Nestled on the 2nd floor of a plaza with shops and restaurants is The House of Big Fish and Cold Beer. The name alone should hook you to come and try the food. The atmosphere here is open and fresh, yet still relaxed and casual. Monday night Football is a big deal here and they have five big TV screens in the restaurants for viewing. What I liked about this place was that while there was football on all of the screens, it wasn’t overly loud or filled with people yelling. I would even bring my kids here. It seemed they have a very loyal following and a lot of locals. The decor in the restaurant is fun and beachy. There are surfboards on the walls, a giant Marlin, bright neon signs, nautical wall hangings and a lot of cute whimsical Chalkboards with daily specials.  We arrived right at happy hour and noticed this sign which we thought was brilliant. Their appetizers start at $2.30 at 2:30pm and go up by $1.00 every hour until 6:30pm

 My husband and I decided we would like to try an appetizer so after looking through an enormous menu we ordered the Thai glazed Calamari as well as the Ahi Poke. Both were very delicious. The calamari was tangy but not greasy and the coating was very light. The Poke was also very tasty.  The Ahi was tender, not over dressed and had plenty of sesame as well as some yummy over sized wonton chips. We washed it down with a Kona Fire rock beer as well as a Mahi Tai Tini.  Our waiter Spencer was very accommodating and  was able to give us suggestions on the different beers to try.

The menu here is big and you have a very good selection of  fish, pasta, salads, sandwiches, meat, and we noticed they even have Pho on the menu. Pretty impressive.

Thai Glazed Calamari

 Ahi Poke

While we waited for our main entrees to come we took a look around the restaurant and noticed that they had a nice outside patio with sweeping views of the ocean. There was plenty of seating and space for a large group. I can definitely see myself coming back here with a group of my girlfriends.

For our Main entrees we ordered steak and shrimp skewers and blackened swordfish. It came with 2 steak skewers and 1 shrimp skewer. My steak was cooked exactly like I ordered it and it was served with a tomato risotto and mixed vegetables. The seasoning on the shrimp was very flavorful and I really enjoyed the presentation. The blackened swordfish was also very good and had just the right amount of spice. It was served with mango salsa which was a perfect pairing because it helped cut the bite of the spice. The portion sizes here are very filling and we were stuffed after our meal. I noticed that team work was a big part of this restaurant. A different waitress offered to refill my drink one time and another one offered to clear our plates. I never noticed anyone in the restaurant that had an empty glass or plate in front of them.

Steak and shrimp Skewers

Blackened Swordfish. Note the mango salsa that was served with it.

The Tomato Risotto that was served with my skewers.

Even though we were full we still made room for dessert. We got the S’mores Sundae. My kids would go hog wild over this. I loved all the chocolate chips they put in it. It gave it a nice crunch. Everything was so delicious.  We can’t wait to come back! House of big fish and Ice Cold Beer is located at:

540 South Coast Highway #200 Laguna Beach, CA 92651

phone: 949.715.4500

If you have a restaurant or dining related event you’d like featured in OC menus feel free to email information to Melodi Steinberg –

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