On Wednesday evening I was invited to the Driftwood Kitchen in Laguna Beach located at 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane off of PCH. They recently opened this summer 2014 in the prior Beach House Restaurant location and have a breathtaking ocean view of the Pacific to enjoy while you dine on fancy, delectable morsels. Driftwood was opened by the Sentinel Restaurant and Hospitality Group, which is the same team that is behind The Deck (restaurant below Driftwood attached to the Pacific Edge Hotel and Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa. I have yet to check out these 2 other restaurants mentioned, but I am sure I will be impressed with them if they are anything like Driftwood Kitchen!
“Driftwood Kitchen focuses on California cuisine that’s inspired, yet prepared simply, with a focus on seasonal ingredients and the ocean that’s right in our backyard. I draw inspiration from many places for this menu and I have partnered with some of the best purveyors around, but the primary focus will be on the diversity and freshness that the ocean provides us with,” commented Chef Rainer Schwarz, Partner in Sentinel’s restaurants. Executive Chef Rainer Schwarz is originally from Austria and his style of cooking focuses on simplicity by using only the best possible high quality, seasonal ingredients. One of his passions is to pair each dish on his menu with the best possible wine selection. This makes me super happy, being the wine fanatic that I am! I look forward to going back to Driftwood and having my meal matched with the perfect glass of vino!
We shared tray passed appetizers & entrees & also an extensive variety of cocktails on their gorgeous patio as well as in the 20 seat stateroom bar area & lounge room. The patio dining area was decked out with comfy over-sized couches & fire pits and of course, the gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean below.
Some of the food items that we got to sample for the evening included Oysters on the ½ shell, a selection of east coast and west coast, Summer Squash Blossoms with Bellwether Farms ricotta cheese, chunky heirloom tomato sauce, and mint, Wild mushroom ragout with sweetbreads with caramelized cipollini onions , and veal jus, Northern Atlantic halibut Filet prepared with Weiser Farm ﬁngerling potato & corn fricassee, and English pea sauce, Long loin Hawaiian tuna loin prepared with farro salad I watermelon, and avocado-cilantro lime dressing. I would say my favorite item from those above varied between the halibut, which was smooth, tender and buttery and the tuna loin. All of the items above were delicious, but those two were my favorites!
For dessert we tried the Sticky Toffee Cake with warm toﬀee sauce and Chantilly cream, a delicious Carrot cake, and a rocky road dessert. They were all so tasty, but the one that stuck out to me was the Sticky Toffee pudding! I will be going back to get that item specifically!!
I absolutely fell in love with the cocktails at this place and the man behind the bar, Oscar knows how to blend these drinks for sure! He had so many creative and innovative ideas for these cocktails and each one I seemed to enjoy more than the last one I tried. The first drink I tried was the High Tide and the ingredients included: rye, fresh pineapple, ginger, lemon sour, and mint. This drink was modeled after the old restaurant in Laguna Beach called, The Royal Hawaiian that had been in business from 1947-2012. I loved the Royal Hawaiian and this drink made me reminiscent of my days at the fabulous establishment! The second cocktail I tried was the Black &
Blue made with blackberries, blueberries, Cointreau Noir, and sparkling wine. This was a sparkling champagne cocktail and was very light and refreshing! The third drink was the Knob Cobbler and it was my favorite cocktail on the list! The flavors were fresh and bold and made me crave blueberry pancakes. Oscar explained to use that this drink is regularly ordered at breakfast time and the ingredients knob creek smoked maple bourbon, blackberries, lemon sour, and coconut water. The last drink I tried was called, I Can See Clearly Now and it was concocted with gin, carrot juice, ginger puree, and lemon sour. This one was also a tasty blend and I thought it seemed quite healthy with the carrot juice.
A Happy hour menu will also be added later this year…Stay tuned. 🙂 Let me know if you have been to Driftwood yet below and what items you enjoy there! If you have not yet been, go.:) You will definitely enjoy the amazing food and atmosphere! I truly loved this place!
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