Raya at Ritz Carlton, Dana Point

Last March, I won a dinner for 2 at Raya, a restaurant located inside the posh Ritz Carlton resort in Dana Point.  The certificate stated it did not include alcohol or gratuity, did not specify any other stipulations, but did say that I had a year to use the certificate.  Since it was about to expire, I invited Stephen to be my guest and to celebrate my birthday.

We had dinner reservations, and we were seated by the window so we could watch the sun set.  It was a magnificent view.  Our server was very friendly, and made excellent suggestions on what to order.  While ordering, I was thinking “how much of this will we need to pay?”

We started off with drinks, then appetizers.  Stephen ordered an iced tea, which came all decorated with a sugar cane stick. We started with 2 appetizers: lobster quesadilla and little, bite size rock shrimp and bacon tacos, held together with a tiny clothes pin.

Iced tea and bread with a fantastic view!

View from our table

Enjoying our first time at a fancy restaurant


Lobster Quesadilla

Rock shrimp and bacon tacos


For our entree, we both chose the steak with root vegetables and truffled crab pureed yukon mashed potatoes.  When it came time for dessert, we figured we would have to share one, but the choices were so tempting!  Our server cheerfully suggested we should each get our own, so we went for the Dessert Sampler and the Molton Center Carrot Cake.  

At the end of our meal, we were extremely satisfied.  I was still thinking of how much this was going to cost.  Even though the certificate said dinner for 2, surely they meant 1 appetizer, 1 entree each and we share a dessert, right?  Apparently, since we didn’t have alcohol, Raya picked up the entire tab. 

We tipped our server generously, walked around the hotel before heading home.

Molten Center Carrot Cake

The Dessert Sampler

Churro and Kahlua Pudding

Toffee Pudding Cake with Oatmeal Ice cream


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