LOCAL HAPPENINGS AND MORE IN THE SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY CITY OF SAN CLEMENTE

Posts Tagged ‘Beach Side’

Salt Creek Grille

Salt Creek Grille

Marcos Costas

Salt Creek Grille

Drop by the 
Salt Creek Grille on any given night and you’re bound to see a dark-haired debonair man greeting guests and charming visitors like only George Clooney could do.

This venerated general manager is a movie star in his own right. A 20-plus year industry veteran who worked at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Marcos Costas is leading the ship at this award-winning Dana Point establishment. He spent the last two years as general manager at the highly acclaimed Andrea Restaurant, The Resort at Pelican Hill’s world-class signature restaurant. Costas was recently recognized as the “top” restaurant general manager by the Irvine Company for 2009. A fixture in the South County fine-dining scene, Costas has successfully managed operations at French 75 Champagne Bar & Bistro and Ti Amo Ristorante in Laguna Beach and Savannah Steak and Chop House in Laguna Niguel. In his free time, the San Clemente resident is a longtime wrestling coach at San Clemente High School.

His recent arrival to Salt Creek Grille comes as the 13-year-old establishment continues to thrive. Named the 2009 Business of the Year by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, the restaurant recently rolled out a new menu, just remodeled its two banquet rooms, and launched its successful “345 Cabana Patio” promotion in April.

Costas recently took a break in the day to chat about the industry with South Coast.

Q: What do you think patrons look for in dining today?

A. I think they want to see where the value lies in the experience. People can see value in many different areas­—portion sizes, atmosphere, price point, presentation, type of service etc., but if they are looking closer at where they are potentially going to spend their “dollar votes,” they have to see some sort of value attached to that decision. We strive to provide “constants” that continue to add to that value during the time our guests spend with us­—cleanliness, fresh products, and knowledgeable and pleasant staff members who understand that is what the guests are coming in for.

Q. How has that changed from past years?

A. In stronger economies where people were eating out more frequently, their choices could encompass several different dining venues or the same restaurant more frequently. The past couple of years, although people may not be eating out as frequently, they still want an experience that encapsulates all those different venues during their meals out. Many restaurants had to take a hard look at themselves and decide how they were going to capture the patrons looking for that experience at a price point guests could justify. The old saying that “the most expensive thing in a restaurant is an empty table,” has held true in these past few years where the goal has been to keep guests coming in but to offer pricing so that we would see them more than once.

Q. What new things can diners look forward to?

A. Once again we have our hugely popular Cabana Nights Patio promotion that features $3 drinks, $4 appetizers, and $5 martini’s starting at 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. It created such a vibrant, outdoorsy feel yet with the casual elegance that is so special about living in Orange County. Our private dining areas were just beautifully remodeled, so this summer we will do events in the Mason Library room and Monarch Room. Our bar will continue to offer live entertainment five nights a week along with the same Cabana Nights specials from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Q. What do you like to do in your free time?

A. I love to jog. I’ve participated in a handful of marathons and shorter races. I do my best thinking while I’m jogging, as it has always tied together my mind and body in a very peaceful way. I love to travel, some of my recent trips have been to Thailand and Cuba. I enjoy submerging myself into different cultures. I don’t always do the touristy things but get to know the people who live in the countries I visit. Restaurants have that similar aspect to me: No shift is the same, and every night is a different mix of people and personalities I get to meet and build relationships with. Lastly, I do like to go out to eat, mostly because I never have any food at home, but I truly enjoy the marriage of good food and good wine.

949.661.7799
 | www.saltcreekgrille.com

32802 Pacific Coast Highway, 
Dana Point, California

Beach Style Real Estate

Beach Style Real Estate

BEACH STYLE

The stunning views at Beach Road are rivaled only by the neighborliness of its affluent residents and the tranquility of the private-beach vacation homes you can rent whenever you fancy.

Written by ANNA CURTIS

Maybe people have their own idea of paradise, but sometimes you come across places on this earth that everyone agrees are magical. Beach Road is one such destination, with its lucky residents and frolicking vacationers breathing in the fresh sea air, mesmerized by the way the crystal blue water shimmers off the sedate afternoon sun. Sure, it’s a private little piece of heaven. The best part is, you can have a slice of it, too.

Nestled between San Clemente and Dana Point, the length of sand curving ‘round the Capistrano Bay coastline was aptly dubbed Beach Road by its early-times inhabitants. Its origins stretch clear back to the early 1900s, and with such a rich community legacy, it’s no wonder books have been written about the seafaring property. Joe Dunn, author of Pocket of Paradise (a complete historical background of Beach Road), is a retired commercial broker-turned-author who worked in the area 45 years and now manages his own coastal properties. His book is filled with interesting facts, distinct heritage and an unabashed adoration for the beauty of the land.

Whether you rent/own a luxurious home or cottage on your own private beach, there’s no end to the serenity awaiting you. The three-mile stretch of beach offers something special for everyone: commuter trains stop a little over a mile south of Beach Road, a bevy of restaurants at the Dana Point harbor satiate any appetite, and quaint shops line the streets of downtown San Clemente.

Capistrano Realty is the official steward for renting or buying property on Beach Road. “Typically, when homeowners drive through the gates to sit on their deck, they feel like they have truly left it all behind,” says Ken Ross, who ran the company for six years prior to its current owner, Chris Jones. “All you can see or hear is the ocean.” There are just shy of 200 lots and about 180 owners enjoying their individually developed properties at beach Road. Capistrano Realty has specialized in this particular part of the globe for nearly 50 years, and has approximately 40 homes available for weekly rentals in the summer, and weekly/monthly rentals for the off-season months. It offers everything from beach cottages to luxury homes, all perfectly placed on the warm sand.

“My favorite part of Beach Road is the spectacular weather—day in, day out—with glistening ocean and whitewater views,” Jones says. “And the people here are down-to-earth, and always appreciative of a beautiful Southern California lifestyle, without pretense. It really is California’s best kept secret.” It’s obvious to us that Jones has enabled the decades-long synergy between residents and realtors to shine on.

“Where else can you sit on your deck and witness the most amazing sunsets?” Ross asks, “While a school of dolphins swims nearby, and you sip a glass of your favorite Chardonnay?”

We started packing our bags after we heard that. Maybe you should, too.

Nestled between San Clemente and Dana Point, the length of sand curving ‘round the Capistrano Bay coastline was aptly dubbed Beach Road by its early-times inhabitants. From quaint little beach cottages to beautiful ocean front homes, they’ll find the perfect home for your vacation.

For further information, please call: 949.496.5353
Toll Free 800.397.6931
www.SoCalVacation.com