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Driftwood Kitchen to open in Laguna Beach

Driftwood Kitchen in Laguna Beach will feature oysters and more, opening June 17.
Driftwood Kitchen in Laguna Beach will feature oysters and more, opening June 17.
Anne Watson Photography

Driftwood Kitchen, the newest concept of Sentinel Restaurant & Hospitality Group, will open Tuesday, June 17 in Laguna Beach. The oceanfront restaurant will feature seafood, steaks, hand-shucked oysters and handcrafted cocktails. It is located at 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane.

Sentinel Restaurant & Hospitality Group is the team behind The Deck on Laguna Beach and Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa.

“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,” said Chef Rainer Schwarz, partner in Sentinel’s restaurants.

Among items on Chef Rainer’s menu will be: octopus “a la Plancha” Taco with Mexican wild shrimp, jicama-cilantro, avocado mousse and tomato-pineapple chutney; Surf & Turf Maine Lobster Tail and Petite Tenderloin; and Angel Hair Pasta “Rustichella d’ Abruzzo” with Mexican sweet shrimp, stewed tomatoes, EVOO, Thai basil, uni and salmon caviar.

The 20-seat Stateroom Bar will feature classic cocktails with an emphasis on fine bourbons and whiskeys. The bar was the former home library of Hollywood character actor Slim Summerville.

“Our cocktail program will pay homage to the location’s rich history,” said John Nye, director of operations for Driftwood Kitchen and its sister restaurant, The Deck.

Austrian-born Chef Rainer has worked in five-star hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, Germany and France, including serving as chef de cuisine for Von Pfyffer, one of the top restaurants in Switzerland. Among his venues in the United States: he worked with Chef Joachim Spilichal at Highland Inn in Carmel and at Los Angeles’ famed Patina & Pinot restaurants. A few other restaurants and venues of note where he created are Vail Cascade in Colorado and as executive chef at Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

Driftwood Kitchen also will have Al fresco dining available on the 36-seat patio.