Inventive, higher-end Mexican fare lands in Laguna Beach in the redone former Asada space. Consider duck confit tacos with sour-cherry salsita and shaved radish ($13); enchiladas, which include a mole de poblano version with pulled Mary’s free-range chicken ($19); and principales such as short-rib chile verde ($23) and tequila-coriander-rub hanger steak ($28). This small chain has locations in West Hollywood and on Kauai, but only the O.C. restaurant serves vegetarian enchiladas ($17) and sweet potato and beef empanadas ($12). The cocktail program includes 100 blue-agave spirits, some rare tequilas, and margaritas that run the gamut from the Purist to the Beetarita, made with Milagro Reposado, fresh beets, and ginger puree ($12). Look for two outdoor dining terraces and a courtyard patio with retractable roof.
480 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 949-393-4888, tortillarepublic.com