It’s a toss-up, really, as to which pleasure is more simple and pure – a sunny, languid afternoon on a balcony at Dana Point’s Monarch Beach Resort, or the niçoise salad lunch from its restaurant, Aveo. Chef Collin Thornton combines fresh green beans, lightly steamed, with a mix of tiny white peewees and beautiful little purple potatoes. A few small leaves of lettuce. One of those trendy soft-boiled eggs but with a twist – it’s been dipped in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Plus, the requisite tuna, seared ever-so-lightly to seal its crust, with a thin layer of herbs and spice. A white balsamic vinaigrette, sparingly applied. And don’t forget the vine-ripe tomatoes, please.
Salad or sun? Oh, why not have both.