The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, a five star resort, is one of the most popular resorts in Southern, California.
Situated atop a 150 foot bluff along the coastline, one can enjoy the view along the coast that is unlike any other in the surrounding areas.
It is a truly great getaway for families as well as companies holding corporate events. Certainly the popularity of the resort’s facilities and their restaurants have earned them many awards, the most recent of which is Conde Traveler Gold List 2015 and the 2015 Luxury Travel Award.
Selecting one of their restaurants, Raya, the featured cuisine is Pan Latin Coastal Cuisine, inspired by Richard Sandoval. Under his direction, Steve Wan, Chef de cuisine prepared some dishes that give diners a culinary journey to be remembered.
The Kale Salad, prepared with camote, black bean, tomato, sweet pepper almond, queso fresco and guajillo lemon vinaigrette, is a favorite among health interested individuals, according to Elizabeth, a server with the resort for many years, and her server attendant Abigail.
The Wild Mushroom Huarache, another small plate item is prepared with caramelized onions, black bean, goat cheese, in a truffle oil. Both dishes are exceptional.
The soup, corn soup has its own unique flavor. The soup bowl is presented in an artistic form, while the waiter pours the huitlacoche puree, which consist of avocado crema, masa, dumpling, lobster, crab and clam.
For the large plate items, the Achiote Salmon is quite different from other salmon dishes. It is prepared with togarashi yu choy, chayote slaw, in a cauliflower puree with mushrooms, chipotle aioli and achiote ponzu.
All the cuisine served at The Raya is prepared from locally grown vegetables, with the seafood and meats from the finest purveyors.
It’s the par excellence that the Ritz Carlton’s tradition upholds.
“Love is a huge factor in preparing food that pleases the palate,” Chef Wan says.
There are no shortcuts with what Chef Wan prepares. Even the lobster tacos, the chipotle brioche, a rustic caramelized and goat cheese onion roll served with goat cheese, are all prepared on premises, with a choice of goat cheese butter or regular butter.
As with any dining experience, a little desert is a nice way to end one’s journey. On this occasion it was this writer’s birthday. A very unique cake was prepared to celebrate the occasion.
The Ritz Carlton is located in Dana Point at 1 Ritz Carlton Drive. Reservations are preferred. Please call (949) 240-2000.
Celebrity Scene News awards five stars to Raya Restaurant in the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.