This week’s chilly weather had us looking for something hot and hearty, and we found it at Patsy’s Irish Pub in Laguna Niguel, located at the corner of Golden Lantern and Crown Valley.
We had never been there before and were pleasantly surprised by the charming interior. Flags, wine barrels and a coat of arms There is a large bar that runs the length of the establishment. The rest of the restaurant is packed with tables, which gives the restaurant a cozy feel. Patsy’s is decorated for Christmas, and there is a lot of extra green lighting in the bar area, and green upholstery on the chairs to remind patrons of her Irish roots. There are several televisions in the bar as well as a couple in the dining room, so customers can check the scores while enjoying their cocktails and meals.
We seated ourselves at a small table near the front of the room. Although we were there on a Wednesday evening, it was quite busy. After a few minutes, we were given a cocktail menu and the dinner menu. The cocktail menu includes some Irish-themed choices, like the Nutty Irishman, a tempting blend of Bailey’s Original Irish Cream, Frangelico, vanilla vodka and whipped cream and the Lady Leprechaun (Smirnoff raspberry, Sour Apple Pucker, lime juice and a splash of cranberry). There is a page devoted to whiskey and another page of beer options, in addition to a brief wine list. I chose a glass of Hess Chardonnay and Jim selected the Smithwicks Ale.
The food menu is much larger than I expected with quite a range of items. Under “getting started” seafood choices include calamari strips, peel and eat shrimp, steamed littleneck clams, Maryland style crab cakes, oyster shooters, fried clams, and a seafood sampler platter. Other appetizers are a fire roasted artichoke, Irish Nachos which are prepared with potato “chips” in place of corn chips, and the Irish wrapper, which is corned beef and cabbage wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried.
Other menu highlights include corned beef tacos, made with cabbage and cheese served on a soft corn tortilla, in addition to fish, chicken and steak tacos. Sandwiches range from the Kilkenny made with bacon, egg and cheese on a Kaiser roll, to a grilled Reuben, to a sautéed lobster sandwich. Under the heading of “Traditional Irish Specialties” are found Dublin Stew, Irish bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, roasted lamb or pork topped with gravy and served with carrots and potatoes and fish and chips.
We were both impressed by the menu. My husband could not decide between one of the sandwiches and Maryann's fish and chips. The waitress said “Oh, you can have a sandwich any time. Get the fish and chips.” I chose a cup of the chicken soup and the seafood melt, a baked potato topped with scallops, shrimp, crab, scallops and fish smothered in crab sauce.
Our drinks were served fairly quickly. Jim’s ale was dark and strong and my wine was crisp and dry. While we waited for our meals, there was a lot to entertain us. A fairly lively discussion about politics was going on at the bar. We were cheering on the Lakers and watching a golf tournament at the same time. Even though it is a pub, there were several families enjoying dinner together, and there is a kids’ menu featuring chicken strips, quesadilla, sliders or fish and chips. All kids’ meals are served with fries and all cost five dollars.
My chicken soup was served with a bag of oyster crackers. It was delicious, and had slices of fresh mushrooms and carrots and cabbage along with chicken. It was as good as I hoped it would be. Jim’s fish and chips looked great, with nice pieces of white fish and potato, deep-fried to a crispy, golden color, served with tasty, savory coleslaw, and tartar sauce. The seafood melt was served in a metal dish. It was hot, and had large pieces of scallops, shrimp, crab and other fish in a creamy crab sauce. It was delicious, and filling and was perfect for a chilly night.
Patsy’s is a fun place to try, especially if you are looking for some comfort food or Irish favorites in a casual setting. The service is good but not lightning fast. They are open daily from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Patsy’s offers happy hour daily from 1:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. daily. Karaoke and dancing are featured Thursday through Sunday from 9:30 to close. Sunday breakfast is served from 9 a.m. 12 p.m.
I give Patsy’s Irish Pub 3 ½ Patches out of 5.