There’s something special about this theater. Perhaps it’s the luscious lattes or flaky croissants that call you for breakfast, or the potent cocktails and enticing entrees that have you returning come sundown. If you’re looking for dinner and a movie done right—and then some—head to The Lot, Fashion Island’s buzzing new hot spot that’s housed in the former Island Cinema space. The third branch in a growing conglomerate of premier silver screen venues, The Lot transforms moviegoing by creating a memorable occasion. Complete with a party room for your next shindig and a mixologist with fresh herbs in his arsenal, there’s something for the adults and kiddos alike.
Go for breakfast in the resplendent cafe featuring Equator coffee and pastries baked on the premises. The chocolate croissant is worthy of compliments from a Parisian, and the coffeecake will make a New Yorker swoon. Sit back, relax and enjoy the setting perched atop the alfresco shopping paradise we all love. Mix and mingle over a lobster salad with green goddess dressing while sipping a gin-based Blueberry Basil Bramble and soaking in the cool California breeze. The quality of the ingredients used throughout the cafe’s expansive menu shines. (See the pure almond paste enrobed in flaky puff croissant at breakfast and the Scottish salmon at dinner.) All three meals are served daily, and there’s something for everyone. For a little indulgence, the smoked gouda mac ‘n’ cheese is creamy and comforting. On the lunch menu, the flatbread tempts with melted fontina, confit onions, asparagus and pancetta for a blend that’s both delicious and satisfying.
For dinner, the pan-roasted scottish salmon is a stellar choice. Flawlessly seared, the fish arrives on a bed of lemony farro with wild mushrooms and a bright blood orange chutney for freshness. And don’t miss the petite filet mignon—bathed in a deftly prepared demi-glace, the caliber of the cut shines with every bite.
To sip, handshaken cocktails are all original creations, and the Feel Pretty will pop your palate with a cool combination of Aperol, raspberry essence and fresh lemon topped with a prosecco float. Tequila and mezcal are robustly celebrated, and the beers on draft are high-end and California-crafted. Vinos run the gamut from an unusual Guadalupe Valley chardonnay to an unfiltered Napa merlot.
Then, make your way to one of the elegant cinemas to discover leather recliners with swiveling tables on which to rest your drink or food. With plenty of space for roving servers, the theater also allows guests to order at their seats from a full menu of savory and sweet options. (There’s also that aforementioned drink menu from which to pick your moviegoing potion.) Each theater has been entirely refurbished with top-of-the-line audio-visual features and movie screens edge-to-edge along the wall for the ultimate viewing experience. The usual suspects such as popcorn and candy concessions are showcased, but a gelato bar and a delicious collection of freshly baked cookies will up the ante for those with a sweet tooth. After you’ve frolicked in the culinary playground, kick back and enjoy the show.
The Lot makes its mark even after the credits roll.
THE LOT FASHION ISLAND
999 Newport Drive, Newport Beach, 949.281.0069
Starters, shared bites and salads, $9-$19; entrees, $19-$39; desserts, $7-$9
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 9am-10pm