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The Lorea is an open-air concept that evokes modern, but laid-back elegance.

Paséa Hotel & Spa resets with new restaurants that embody ‘laid-back luxury’

Heightened tableside attention meets mom’s kitchen counter at Lōrea

In May, the team at the Paséa Hotel & Spa Huntington Beach, Calif., property completed a $5 million renovation of its food and beverage program, recasting its restaurants in a “laid-back luxury” vibe. The overhaul includes the introduction of Lōrea, a new California coastal-inspired restaurant, and the rebranding of Paséa’s rooftop lounge to Treehouse on PCH. New chef de cuisine Stefan Pierce and executive chef Scott Rackliff oversee the menus.

Lōrea features a coastal-inspired design with an open-air setting, walnut dining tables, and a 77-foot-long stone bar. The menu emphasizes seafood, premium beef, and locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant also offers a lively weekend brunch on its outdoor patio.

Paséa updated Treehouse on PCH with Restoration Hardware furniture, firepits, and a DJ booth, while maintaining its iconic tree sculpture. The rooftop lounge offers specialty cocktails, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic options, all crafted by award-winning mixologist Miguel Sandoval.

Overall, these changes aim to establish Paséa as a premier culinary destination in Southern California, elevating the dining experience for both guests and locals.

Rackliff said he wanted to align Lōrea with its open-air concept and ocean proximity, ensuring it didn't feel like a standard hotel restaurant. The end goal was to create a memorable dining experience for both local and hotel guests, with the ambiance of ocean views complementing the food.

The new menu emphasizes a land and sea concept, drawing inspiration from the ocean setting and leveraging produce from local Southern California farms to create unique, seasonal dishes.

“One thing we pride ourselves most on at Lōrea and Paséa Hotel & Spa is our level of service and hospitality,” Rackliff said. “At Lōrea, our goal is to make a genuine connection with our guests. Our menu was designed to be creative and immersive, accented with little experiential touches here and there.”

While it is creative and immersive, the menu also is designed to be approachable, with simple verbiage and descriptions, hence the description of “laid-back luxury.” The luxury aspect, he explained, comes via the tableside interaction between staff and guests, where flavors, techniques, and preparations are explained. This approach enhances guest satisfaction through presentation and surprise elements.

“As we work through the curation process of the dining experience here at Lōrea, we try to find those ‘wow’ moments,” Rackliff said. “Some of those thus far have been the housemade Parker House rolls, with a Turkish butter candle that softens your butter for you right at the table. Another fan favorite has been the Pavlova, a tropical dessert that has a dry ice and Thai basil center, which we pour a lime elixir over to create a fragrant smoke that has the scent of a mojito—which ties to the feeling of relaxing outdoors while looking over the beach.”

Most restaurants shoot for exciting touchpoints and making guests feel at home, but Rackliff has added a truly homespun touch. While guests wait for the tableside chocolate cake, Rockliff’s team sends their whisks covered with cake batter out for guests to enjoy. The treat entertains guests while they wait the 15 minutes it takes to bake the cake, while also triggering nostalgia and memories of licking mom or dad’s whisk while a homemade treat was being put in the oven.

Other specialty dishes include duck & goat charcuterie, spicy little gems salad, vegan cavatelli, seared diver scallops, and whole market fish. The menu also offers interactive tableside experiences and specialty desserts such as carrot cake and burnt cheesecake.

Breakfast options include labneh with roasted fruits and smoked salmon flatbread. At lunch, guests can choose from dishes such as mushroom campanelle pasta and grilled market fish tacos.

Rackliff hopes guests to the hotel will be inspired to visit again and again:

“We want our guests to look back on and say, ‘Do you remember Lōrea? That place we went to with the views of crashing waves and the incredible flaming butter?’"

Tad Wilkes is a writer and editor in the hotel food and beverage industry.

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