • Sea Styles • The Downstairs Store • The RitzCarlton • The Woody Hut • Top Brass • Tutta Bella 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Hobie; Silver: (TIE) Golden Galleon, Killer Dana


3rd Annual

BEST OF DANA POINT 2 0 1 0

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BEST HOME DECOR AND FURNISHINGS

Gold Lantern

THE UPSTAIRS STORE (TIE) 34505 Golden Lantern, 949.661.3787

Though The Upstairs Store is predominantly filled with elegant ladies fashion items at first glance, owner Marla Sherman Balmuth hand-selects the eclectic mix of unique home décor trinkets, treasures and gifts. From kitchenware to bedroom delights, you’ll find something here for every room in your house. —CS

Gold Lantern

BELLA BAZAAR (TIE)

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

C H O I C E

L A N T E R N

BEST JEWELRY

Gold Lantern

SWISS CONNECTION FINE JEWELRY AND WATCHES

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

Nina and her Swiss husband, Jean-Jacques Mamie bring authenticity to their full-service jewelry store with over 20 years of experience. Jean-Jacque hails from the watch-making region in Switzerland and is a third generation jeweler. They carry many brands and all their watch-making is done on premises. —CS

Silver Lantern

MARINELLI FINE JEWELRY

12 Monarch Bay Drive, 949.443.4030

An eclectic blend of products and services gives Bella Bazaar its unique vibe and appeal. The store is a full-service design center, but customers can also peruse and purchase furniture, drapery and even clothing. Bella Bazaar gives patrons plenty to pick from whether it’s fabric samples, wall coverings, designer offerings or drapery styles. The store also features products for the garden, like fountains and pottery. —SNG

NOMINEES: About Time Watch Co. • Barbara Hendricks Designs • Bella Bazaar • Dana Point Jeweler • Doheny Clothing Exchange • Golden Galleon • Harbor Jeweler • Mille Fleurs • Monaco Jewelers • The Downstairs Store 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Swiss Connection Fine Jewelry and Watches; Silver: Marinelli Fine Jewelry

THE DOWNSTAIRS STORE

McCool Flowers is a one-stop shop for all your floral needs. Whether you’re looking for a corsage for a school dance, a custom centerpiece or full-service wedding floral design, McCool’s offers the best of the best. During the holiday season, they host an open house—with refreshments, carolers and Santa—that has become part of many local families’ holiday traditions.—AS

Silver Lantern

34525 Golden Lantern, 949.496.1424, www.downstairsstore.com

NOMINEES: Generations • McGee Construction and Remodeling • The Mint Fine Art Gallery • Timeless Teak • Tutta Bella 2009 WINNERS: Gold: The Downstairs Store; Silver: Bella Bazaar

BEST STORE TO BUY GIFTS FOR ADULTS

Gold Lantern

THE UPSTAIRS STORE

34505 Golden Lantern, 949.661.3787

Marla Sherman, owner of two other stores in the harbor, has been a merchant in the Dana Point Harbor since 1979. “I needed another store like I needed a hole in the head,” she said about taking over The Upstairs Store four years ago. But it was a spot she had always been attracted to and she couldn’t resist the opportunity to claim this quaint, charming boutique. —CS

Silver Lantern

THE DOWNSTAIRS STORE

34525 Golden Lantern, 949.496.1424, www.downstairsstore.com

NOMINEES: Alana Day Spa • Bella Bazaar • Dana Point Hardware • Dana Wharf Sport Fishing and Whale Watching • DaVine Food & Wine • Doheny Clothing Exchange • Golden Galleon • Hobie Surf Shop • Infinity Surfboards • Intimate Obsessions • It’s All About the Cake • Jack’s Surfboards • Planet Beauty • Roxanne • Art Sea • Skin Care by Alana • The Woody Hut • Tutta Bella • West Marine 2009 WINNERS: Gold: The Upstairs Store; Silver: Bella Bazaar

A W A R D S

BEST PLACE TO BUY FLOWERS

Gold Lantern

Silver Lantern

MCCOOL FLOWERS

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

BROWNE’S FLOWERS

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

NOMINEES: Iva Bloom Signature Florist • Ralphs • The Beach Flower • The Flower Girl 2009 WINNERS: Gold: McCool Flowers; Silver: Browne’s Flowers

BEST SURF SHOP

Gold Lantern

KILLER DANA

24621 Del Prado, 949.489.8380, www.killerdana.com

Celebrating their 20th anniversary this June, Killer Dana Surf Shop has long been the place where locals shop. From beginner to expert, Killer Dana has everything you need to have fun on the waves—including surf lessons—as well as the best surf brand clothing and accessories at competitive prices. —AS

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 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Killer Dana; Silver: Hobie

Girl in the Curl’s Mary Hartmann. Photo by Andrea Swayne

BEST STORE TO BUY GIFTS FOR KIDS

Gold Lantern

GIRL IN THE CURL (TIE)

34116 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. A, 949.661.4475, www.girlinthecurl.com

Mary Hartmann runs a core surf shop but what’s so unique about her spot is all the trinkets, jewelry, body products, accessories and awesome room décor for any budding surf girl—even teenie, tiny wetsuits. Open since 1997, “we sell the surf, beach and lifestyle vibe,” said Hartmann. —CS

Gold Lantern

THE WEE LOFT (TIE)

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

The Wee Loft is almost like an old-fashion toy store. Erin Kelly and Annette Garcia opened their shop 20 years ago and they pride themselves on their charming, European atmosphere and independent, local ownership. “What’s best for a happy and healthy childhood is our mission,” they say of their great selection of bears, toys and dolls, oh my! —CS

Silver Lantern

FAIRYTALES CHILDREN’S BOUTIQUE

32880 Pacific Coast Plaza, Monarch Bay Plaza #33, 949.429.3700, www.ilovefairytales.com

NOMINEES: Chamber’s Gallery, Ocean Institute • CVS Pharmacy • Doheny Clothing Exchange • Hobie Surf Shop • It’s All About the Cake • The Gift Chateau 2009 WINNERS: Gold: The Wee Loft; Silver: Ocean Institute

Services on the To-Do List... BEST OVERALL CUSTOMER SERVICE

Gold Lantern

SMOKEY’S HOUSE OF BBQ

32860 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 4, 949.388.8102, www.smokeyshouseofbbq.com

Well-known for delicious barbecue smoked “slow and low,” Smokey’s is also a customer service standout. “The work ethic of our staff is what sets us apart,” said General Manager Brad Janowiak. “Our staff really cares about the customer and the quality of our food. Our quality control motto is, ‘If we wouldn’t serve it to our mothers, we won’t serve it to our guests.’”—AS

Silver Lantern

Smokey’s General Manager Brad Janowiak and Executive Chef Israel Mercado. Photo by Jasmine Smith

2010 Best of Dana Point • Page 8 • www.danapointtimes.com

WESTWIND SAILING

34451 Ensenada Place, 949.492.3035, www.westwindsailing.com

NOMINEES: Aegis of Dana Point • Artistry Salon • A’s Burgers • Bella Bazaar • Biodynamax Training Gym • Bon Jour Café • Brio Tuscany Grille • Browne’s Flowers • Cafe Mezzaluna • Cannons Restaurant • Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari • Chick’s Plumbing Inc • Coffee Importers • Dana Point Bodycentere • Dana Point Hardware • Dana West Yacht Club • Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching • DanaPointForSale.net • DaVine Food & Wine • Dawgy Style Dana Point All Breed Dawg and Kat Grooming • Doheny Clothing Exchange • El Patio Café • Gift Chateau • Golden Galleon • Golden Lantern Animal Hospital • Harpoon Henry’s • Hobie Surf Shop • Hogan Bait and Tackle • Holistic Health • Infinity Surfboards • It’s All About The Cake • J.C. Beans • Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Luciana’s Ristorante • Mahé Restaurant • Mario’s By the Sea • Marinelli Jewelry • Massage Envy • McCool Flowers • Mille Fleurs • Monarch Links Golf • OakCrest Products, Inc. • Ocean Institute • Proud Mary’s • Rado’s Fitness • Ralphs • Renovation Hair Center • RJ’s Café • Round Table Pizza • Royal Cleaners • Salon de la Mer • Salon Rouge • Scoop Deck Ice Cream Shop • Stacks Pancake House • Stella’s Serious Italian • Swiss Connection Fine Jewelry and Timepieces • The Beach Flower Florist Services • The Downstairs Store • The Harbor Grill • The Kings Club Barbershop • The Mint Gallery • The Ritz-Carlton • The UPS Store • The Upstairs Store • The Wee Loft • The Woody Hut • Turk’s Restaurant • What a Dish • White Lotus


3rd Annual

BEST OF DANA POINT 2 0 1 0

P E O P L E ’ S

C H O I C E

L A N T E R N

A W A R D S

BEST MANICURE & PEDICURE

Gold Lantern

POSH NAILS

24040 Camino Del Avion, Ste. 8, 949.496.7674

Posh Nails is a three-time gold medal winner in this category. Clients say they love the comfy massaging lounge chairs almost as much as the expert service they receive from a very personable staff of technicians. Cleanliness is a top priority for customers when choosing a nail salon, and in this area, Posh really delivers. —AS

Silver Lantern

SALON ROUGE

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

NOMINEES: Accent on Nails • Azalea Salon and Boutique • Design Nails Spa • Happy Nails and Spa • JTC Salon • Latitude 33 • Mylee Salon • Ocean Nails and Spas • Paragon Salon and Day Spa • Pro Nails • Salon Revelation • The Spa at Laguna Cliffs • Tic Tac Nails • Top Nails and Hair LLC 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Posh Nails; Silver: Top Nails & Hair

BEST CLEANERS

Gold Lantern

PACIFIC DRY CLEANERS

Silver Lantern

ROYAL CLEANERS

34098 Pacific Coast Hwy., 949.240.2994

Offering full dry cleaning and laundry services, Pacific Dry Cleaners offer friendly and professional service. They even do comforters and tailoring and are conveniently open on weekdays until 6 p.m. and on Saturday until 5 p.m. —CS 34119 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. F, 949.661.0988

NOMINEES: Celebrity Cleaners • Dana Point Cleaners • Elite Cleaners • Excel Cleaners and Tailoring • Monarch Beach Cleaners • Plaza Cleaners • Raymar Cleaners • Royal Cleaners • Threads 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Raymar Cleaners; Silver: Pacific Cleaners

The ladies of Posh Nails. Photo by Jasmine Smith

Artistry Salon. Photo by Jasmine Smith

BEST HAIR SALON

Gold Lantern

33971 Selva Road, 949.240.1773

SALON ROUGE (TIE)

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

Their décor is reflected in their name, but more importantly, owner Tate Clifton’s staff of 11 stylists are “all about the clients. It’s because of them that we are where we’re at. We want to give them good value for what they’re paying for.” Clifton, with 22 years of experience, carries product lines like Moroccan Oil, Enjoy and Aveda as well as scarves, jewelry, hats and bags. —CS

Silver Lantern

BEST GYM OR FITNESS STUDIO

Gold Lantern

THE KINGS CLUB BARBERSHOP

Gold Lantern

Silver Lantern

SPORTS BARBER

34192 Violet Lantern, 949.248.8595

34221 Golden Lantern, 949.493.6081

NOMINEES: Aloha • Monarch Bay Haircutters • Pro Hair Cutters • Salon Connection • Salon Revelation • Supercuts 2009 WINNERS: Gold: The Kings Club Barbershop; Silver: Sports Barber

BEST PET GROOMING

Gold Lantern

DAWGY STYLE

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

Dog grooming never looked so chic—at least not since Dawgy Style Dawg & Kat Salon arrived. The salon boasts of pampering pets with “premium, all-natural shampoos and conditioners.” Dawgy’s staff can offer advice on care of skin and coat, provide handstripping for terriers and hand scissor poodles. These specialists streamline the process so neither pooches nor their owners need wait too long. —SNG

SALON REVELATION

NOMINEES: Aloha Barber Salon • Azalea Boutique • Barry’s Utopia Salon • Bella Moda Salon • Ego Salon • Hairmasters • Howard Jones Salon • JTC Salon • Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa • Martha’s Beauty Salon • Paragon Salon and Day Spa • Salon Connection • Salon de la Mer • Salon Palisades • Supercuts • The RitzCarlton 2009 WINNERS: Gold: (TIE) Salon Rouge, Salon Revelation; Silver: Azalea Salon and Boutique

34085 La Plaza, 949.496.4644

Since buying the shop four years ago, owner Mike Swenson, along with head barber Scott Young, have carried on the tradition local clients have been enjoying at this location since 1963. “We are not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but instead deliver a classic American barbershop experience including razor-sharp haircuts and hot towel shaves,” said Swenson. —AS

ARTISTRY SALON (TIE)

Tina Hagar has owned this destination salon for high-end clients for seven years. A color specialist, her business has been built up by word of mouth and her clients are rarely walk-ins. “We are always accommodating and we help people look their best.” —CS

Gold Lantern

BEST BARBER SHOP

Silver Lantern

DANA POINT GROOMING AND PET SPA 34102 La Plaza, Ste. B, 949.429.7297, www.danapointgrooming.com

NOMINEES: Ali-Paws All Breed Grooming • Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital • Estrella Pet Grooming • Golden Lantern Animal Hospital • Pet Smart • The Beach Dogue 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Dawgy Style; Silver: (TIE) Dana Point Grooming and Pet Spa, South Paw Dog Wash

2010 Best of Dana Point • Page 10 • www.danapointtimes.com

RADO’S FITNESS

24470 Del Prado , 949.488.7700, www.radosfitness.com

Pilates, yoga, spin, Zumba, hip-hop dance, personal trainers— this complete workout facility makes for one killer body. It was Rado Pagac’s dream to own his own, truly effective, fitness studio and to see Rado and his staff of 10 certified trainers at work, one can easily see that he has accomplished his goal. —CS

Silver Lantern

FITNESS TOGETHER

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

NOMINEES: Asthanga Yoga Shala • Biodynamax Training Gym • Deidrich Studios • FIT Club • Kardia Life Fitness Center • Palestra Gym • PCH Pilates and Yoga • Tennis Club Monarch Beach • Vivos Fitness Inc • Westwind Sailing 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Pulse Gym; Silver: Fitness Together

BEST DAY SPA

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT BODYCENTRE 24629 Del Prado, 949.487.0891, www.danapointbodycentre.com

This laid back and homey day spa has been offering Dana Point 14 years of massage, facials and body treatments like scrubs and wraps. With six massage rooms, they don’t claim to be a huge spa with saunas and other frills but their great service, intimate atmosphere and low prices keep their clients coming back. —CS

Silver Lantern

MASSAGE ENVY

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

NOMINEES: Alana Day Spa • Better Health Body • Dawn’s Day Spa • Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa • Le Visage • OC Medical • The Ritz-Carlton • Salon Rouge • Spa Gaucin • Spa Intimates • St. Regis Monarch Beach • White Lotus Spa 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Bodycentre; Silver: White Lotus


3rd Annual

BEST OF DANA POINT 2 0 1 0

P E O P L E ’ S

BEST LODGING

Gold Lantern

LAGUNA CLIFFS MARRIOTT

25135 Park Lantern, 888.476.2405, www.lagunacliffs.com

Perched high on the bluffs above the harbor, this AAA fourdiamond resort offers breathtaking ocean views and first-class accommodations. A recent multi-million dollar remodel has made for a beautiful, fresh and modern look in common areas, restaurant/lounge and grounds, as well as the resort’s 378 spacious guest rooms and suites. The hotel also boasts a fullservice spa and wellness center. —AS

Silver Lantern

THE RITZ-CARLTON

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

NOMINEES: Best Western Dana Point Inn-by-the-Sea • Blue Lantern Inn • Dana Point Marina Inn • Doubletree • Dana Point Harbor Inn • Motel 6 • St. Regis Monarch Beach 2009 WINNERS: Gold: St. Regis Monarch Beach; Silver: Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa

BEST CAR REPAIR

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT SHELL

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

With such an accessible location right on PCH, Dana Point Shell does all kinds of repairs. “People come here for our honest service,” said owner, Mike Behrazfar. He’s served Dana Point drivers for 10 years now but has been in the auto repair business for 28. “Our customers have been coming here for a long time for our knowledge and top-of-the-line equipment,” said Behrazfar. —CS

Silver Lantern

REUBENS IMPORTS

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

NOMINEES: Advanced Auto Refinishing • Chevron • Dana Point Auto • 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 Volkswagon • Sparks Performance • West Coast Tire and Service 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Shell; Silver: Old Town Garage

C H O I C E

L A N T E R N

A W A R D S

Getting Outside... BEST CITY EVENT

Gold Lantern

CONCERTS IN THE PARK

949.248.3500, www.danapoint.org

Summer concerts in the park draw throngs of music-lovers with a wide variety of music styles and performances at an unbeatable price—free! Concertgoers bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics and settle in for a toe-tapping good time. The great tunes have even been known to inspire some to get up and dance. —AS

Silver Lantern

FESTIVAL OF WHALES PARADE 949.496.5794, www.festivalofwhales.com

NOMINEES: 4th of July Fireworks Display • Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle • Doheny Blues Festival • Boat Parade of Lights • Dana Point Concours d’Elegance • Dana Point Grand Prix • Dana Point Jazz Festival • Dana Point Movies in the Park • Dana Point Tree Lighting • Dana Point Turkey Trot • Farmers Market • Festival of Whales • Relay for Life • Toshiba Tall Ships Festival 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Festival of Whales; Silver: Turkey Trot

BEST WEDDING VENUE

Gold Lantern

THE RITZ-CARLTON

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

Location, location, location makes the Ritz-Carlton the most sought after place for couples to share their big day. The upscale hotel sits atop a Dana Point bluff with unobstructed views of the Pacific. For newlyweds, the manicured grounds and ocean vistas create an ideal backdrop for photos and long-lasting memories. Wedding guests appreciate the hotel’s long list of amenities, including easy access to Salt Creek Beach. —SNG

Silver Lantern

LAGUNA CLIFFS MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA 25135 Park Lantern, 888.476.2405, www.lagunacliffs.com

NOMINEES: Blue Lantern Inn • Cannons Restaurant • Chart House • Dana Point Yacht Club • Heritage Park • Ocean Institute • Palisades Gazebo Park • Pines Park • South Shores Church • St. Regis Monarch Beach 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Yacht Club; Silver: Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

Dana Point Harbor. Photo by Jasmine Smith

BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT HARBOR

949.923.2255, www.danapointharbor.com

Unrivaled ocean and harbor views combined with a variety of restaurants and shops make Dana Point Harbor the ideal destination to impress guests. Children delight in the sight of sailboats and the occasional fish making an occasional appearance and grandparents can stroll among the docks and into shops. Couples, too, can find a romantic spot for a bite to eat. —SNG

Silver Lantern

OCEAN INSTITUTE

24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.496.2274, www.ocean-institute.org

NOMINEES: Baby Beach • Monarch Bay Club • Bella Bazaar • Brio Tuscany Grill • Cannons Restaurant • Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari and Whale Watching • Chart House • Eno at The Ritz-Carlton • Coffee Importers • Dana Wharf • Doheny State Beach • Doheny Blues Festival • El Torito • Harpoon Henry’s • It’s All About the Cake • Jon’s Fish Market • Laguna Cliffs Marriott • Mahé Restaurant • Massage Envy • Peking Dragon Restaurant • RJ’s Cafe • Salt Creek Beach • Scoop Deck Ice Cream Shop • St. Regis Monarch Beach • Strand Vista Park • Taco Surf • The Bluffs at Monarch Beach • The Harbor Grill • The Ritz-Carlton • Turk’s Restaurant • Westwind Sailing • What A Dish • Wind & Sea 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Point Harbor; Silver: Ocean Institute

BEST BEACH

Gold Lantern

SALT CREEK BEACH

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

A haven for tourists, locals and especially high school kids, Salt Creek is one of the most scenic beaches in the country. Lifeguarded in the summer with a concession stand at the top of the hill for lunch and beverages, it’s really the best destination to spend morning ’til sundown. —CS

Silver Lantern

DANA STRAND BEACH

NOMINEES: Baby Beach • Capistrano Beach (Hole in the Fence) • Doheny State Beach 2009 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

Creek sucks up the most swell in the area, besides Lowers...it’s always breaking. And with quality waves at Point, Middles and Gravels, it’s no wonder you’ll spot bevies of pro surfers in the water every day. Even though a local attitude is ever-present, it’s the most surfed (and bodyboarded) beach in Dana Point. Crowd factor is high—but the punchy, perfect peaks are worth it. —CS

Silver Lantern

DANA STRAND BEACH

NOMINEES: Doheny State Beach • Gravels • Heroins (Monarch Bay Point) • Killer Dana 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Salt Creek Beach; Silver: Doheny State Beach

Best Car Repair: Dana Point Shell. Photo by Heidi Mefferd

2010 Best of Dana Point • Page 12 • www.danapointtimes.com


3rd Annual

BEST OF DANA POINT 2 0 1 0

P E O P L E ’ S

C H O I C E

L A N T E R N

A W A R D S

BEST TACKLE SHOP

Gold Lantern

JIG STOP TACKLE AND TOURS

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

Specializing in onshore and offshore saltwater fishing gear, Jig Stop has been the go-to place for anglers for 46 years at the same PCH location. “Whether you happen to be a beginner fishing from a local beach or an experienced angler booking a long range deep sea trip to Panama or Costa Rica, we have everything you need,” said owner David Myers. —AS

Silver Lantern

HOGAN’S BAIT AND TACKLE

34320 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. G, 949.493.3528

NOMINEES: Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching 2009 WINNERS: Gold: The Jig Stop; Silver: Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching

BEST YACHT CLUB

Gold Lantern

DANA POINT YACHT CLUB

24399 Dana Drive, 949.496.2900, www.dpyc.org

DPYC is dedicated to all things oceangoing. With banquets and catering, regattas every month, a summer youth sailing program and tons of other social and boating events, it’s no wonder this organization—started in 1952—calls itself “the friendliest yacht club on the coast.” It’s a place for family and friends of all ages. —CS

Silver Lantern

DANA WEST YACHT CLUB

24601 Dana Drive, 949.661.1185, www.dwyc.org

NOMINEES: Aventura Sailing

BEST HULL AND BOTTOM CLEANER

Gold Lantern

DOLPHIN DIVERS

24382 Caracas St., 949.661.6878

Offering quality hull and bottom cleaning, and other underwater repairs for over 25 years, Dolphin Divers has been trusted by the likes of Dana Wharf Sportfishing, Aventura Sailing and the Ocean Institute, as well as many privateers for two decades. Proprietor Jeff Barnett says consistent quality, integrity and reliability are what set his business apart. –AS

Silver Lantern

ED REINER DIVING COMPANY 760.721.1928, www.edrienerdiving.com

NOMINEES: Bare Bottoms Boat Cleaning • Captain’s Crew • Dana Point Marine Service • Dana Point • Yacht Maintenance • Dana Point Shipyard • Ocean Diving Services 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Dolphin Divers; Silver: (TIE) Ed Reiner Diving, Dana Harbor Marine Service

David Myers of Jig Stop Tackle and Tours. Photo by Andrea Swayne

BEST HARBOR RECREATION/ EXCURSION

Gold Lantern

DANA WHARF SPORTFISHING AND WHALE WATCHING

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

For 40 years Dana Wharf has offered fun and recreation in the waters off Dana Point. From harbor music cruises and whale watching to full-day sportfishing excursions, there’s something fun for everyone. Youngsters even get in on the action with Kids Club angling instruction and special events. For a more unusual adventure, try seasonal nighttime squid fishing and, new this year, lobster hoop netting. —AS

Silver Lantern

CAPT DAVE’S DOLPHIN & WHALE SAFARI 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, 949.488.2828, www. dolphinsafari.com

NOMINEES: Capo Beach Watercraft • Catalina Express • Curlew Charters Inc • Dana Point Harbor • Boat Parade of Lights • Dana Point Jet Ski & Kayak Center • Dana Wharf Boat Rides with Santa • Doheny Blues Festival • Ocean Institute • Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) • Westwind Sailing 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching Silver: Capt Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari

BEST YACHT/BOAT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR COMPANY

Gold Lantern

OUTBOUND YACHT SERVICES INC.

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

This mobile marine services company installs systems on yachts—whether it be a sport fishing boat, sailboat or pleasure yacht. Between installation, repair and trouble-shooting, they spend anywhere between two hours and 250 hours on boats, typically between 40 and 80 feet in length. —CS

Silver Lantern Dolphin Divers, Jeff Barnett. Photo by Andrea Swayne

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

NOMINEES: Aqua Tech Yacht Services • Dana Harbor Marine Service • Dana Point Yacht Maintenance • John Ross Marine Maintenance • Nordhavn • Ocean Diving Service • West Marine 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Mission Hull; Silver: Dana Point Shipyard

2010 Best of Dana Point • Page 14 • www.danapointtimes.com

Pines Park. Photo by Heidi Mefferd

BEST PARK

Gold Lantern

PINES PARK

34941 Camino Capistrano

Pines Park is just as popular with high school students taking prom and senior photos as it is with couples watching a romantic sunset over Dana Point Harbor. Favorite city events like the annual Easter egg hunt and Memorial Day services are held here also has great play equipment for the kids. —AS

Silver Lantern

HERITAGE PARK

34400 Old Golden Lantern

NOMINEES: Capistrano Beach Park • Creekside Park • Dana Point Harbor • Dana Point Headlands • Dana Strand • Doheny State Park • Lantern Bay Park • Salt Creek Beach Park • Sea Canyon Park • Sea Terrace Community Park 2009 WINNERS: Gold: Heritage Park; Silver: Lantern Bay Park


Best of Dana Point 2010  

People's Choice Lantern Awards

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