Chef Craig Strong’s new restaurant Ocean at Main opens today

Today, Friday, Oct 5, Chef Craig Strong will open Ocean at Main, fulfilling a long-time career dream to open his own restaurant. The location is exceptional – 222 Ocean Avenue near Main Beach – and the 126-seat, 4,500-square-foot eatery will open daily for lunch and dinner.

After nearly 25 years of working at luxury hotels and resorts around the globe, Strong has come full circle to his native Southern California roots with the opening of Ocean at Main. From growing up in San Diego and cooking with produce from the family garden, this chef/owner is now sharing his Coastal California cuisine with the community he has embraced for the last 10 years.

Chef Craig Strongs smile

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Chef Craig Strong’s new restaurant is close to the ocean with Coastal California Cuisine and Creative Cocktails

Chef Strong says, “I want to cook for our guests the way I cook for my family and friends at home. At Ocean at Main, I will celebrate the diversity, freshness and healthy lifestyle of Southern California. We will procure our ingredients from the local farmers and meat, seafood and specialty vendors whom I have been working and collaborating with for years. Coaxing the true flavors from exceptional products is always my goal.”

Strong has assembled a team of talented culinary and hospitality shining lights who are an important part of his restaurant dream. Dylan Cloughen will serve as general manager and key front-of-the-house guest pleaser. Kristin Morgan, a certified sommelier, will manage Ocean at Main’s 50-bottle plus wine inventory featuring California wines and global selections and is in charge of the beverage program. The pro responsible for Ocean at Main’s deeply satisfying desserts like Tainori Chocolate Torte is Pastry Chef Keara Wilson.

At dinner, the menu will begin with simply delicious temptations, perhaps Hawaiian Prawn Potato Soup or Charred Spanish Octopus with cauliflower ratatouille, carnival amaranth and parsley sauce. Then guests can choose Dungeness Crab Cavatelli, Pressed Organic Chicken, Pan Seared Pork Chops or Oxtail Kale Risotto.

Also on the menu are not-run-of-the-mill sandwiches like Grilled Pork Belly “PLT” with blistered shishito peppers and Spicy Ahi Tuna Tartare Tartin. For heartier lunch lovers is a mouth-watering selection of pasta and flatbreads and main courses such as Beef Tournedos with roasted sunchokes and bordelaise.

At Ocean at Main, the desserts are hardly an afterthought. There will be Craig’s Spice Cake with cinnamon meringue and crème fraîche ice creamand Sweet Potato Panna Cotta with poached pear and more yumminess too

Chef Craig Strong's logo

The Kids Menu offers flavorful favorites like Small Mozzarella Cheese and Tomato Pizza and House Breaded Organic Chicken Tenders, but “adventurous young eaters” can order smaller portions off the regular menus.

Ocean at Main is located in the early 1940s building designed by Aubrey St. Clair that once housed the venerable Laguna Federal Savings and Loan. Guests will now enjoy the quintessential Southern California dining experience in a space re-envisioned by Laguna-based Laurie Alter of Tuvalu Home. Dining is available inside or on the intimate outdoor patio with its original fountain and murals created by Laguna Beach artist Boris Buzan.

For more information, visit www.oceanatmain.com or call (949) 715-3870.