Off the Menu OC

Covering the dining scene in and around the OC

Haunted Restaurant: The Ghost of Ti Amo in Laguna Beach

Most restaurants don’t stand a ghost of a chance when compared to Ti Amo Restaurant in Laguna Beach. Why? Because Ti Amo has a ghost roaming the dining rooms.

“Ti Amo is indeed haunted,” confirms former owner Jim Hirschberg. “I witnessed things happening, and heard things, that I can’t explain. It’s a funny ghost—it loves to play tricks.” 

Jim recalls the time he was in his office talking with one of his staff when his adding machine started operating on its own, furiously adding numbers until it abruptly stopped. Then the heavy door to the wine cellar slowly closed, and locked.

“We looked at each other and wondered if anyone would believe this,” laughs Jim. “And that’s just one of the stories.”


Hard to say how many of the ghost stories are real, but Ti Amo is completely realistic in its décor and cuisine.


Consistently named one of the most romantic restaurants in Orange County, Ti Amo is modeled after an authentic Italian Villa with stone tablet menus, faux & fresco Artisian plastered walls, heavy fabrics, candelabras, and mood lighting.


Among the five dining rooms is a climate controlled atrium with a sixty foot pine tree towering through a glass roof.


The main lobby is adorned with menus signed by favorite guests such as Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, President Bush, Heather Locklear, Magic Johnson, John C. Riley, and many others.

The menu features Italian/Mediterranean cuisine including homemade pastas & recognizable comfort foods of Italy, but Executive Chef Pino Domicolo also creates six to eight nightly fish, beef and other specials.

One thing that has stayed constant over the years is Ti Amo’s signature dessert: Warm Banana Bread Pudding served with a Banana’s Foster whiskey sauce.

For more information, including menus, visit

Thanks for reading!

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Christopher Trela

3rd Place Best Food Blog / OC Press Club Journalism Awards

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