2591 South Coast Highway, Cardiff
It's easy to assume that the best oceanfront views are to be had west of Highway 101, but Ki's, an informal juice bar and organic eatery situated across the road from the Charthouse in Cardiff, commands almost 180-degree views of the blue. For breakfast and lunch, you place your order downstairs, then (unless you're agoraphobic) climb to the second-floor dining room, where silverware, coffee, and water are self-serve (dinner service is a tad more formal). Enjoy the vista indoors next to the coffee bar, outdoors under a covered patio, or from railing-side seats facing west and north. Views of San Elijo Lagoon to the south and east are nothing to sneer at.