By AKANKSHA SHA
About 50 yards from the cool waters of Laguna Beach lies C’est La Vie, a delightfully authentic French restaurant and bakery. The first things visible from the outside are the display of delicious-looking pastries and cakes in the window and the cheerful employee handing out samplesy visits to this restaurant, I have seen many different employees, but the one thing they all have in common is their personalities; everyone who works there is friendly and eager to help share their knowledge of and passion for French food with inquiring customers
Inside the restaurant, there are more baked goods – the entire front room is devoted to desserts ranging from decadent tiramisus to perfectly fluffy cream puffs. The items available are constantly changing, as each day brings about new choices and replacements; with the variety and amount of selection available, visitors can always find something new
Behind the bakery is a classy sit-down restaurant where all sorts of French foods are available, inspired by the beach and fresh, in-season ingredients. The restaurant provides both indoor and outdoor seating, each with a spectacular vista of the beach. Several large windows offer a direct view of the water from the inside, but for warm days, just up a set of stairs is an outdoor balcony that allows diners to eat comfortably while still enjoying the breeze and fresh beach air.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, and kids’ menus, along with a full bar, offering plenty of variety throughout the day. C’est La Vie is an upscale restaurant, with prices at up to $30 for certain dinner items. There are, however, many more affordable items, with choices ranging from $6.95 on the kids’ menu to around $10 or $15 on the breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus.
A favorite at the restaurant is the deal for a pound and a half of lobster for $29.99 on Wednesday nights. Juliet Lindzmeier, a friendly employee who greeted me at the door, recommended the bakery’s famous cronuts. Lindzmeier said, “People from New York, where cronuts were first created, have actually come to C’est La Vie to try [them].” She warned me, however, that the tasty treats sell out fast; the cronuts come out freshly-baked about half an hour after the restaurant opens and are usuallyby noon. The cronuts are so popular that a red sign in the window made especially for the afternoon cronut shortage reads, “Sorry, but due to popular demand, we are currently sold out of cronuts.” Despite their scarcity, the cronuts are highly recommended and the general consensus is that they are worth the rush to get.
The overall experience in the restaurant is fantastic, and if you are looking for a place to eat good French food or freshly baked desserts, C’est La Vie is the place for you.
373 South Coast Hwy
(949) 497 – 5100
Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:00 am – 9:30 pm, Saturday-Sunday: 8:00 am – 9:30 pm