NEW AND RETURNING:
Reunion & Asada by Nancy Luna
When Scott McIntosh was forced to close Asada in Laguna Beach in 2013, he kept the rights to the name, hoping one day he’d reopen the restaurant again. Now, that time has come.
McIntosh, who operates Reunion Kitchen + Drink in Anaheim Hills, has struck a deal to bring a mini-version of Asada and a second Reunion to Laguna Beach. Asada Tacos + Beer and Reunion will open this year in the Boat Canyon Shopping Center. Asada is taking over the closed Señor Fish space, while Reunion is moving into the closed Umami Burger restaurant. The gourmet burger eatery from Los Angeles closed in January.
McIntosh hopes to lure back fans of Asada, which closed after its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection. “Obviously, in Laguna we have bittersweet memories with Asada,” McIntosh said.
At the new location, McIntosh said not to expect fast-food counter service. He’s planning to serve premium tacos in a full-service setting. Homemade tortillas will be made in front of customers. “It’s all about beer and tacos,” he said.
After a remodel, Asada is expected to open by November. In that same building, McIntosh is building his second Reunion. The modern American menu includes big portions of classics such as braised short ribs; steak and potato salad; pan-roasted salmon; baby-back ribs; and chicken and biscuits. He expects Reunion to open by the end of the year.
The top-to-bottom overhaul of the 2,200-square-foot space includes adding a larger kitchen, raising the ceilings and enclosing the outdoor patio to accommodate year-round dining. The menu will be the same as the Anaheim Hills restaurant.