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The Main Attraction

Jamie Gwen | November 26, 2018 | Feature Features

Chef Craig Strong makes waves in Laguna Beach with his coastal-cool restaurant debut, Ocean at Main.
The artfully plated heirloom tomato salad

Chef Craig Strong is welcoming you into his new home with brilliant flavors in a striking space—and it’s a really good invite. Ocean at Main has arrived. After nine years as executive chef at the acclaimed Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, Strong has brought to life the moment he’s waited for throughout his two decade-plus career.

Designed by Laguna Beach-based Laurie Alter of Tuvalu Home, the space is filled with wood-beamed ceilings, oversize wrought-iron chandeliers and hand-distressed tables. Seaside air permeates the dining room and fabulous outdoor patio as feasting takes place a stone’s throw from the sand on Ocean Avenue. The vibe is fresh, beachy and beautiful, and the cuisine embraces its California coastal roots.

Make a reservation—Strong’s popularity has locals near and far clamoring for a spot at a banquette table or near the 1940s fountain on the patio—then begin with a burst of California citrus in the form of a cocktail. The bar is a pinnacle place to toast, and sommelier Kristin Morgan has crafted a spirits and wine menu overflowing with exceptional pairings. Take The Boardwalk: The combination of gin with grapefruit juice and bitters, topped with an egg white float, is too delicious to drink just one.


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