Beach Fire

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Restaurant Reviews

“Coto Voice – Food Finds” – October Issue 2010

  I was so excited to be able to report on Beach Fire Grill!  I’ve enjoyed BF from the first moment I tried their food at the Taste of Coto over a year ago.  Once intrigued with their food, I had to check out their location in Ladera Ranch.  What cool, righteous ambiance!!  They have designed the interior with a variety of unique décor. You can dine under a replica of the San Clemente Pier, while fish are swimming at eye-level in a 2,200 gallon fish tank – kids and adults dig it – how cool is that!  Now my husband wants a fish tank (oh great).   Of all things I love their bathroom counter tops, made up of sand and sea shells as well as other little collections of things you’d find on the beach.  Surfboards hanging everywhere as well as tiki huts here and there.  They have over 400 local artists’ original beach-themed paintings hung everywhere for sale.  Being an artist myself, I created a little thank-you painting of the outside of the restaurant for the gracious owners, Dave and Allison Donaldson.  I am, however, inspired to do something bigger now…

The Inspiration

The name for BeachFire drifted to Dave and Allison one beautiful summer evening while driving down PCH with the windows down and the smell of a fire on the beach hit them in the face.  They wrote the restaurant concept on a cocktail napkin that night.

The Service

We were greeted by the manager, Jackson, who took great care of us, and, David, the ultimate server, was beyond great! This guy really enjoys good food and making you feel informed and well looked after.  Ask for David the next time you go in. J

Their Food

Their three BeachFire restaurants are “committed to providing the finest food and service in a really comfortable and fun atmosphere.  They use only the freshest of seafood, make all of their own sauces, dressings and desserts and have never had a microwave at any location.  Sterling Silver beef and quality cocktails and wine lists have always been the standard.  Constant improvements are made to reduce their footprints through recycling, reducing, and sourcing as much local and sustainable product as possible.”  I love their save the beaches/save the planet message – more restaurant should be so consciencious.  BeachFire caters as well!

Our Meal

Dudes and Dudettes, you seriously have to start off with their Ahi Tartare —  Sashimi ahi tuna layered with fresh avocado and mango salsa, served with sriracha, ponzu, cucumbers and crispy wonton.  You don’t know what ponzu is?  I don’t either, but trust me, it’s fantastic!  The four of us shared four mouth-watering entrees.  First, the Panko Crusted Alaskan Halibut – Pan seared (or blackened) fresh Alaskan halibut with a panko crust and jalapeno buerre blanc, served over roasted garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables – yum-mie!  Secondly, we had the Caribbean Skirt Steak – Sterling Silver skirt steak marinated in chimichurri and served on Puerto Rican black beans, zen rice, fried sweet Caribbean plantains and pico de gallo – ama-Zing!  Thirdly, we had Grilled Ahi Tacos  – Blackened sashimi tuna, shredded red cabbage and carrots, topped with wakame salad and soy emulsion – yes, I would order THIS again!  And finally, we enjoyed  Lobster Tacos – Sauteed chunks of Mexican spiny lobster, seasoned and sautéed in garlic butter, cabbage mix and cilantro cumin cream – muy, muy bueno!!!!  I have to note that the prices were very reasonable. 

What’s New!

“BeachFire will always be in an eternal quest for improvement.”  This is a direct quote from their web site.  On that note, “Attention All Sports Fans!  Surfer Dave Donaldson has come up with an out-of-the-surfers-box idea — Beach Fire Grill is now hosting NFL Sundays!”  Check out this quality, classy sports experience with 11 flat screen TV’s, Direct TV boxes for full game coverage, free Wi-Fi for constant fantasy football updates, and a special “1st down menu”!  Nothing like feeling like you’re at the beach with all your creature comforts of a sports bar, games and grill!  Dave, it doesn’t get much better than that!  Don’t forget to have one channel on the Surfing Network!

Community Fundraisers

It just so happened that BF was hosting another community fund raiser Wednesday night (the night we went in for dinner), one that happened to be close to my heart:  Tesoro Football Program.  Whether it’s a music program, charity or sports fundraiser, BF really enjoys giving back (% of the sales on any given day).  Great way to connect with the locals!

Musical Entertainment & Calendar

Check out their weekly live musicians and their ArtWalk in San Clemente the last Thursday of each month (I might check this out!), plus more at  Or “friend” them on Facebook to get the latest updates!



BeachFire – Ladera Ranch

25682 Crown Valley Parkway

Ladera Ranch, CA  92694


BeachFire – San Clemente

204 Avenida Del Mar, Suite D

San Clemente, CA  92672


Historic San Clemente Municipal Golf Course –

Irons in the Fire

150 Avenida Magdalena

San Clemente, CA  92672


Without question, BeachFire is rated one of my personal favorites.  Dave and Allison, keep doing what you do best.  We’ll be back soon.


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