Sometimes when you go back to an old favorite, it has changed (not in a good way) and you wish your memories had stayed intact without the annoying knowledge that everything changes. Happily I found that eating at 230 Forest in Laguna will remain a favorite. The Ahi Tuna Tartar tower made with papaya, crab and wasabi caviar ($14) is still as beautiful and tasty as the last time I ordered it over a year ago. The micro greens on top are a nice accent, and the combination of ripe fruit and fresh Ahi makes for a nice light appetizer on the crispy won ton skins sprinkled with a bit of hoisin and sesame seeds. This could be a meal if you are not that hungry.

I come here for this salad; the Blackened Tuna Nicoise, made with field greens tossed in a whole grain mustard vinaigrette, haricots verts, kalamata olives, hard boiled egg, and tomatoes ($18). The change they have made is to blacken the tuna, which adds a nice spicy touch to the previous incarnation of simply grilled tuna with all the same ingredients. I have a slight preference for the way they used to do it, but the new version “kicks it up a notch” and that is not a bad thing.

Even though Cindy & I shared the appetizer, neither one of us could finish our salads, much less order a dessert. We were happy to talk while sipping our glasses of SonomaCutrer Chardonnay ($13) as we enjoyed the 80 degree beach weather. This is life as it should always be!

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