Located in the historic La Casa del Camino boutique hotel, K’ya Bistro Bar is a charming restaurant in Laguna Beach serving up a tapas-style dinner menu at reasonable price points. And if you know anything about me, you know that I love my tapas and small plates. If I had my way, every time I ate I’d get to sample every dish on the table whether it was tapas-style or not. I wonder how long it’d take for me to lose all my friends if I started “accidentally” eating off their plates when we went out. “Oops, my fork missed my plate again. Whoa, how’d my spoon end up in your soup? How embarrassing.” Weird habits aside, though, I love this place. Plus if you tell them it’s your birthday they’ll give you a plate with like three of their five desserts.
$6 Caesar (white anchovy, shaved Parmesan, croutons) – If your Caesar salad contains anchovies, then it’s pretty much a given I’m going to love it. Sure, maybe a true traditional Caesar doesn’t contain anchovies, but if it makes it more delicious then throw it in. Think your Caesar would taste better if you put a fully cooked lasagna on top? Sure, why not? Throw it in.
$5 Goat Cheese, Fennel, and Orange (greens, red onion, toasted almonds)
$10 Hibachi Salmon (grilled vegetables, spicy coconut sauce)
$6.50 Flash Fried Calamari (Thai glaze, peanuts, carrot, bean sprout, cilantro, green onion) – Usually fried calamari tastes like every other fried calamari to me, but I actually took notice of how unusually good this was. Order it.
$10 Seared Wild Scallops (organic polenta, spinach, mushrooms, lemon butter)
$8.50 Shrimp Ettouffe (shrimp in spicy creole tomato sauce)
$10 Braised Beef Short Rib (organic corncakes, crispy onions)
$7.50 Three Cheese Macaroni (wild mushrooms, pesto, truffle crust, Parmesan, Gruyere, Gorgonzola)
$10 Lobster Macaroni & Cheese (lobster-cognac cream, Parmesan crust) – Yes, that’s right, we ordered two macaroni and cheeses. Because anybody who says you can have too much mac & cheese is either a liar or simply doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Personally, I liked this one better than the three cheese one, but they were both really good. Make your choice based on your love of lobster.
$10 Lobster & Mushroom Risotto (caramelized onion, white wine, Parmesan cheese) – Lobster and mushroom risotto. What else needs to be said? I don’t want to live in a world where this wouldn’t be delicious.
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cappuccino Crunch Ice Cream / Banana Pecan Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream with Bourbon Sauce / Tirami’ Su – Tell them it’s your birthday and you get these. All of these. And it’s glorious.
Creme Brulee with Fresh Berries
Peanut Crunch Bars with Caramel Creme Anglaise – Basically the best Butterfinger you’ve ever eaten. Doesn’t look like much, but of all the desserts we tried, we were pretty unanimous that this was our favorite.
K’ya Bistro Bar
La Casa del Camino Hotel
1287 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651