Secluded on the property of the beautiful Montage Laguna Beach and nestled in between a green expanse of lawn and a cliff overlooking the Pacific sits Studio, the crown jewel of the South OC dining scene. Although Studio is already a hidden hotspot for those who prefer to dine beyond the stares of the public, with the intimate Chef’s Table, private dining is taken to a whole new level.
The cozy and rustic private room sits right outside the buzzing kitchen, and yet that only serves to enhance the atmosphere rather than overwhelm it. Chef Craig Strong attends to the table personally, creating one of a kind menus specific to the guests who will be dining with him that evening. The atmosphere is relaxed and sophisticated, with a slight air of excitement buzzing quietly just a wall away. The space is perfect for up to 15 guests, and would be an incredible evening to celebrate any milestone!
Perhaps the real draw of the Chef’s table isn’t so much the table as the Chef himself. Chef Strong, the executive chef of Studio, leaves nothing to chance in his kitchen. As quietly observe the meal preparation, the kitchen staff dices and chops meticulously under his watchful eye. One of the chef chops chives so finely they are more of a dust than a fully formed shape,and yet Chef Strong notices that the chives he was sent are still too thick for his liking. “If they send me chives this thick again they’re fired”, he declares, and swiftly moves on to taste a broth, to lend a hand in the distribution of the A5 Wagyu, to grate truffles generously over freshly made pasta. I almost can’t believe he is real, his moves are so choreographed, but the absolute reverence of his staff tells another tale.
Nothing is left to chance. As I am served an unusually plated cheese course, Chef asks if he can watch me eat it. I agree, of course, and as I finish, comment on how I wished I could get every drop off of the spoon. Chef Strong considers this and then thanks me for my input, makes a note, and disappears back into the kitchen to create a new version.
Studio is a place where perfection is not only expected, it is demanded.
Luxe Tip: If you book the Chef’s table for your private dining event, you can choose the menu from every menu item ever offered–all you have to do is ask!
Address: 30801 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: (949) 715-6420