Food options are going more upscale at Southern California beach sites. And surfing chefs know what famished beachgoers crave. Come as you are, these places expect customers in soggy board shorts.
In 2014, former action sports executive Laurent Vrignaud envisioned an authentic French cafe when he opened Moulin in Newport Beach. “Nobody will out-Paris us,” he likes to say.
Francophiles swoon over croque monsieur sandwiches, croissants, crepes and espresso drinks. Last fall, he opened a smaller neighborhood cafe a block from Laguna’s Main Beach.
He’s bracing for summer. An express lane will crank out top sellers to-go: waffles, crepes and a French hot dog — a Toulouse sausage stuffed in a baguette. And he’s added ice cream sundaes served in vintage tulip glassware.
248 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, moulinbistro.com
Sessions West Coast Deli
When Sessions opened in Newport Beach, it was the vision of three surfers – Max Schlutz, Matt Meddock and Beckham Thomas – to satisfy the hunger of customers with an active, action-sports lifestyle.
Last year, Sessions launched an extended breakfast menu for the dawn patrollers (early morning surfers).
For lunch there’s the Summer Zephyr, a take on a Caprese salad, named sandwich of the year in 2016 by the Register’s Food Team, and the Pirate Coast with albacore tuna and jalapeño dill dressing.
414 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach; 2823 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, sessionswcd.com
North Shore Poke Co.
Before Orange County’s poke explosion, Seal Beach surfer Shawn Gole in 2012 created North Shore Poke Co.
The poke plate Pipeline, named after the bombing break Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore, is topped with sesame seeds and green onions. The Waimea gets slathered with a creamy mayo-based sauce. There are poke bowls, too.
214 Fifth St., Huntington Beach, northshorepokeco.com