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This Laguna Life – Chef Lindsay Exclusive



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Nirvana Grille Catering: Your Own Personal Chef at Home



Hosting a party?  Let Nirvana Grille handle the cooking duties for your event.  We’ll come to your location and create a custom menu for your event.   There are a variety of options that we can discuss.  Click here to see our catering booklet.

Take a look at one of our most recent catering events:

Contact us
Lindsay Smith 949.637.4708 –
Sophie Rapicault 949.637.0300 –
Email both of us at

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NIrvana Grille and Sustainable Seafood

What is “sustainable seafood”?
Sustainable seafood is seafood that is either caught or farmed in ways that consider the long-term vitality of harvested species and the well-being of the oceans. It was first promoted through the sustainable seafood movement which began in the 1990s. This operation highlights overfishing and environmentally destructive fishing methods. Through a number of initiatives, the movement has increased awareness and raised concerns over the way our fish are obtained.

Why it matters
Marine environments are currently under immense pressure. Their problems primarily arise through anthropogenic causes, such as overfishing and environmental destruction. However, research suggests that fisheries are able to recover or stabilize their populations when responsible management and regulations are in place. Unfortunately, most seafood that is obtained is done so through irresponsible fishing practices that harm marine ecosystems.  This has resulted in record depleted stocks.

For example, it is common knowledge that 85 percent of the world’s fisheries are fished at or beyond their maximum sustainable limit.  Considering the rising global population and the pressure that it has, and will continue to exert on the Earth’s resources, a more sustainable method of fishing is necessary if humans wish to utilize its natural abundance.

How our support for sustainable seafood impacts our menu
At Nirvana Grille we offer many vegetarian dishes and are constantly changing our menu according to the season and what is available and sustainable. One of our more popular favorite dishes is our Basil Aioli Crusted Arctic Char, a breed of Rainbow Trout  in ocean waters, a delicious fish similar to salmon, with high omegas and fatty acids,  but without the “fishiness.” It is smothered in a delectable, homemade basil aioli and served with sautéed baby bok choy and organic jasmine rice.  Alternately, in the Fall and Winter, we serve it with a root vegetable puree of parsnips and turnips, wilted rainbow chard, and a maple mustard and ginger glazed Arctic Char baked on a cedar plank. Arctic char is farmed in the US and Iceland in land-based, closed systems reducing pollution risk and habitat impacts. Char has a flavor profile between trout and salmon, with fat content close to sockeye salmon. The flesh is light pink with fine flakes. If it’s cooked medium rare, it will be flaky on the outside and moist and delicious on the inside.

Nirvana is dedicated to offering high-quality ingredients that adhere to a “clean” policy of using locally-sourced ingredients as much as possible, and only buying meat that is free from hormones and antibiotics, organic free-range poultry and sustainable seafood. We strive to minimize our carbon footprint and reduce our impact on the environment.

Chef Lindsay continually looks for new ways to make sustainable seafood delicious, and always buys from responsible and sustainable vendors. She has removed all seafood that is not fully sustainable from her menu. Selling a fish that is overfished and on the brink of extinction, is against Chef Lindsay’s values and what she, her family and Nirvana Grille stand for.

(For further information on organizations we support & support sustainability,
Visit – One World One Ocean, Santa Monica Seafood, Aquarium of the Pacific, Monterey Bay Aquarium, & Protect the Seals


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Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine And Thy Medicine Be Thy Food

Hippocrates was right. Here is the trailer from the awesome documentary FOOD MATTERS.

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Refreshed – Renewed – Revitalized

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Have you been in recently to see the new clean refined look that we have created for you and our family at both Nirvana Grille locations? If you haven’t you should stop by and see what we have accomplished. With my shopping talent, the dedication of our staff, my husband Luis, and the expertise of my sister, interior designer Danielle Tarango, we’ve created a dining room paired to the style of food we serve.

Laguna Beach:

Mission Viejo:

Our inspiration for the redesign was the now coined phrase, farm-to-table. We wanted to take this a little farther back with a vintage throw back to the farmer’s almanac and the days when our parent’s parents grew what they cooked. This meant dark woods, simple clean lines, rich colors, and the classic white plate décor. For a quick fun fact, did you know that the Chinese was the first to discover porcelain? They started trading with Europeans in the early 1300’s where porcelain items became the most requested item, specifically plates.

In Laguna Beach, one of my favorite pieces we added is a wonderful large mango wood drum chandelier from North Laguna’s local Lightopia. Next time you walk in the front door take a look at the expansive illusion it creates in the mirrored center. What a compliment to the dining room entry and a great sustainable resource.

In every dish I create, I use only the finest quality produce I can find and source from as many locally grown sustainable farms as possible. We source much of our produce utilizing Melissa’s Produce, a local company which in their own right, have the same passions for quality ingredients that I myself have. Not only do they supply to the trade, they supply to consumers like you and as well are an integral part of the farming industry, owning many of the crops they sell.  They as well immerse themselves in philanthropy and support restaurants like mine to be able to donate our time and food for great local organizations throughout the year. Check them out at

Sourcing great ingredients makes my job that much easier. I chose to design my menus around the same concepts of using recycled materials in an effort lessen our own carbon foot print. Furthermore, I have removed all seafood from our menu which is not fully sustainable. Sadly, that meant removing one of my favorite and signature dishes, the Chilean Sea bass or Patagonia Tooth fish which to date was my number one best selling and until recent years, profitable dish. For my long time regulars, this was a huge disappointment, however I am not able to support something that does not emulate all that we stand for and what I wish to be known for and supporting a product as great as it is, if it is overfished or on the brink of extinction, I cannot uphold the values that my family shares. For all of the loyal sustainable seafood eaters out there, here is a great link for you to keep in your pocket anytime you are purchasing seafood from your favorite restaurant. Support those who support good and little Diego will thank you when he grows older!

Thank you for supporting Nirvana Grille. I look forward to feeding you again soon!

Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales 

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