Dinner with a View at Raya: The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

The ocean view at Raya was so breathtaking, one cannot help but freeze. Are we on a cruise? It seems like we were but the place is not moving, nor were we. This was the scene even before we can utter our name to check on our reservation at Raya at The Ritz-Carlton.

If you’re looking for a nice restaurant to celebrate an occasion or simply want a restaurant with a view, then you must drive to The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, every bite was worth it! And if only I had more space in my tummy, I would have finished the crab mashed potato they served coz’ it was so good.

Raya serves Pan-Latin cuisine that is so elegantly simple yet so divine. It took me time to decide on what to order even if Raya merely has a 1-page dinner menu. I wanted to try it all! Well that, plus I can’t help but stare at the sunset from our window side seats.

If you’re booking a reservation at Raya, you’ll be able to get window-side seats if you book and get there closest to their opening time which was 6 PM for dinner on a Saturday.

We started off with Brazilian cheese bread with herb butter while we enjoyed our champagne. The smoked swordfish dip came it was delicious.

A must order especially if you love lamb is their lamb lollipops. It was both juicy and flavorful. I would order that again on our next visit on top of trying the rest of the menu that we didn’t get to try.

I had a lot of expectations from the lobster tacos but it was not our favorite. Maybe we’ll try their ahi tuna ceviche and wagyu tiradito next time instead.

The miso Alaskan black cod on the other hand plus the crab mashed potato side dish was melt-in-your-mouth goodness. It’s. A. Must. Order!

Being a black rice fan, I also enjoyed the hubby’s order of Arroz Negra. The portions at Raya were very generous. If other restaurants have a huge plate with tiny dishes, at Raya, it’s the opposite and we were so full that we can’t even think of getting desserts.

For the kids, it was their usual faves, chicken & fries for the eldest and mac n’ cheese for the little birthday girl.

We really didn’t have space for dessert but our server who knew we were celebrating 2 birthdays came in with a chocolate mousse complete with candles and we each took a stab at it.

Our birthday dinner celebration at Raya was one of the best meals we’ve had to date. We cannot wait to go back to try their lunch and Sunday brunch menu on top of trying everything else on the dinner menu.

Birthdays, anniversaries or just plain hungry, make sure to visit Raya at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel! Don’t forget to make reservations. They also have a steak restaurant, Enosteak and an outdoor lounge serving drinks and small plates called 180blũ that also has magnificent views.

Goodbye for now but see you soon Raya! Thanks for the amazing dinner, breathtaking view, and superb service.


Read up on our Dana Point Weekend Getaway Guide for fun things to do, restaurants to try and places to stay at in Dana Point.


10 thoughts on “Dinner with a View at Raya: The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel”

  1. What a beautiful place to eat! The food looks like it is to die for! I’m glad you had fabulous birthday celebration!

  2. Such a fun way to spend the day! I love Laguna Niguel, there’s so much to do and it’s such a beautiful part of SoCal! Your pictures are gorgeous, it looks like you had such a fun time! Love it!

  3. This looks absolutely amazing! How awesome that you were able to celebrate a special day this way. I love that view, it looks breathtaking! And the food looks great as well.

  4. THAT is some amazing looking food!! I’ve never even been in a Ritz Carlton! Can you believe it?! That does give me a good idea to go just for dinner not the stay – especially for a special occasion!

  5. That is a great way to celebrate your birthday. Amazing view, amazing food, and the location are just great. I want to visit the hotel soon and enjoy a nice dinner with friends. I love luxury locations that offer classy style and food that is delicious. I love octopus too

  6. Wow! What a treat! All the dishes are beautifully arranged and they look so delicious. Oh that arroz negra looks beautiful! The shrimps are so fat and I bet they were fantastic. Now I know what to order when I go!

  7. Wow this looks like a wonderful place to visit. I would absolutely love to head out that way and stay there asap. It looks so calming and relaxing, just what I need! Thanks for sharing, your photos are so beautiful!

  8. Everything looks so delicious. I love the Ritz-Carlton brand, but never stayed at this location. They cater to the desires of their clients, with such luxury and style, its amazing! Thanks for sharing, I have to try this locations 🙂

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