The Studio

Laguna is a place I won’t share with many (just one person, actually). It’s one of my favorite places on the planet and it is swarming with delectable fare. There is, however, one incredible gem amidst the coast that stands out among the rest – The Montage Hotel and Resort. The minute you pull into the valet you know you’re about to experience luxury. One Saturday night, brisk air seeping through my skin and into my bones, I stepped down some stairs, watched a floating moon made of Christmas lights, and entered into a world of sensuality and culinary treats. The Studio; a restaurant located on the grounds and conveniently facing the heavenly Pacific. Greeted by the Chef himself (Chef Craig Strong), it was an experience to remember.Seated at the “Community Table” (A table anyone can sit at and dine together), I ordered from the Chef’s Tasting Menu, which included such tasty goodness as Hamachi Sashimi, Duck Confit Empanadas, Morbier, and a delectable variety of desserts. I should preface this by saying that not only did the Chef stay and chat for a while but he also took into account my food allergies to wheat and almonds. He had the kitchen staff send out gluten-free bread in lieu of their seemingly delicious in-house bread and rolls and the entire menu reflected my “culinary restrictions”. My palette and stomach were in ecstasy. Couple that with Toshina, the most incredible bartender ever, who makes insatiable beverages that can transcend you and you have struck the jackpot of fine fare. The Pacific never tasted – or felt – so good.Written by Dawn Garcia