Coastal Kitchen’s location dates back to 1928, operating as a cafe to PCH travelers between LA and San Diego. Mike and Christina Grant now serve fresh, simple flavors of food done right.
“I was the son of two working parents,” says Mike. “I was taught to lend a hand and was cooking spaghetti from scratch at seven or eight. My wife was the same. We look back at our lives realizing it was a shared reality. We both actually enjoyed and embraced it.”
The love of food and spending time in the kitchen has passed to their own kids, Sophia, 8 and Harrison, 5. “When it comes to my daughter, I knew I had a culinary girl on my hands when at five or six years old, she was fighting me over the calamari tentacles.”
Family is a priority for the Grants. Whether is it making Parker Rolls by hand or cleaning calamari for a traditional Italian holiday feast with Christina’s grandmother, little ones are always welcome. Even the famous S’mores pie was inspired by Mike’s love of sharing the sweet treat with the kids (though this one 86’s the sticky hands).
“Our reason for wanting our own restaurant was to involve our kids and be close to home and school events,” says Christina.
Happy Hour is popular at the airy eatery, with baked brie or pork belly bites and a daily taco choices served along drinks.
“We have a stellar wine list geared toward great value; Cucumber Limeade, Toasted Colada, Lemondrop… The difference is staying handmade— we squeeze the lemonade fresh every morning.”
Parents will note the kids menu is a one-price affair, with entrée, side item and drink chased by a fun mini-treat (we hear red, white and blue popsicles might make a patriotic entrance for the 4th).
“Chicken tenders aren’t frozen product poured out of a bag. It is the same fresh chicken breast we use elsewhere on the menu pounded out, handbreaded to order. Our buns are from Juliano’s in LA who has been perfecting the burger bun for 25 years. We will do almost anything a guest asks. Perhaps a kids’ portion of scallops or salmon, or Cioppino (fresh halibut, scallop, lump crabmeat). When I hear a more sophisticated request, I make it happen because I know it is a child expanding and moving up in their culinary choices.”
Dana Point | www.coastalkitchendanapoint.com
Frozen B.toffee Banana Bites
- 12oz bag of Milk or semi sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup B. bits (B. toffee chopped to bits or briefly pulsed in processor)
- 3-4 Bananas cut into 1 inch slices
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
Mix and melt chocolate and oil in a double boiler over medium heat. Remove from heat. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Dip your banana slices completely in the melted chocolate, shaking off excess, and then sprinkle on the B. bits. Transfer to cookie sheet. When all slices are complete, place cookie sheet in freezer for 3-4 hours. Serve frozen. Enjoy!
*Tip: Freeze the bananas for 30 minutes before dipping them in the chocolate so they are easier to handle.
**Editor’s note: Be prepared to pick up an extra box of the Newport Beach B. toffee…it is ADDICTIVE.