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Driftwood Kitchen

4.2
350 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Romantic

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About

Driftwood Kitchen and Stateroom bar is a casual restaurant that serves ocean-to-table fare next to a lovely waterfront view. Helmed by executive Chef Rainer Schwarz, the menu showcases an eclectic selection of seafood dishes that highlight the diversity of the Pacific. Menu highlights include hand-shucked oysters, salmon, octopus, swordfish and lobster, prepared with nothing but the finest and freshest ingredients. Driftwood also offers alternative menu items for land grubbers, such as dishes made of pork or steak.

Driftwood Kitchen and Stateroom Bar is open all through the week. In addition to its breakfast, lunch and dinner menu the restaurant serves a weekend brunch, between 9 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. The airy dining room is a great place to enjoy a casual business lunch or a fun outing with friends. Driftwood Kitchen also boasts a bar, open from 5 p.m. to midnight everyday.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood, American, Californian
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Hours of operation
Driftwood Kitchen is open 7 days a week
Breakfast Mon-Fri 9am-11am
Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm
Brunch Sat & Sun 9am-2:30pm
Dinner 5pm-10pm

Stateroom Bar is open daily from 5pm-12am
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Phone number
(949) 715-7700
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Resort Casual
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Executive chef
Rainer Schwarz
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Coast Highway
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Parking details
$6 for 2 hours with validation
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 350 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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1.0Dined on November 19, 2016

We had a terrible experience here. I tried to call them to resolve it - no good. I wrote to them to try to resolve it - they did not reply. So I am posting my disgust to them as a review on all the sites I frequent.

Their staff are incredibly rude and made my wife and feel very embarrassed over a mistake THEY made. Rude, basic, under skilled, moronic staff.

I'll never go here again, and I'll enjoy telling others to avoid it too.

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5.0Dined on November 5, 2016

This is my favorite restaurant in Laguna Beach. Their food is really tasty and the view is awesome. But it's a shame that not only Driftwood Kitchen but others around here in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.. still NOT using only Organic Ingredients in their food menu. Not even the Greens! It's hard to believe! Driftwood has some Organic items in their menu, but not all. The meat should be also grass fed meat . It's about time!

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2016

The food and service were outstanding. Music coming from the bar was too loud to have any dinner conversation without shouting. Suggest it be turned down a bit to improve dining room ambiance and enjoyment of the amazing food!

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4.0Dined on March 27, 2016

I guess when you go out on a holiday you can expect to overpay just because. I feel like the Easter buffet was just that. The food was good, could have added some more vegetables and salads; but I have been to the Driftwood kitchen for lunch and dinner and have thought that the food was generally better.

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5.0Dined on March 26, 2016

Absolutely love Driftwood Kitchen. Stellar staff. Always accommodating. Food sublime !!!
Steven is a delightful server & the host & hostesses delightful !!!

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2016

I had been going to the Beach House for several decades. Driftwood Kitchen bought it and it is better then ever. The food is as good as the view which is Excellent. This is where I took my first date almost a year ago and we have been back several times.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2016

We sat outside the patio and it was one of the best dining experiences I've had. We were able to catch the sunset and we had a great time! I would highly recommend this place!

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2016

Everything from beginning to end was great! This was our first time eating here, and we loved it. We had escargot, crab cakes, ahi tacos (amazing), leek soup, steaks, monk fish, sea bass... It was all good, and desserts to die for! Our server was very good, attentive but not intrusive. We had traffic issues and had to move our reservation for 5 back an hour, they were very accommodating and understanding. Can't wait to go back!!

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5.0Dined on March 16, 2016

Perfect spot to watch the sun go down over the ocean while enjoying delicious food in a very pleasant restaurant and bar; outdoor dining right on the beach, indoor dining with great ocean views for those looking for a more sheltered table. Food choices were varied, and well-prepared and presented. Streetside, is deceptively modest, but follow the hall through to the main area and it opens up to a great spot. I met my niece and her fiance for dinner -- we all enjoyed our meals, as well as the moderate noise level which enabled us to converse and yet feel cozy. Great experience!

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5.0Dined on March 13, 2016

Great views and good food - will definitely be going again!

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5.0Dined on March 13, 2016

Portions were generous... but bread basket was an extra charge - kind of expect to receive toast or a muffin with an omelette. We were celebrating our birthdays & were treated to a delicious complimentary dessert.

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2016

My previous visit to this restaurant was when it was the Beach House Inn. Driftwood Kitchen remodeled the main dining room and what an improvement. Bartender, Kyle, was excellent as was our server, Mariano. We had oysters and crabcakes, both were very tasty. For location, right-on-the-beach views, an open well lit dining room, cocktails, quality of food, it's special.

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2016

The tuna tartare taco appetizer was one of the most amazing things ever!!! Must try.

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2016

Butternut squash gnocchi were delicious, very light and fluffy. I had the prawns and they were amazing

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1.0Dined on March 8, 2016

Upon arrival we were told it would be a 30-40 min wait for a table outside, it was a beautiful day and we had no plans so we decided to sit at the bar have an app and wait. A few minutes after we sat the bartender acknowledged us and motioned that he needed a moment. Around 15-20 min later he came around the bar to check on a table that was sitting having drinks, saw us at the bar and realized he completely forgot us. Once we received our drinks we then watched him scramble around, leave a beer under the tap as it overflowed and poured all over....At this point more than 30 min had passed, we had watched 2 tables get up outside and they hadn't cleared them. We decided it was best to cut our losses and go elsewhere.

On the way out I stopped at the hostess stand to let the girl know we were leaving so she could take us off the list. I stood there, she never looked up, I finally said we will not need our table....nothing, it was as if I wasn;t there. We went to The Cliff down the street and had a MUCH better experience!

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5.0Dined on March 6, 2016

A friend and I had Sunday brunch at Driftwood Kitchen. We both had the Eggs Benedict with Blood Orange Hollandaise, which was delicious! I had a Laguna Mule which was also good. The view of the Pacific is the real draw, but we found the food and the service (our server was Taylor and she was a total pro!) were both excellent and the prices were surprisingly low (in my estimation). Will DEFINITELY return!

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5.0Dined on February 27, 2016

Food comes out as order in timely manner, quality of food is very high and very fresh.
Wine lit is extensive and easy to choose from

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3.0Dined on February 25, 2016

Slow service even when not crowded. Lamb shank was covered in way too much garlic and overwhelmed it. Octopus is great. Views are the best thing going here.

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5.0Dined on February 22, 2016

Amazing view and food!! We were very pleased all of our choices. The service was great.

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4.0Dined on February 21, 2016

We've been dining at this restaurant long before it was Driftwood Kitchen. It's a great location, right on the beach with a sunset view. Advisable to make reservations for a sunset view. Can't be beat. The good is great as is the service. My wife had the short rib dinner and it was excellent. I had the filet mignon. It too was very good, tender and cooked to my liking. We had dessert as well. We split the dessert called a band split (I think). It too was delicious, better than I expected. We'll be back!

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3.0Dined on February 18, 2016

VERY Expensive and a bit disappointing. Valet parking was also very costly at $7.00. I would only recommend this restaurant is for the view.

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5.0Dined on February 15, 2016

Excellent! The food was to die for, the sunset and waves crashing right there - spectacular, and the service the best!!! Just perfect in every way!!!

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5.0Dined on February 15, 2016

The view is matched by great food and service. I definitely recommend Driftwood Kitchen.

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2.0Dined on February 15, 2016

Unfortunately our experience at a beautiful location was colored by poor service. While the food was good our waiter left much to be desired. Both of us couples wanted to share a salad and an entree. Neither was split for us and we were left requesting extra plates and steak knives to allow us to split the meals. Needless to say we will not return as there are certainly other options for view restaurants.

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2.0Dined on February 14, 2016

Went for Valentine's with my girlfriend. View of the ocean was great, service was good, but for $79 per person expected much better food. Start to the meal was good, bread was interesting with cheesy crust, lobster gnocchi and scallops were both served piping hot and tasted delicious, but from there the meal went down-hill. The salad was this bizarre mix of tomatoes, goat cheese, lettuce (which went well together) with candied nuts and pears (both of which were good but did not go with the rest) and 5 huge slabs of prosciutto (raw bacon with my salad? no thanks!). The main course, steak with short ribs on top and mashed potatoes on the side was served with the meat barely warm and the potatoes cold. The steak meat was good but made the short ribs seem like cheap meat. Like oh yeah this is why I order steak instead of short ribs. The dessert was the worst. Big square of too sweet chocolate fudge-like stuff next to blob of chocolate mousse next to little tart that looked like it was from Costco. It was a "don't waste your calories" dessert.

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5.0Dined on February 13, 2016

This place is awesome. Friendly staff and good food.

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4.0Dined on February 11, 2016

food is very meat or fish, the ambience to a little on the bright side and lacks atmosphere, but it one of the better less touristy restaurants in Laguna.

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5.0Dined on February 11, 2016

So glad we found this hidden little gem! Service is outstanding! The whole team is awesome! You feel like your their friend by the time you leave here. And how can you beat the view? It's right on the ocean. Great drinks and food!

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2016

Three of us selected Driftwood for a birthday lunch celebration midweek. We had a reservation and were seated immediately. Unfortunately I had not thought to request an outside table, which would have been outstanding, but none were available. The steamed mussels, swordfish salad and quinoa salad were all delicious. Our server was extremely attentive. The inside eating area is quite noisy and echoey. Overall, this was a very good dining experience.

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5.0Dined on February 9, 2016

All the reviews I read were right on the mark. Pretty incredible views right on the beach. Service was great and we stayed there for a long time and no one seemed bothered. No one rushed us.

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5.0Dined on January 31, 2016

Raining like crazy. Biggest waves I've seen. The view was outrageous and we loved it in spite of rain leaking into the seating area. We were having brunch, and the menu choices were good. The burger was surprisingly good.Everyone's food was great, compared to our terrible experience for dinner previously . We'll be back

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4.0Dined on January 24, 2016

Food and service were good and it looks much nicer than it did as the Beach House restaurant!

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3.0Dined on January 23, 2016

Too loud, open and noisy for a romantic date. Better for a group lunch.

We decided not to stay.

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2016

Great view, good food and drinks perfect setting for a nice Saturday brunch.

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3.0Dined on January 16, 2016

We had Saturday lunch at Driftwood Kitchen for a special occasion. It was our first time there since the changeover from The Beach House, which was a favorite of ours. It doesn't quite meet the level of The Beach House, but I suppose it's not really fair to compare them. We would have liked a wider selection on the lunch and dessert menus, but what we did order was delicious (a bit spicy for my taste though). The staff could have been a bit friendlier and not so rushed. Therefore the 3 stars for "good", but just was not exceptional as I was hoping it would be. Next time I'd like to try it for breakfast.....the location is so lovely for beginning the day.

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5.0Dined on January 16, 2016

Great atmosphere right on the beach. A fantastic brunch menu delivered by capable servers. We will definitely be back.

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5.0Dined on January 5, 2016

Fabulous view and great breakfast menu! The granola crusted French toast was wonderful!! Great service and charming decor.

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5.0Dined on January 2, 2016

Our favorite place! It's always on my boyfriend's "to-do-list" when he visits me in Southern California!

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2.0Dined on January 1, 2016

We drove from Palm Springs Reserving a window seat to dine at sunset with view of the ocean. Reservation for 5pm in late December. Arrived at 4:30 and was told we could not enter until 5pm. We took pictures on beach as sun had started to set. Arriving back at 5pm we found all the window seats taken. Room was very cold with no heaters, food mediocre and service terrible. They didn't have some items listed on the menu nor the wine listed so had to opt for more expensive one.

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5.0Dined on January 1, 2016

They did a great job replacing the Beach House with even better food

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