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Chef Craig Strong A dining area at Studio in Laguna Beach

Chef Craig Strong
Laguna Beach, CA

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For a truly sybaritic California experience, take a drive down the coast to Studio at the Montage Laguna Beach and drink in the panoramic views of the Pacific from atop a dreamy beachside bluff. Inside the romantic little Craftsman-style house, Craig Strong’s beguiling Cal-French cuisine keeps this resort restaurant on our Top 40 list, not least for his impressive desserts and a wine list of over 2,200 selections. Strong, who was previously chef at The Dining Room at the former The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington in Pasadena for eight years, also blends techniques from his cooking days in Barcelona into his dishes, adding a sophisticated Mediterranean touch to daily caught fish and foraged wild ingredients.

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