One of our most talented chefs in Laguna Beach, Chef Ryan Adams of 370 Common Kitchen + Drink, is pulling up stakes and moving on … but he’s really just moving down the road a patch. Adams announced this week that he will be closing 370 Common by mid- to late September so that he can better focus on his two newest concepts, one of which (Parallel Pizzeria) resides in Dana Point.

Happily, the large, 2-story edifice we’ve come to know as 370 Common has already found a new restaurant resident in the uber-talented Chef Greg Daniels, who has announced the coming of his newest concept, Harley. He plans to open in October.

This Could Actually be Called a “Chef Swap”

Just weeks after opening his specialty pizza restaurant in Dana Point, Chef Ryan Adams also opened Buttermilk Fried Chicken, in Old Towne Orange.

Adams’ restaurant sits less than two blocks from Haven Gastropub in Old Towne, which was opened in September 2009 and operated to award-winning status by none other than Chef Greg Daniels. A partner/owner of the popular gastropub, Chef Daniels resigned in April of this year, and is now moving into 370 Common’s space to open Harley.

There’s a mighty good chance these two chefs have been talking.

“I wish Greg well on his new endeavor,” says Chef Ryan. “We’re all looking forward to seeing what Greg does with this fantastic space.”

Why Chef Daniels Chose Laguna
My question for our incoming chef, of course, was: “Why Laguna?”

Chef Daniels noted, “I have always loved Laguna Beach, and the vibe here is right for what I hope to achieve.

“One of the things that I’m most proud of over my time in Old Towne Orange is that, through Haven and Provisions, we worked to help build a food scene there.

“I’m really looking forward to being part of the developing food and dining scene with the community of chefs that are already in Laguna Beach, like Amar Santana and Rainer Schwarz,” says Chef.

Named After his Grandfather
Chef Daniels says he named his new Laguna Beach restaurant after his grandfather, Harley, because “I want you to feel like I did when I went to my grandfather’s house – always welcome, the food was always good, and I left with a feeling of warmth in my heart.”

While Daniels continues to craft his opening day menu, he says his focus lies in creating seasonal menus in collaboration with local food producers for the freshest meats, seafood and produce.

Daniels further states that the “crafting of the guest’s experience” is as much a priority as the food that is served. As more restaurants go the way of quick serve and self-serve, Daniels says he’s looking forward to bringing back the old-style warmth that will coddle Laguna residents and visitors with special care.

At the top OC Chef’s Event in March, too
To that point, Chef Daniels also announced this week that he will be sharing the love as a participant in the March 3, 2019, Top Chef extravaganza, Illumination Foundation’s OC Chef’s Table at the Disneyland Hotel.

Now in its 6th year, the OC Chef’s Table culls the county’s finest culinary talent – the real movers and shakers in our foodie-loving world – for an evening of chefs cooking tableside for guests. The evening’s funds go toward the Illumination Foundation’s effort to break the cycle of homelessness by providing a full circle of services for homeless people that includes housing, recuperative care, after-school resource centers and tutoring for homeless children, and resources, networks and workforce help for adults.

“Bringing on a talent like Chef Greg Daniels just elevates our event even more,” says Terry Campbell, Marketing Director for Illumination Foundation. “He couldn’t be in greater, like-minded company with all of the talented, generous chefs who give their time to this event.”

Illumination Foundation will reveal all 40-plus chef participants this month.

Laguna Beach residents, though, will be the first to get a sneak peek at what Chef Daniels brings to the table with his planned October opening. Stay tuned in StuNews and my own blog, TheBestofLagunaBeach.com.