619 Sleepy Hollow Ln, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Photo by Amanda Friedman, AFAR Media
Sun - Sat 9am - 2:30pm
Sun - Thur 5pm - 9:30pm
Fri, Sat 5pm - 10:30pm
Driftwood KitchenThis casual, open-air restaurant sits above an untouched stretch of Laguna Beach—and capitalizes on that beautifully. Floor-to-ceiling windows encircle the dining room so it appears to be floating above the ocean, all the better to watch the sunset while eating hand-shucked oysters and sipping Rum for Your Life cocktails. Chef Rainer Schwarz’s menu centers around seafood, prepared with a range of international influences—Spanish octopus is grilled with chickpea puree and zahtar, and lobster stars in a spaghetti carbonara. The spot draws a stylish crowd not just for dinner but also weekend brunch, with a must-try version of eggs Benedict (made with Berkshire ham and blood-orange hollandaise, plus steak or crab). While waiting for a table, sidle up to the Stateroom Bar, the former home library of Old Hollywood actor Slim Summerville, for artisan libations heavy on fine bourbon and whiskey. Pro tip: Locals know best, and they can’t get enough of the whole fried branzino, served with roasted shishitos and ponzu sauce.