Whitestone White Stone Tony Celeste Nick Herrera Whitestone


34212 Pacific Coast Hwy. (Golden Lantern)
Dana Point, CA 92629
Accomplished expressions of globally-inspired contemporary cuisine bring delight to a sleek Dana Point venue.
Openings: Dinner Sun., Tues.-Thurs. 4 p.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4 p.m.-10 p.m.


Whitestone, Dana Point, CA

Whitestone Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant & décor: This Dana Point space stands out from its neighbors aesthetically. The typical laid-back, flip-floppy ambience is eschewed in favor of natural wood and stone tones, nuanced lighting, and dark accents juxtaposing pops of greenery, creating a big city vibe that’s sleeker and feels more ambitious. It’s a necessary scheme that ideally dovetails with the drive that’s reflected by the contemporary cuisine crafted by executive chef Tony Celeste and executive sous chef Nick Herrera.

Likes: Sleek design that creates a metropolitan vibe.
Dislikes: None.

Food & Drinks: The duo use their talents to ignore the safe havens of OC’s culinary past, opting instead to devise an à la carte menu whose eclectic global inspiration coalesces into an array of finely composed dishes that are deceptively inventive. In their capable hands, choices like the stone fruit and baby beet salad with vanilla shoyu reveal layers of complex flavors that work all areas of the palate. The must-have hay-smoked carrot tacos with cilantro tortilla and excellent crispy forbidden rice with yuzu kosho showcase expertise in preparing memorable vegetarian-friendly fare, although opting for the salmon roe addition to the latter provides it with irresistible brightness. Heartier fare such as the Vietnamese fisherman’s stew and confit duck pot pie with smoked tomato and curry leaf crust demonstrates a purposeful depth of taste and ideal balance. To end the meal, we recommend the burrata with wine-soaked pear and balsamic vinegar, if only because its savory decadence contrasts its classically sweet-looking presentation so well. There is a modest number of cocktails to enjoy, and the wine list carries plenty of heavyweights, including several reserve labels.

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