Timothy Leary and his artist cohorts knew what they were doing when they built beach bungalows in north Laguna Beach to escape Los Angeles. Nestled along the Laguna coastline, the 22-room Hotel Joaquin, opening Aug. 13, is a designer sanctuary that connects adventure and respite with the tranquility of the beach.
The latest property in Auric Road’s petite resort collection, which includes Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs and Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Mont., the name Hotel Joaquin is derived from the original land grant of Rancho San Joaquin, which encompassed much of present-day Orange County.
“I’d been looking for a decade for a historic property that had lost its luster, that I could bring back for a new Laguna, where you still have a connection to the history of the place,” said chief executive officer Paul Makarechian.
The private beach oasis, designed by Robert McKinley of Surf Lodge fame, features small-batch in-room amenities, sweeping views, a serene pool and resort-style service with a St. Barth’s vibe. Guests are encouraged to get out and take advantage of what Laguna Beach has to offer with an all-access pass to the “Adventure Garage” that has surfboards, hiking and diving gear, bicycles and playful outdoor accessories. Guests can enjoy a fully unplugged atmosphere with television-free suites outfitted with vinyl record players and a curated music collection.
“Every detail has meaning and intention designed to inspire our guests,” said Makarechian. “The resort is set on a bluff above Shaw’s Cove, which is especially nostalgic, as I grew up diving the coves along Pacific Coast Highway. It’s known for its crystal-clear water and it’s protected by tide pools that are rich in marine life.”
The hotel’s restaurant Saline is a Mediterranean dining experience that is designed with couples in mind. As a playful nod to its name and the Pacific, Saline offers guests a creative salt program to accompany each dish.
985 North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, Calif., 92651. hoteljoaquin.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Room rates start at $395.
Chateau Hanare is a new Japanese concept from restaurateur Reika Alexander, owner of the popular En Japanese Brasserie in the West Village. The restaurant, a collaboration between Alexander and the Chateau Marmont Hotel and Bungalows, roughly translates to “cottage set apart,” an apt name as it is built into an existing residential structure nestled on the hotel property (guests can valet at Bar Marmont and enter through the back or on Selma Avenue.)
The restaurant introduces guests to an unfamiliar set of dishes that are authentically Japanese, especially chef Abe Hiroki’s treatment of California produce in the “yasai” portion of the menu. Two of En’s most popular items — the fresh, house-made tofu and Japanese fried chicken — are also on the menu, along with two kaiseki options (one of which is vegan), a selection of sashimi, izakaya-style small plates and an expansive Japanese whisky and shochu program, along with a full-fledged cocktail offering.
Only open since Monday, the 120-seat hotspot, which has private dining rooms that can be combined with sliding walls, has already been the site of parties for David Yurman and Saint Laurent.
8097 Selma Avenue, Los Angeles, 90046, 323-963-5269.
A spicy take on a Moscow Mule, the Raba cocktail at Chateau Hanare uses Nikka Coffey Vodka, which is made in the signature coffey stills that produce Nikka Whisky. The distilled corn and barley spirits are filtered using white birch charcoal, which give the vodka a more viscous quality. But the spice comes from shishito peppers, which are toasted with a blowtorch, then boiled in equal parts honey and water to create the syrup. Instead of ginger ale, this summery cocktail calls for Kimino Sparkling Yuzu soda, a relatively new-to-market beverage. For those willing to attempt the drink at home, stock up on the right supplies and plenty of peppers – after boiling them in the syrup, oven-toast thin slices until crisp for garnishing.
2.5-oz. Nikka Coffey Vodka
3/4-oz. torched shishito honey
1/2-oz. lime juice
6-oz. Kimino Sparkling Yuzu soda
Place ingredients in a cocktail shaker with two slices of shishito pepper boiled in the syrup, then strain into a glass and garnish with the candied pepper.
Camilla Fayed, owner of London’s buzzy Farmacy restaurant in Notting Hill, next month celebrates the Stateside release of “Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook,” which gives home cooks easy recipes for everyday vegan and raw dishes that aren’t short on flavor. That comes from her Egyptian (father Mohamed Al-Fayed) and Finnish (mother Heini Wathén) heritage, because “we like our spices.” “I knew I had to make some changes in my life, and that I needed to leave certain habits behind,” said Fayed of adopting raw and vegetarian eating when she became pregnant with her first child. “I think we’ve made such a connection between mind, body and gut, and we’re going back to the basics of how people ate centuries ago. I’m not a perfect eater, but I feel and look better when I eat the freshest, cleanest foods possible.” The cookbook is only an immediate fix — a Farmacy will be opening in L.A. soon.
Fayed said among the bounty of California produce she covets most are avocados. The luscious green fruit grows on trees aplenty in SoCal, and provides the creamy basis for these mini icebox cakes. Matcha supplies antioxidants and is also a metabolism booster.
Matcha Avocado Lime Cakes
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus five hours freezing
3-1/2 oz. raw pumpkin seeds
4 soft Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 avocado, pitted
4 tbsp. lime juice
4 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. coconut oil
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. matcha powder
4 tbsp. full-fat coconut milk
pinch of salt
1/4 pint coconut yogurt
matcha powder, for sprinkling
1 lime, thinly sliced
Put all crust ingredients into a food processor and blend into a fine, sticky crumble. Split this mixture between 4 round molds (or 4 holes of a muffin tin) and press to form an even base. Place in freezer.
Put all filling ingredients into a blender and whizz at high speed until smooth. Take molds out of freezer and spoon mixture on top of crusts, smoothing out the tops. Return to freezer at least 3 hours to set, or overnight. Take molds out of freezer 1 hour before serving.
Serve with a dollop of coconut yogurt, a sifting of matcha powder and lime slices.