Cafe Jardin in Corona Del Mar is a hidden oasis on East Coast Highway that combines a nice outdoor cafe with a beautiful botanical garden; it can literally be a garden party any time you wish at this hidden treasure.

This venue is a creperie, a lunch time cafe, and super brunch spot depending on when you come here. My friend Cindy and I enjoyed a perfect Southern California afternoon as we gazed out at a beautiful fountain and garden during our meal. We both chose the crab cake salad with remoulade, asparagus, and a nicely dressed spring green salad. Everything on the plate was as well executed as the upkeep of the garden, from the perfectly cooked asparagus and the tasty crab cakes to the lightly dressed greens, the skill of the kitchen staff obviously matched the skill of the gardeners, even the French champagne served by the glass exceeded our expectations. We even managed to find room for a great dessert of lemon tart before strolling through the gardens.

On the property there is a fabulous greenhouse, a nice rose garden, a Japanese sand garden, cacti, lilies, and more fountains and ponds than we thought could be found in less than one city block. Since admission ($3) to the garden is mandatory even if you are dining, we took advantage of our unlimited free parking in the back lot to wander the property and walk off a little bit of our meal. We will be back to uncover more treasures at this delightful spot when it transforms into a creperie or the epitome of a perfect summer Sunday brunch locale.

One address with three restaurant types and a garden; it makes one wonder if any definitions are definite.