Posts Tagged ‘laguna beach’

May 29th, 2013 | By | 22 Comments

Expression Session: Art Brewer Surf Exhibit A Free Exhibition of Paintings, Prints & Photographs in Laguna Beach

Do you love SWELL’s lightbox imagery of dreamy surf and models? Then come enjoy the legendary work of Art Brewer on June 1st in Laguna Beach, the lensman behind the SWELL catalog and coastal lifestyle looks online.


The Art Republic 4 Tomorrow is a rootsy little gallery in downtown Laguna Beach with a reputation for hosting epic bands and copious cups of brew. In addition to Brewer’s exhibit, the event features other surf visionaries like: Ben Brough,Thomas Campbell, Joe Curren, Harry Daily, Andy Davis, Tyler Warren and more.

The Surf Gallery Retrospective

Saturday, June 1st
6 to 9 pm

Who: Special Musical Guests : The Matson 2

Where: Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow
210 North Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach CA



Thank you for visiting the Swell blog. Visit us on for more exclusive fan offers, giveaways and more.
February 27th, 2013 | By | 2,155 Comments

The Best Tacos in Laguna Beach SWELL's Guest Blogger Hits The Coast For a Culinary Quest to Find the Top Tacos

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1

This is Destination Taco: a town-to-town expedition of all things cradled in a tortilla and known as a taco. I begin in my hometown of Laguna Beach to find out who’s serving up the sexiest tacos and share the experience.  As SWELL’s guest blogger, I will be rating and awarding each experience accordingly on a scale of 1-5 Cleavers. Why cleavers, you ask? Because they look cool and anything close to a sombrero would be considered racist. So here we go – get excited.


Adolfo's - Laguna Beach

When I began planning this piece, there was no question in my mind about including Adolfo’s, it’s a true Laguna institution among locals. This family owned & operated restaurant has been serving up authentic Mexican meals for decades. I can’t tell you how many summer days of my youth started on the beach and ended here.

  • Choice of the Day: Carnitas, Carne Asada, and Shredded Beef
  •          – Best Choice: The fall-apart Carnitas is the most authentic and delicious in town.
  •          -Tortilla/Toppings: Classic and predictable So. Cal Mexican style.
  • Salsa Bar:  One of the best in Laguna with a wide range between pico and extra hot.
  • Perfect Pairing: 32oz of Carta Blanca – like a big boy.
  • Suggested Dress Code: No shoes, no shirt, no problem – boardshorts, bikinis, & graphic tees
  • Wait: < 3min – if you’re too impatient for that, you don’t belong here.
  • Taco Tuesday/Happy Hour: Nope, but the prices are some of the lowest in Laguna

Verdict: I don’t know what makes these tacos so amazing and at times comforting, but I keep coming back for more; whether I’m tired or hungry, hungover or sick, Adolfo’s has a way of making the day better. Asada - Laguna Beach

Asada is the new guy to the group with only being open for the past 18 months, but make no mistake, they’re cooking to stay for good. With a price point that sits at the top of my list, these tacos are masterfully planned and crafted to almost overlook the bill and indulge.

  • Choice of the Day: Beer-Battered Mahi, Short-Rib, Crispy Beef, and Chipotle Prawn.
  •          -Best Choice: The savory goodness of the smokey short-rib taco.
  •          -Tortilla/Toppings: Where I felt the tortillas fell flat, the fresh toppings bring their A-game.
  • Salsa Bar: No. Available upon request no extra charge.
  • Perfect Pairing: Frosty Victoria (on draft).
  • Suggested Dress Code: Step it up a notch. Collared shirts and dresses.
  • Wait: Varies – Dinner reservations recommended.
  • Taco Tuesday/Happy Hour: Taco Tuesday – $2 tacos/$3 beers & sangria.

Verdict: This is not another over-priced Mexican restaurant, pushing out obnoxious twists on simple classics. Where the presentation was a little lackluster, the depth of flavor is incredible – combine that with the beautiful design and impressive bar,  Asada adds another great option to the Laguna Beach taco scene. Las Brisas - Laguna Beach

Now I’ll admit that Las Brisas is not on my regular radar for getting my taco fix but it really is a classic Laguna Restaurant that has been shelling out tacos since before I was a twinkle in my Dad’s eye.

  • Choice of the Day: Baja Style Mahi Mahi, Blackened Halibut, and Shrimp
  •     -Best Choice: The Baja Style Mahi Mahi – One of the best in town.
  •     -Tortilla/Toppings: Not sure how to put this nicely – everything tastes way better than it looks.
  • Salsa Bar: Nope and the watered down salsa they provide lacks heat and flavor.
  • Perfect Pairing: Their classic Bloody Mary is a delicious distraction from the patio noise.
  • Suggested Dress Code:  Leave your Yankees hat at home and try a collared shirt or dress.
  • Wait: < 10min – Times vary with weather & seasons
  • Taco Tuesday/Happy Hour: Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm

Verdict:  The staff hustles very hard to make it work with the crowds and they do a great job.  Despite the tourist-trap prices, the incredible panorama views of Laguna and Pacific, the 1950s tile reminiscent of its glory days – Las Brisas earns 3 cleavers in my book.  If you’ve never been, go, be patient with the Disneyland-esque crowds, and enjoy.La Sirena - Laguna Beach

La Sirena has become a place that just feels like home to me. When you walk in you’ll notice real Laguna families enjoying what I consider the best Mexican food in town. They’ve created a culture known as “Mex-Eco” by focusing on locally sourced organic food and doing it in a way that’s not shoved down your throat.

  • Choice of the Day: Carne Asada, Fried Calamari, and Fish of the Day (Tilapia)
  •      -Best Choice: Calamari – try it.
  •      -Tortilla/Toppings: Fresh pillowy tortillas and stacked fresh toppings piled high.
  • Salsa Bar: Yes. Great Selection to dial in the heat or chow down on spicy pickled carrots.
  • Perfect Paring: House Margarita
  • Suggested Dress Code: Basic tees, boardshorts, bikinis, collared shirts, jeans – as long as you’re not naked.
  • Wait: < 5min. and worth every minute.
  • Taco Tuesday/Happy Hour: Nope. They’ll come around.

Verdict: With consistently awesome food and a recent remodel that bought the addition of an amazing craft beer selection, this place will never do you wrong. I urge you to find this place, hang out, watch an Angel’s game, and enjoy it all.

As I wrap up this project, I can’t help but think of the places I left off the list: Coyote Grille, Taco Loco, Papa’s Tacos, Laguna Feast, The Beach House, and the new girl Carmelita’s. So that in mind, use this as a starting point and explore Laguna, find out how awesome it is and let me know what town Destination Taco should hit up next. Eat well, drink up, & adios!


December 13th, 2012 | By | 1,064 Comments

Taylor Hawkins Wears TRKY

Born in the Laguna reefbreaks, TRKY is the freshest cuts to ever fly onto SWELL’s shelves. It’s inspired by the groovy gandu way of life in the rootsy little Laguna Beach village, where being called a Turkey is a compliment. Co-founder Stephen “Sli-Dawg” Chew is a Tavarua boatman, travel writer, winemaker, artist, and voted Best Surf Coach in Orange County.

Their psychedelic designs aren’t only the contest art for the oldest surf contest in the world, but the favorite feathered threads of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Taylor grew up in Laguna Beach with the TRKY crew, and accepted his last 7 Grammys sporting his TRKY tees. The hometown hero also wore em during his SNL performance with Mick Jagger and rocks out regularly at free concerts around Laguna-town. Click here to watch Foo’s historic acceptance speech.

A fresh batch of TRKY tees just just come outta the oven, so get the famous Space Meatball NASA tee while supplies last.

June 13th, 2011 | By | 5,013 Comments

Black Ball Dates & Times for Orange County

Any Surfer's Nemesis - The Standard Black Ball Flag: All Yellow with a Black Circle at Center.

A Surfer's Nemesis - The Standard Black Ball Flag

It’s that time of year again! Yeah we’re all fired up for longer days, southern hemi’s and shedding our rubber, but summer also means the beginning of the Black Ball at most of our local beaches. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the Black Ball is a flag raised by the lifeguards to help designate certain areas as swimming or surfing only. While many surfers irritably regard it as a blue ball, the flags are raised to help reduce injuries between hard boards and swimmers in the surf line.

Regulations change from day to day and beach to beach, so the best way to avoid a heckling (or a possible ticket from the smurfs) is to ask the lifeguard where you can surf before you paddle out. In general, body boards are permitted in the swim area, but surfboards, skimboards, and other hardboards (doyl’s considered hardboards) must stay in the designated areas.

It’s easy to get upset at the lifeguard yelling at you for crossing an imaginary line when the surf is pumping, but in reality the flag is only up for 3 month out of the year. Those of us accustomed to the early morn dawn patrols or post-work sessions will barely notice it’s there. For those of you still upset, you can always grab a beater or a pair of fins and have just as much fun at the beach. With that said.. I’ll still be counting down the days until that damn flag goes down!!!

Catch Surf Beater Board - Morgan Just

The beater can beat the black ball at certain beaches

Below is a black ball list for Orange County – Check with local LGs for more details:

Huntington Beach Black Ball Times & Areas:

Black Ball determined by how many people are in the water at City Beaches. Usually it will be on the South Side of the Pier from 11:00am – 5:00pm during the summer months.

At State Beaches Black Ball is up from June 14 to Labor Day starting at 11am until the Lifeguard leaves. Weekdays at Newland St. Tower 9 to Tower 11 is not blackballed. Everything south of Tower 2 is never blackballed. On Weekends everything north of Tower 2 is Blackballed.

Newport Beach Black Ball Times & Areas:

From May 1 – Oct. 31, 10:00am -5:00pm the Black Ball is up in Newport. That means no boards at the Wedge and 40-44th Streets, and just about every spot except River Jetties. River Jetties is open to surfing all day. There is NO Stand Up Surfing until Oct. 31.

Laguna Beach Black Ball Times & Areas:

Black Ball is up June 15 – Sept. 15 on all city beaches. There are only 3 areas where surfing is permitted all day: Rockpile, Thalia Street, and Brooks Street. Other small skim areas are posted at Crescent Bay, Lagunita and TI. Times are subject to change but are generally open from 10:00am – 4:00pm Mon through Fri. However the lifeguard may close these down at any time. Black Ball is enforced only while the lifeguard is on duty. This is anywhere from 9 – 7 (most towers are 10-6) depending on the beach.

Aliso has a skim zone that’s enforced from June 15 to Labor Day. Subject to change by surf, crowd, and weather conditions.

Dana Point (Salt Creek / Strands) Black Ball Times & Areas:

Black Ball starts Memorial day and is enforced every weekend until June 25th. On the 25th the Black Ball is in effect every day until Labor Day. Enforced while the lifeguards are on duty. Check posted Flags/signs for locations of surf/swim zones.

San Clemente Black Ball Times & Areas:

Black Ball is enforced from Memorial Day to Labor Day. T-Street to the South Side of the pier is Blackballed from 11:00am – 6:00pm on weekdays and 10:00am – 6:00pm on weekends. Surfing allowed all day from the Pier to the Clock Tower/HQ and Mariposa point to 204s. Trestles is open all year round, but good luck finding a parking sport during the summer.