Oak opened in Laguna Beach on August 2. I joined some friends there for a drink on Day 6. The bar was already packed this early in the game, even on a Monday night.
The bar menu is not on the new website yet, so here's what the craft cocktail section looks like. The locals tell me that Oak's $15 cocktails are breaking new ground. At that kind of pricing, I studied the list pretty intensely before making up my mind. Oak also has wine on tap and draft beers.
For me, the Oasis Mai Tai. The housemate orgeat based on macadamia nuts, rather than almond is what sold me. Also, no simple syrup (contrary to the menu description) or much in the way of sweeteners. I did love the bright lime acidity and the extra richness of the macadamia nuts. A beautiful balance of fruitiness, sour, sweet and bitter, and quite unlike any mai tai I've ever run across. The lady barkeep said that this is based on the original recipe without the fillers that were added on in subsequent years.
When I jokingly said that I missed the flaming Mai Tai bowl, she suggested that I order the flamed cocktail, Telonics Tea.
Telonics Tea sports a bruleed lemon espuma top. It was fascinating to watch this be assembled, as a two-shaker drink. Earl Grey tea infused bourbon on the bottom and fresh rosemary lemonade floats on top of that. I loved the aromatics and bracing flavors of this one.
We did not order any food. But I did observe that other customers seemed happy to find this spot. Please report in when you try it.
1100 South Coast Highway #202
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
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