Ruby’s Down By The Sea

Well, this is awkward.  I definitely wrote this post and forgot to update it.  You may have read the previous draft, but this one has some updates and actually is ACCURATE.  I’m sure we all have those days, right?  Here we go with a throwback to lunch in Laguna Beach towards the end of summer. My apologies if you’ve already read this skimmed the last edition.


I swear I would be the perfect date because of my dislike for crab, lobster, and pretty much any crustacean.  It’s not that I won’t try it, because I pride myself as a foodie with an exploratory palate, but I’d be much more satisfied with a cheeseburger and milkshake.  Right there the bill has been cut in half.  Oh, and I don’t like roses.  Not the roses that grow in gardens, but the roses that are trimmed and primped for sale in various floral shops.  Gerber daisies would be just as nice and so much more colorful.

So, that was not the point of today’s post.  I was making a round about point regarding Ruby’s and its presence in Laguna Beach but obviously my stream of consciousness took over.


Having sets grandparents that live in Santa Barbara and Laguna Beach has been absolutely amazing.  It has not only provided for relaxing settings to catch up, but also picturesque picnics, walks on the beach, festivals and countless other activities.  I also must mention the array of restaurants, art galleries, and hole-in-the-wall eateries.  When my sister and I were little, we would almost always request to go to Ruby’s, one of the more popular, and certainly classic, diner joints.   Meghan went through a phase of only ordering chicken tenders, no matter where we went to dinner.  Sometimes I think we selected our restaurants based upon the quality of their tenders, but I may be making that up.

Ruby’s has two main locations, one off of PCH in Corona Del Mar, and the other in Laguna Beach (south of town and closer to Dana Point).  However, about 7 or so years ago, they decided to expand into Crystal Cove with the Shake Shack and The Beachcomber.  I’ll provide a bit of background on Crystal Cove, but if you are truly interested, I suggest checking out this.


The Crystal Cove district is a historical area that was established back in the 1930’s.  The owners of the property would let their employees and friends build cottages along the water, which were then used as vacation homes and became a summer favorite.  Over time, big companies got involved and families had to decide whether to move their cottages or lease from the Irvine Company.  Well, one thing led to another and people stopped coming each year and due to rules and regulations, the cottages could not be altered and thus went into disrepair.  In 1979 the beach area was purchased and became a State Park.  It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that there was enough support to revamp the cottages and make them a lasting legacy in Southern California.


You actually can rent one of the cottages for a short time, although the waiting list is usually pretty extensive.  I think it would be a blast to take some of my girlfriends down there for a little getaway trip.  That is of course when we have a little bit of extra time and cash 😉  Until then, it’s a wonderful place to take a walk, grab a shake or even a meal and watch the sunset.


One of the first eating options is at the Shake Shack, which is located off PCH, above Crystal Cove, and is open every day from 7am-9pm and 10pm on Friday and Saturday.   Originally it focused on Ruby burgers and obviously milkshakes but has since expanded to include breakfast (oatmeal, eggs, and cinnamon roll French toast), a medley of burgers and sandwiches, and of course various milkshakes and other beverages.  People will often hike up from their spots on the beach for a quick snack or lunch.

IMG_3652_Fotor_Collage beachcomber menuThe Beachcomber is also run by Ruby’s but provides an upscale and alternative experience.  They still serve a “Ruby’s Burger,” but the menu is filled with items such as mahi mahi tacos, chicken club sandwiches, salmon, or grilled artichokes.  The lunch and dinner menus are somewhat similar and are so popular that wait times during the summer months range from 60 to 90 minutes.   Once you put your name in, they hand you a pager, and set you off to walk along the sand, search for sea glass, or browse the Crystal Cove gift shop.


After much menu contemplation, I ordered the tuna melt sandwich with a cup of tomato soup topped with blue cheese.  It’s safe to say there was nothing left for the seagulls.  My grandma stuck with a grilled chicken sandwich with sautéed onions on the side and my grandpa tried the mahi mahi tacos, which he enjoyed but was not impressed by the cole slaw. We didn’t order dessert, but I spotted a number of kids munching on s’mores.  🙂


For more information on the Shake Shack or Beachcomber, follow the link here.

The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove
15 Crystal Cove
Newport Coast, CA 92657



3 thoughts on “Ruby’s Down By The Sea

  1. LOVED this post! My family and I go to Laguna every year in March. It’s so fun that your grandparents live there! My grandparents actually went on their honeymoon to Laguna and loved it so much that they kept going back every year and my parents have kept the annual tradition going.

    I haven’t been to The Beachcomber or Shack Shake…and the only Ruby’s I’ve been to is the one closer to Dana Point. Will definitely have to stop for lunch in Crystal Cove next year!

    • Thank you! I recall when you posted about your adventures and your trip to Active Cultures. I’m a huge frozen yogurt fan, so I had to make a trip there 🙂 Not only do my grandparents live there, but it has become our family reunion spot too!

      Yes, please test it out and let me know what you think! It’s so cute and festive down there.

  2. I absolutely adore Ruby’s. On my trip to America, I was overwhelmed by the quality of service in the stores but Ruby’s service was outstanding. And the waitresses were gorgeous. I would recommend anyone anywhere to go to one.

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