By Cheryl Pruett
Explore ideas to make mom’s day full of surprises and memories.
Restaurants in our backyard offer so many choices to celebrate Mother’s Day on May 14, from traditional brunches to creative outings. Among well-known go-to places are Ramos House Café in San Juan Capistrano, Bonjour Café in Dana Point, The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar on San Clemente Pier or local resort hotels such as Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa and Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club.
However, other options abound.
For 109 years, Mother’s Day has been officially celebrated. Nationally, about 54% plan to pay homage to mom with a brunch, dinner or special outing, up from 49% last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Keep in mind, creating new traditions is a gift in itself. For your consideration, here are a few ideas that may fit the bill for a mom’s day experience.
Meal and Movie
Rick’s Café and Wine Bar in the Regency Theatre at the San Juan Capistrano Francisco Plaza makes mom the star attraction at the café or in a VIP auditorium.
See what movie options are available, and order Rick’s food from the comfort of your movie seat. Salads, seafood, flatbread pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, wraps and more.
26762 Verdugo Street, San Juan Capistrano. 949.661 3434. regencymovies.com.
Better Than a View
Doho Café at Doheny, located in DohenyState Parkin Dana Point,may be off the wall, but literally is sand and beach at your feet.
Doho Café is by no means a concession stand. It has a patio with tables and wide-open beach for spreading out your own blankets and chairs to enjoy breakfast or lunch with food variety that doesn’t miss special ingredients such as edamame, quinoa, acai, cage-free eggs and applewood bacon.
Another plus: access to bike and beach rentals through Wheel Fun Rentals (wheelfunrentals.com).
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive. 949.538.9512. dohocafedoheny.com.
Night Owl or Early Bird
Harbor House Caféin Dana Point, with 24/7 hours of operation, makes it easy to be the first to celebrate mom’s day. Midnight, anyone?
Established in 1939, listing the nostalgic eatery’s menu would take—well, all night. While reservations are not taken, its homey atmosphere and menu variety offer something for everyone.
Seafood, egg dishes galore, Mexican items and dessert. You get the picture.
34157 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point. 949.496.9270. harborhousecafe.com.
Shop & Eat Combo
Asada Cantina + Kitchenat the Outlets at San Clemente gives the guest of honor—mom—a chance to dine, relax and shop.
The restaurant is a blend of classic and contemporary Mexican cuisine. Its diversity in cuisine style is evident. Even the smallest menu item stands out, from bacon-wrapped jalapenos with cream cheese and raspberry jam to avocado poblano slaw.
An extensive tequila collection and an “anytime breakfast” are among highlights. The menu is book-worthy reading. After your meal, take mom on a shop-about at stores at the Outlets to pick out a gift.
225 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa, Suite G, San Clemente. 949.561.1200. asadacantina.com.
The Teahouse on Los Rios in San Juan Capistranois more than tea. It’s a meal and an experience.
Offered on May 13 and 14, select from a lunch or brunch version in a genteel surrounding in the historic district. Loose leaf teas, Bloody Marys, champagne and scones are among expected offerings, but there’s so much more.
Among entrees for Mother’s Day Brunch are Amalfi Coast Benedict using crumpets as a base or a Bananas Foster Pan Perdue (French toast). Lunch features such items as an extensive Tea Plate or roasted Tuscan chicken. There’s even a “young royals” menu for those 10 and under.
31731 Los Rios Street. 949.443.3914.houseonlosrios.com.
Cheryl Pruett is an award-winning journalist and editor, having covered Orange County city and county topics to the food scene for Orange County Register, Patch.com and local magazines. She has called Dana Point/Capistrano Beach home for more than 30 years.