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The Studio Restaurant

30801 S. Coast Hwy. , Montage Resort & Spa
Laguna Beach , CA , United States http://www.studiolagunabeach.com
((949) 715-6420

What It’s Like: Since 2003, this wood-and-glass Arts and Crafts–style restaurant has gained in popularity among those serious about food, drawing diners as much for its thoughtful California-French cuisine as for its awesome setting—on a bluff with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Chef James Boyce uses farm-raised meats and seasonal produce, plays with textures and temperatures, and serves plates with as many colors of the edible rainbow as possible. A custom wine vault holds more than 2,000 bottles, and the restaurant even employs a staff forager to seek out culinary goods along the coast.

What to Order: While there’s plenty available for meat-lovers, the seasonal vegetable tasting menu best showcases the produce California is famous for, with dishes like Meyer lemon and polenta cakes with Périgord truffle and arugula pesto. Also try the slow-cured Alaskan salmon with crème fraîche panna cotta; Moro blood orange and Hawaiian pineapple cobbler with sea salt crust and tarragon ice cream; and a flight of vintage port.

Best Seat in the House: Any one of the corner window tables or tables positioned in front of doors that open for clear ocean views took out table numbers as the pr woman didn’t think they were accurate and didn’t know the table numbers. For a more convivial experience, ask to sit at the communal table.

Insider Tip: If it’s available, book the Chef’s Table, located in a private room with stone fireplace off the kitchen, and enjoy a front-row seat to chef Boyce’s masterful knife and conducting skills.

Closed Mondays.

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