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Royal Hawaiian - Laguna Beach, CA - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook

Royal Hawaiian

331 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-8001
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Royal Hawaiian - Laguna Beach, CA
Royal Hawaiian - Laguna Beach, CA
Royal Hawaiian - Laguna Beach, CA
Royal Hawaiian - Laguna Beach, CA
Royal Hawaiian - Laguna Beach, CA
Royal Hawaiian - Laguna Beach, CA


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First let me say that the current management acquired the place in May of 2006, so any references to service before that are irrelevant.\r \r Second, the new owner has been reno...


The chairs were bought at Costco in 1981. Looks it is owned by your alcoholic grandpa. Old-school crowd (40-60) enjoying their neighborhood watering hole. No frills with bad fo...

wowwww 4/10/2009

the food was great actually, but the server we had, patti, was a beotch! when i asked what their most popular drinks were,like right when we sat down, she said"" well are you 21? im gonna need to see some ID!"" so i thought that was a little rude! and she was rude the rest of the night because when she brought out our food she just through it down on the table and said"" oh you have enough butter right?"" and took away our butter! i mean come on. honestly she shouldnt have a job if she is that rude to her customers! also i felt bad for the busser because when she was taking the plates off our table she just gave all of them to the busser and he was the one refilling our water and pretty much doing everything. andd the table that came in after us was also offended by her! but the food was great, i just wanted to say my opinion about the server because i dont think that's right to treat customers that way! Pros: great food Cons: horrible server more

The Retro Charm Is Gone, but Most of the Menu Still Lives On 8/15/2008

I've been a long-time customer of the RH, but last night was my first visit since the remodeling began. The classic retro charm is gone; bamboo and puffer fish have been replaced by sleek, contemporary decor with a few tikis and tropical accents to keep the theme going, sort of. (I saw one puffer fish -- not lighted -- in the newly relocated bar/lounge.) That area, which occupies the former dining room in the northern-most section of the restaurant, now has large windows that look out on the street...Way too bright compared with the old bar. They've added a very expensive-looking and very large granite-topped bar, and the former classic waitresses, who contributed so much to the character of the place, have been replaced with young girls who just don't have the personality I remember. They're very nice, and the service is pleasant, but they're no match for the ladies who served us for so many years. The food is pretty much the same as it was before the remodel, except for two things: The prices have gone up considerably, and there are a few things missing, including Wiki-Wiki Steak, lamb chops, crab legs and the venerable relish dish. Also, garlic bread, which has been much improved, is no longer included with entrees. The classic Lapu Lapu is now $20! I didn't try that, but the drinks I did have were suitably strong. Finally, they're not finished with the remodel...I was told that they're adding new restrooms near where the original entry was (replacing the old ones that are still in use upstairs), and it appears that that area will once again be the main entry. (Currently you enter through the new bar and lounge.) It's a bit sad...The retro charm of the RH has been replaced by a modern look that just doesn't have the same appeal. I used to put up with the so-so food because the ambiance (and the cocktails) made up for it. That is no longer the case. And judging by the small number of customers, others agree. Pros: Strong drinks, classic food like the old days. Cons: The puffer fish have been replaced by contemporary decor. more

Bar food, not Hawaiin 6/15/2008

Noisy, dark and the only thing resembling Hawaii was the cost to get there. The lighting on the table was the single candle, making the menu hard to read. Didn't try the ribs (I heard later that they were a ""signature"" dish) because the price was way out there, but the rest of the menu didn't resemble anything Polynesian. The ""Aloha"" burger resembled the recipe for BK's Whopper - nothing special there. The chicken breast I had was small, flavorless, tough and required the use of the sauce that was put on the side. The onion soup served as a first course had onion pieces too large for the spoon (fast prep chef?) and the cheese was all in the bottom. Fortunately the salad came through, although it's hard to mess up iceburg lettuce. When the waitress was asked twice for sweetener for the tea, she still couldn't manage to bring it (guess the bar music was too loud?) Husband remarked that his food was just ""mediocre bar food"".\r \r Very disappointing for the price and the geography. Pros: You are in Laguna Beach! 3 tv screens and loud music might be the place you want. Cons: If you are there for a restaurant, run don't walk. more

Still a great place to eat.... 6/11/2008

The old bambo is gone, but great tasting food for reasonable prices still remain. I've been to Royal Hawaiin a few times this year and each time the meal has been good. They are trying to make it feel Hawaiian with a few pictures and hanging lanterns. It will never be able to achievie that old warm fussy feeling of the original that made you feel like you were dining somewhere in Hawaii, but it's still a great place for dinner. Joise the cook of 17 years is still there, so at least the meal will bring back memories of the old days. Give it a try, I think you will like it! Pros: Good food Cons: Not the old decor more

No more locals 1/8/2008

On December 18th ,2007 we took my boyfriends mother to dinner at the Royal Hawaiian. My mother has been comming here for her birthday for the past 30 years..Got to have that ribs and shrimp combo..Anyway, \r I know they have been remodeling for awhile..and are trying to stay open at the same time but, I don't think this is working..On this night it was raining and cold out. When we got inside the hostest seated us at a table with one small candle, but we could not read the menu...There were not any other lights on in the dinning area, because they had no light hardward in place therefor no way to put a light bulb in...we ordered the ribs and shrimp combos ( no longer a bargin!) The shrimp was mushey, not the usual light and crispy shrimp we have been used to..Also the restaurant was so cold inside all three of us had to keep our jackets on to eat...needless to say we were very disapointed as a whole...I would have said something to the new owner that night but he was never off his cell phone the whole time we were in there...I think we will have to find a new restaurant to start another tridition.\r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r \r more

A Real Find! 11/26/2006

First let me say that the current management acquired the place in May of 2006, so any references to service before that are irrelevant.\r \r Second, the new owner has been renovating, but continues to do his best to keep the disruption at a minimum. There will be inevitable glitches, but overall I'm pretty impressed.\r \r Third, I have been assured that he is dedicated to returning the Royal Hawaiian to its former glory and reputation of the best and least expensive food and drink in Orange Coast area. \r \r Finally, the place has at least two--and maybe more--distinct personalities, so when you go will determine the type of experience you enjoy.\r \r Weekday evenings, it's a local watering hole. Not crowded. Seated and served immediately, no reservations required. Great ambiance and friendly crowds. Goof food and drink at *very* reasonable prices. The house special Lapu-Lapu is a whole lot of tasty booze in a large brandy snifter for under ten bucks. One should do the trick. Their ribs are also great--a house specialty--and also under ten bucks.\r \r Friday and Saturday nights are a whole different story. The Royal Hawaiian metamorphoses into a very hip, very happening 20- to 30-something nightclub that spills out onto the sidewalk outside. The food and drinks are still great, but don't expect fast service--they're swamped. The timid should come back some other time. If you're bold enough to elbow your way all the way up to the bar, you should get a drink in just a few minutes. Otherwise.... \r \r I haven't had a chance to try it during the daytime--weekdays or weekends--but i imagine that when I do, I'll probably find two more personalities.\r \r I'm a people-watcher, and a bit crazy. I'm a writer. I like places like this because in addition to being great fun, they also provide marvelous material for fiction.\r \r bob\r Pros: A Hemingway hangout, if there ever was one! Good Food, Good Booze, Great Prices and Ambiance Cons: Don't expect a quiet dinner on Friday or Saturdy night--it's more of a nightclub then. more



Great exotic drinks. The ribs ROCK!! 11/10/2006

The atmosphere is great here. The food is better... Cozy with a South Pacific feel. Many food items to choose from. Pros: Great atmosphere for a gathering of friends and family. Cons: Is a somewhat small so the larger the party the longer the wait. more

Good Bar, BAD Dining room 2/20/2005

I say go for the bar and cocktails! They rock! The dining room sadly... well sucks! The food was crap and the service was crappier, I ordered the halibut and it had no flavor or seasoning and was burnt on the bottom, it took over an hour to get our food and there was only one other couple in the dining area on a Thursday night at 8pm. But the Lapu Lapu drink and Blue Hawaiian were really awesome! Pros: Drinks, Bar, Music Cons: Food, Service, Parking more

Worst service ever. 2/9/2003

Retro Hawaiian decor. Swanky bar serves up strong and relatively cheap drinks. The problems all started early. The waiter was awful. He rarly appeared and was hardly able to get even the simplest orders right. Cheese bread came out garlic bread. Mashed potatoes came out baked. I had ordered the Wiki Wiki steak, which probably would have tasted O.K., had it not be served colder than my drink. The waiter failed to fix the problems and he didnt even acknowledge our complaints. Cheese bread=cold, soggy, not crispy. French onion soup=hot water and onion bullion.Fried scallops=like frozen Van-de-Camps.Crab leggs=salty and gamey. My advice is to get so drunk on the cheap drinks that you dont realize how bad this place can be. Pros: Retro, Cheap alcohol Cons: Bad service, Bad crowd, Cheap ingredients more

Tacky but has neighborhood feel. 9/20/2002

The chairs were bought at Costco in 1981. Looks it is owned by your alcoholic grandpa. Old-school crowd (40-60) enjoying their neighborhood watering hole. No frills with bad food. more

The Lapu Lapus are the best! 6/12/2002

Royal Hawaiian is the best bar to hang with friends and have great drinks. Located 2 blocks from the beach, it's small and makes you feel like you're in a tropical location. The Lapu Lapu is the house specialty drink and I highly recommend it or 2. The food is so, so but good if you're in a pinch and need something to snack on. Service is great and the bartenders and waitresses have been there forever. The one drawback, they close at 10pm during the week and 11pm on weekends but these times are flexible depending on how many people are in the bar at a time. Pros: Great Drinks, Great Service, Atmosphere Cons: Close Early, OC locals more
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  • Hours:

    Tuesday To Saturday From 05:00 PM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 04:00 PM To 09:00 PM
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