Seafood

Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse : Reopened and Reinvented

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Nick and Stefs logo

COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED NICK + STEF’S STEAKHOUSE

REOPENS IN DOWNTOWN LA
Nick and Stefs LA

Following a “down to the studs” renovation, Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse, the flagship steakhouse from celebrated Chef and Founder of Patina Restaurant Group, Joachim Splichal, has reopened, been redesigned, and has a new Executive Chef, Andreas Roller, who is presenting a sensational new menu and dining experience.

With a chic new decor incorporating classic steakhouse style with contemporary designs, the 16-year old newly reopened Nick and Stef’s celebrates its long standing tradition of offering cured meat selections with an emphasis on a newly added 28-day onsite aging of premium cuts. Comprehensive raw bar and seafood options, a wine program consisting of over 500 labels including selections from Splichal’s personally selected vintages, a mixology program rooted in mid-century cocktails and unparalleled service for which the brand is  known, are at the core of the new iteration of Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse.

Chef Andrew Roller of Nick and Stefs

Chef Andrew Roller with Susan Irby

The Cuisine –
Adhering to the founding principles of Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse, the menu by Executive Chef  Andreas Roller remains focused on celebrating top tier ingredients through traditional  steakhouse fare with a contemporary flair. As to be expected, meat is the focal point of both the  lunch and dinner menu. USDA prime onsite 28-day dry aged selections in addition to  showstopper options such as a Tomahawk Rib Chop or Prime Fiorentine T-Bone are carefully grilled over oak and mesquite.

Filet TriTip from Nick and Stefs

Filet Mignon and TriTip

Other large scale menu items, available for pre-order, include a  Whole Roasted Suckling Pig, Dry-­‐‑Aged Prime Rib, Whole Roasted Leg of Colorado Lamb and
Loup de Mer. For individual dining, other new meat experiences include Black Angus Beef,  imported and domestic Wagyu, along with a varied selection of grassfed cuts. Burgers and  sandwiches are also showcased during lunch service. The menu also features smaller bites  during lunch or dinner and an extensive list of returning classic sides alongside new innovative vegetable small plates.

Crispy Cauliflower

Crispy Cauliflower from Nick and Stefs

The new menu includes an expanded look at seafood, inclusive of entrees, a raw bar with $3  oysters, seafood cocktails,

Oyster Sake Shooters

Oyster Sake Shooters at Nick and Stef’s

and shellfish platters. The new seafood program is focused on fresh catch fish selections.

Classic Oatmeal Cookie

Classic Oatmeal Cookie at Nick and Stef’s

Rounding out the menu for lunch and dinner, a dessert course highlights items that evoke a  sense of comfort and contentment. Warm Buttermilk Cinnamon Doughnuts, Rum Raisin  Chocolate Soufflé Cake, Oatmeal Cookie, and a large selection of domestic cheeses are just a few  of the choices.

Cinnamon Doughnuts

Nick and Stef’s Cinnamon Doughnuts

More about Chef Andreas Roller –
Newly appointed Executive Chef is German Master Chef Andreas Roller, an internationally educated and experienced culinary talent who has created a global and diverse menu. Sourcing only the finest cuts of meat and carefully curated specialty items, Chef Roller has a long and dedicated relationship with Patina Restaurant Group,  including stints at the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Concert Hall. Prior to Patina Restaurant Group, Chef Roller’s culinary success includes tenures at three Michelin-starred restaurants, projects in Australia and London, along with the 2004 Olympics and the world’s only seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab located in Dubai.

Cocktails, Fine Wines, and Premier Water, Nick + Stef’s Beverage Program –
Whether for after work drinks or to supplement a formal dining experience, Nick + Stef’s  Steakhouse will be a premier destination for wine and mixology lovers. The sleek front bar  captures the overall spirit of the new Nick + Stef’s with a varied menu saluting classic libations  and introducing contemporary signature cocktails. With a focus on carefully curated small  batch labels and top-shelf selections, the cocktail program harkens to the golden age of  steakhouses when a steak was always consumed with a cocktail in hand.

Cocktails at Nick and Stef's

Selection of Nick and Stef’s cocktails

For wine aficionados, this may be the most exciting new wine list in the city. The new menu
presents over 500 labels reaching across the globe while incorporating private vintages selected
personally by Splichal, in partnership with the dedicated Sommelier/Assistant General Manager
Alejandro Marchesini. The wine list features many labels previously only found at auction and
not available at other dining destinations in the city.
Patina Restaurant Group’s popular water menu, crafted by America’s only water sommelier,
featuring 4 flat and 4 sparkling natural spring waters will be offered as well.

Ceviche selection at Nick and Stef's

Albacore with Jalapeno

About Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse
Named for Patina Restaurant Group Founder / Chef Joachim Splichal’s two sons, the restaurant
opened its doors in 1999. The sophisticated, contemporary, and eclectic setting includes a
stunning outdoor terrace for al fresco dining and after-work cocktails, as well as the only
display dry-aging room in Los Angeles.

Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse
the premier destination for meat lovers in the heart of downtown LA
330 SOUTH HOPE ST.
LOS ANGELES, CA 90071
RESERVATIONS: 213 680 0330
Open for lunch Monday through Friday
Open for dinner 7 nights a week


The Plant Seafood Tower Arrives at Crossroads

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

The Plant Seafood Tower Arrives at Crossroads

Crossroads logo
Prominent Chef and Owner Tal Ronnen and Executive Chef Scot Jones push the envelope with a plant-based interpretation of the classic fruits de mer inspired by treasures from the earth and sea

After re-defining the dining experience with a focus on imaginative plant-based fare together with a creative cocktail program, Crossroads, continues to push the envelope once again with the introduction of an unprecedented Crossroads Seafood Tower (Market Price).

Lobster mushrooms seafood tower

Lobster Mushrooms

Available for a limited-engagement, now through mid-September only, the tower spotlights some of the worlds most coveted and hard-to-find ingredients including the star of the dish – Lobster Mushrooms grown in Southern Oregon. The Lobster Mushroom grows in very limited quantities and are exclusively available during late-summer only. “Lobster Mushrooms are true treasures of the earth,” says Chef and Owner Tal Ronnen. “The naturally seafood-like flavor of Lobster Mushrooms inspired the tower and it all developed from there.”

The Crossroads Seafood Tower transforms the dining experience offering an endless array of distinct and one-of-a-kind items, and is a perfect start to the evening whether paired with a cocktail or a glass of rosé.

The two-level tower showcases a platter of only the most precious ingredients such as the Hearts of Palms used for the Calamari. Recognized as the Peach Palm, Ronnen sought this particular purveyor, One Earth Farm, located in Costa Rica who is cultivating the product with sustainable practices in mind. Delicately placed on a layer of rock salt and ice, accoutrements of mignonette, house cocktail, and tartar sauces complement the Oyster Shooters, which include shitake mushrooms poached in olive oil and kombu seaweed and served with a choice of tequila or vodka.

Plant seafood tower

Plant seafood tower from Crossroads

Explosive flavors and bold ingredients will continue to captivate the palate as diners enjoy Clams Casino featuring smoked shallots which evoke the flavors of bacon, as well as Oyster Shell Rockefeller, and a Crab Louie Salad along with a smoked “Lox” made entirely of heirloom carrots and topped with kelp caviar. In the spirit of the east coast tradition, housemade Parker House Rolls are served alongside the tower. Building off of the beloved restaurants’ highly touted Artichoke Oysters, the introduction of the Crossroads Seafood Tower captures the flavors and essence of the sea and earth, yet changes the perception of a traditional seafood tower with the added benefits of excluding eggs, dairy, and high-cholesterol foods such as shellfish and seafood.

The plant seafood tower is available through mid-September only

Crossroads
8284 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
323.782.9245
www.CrossroadsKitchen.com
Thursday-Saturday and Sunday brunch10 a.m.- 2 p.m
Lunch is available Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dinner nightly Friday-Saturday 5 p.m.- 12 a.m.
Sunday-Thursday 5p.m. – 10 p.m.
Valet parking is available.

Reservations recommended by calling 323.782.9245

Facebook (CrossroadsKitchen)
Twitter (@Crossroads8284)

ABOUT CROSSROADS:

Crossroads is an inviting and inclusive 3,000-square foot restaurant from chef/owner Tal Ronnen that features an imaginative and ever-changing menu of modern and artfully plated dishes approached in a conscious manner.

Voted “Best Vegetarian Restaurant” collectively two-years in a row by LA Weekly; “Top Ten Best New Restaurant” by Los Angeles Magazine critic Patric Kuh; and “Top 20 Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants Around the Country” by FOOD & WINE Magazine, the contemporary seasonal Mediterranean fare is helmed by Executive Chef Scot Jones. The luxurious setting is a landmark dining destination within Los Angeles, achieving an unparalleled level of environment, service, and culinary execution.

The restaurant can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


Sushi Roku Fashion Island Now Open!

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Sushi Roku Fashion Island Now Open!
Sushi Roku NB entrance

Innovative Dining Group (IDG) brings its iconic sushi restaurant to Newport Beach Fashion Island. Now open, Sushi Roku is pleasing palates with one-of-a-kind dishes including fish, chicken, pork, beef, and vegetarian options. The well-rounded menu unites traditional Japanese cuisine with southern California seasonal ingredients prepared in a deliciously fashionable way.

Sushi Roku NB front dining area

Says Lee Maen, Partner at Innovative Dining Group, “We’ve been looking forward to making our debut in Orange County’s vibrant dining scene for quite some time.” Adding that “we are excited to share our modern approach to Japanese cuisine as well as Roku’s outstanding level of hospitality at this stunning location in Fashion Island.”

Sushi Roku NB sushi bar and seating

Stunning it is! The restaurant features a spacious and comfortable front patio that is perfect for people watching and the spaciousness spills into the interior of the restaurant with seating for 129 in the front dining room, a 16-seat sushi bar, and a 15-seat bar which features flat screen televisions to catch the latest news or sports events.

Sushi Roku NB sushi case

Helmed by Executive Sushi Chef Hiroshi Shima, Chef Shima has designated Head Chef Shin Toyoda to oversee the kitchen at Sushi Roku Fashion Island. Chef Toyoda is a native of Tokyo and has trained under Master Chefs at Kanda Muromachi, Tokyo.
Sushi Roku NB bar

On the cocktail side, Executive General Manager and Sake Sommelier Eiji Mori curates a selective sake menu that embodies the complex flavors and aromas of craft sake. The bar menu at Sushi Roku Fashion Island also extends to a full bar with Sushi Roku’s famous specialty cocktails (see more below), and signature wine list offering crisp white wines, champagne and full-bodied red wines each pairing well with Japanese cuisine.

Golden Boy cocktail from Sushi Roku

Golden Boy cocktail from Sushi Roku

A few menu highlights:
Golden Boy cocktail
Cazadores blanco, citrus juices, cucumber, mint, club soda and sherry float
(pictured above)

Ginger Lychee Mojito
Bacardi rum, ginger, lychee fruit, mint, vanilla, lime juice
Ginger Lychee Mojito from Sushi Roku

Tuna Tartare with Yuzu Guacamole and Tamari Soy Truffle
Tuna Tartare with Yuzu Guacamole and Tamari Soy Truffle

Yellowtail Diced Chilies with Olive Oil and Garlic Ponzu
Yellowtail Diced Chilies with Olive Oil Garlic Ponzu

Roku Sashimi (more selections available)
RokuSashimi

Signature Sushi Roku Rolls
Making sushi rolls at Sushi Roku NB

Tuna and Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Yuzu Miso
Tuna and Beet Carpacio with Goat Cheese and Yuzu Miso

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Baked Lobster Roll with Creamy Miso Sauce
Baked Lobster Roll with Creamy Miso Sauce

Chilean Sea Bass, Chicken and Beef Skewers at Sushi Roku NB
Chilean Sea Bass, Chicken and Beef Skewers at Sushi Roku NB

Deconstructed s’mores from Sushi Roku
Deconstructed s'mores from Sushi Roku

Sushi Roku Fashion Island
327 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(adjacent to Macy’s across from True Food Kitchen)
Lunch:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Friday: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am – 3:00pm

Dinner:
Sunday – Thursday: 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday: 3:00pm – 12:00am
Saturday: 3:00pm – 12:00am

Happy Hour menu:
$3 to $6 bites, including edamame with truffle butter, seared Albacore sashimi with crispy onions, and pork kakuni sliders
$3 beers and $4 to $7 cocktails and wines


Bravo TV Best New Restaurant List – Little Sparrow

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Bravo TV Best New Restaurant List – Little Sparrow brings Spring flavors to Downtown Santa Ana
Little Sparrow

The French-New American Bistro boasts seasonal fare as Little Sparrow Executive Chef Eric Samaniego creates an eclectic menu inspired by both iconic and non-traditional, seasonal ingredients using French and Californian cooking styles, complemented with influences of Japan, Mexico and the Mediterranean.
Little Sparrow Pacific Cod

“When I think of cooking in the spring I envision bright colors and freshness, but still having some rich and bold flavors that are carried over from the winter months. For example one of my new seafood dishes uses cod, which is dense and flakey but served with a fragrant saffron broth to balance the dish,” explains Chef Samaniego.

Spring dinner menu highlights include:
Grilled Prawns at Little Sparrow

Grilled Prawns: Cilantro, carrots, and salsa verde

Farro Salad: 5:10 egg and mushrooms

X.O. Mussels: Mussels, ginger, shallots, and xo sauce

Pici with Braised Lamb Neck: Handmade pici, braised lamb neck, black kale, and Calabrian chili

Roasted Pacific Cod: Tomato jam, mustard greens, and saffron broth

Little Sparrow XO Mussels

Spring brunch menu highlights include:

Kimchee Fried Rice: Gochujang grilled pork belly, Napa cabbage, carrots, haricot vert, and eggs

Banana Foster Pancakes: Served with fresh whipped cream and maple syrup

Avocado Toast: Grilled bread, chicken liver, yuzu kosho, and white soy

Bananas Foster Pancakes

Bananas Foster Pancakes

Little Sparrow, which has already received numerous awards and accolades in Southern California, recently earned the recognition of being featured on Bravo TV Network’s culinary competition series, “Best New Restaurant,” hosted by acclaimed Chef Tom Colicchio and executive produced by restaurateur and TV personality, Gordon Ramsay.

Chef Eric with Tom Colicchio

Chef Eric with Tom Colicchio

One of sixteen award-winning restaurants chosen across the country, the French-New American bistro stands tall as the only Orange County based competitor. With fellow judges, BlackboardEats.com CEO Maggie Nemser and Witchcraft restaurant co-founder Jeffrey Zurofsky by his side, Tom Colicchio evaluated each restaurant on the dishes that were served and also on the decor, hospitality and overall concept during the course of food competitions, obstacles and of course, hidden cameras.

Little Sparrow
300 North Main Street
Santa Ana, CA
(714) 265-7640
LittleSparrowCafe.com

ABOUT LITTLE SPARROW:

Nightly dinner and Sunday brunch are served in a lively neighborhood setting, comprised of high ceilings, exposed ducts, bistro chairs, inviting banquettes and touches of artwork and colorful accents throughout. Little Sparrow offers late-night happy hour after 10 p.m. and half-off all bottles of wine every Wednesday.

Among being chosen to be on of the sixteen restaurants to compete for BravoTV’s “Best New Restaurant,” Little Sparrow has won “Restaurant Of The Year” and “Pastry Chef Of The Year” from Brad Johnson of the OC Register and “Restaurant Of The Year” from Orange Coast Magazine.

Little Sparrow owners and Culinary Team

Little Sparrow owners and Culinary Team


Cinco de Mayo at Cha Cha’s Brea

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Cha Chas

Cinco de Mayo at Cha Cha’s Brea…

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Hosts the 6th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. Located in downtown Brea, this latin-style restaurant favorite invites guest to an all-day Cinco de Mayo festival with delicious foods, live music, tequila specials and lots ‘o fun.

Cha Cha's Margarita

Cha Cha’s Margarita

Live Latin band mariachis, drink specials starts at 11:30am on Tuesday, May 5th. Guests can enjoy half-priced shots from a vast selection of premium blue agave tequilas, award-winning grande margaritas for $15, or a shot of tequila paired with a beer for $10.

Cha Cha's Seafood Caldo

Cha Cha’s Seafood Caldo

In addition, the entire menu will be available including Chef Joe Martinez’s signature items, like the Seafood Caldo with Mahi Mahi, shrimp, clams, squid, saffron-tomato broth, herbs, toasted angel hair; Guajillo Braised Short Rib Enchiladas served open-faced with Pasilla chiles, goat cheese, fresh radish, achiote onions, and epazote black beans; and Aquachile with Mahi Mahi, cucumber, lemon juice, red onion serrano chiles, cilantro and mint.

Cha Cha's Short Rib Enchilada

Cha Cha’s Short Rib Enchilada

“Cha Cha’s Cinco de Mayo fiesta is our biggest event of the year,” said Don Myers, co-owner of Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen. “The past 5 years have been incredibly fun and exciting. It’s just something you have to come see for yourself!”

Don Myers

Don Myers

Fiesta goers will love the award-winning margaritas that reflect the fresh modern Mexican-style of Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen including their Watermelon Margarita that was recently brought back due to popular demand. This seasonal libation is made with El Jimador 100% Pure Tequila, house-made Hibiscus juice, agave nectar, lime and fresh watermelon.

Cha Cha's Watermelon Margarita

Cha Cha’s Watermelon Margarita

Other highlights on Cha Cha’s cocktail menu include the Mango-Habanero margarita made with Pueblo Viejo 100% blue agave, mango, fresh lime juice, and habanero chili infusion; the Platinum Mojito made with Myer’s Platinum Rum, fresh lime, mint and sugar cane served frozen; and their award-winning Sangria Tradicional made with red wine, orange liqueur, infused with fresh tropical and citrus fruits.

About Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen:

The Latin inspired menu adapts the culinary heritage of Mexico and Latin America to a fresh modern style. In the open kitchen, guests can watch savory dishes being prepared in the wood-fired oven, while free-range Jidori chickens roast to perfection.

In the lounge the lively sound of handcrafted cocktails being shaken provides the backdrop. These tequila libations utilize freshly squeezed juices, house-made infusions, and fresh seasonal fruit. A variety of popular and boutique wineries from the Central Coast, Spain and South America also add a great complement to any meal.

Cha Cha's Miracle Margarita

Cha Cha’s Miracle Margarita

The energetic Latin / Mexican restaurant in Downtown Brea is always bustling with sounds of its popular happy hour, live Latin bands and the conversation of friends and family.

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen
10 W. Birch St.
Brea, CA 92821
714-240-1055
www.chachaslatinkitchen.com


Five Crowns : 50 Years and Counting

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Five Crowns : 50 Years and Counting
Five Crowns
One of Orange County’s most notable restaurants, Five Crowns, turns 50 this year. To celebrate, Executive Chef Steve Kling has unveiled a new, innovative menu and beverage program to showcase the restaurant’s versatility and unique style while still honoring the traditional favorites loyal customers have come to know and love.
Five Crowns
Established as a classic English tavern in 1965, Five Crowns in Corona del Mar is part of the privately-owned Lawry’s fine-dining restaurants. “As we come into our 50th year,” says Corporate Executive Chef and Vice President Ryan O’Melveny Wilson, “we wanted to present a menu that offers guests a flexible dining experience with broader selections of starters, main dishes, and family style options and pay homage to the classic selections.”

Five Crowns

To complement the new menu, Five Crowns has ramped up its craft cocktail selections and increased their wine inventory nearly three-fold with additions of multiple limited release wines from Napa Valley, cult wines by Bryant Family and Screaming Eagle, interesting reds from the Southern Hemisphere and added a curated section to the wine list which highlights favorite wines “Inspired by” patrons of Five Crowns.

Poppy Love cordial

Poppy Love cordial

New appetizer offerings include Duck Rillette and a Crab and Avocado Mash which pair nicely with a distinguished craft cocktail called Poppy Love – botanist gin, poppy liqueur, foro amaro, fig & cinnamon bitters served on-the-rocks on hand-cut ice.
Five Crowns seafood tower

Embracing the sea, Chef Kling now offers Absinthe-Cured Salmon Gravlax, Smoked Trout Dip, Grilled Shrimp Cocktail, Oysters on-the-half-shell, served in shared and small plate options to please multiple types of diners and food lovers. Adding to the “Plates for the Table” selections are a 2-pound broiled Maine lobster, Whole Pan Roasted Jidori Chicken, and a 14-ounce Sliced Beef Tenderloin. Small plate selections include Prince Edward Island Mussels, Frito Misto of Vegetables, Seared Hokkaido Scallops and the Five Crowns classic Crab Cake.

Duo of Salmon

Duo of Salmon

For those looking for lighter fare, a Tuscan Kale Caesar salad is a delicious option, or choose from the Beet and Strawberry Salad with arugula, sunflower seeds, and fromage blanc, Citrus Salad of oro blanco, grapefruit, fennel, tomato, watercress, and salanova lettuces.

Beet and Strawberry Salad

Beet and Strawberry Salad

Traditionalists can still enjoy the famous Prime Rib options with side dish favorites, Colorado Lamb Chops, Grilled Rib Chop for Two and more traditional favorites, but new dinner items include a Tomahawk Pork Chop with broccoli rapini, cannellini beans, and citrus, an 8-ounce prime flat iron Steak Frites with maître d’hôtel butter and Linguini, Seared Scottish Salmon, Potato Horseradish Crusted Salmon, Beefsteak Neptune and Grilled Ribeye served with baby squash, cipollini onion, fingerling potato, and cognac demi-glace.

Grilled Ribeye and Beefsteak Neptune

Grilled Ribeye and Beefsteak Neptune

For dessert, Meyer Lemon Steamcake, Palet D’Or with cocoa nibs, Dark Chocolate Souffle and more offer decadent finishes to the meal.

Palet D'Or

Palet D’Or

Inside, Five Crowns will be featuring an inviting, guest-friendly new bar and outside, the restaurant will add a vegetable garden. For patrons who prefer to dine at the bar, SideDoor gastropub is still entered from Poppy Street and housed within the historic Five Crowns building.

Shhhhhhhh, did someone say speakeasy? It’s not a club, it’s not a pub… it’s a secret room upstairs at Five Crowns where guests can sip on selections of Absinthes like Tennyson and Pernod from France, Butterfly from Switzerland, classic cocktails like the French 75, Hemmingway, and Boulevardier, Signature cocktails such as Green Beast of Burden, Crimson and Clover, Amaro flights, wines, and bottled beer. This room is so secret, however, only those in-the-know are able to pass the word around underground and to keep it top secret, no photos are allowed.

Meyer Lemon Steamcake

Meyer Lemon Steamcake

Offering something for everyone, celebrate 50 years of Five Crowns by enjoying the traditional favorites or create your own new traditional favorites with Chef Kling’s expanded menu items.

Five Crowns and SideDoor gastropub
3801 East Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
949.760.0331
Five Crowns
SideDoor gastropub

Celebrate 50 years of Five Crowns at home with this Clams Casino recipe >> Clams Casino


Laguna Beach Oceanfront Dining at Driftwood Kitchen

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Laguna Beach Oceanfront Dining at Driftwood Kitchen
Driftwood Kitchen
Summer may have ended but the ocean views and summer weather sparkle nearly year round at the recently opened Driftwood Kichen, the newest oceanfront dining experience in Laguna Beach from well known Sentinel Restaurant and Hospitality Group. Sentinel is the team behind The Deck on Laguna Beach and Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa so it is no wonder the group chose Driftwood Kitchen to cozy up next door to The Deck.
The Deck at Driftwood Kitchen
Leading the team at Driftwood are restauranteur, John Nye, and Excutive Chef Rainer Schwarz who are also founders and partners, along with Colby Durnin, of Sentinel Restaurant & Hospitality Group. As you can see, before you even enter the rustic beachy oceanfront restaurant, you are in good hands. Chef Schwarz brings an extensive, acclaimed culinary experience to life at Driftwood. Having begun cooking at age 15 in an old Austrian castle, Chef Schwarz has cooked around the world in five-star hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, Germany and France. Interestingly, I discovered that Chef Schwarz’s culinary travels led him to work with the esteemed Chef Joachim Splichal at the Von Pfyffer in Switzerland and before long, Chef Schwarz waved goodbye to Europe and traveled to Carmel and then Los Angeles working with Chef Splichal at what has become Patina Restaurant Group. But Chef Schwarz achievements don’t stop there. He had much success in Vail, Colorado before returning to Los Angeles and launching Public Kitchen and Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Now, Laguna Beach is thrilled to have his talent behind the fresh, delicious, inspiring coastal cuisine at Driftwood Kitchen.

Seared Ahi at Driftwood Kitchen Seared Ahi at Driftwood Kitchen

When I asked Chef Schwarz what influence his culinary journey brings to Driftwood Kitchen, he explained, “I draw inspiration from many places for this menu. Here, the menu features diversity and freshness the ocean provides.” Sounds good to me and I couldn’t wait to dive right in to sample some seafood and steak selections. To my delight, fish is prevalent on the menu which includes Whole Fried Branzino, Soft Shell Crab, Surf and Turf with Maine Lobster Tail and Petit Tenderloin that features a Bearnaise sauce, Zuckerman Farms jumbo asparagus, and Yukan Gold mashed potatoes, and a mouth-watering New York Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and homemade French Fries.

Seabass with Tomato Halibut with Roasted Tomato

But this coastal cuisine inspired menu with a touch of “turf” is not all that will inspire you, the craft cocktails are bottoms-up some of the best I’ve tasted.

Tenderloin with Pepper Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce

Shares Director of Operations, John Nye, “Our Cocktail Program at Driftwood Kitchen pays homage to the location’s rich history. The Stateroom Bar presents a cocktail menu featuring classic libations reminiscent of the historic tenants.” And who were those tenants? One unforgettable Hollywood actor, Slim Summerville had his home library there and he may have enjoyed a fine whiskey or bourbon, too.

Cynar Town cocktail at Driftwood Kitchen Cynar Town cocktail at Driftwood Kitchen

Among the classic cocktails are selections such as “Cynar Town”, gin with sweet vermouth, cynar artichoke liqueur and orange bitters, “Salad Bar”, sage liquor, kale, sweet red pepper, and lemon sour – almost sounds like one of my cleanse drinks minus the liquor, of course, and “Rock My World”, your own customized Manhattan with a lunardo cherry that is worth the bite and the drink and they pair perfectly with culinary sensations such as Oysters on the Half Shell with Uni (shown below).
Uni Oysters at Driftwood Kitchen

Whether you opt for the mesmorizing oceanfront deck views or the cozy al fresco patio with oversized couches and firepits, Driftwood Kitchen is a Laguna dining experience unmatched by any other.
Deck view from Driftwood Kitchen
Driftwood Kitchen front patio
Driftwood Kitchen
619 Sleepy Hollow Lane
Laguna Beach, CA
Open daily: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
visit: driftwoodkitchen.com
(949) 715-7700

Mac 'n  Cheese at Driftwood Kitchen

SMores deconstructed at Driftwood Kitchen SMores deconstructed at Driftwood Kitchen