This just in from Chef Craig Strong and his new Laguna Beach restaurant, Ocean on Main. I’m heading there now for a dining preview – news and photos shortly!
His website isn’t quite live yet –oceanatmain.com but you might be able to call for reservations: (949) 715-3870
On Friday, October 5, Chef Craig Strong will open Ocean at Main, fulfilling a long-time career dream to open his own restaurant. The location is exceptional – 222 Ocean Avenue near Main Beach, and the 126-seat eatery will open daily for lunch and dinner.
The Chef Says…“I want to cook for our guests the way I cook for my family and friends at home. At Ocean at Main, I will celebrate the diversity, freshness and healthy lifestyle of Southern California. We will procure our ingredients from the local farmers and meat, seafood and specialty vendors whom I have been working and collaborating with for years. Coaxing the true flavors from exceptional products is always my goal.”
Talking about Teamwork…Strong has assembled a team of talented culinary and hospitality shining lights who are an important part of his restaurant dream. Dylan Cloughen will serve as general manager and key front-of-the-house guest pleaser. Kristin Morgan, a certified sommelier, will manage Ocean at Main’s 50-bottle plus wine inventory featuring California wines and global selections and is in charge of the beverage program. The pro responsible for Ocean at Main’s deeply satisfying desserts like Tainori Chocolate Torte is Pastry Chef Keara Wilson.
At the Bar…The main attractions at the bar are creatively crafted signature cocktails such as the St. Clair with Ketel One Vodka, St. Germain, cucumber and mint; and the Lover’s Beach Retreat with jalapeño infused Arette tequila, passionfruit, lime, agave and hibiscus-basil foam. Two handsome, sleek Braumeister ceramic four-tap towers with a unique and classy Old World look dispense locally crafted beer, Kombucha and cold brew coffee.
Announcing the Menus…At dinner, the menu will begin with delicious temptations, perhaps Hawaiian Prawn Potato Soup or Charred Spanish Octopus with cauliflower ratatouille, carnival amaranth and parsley sauce. Then guests can choose Dungeness Crab Cavatelli, Pressed Organic Chicken, Pan Seared Pork Chops or Oxtail Kale Risotto.
Lunch menu items include Chilled Kusshi Oysters or Squash Blossom Tempura and salads such as Baby Spinach Caesar or Roasted Beet Salad with beet tartare, beet “yolk,” crème fraîche and horseradish snow. Also, on the menu are not-run-of-the-mill sandwiches – try the Grilled Pork Belly “PLT” with blistered shishito peppers and Spicy Ahi Tuna Tartare Tartin. Heartier lunch lovers can enjoy a mouth-watering selection of pasta and flatbreads and main courses such as Beef Tournedos with roasted sunchokes and bordelaise.