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Brazilian cinematographer searches for locals who knew artist Cesar Papa in the 1980s

With over 700 documents collected during five years, a Brazilian cinematographer is in Laguna Beach retracing the steps of her great-uncle, artist Cesar Papa. Laura Papa, great-niece of Cesar, who lived in Laguna during the 1980s, is searching for anyone who knew her great-uncle during that time. 

She says, “I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to California to develop a personal project. On June 12th I arrived in Los Angeles. I also went to San Francisco. [Tuesday] I arrived at Laguna Beach, the most important destination of my project. 

“Here, my great-uncle and a Brazilian artist, Cesar Papa, lived during the turning point of his life. I’m a cinematographer, developing a documentary project: looking for people who met him, so I can know him as well. Maybe you can help me to find these people here by telling my story.”

Brazilian cinematographer Cesar

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Cesar Papa

Laura graduated in Communication Studies with emphasis in Cinema at the University of Brasilia in 2015. She says, “I’ve been working in this domain since 2011 and during the last five years, I worked in the Cultural Communications and Marketing Department at the Alliance Française of Brasilia. My passion is to develop projects, experiences, and content related to all art domains. I also work with videomaking, marketing strategy, graphic design, and production of events, films, and festivals. I’ve never met Cesar Papa, my great-uncle, in person. But in many ways, I can say that I know him.

“Today, I don’t even have an address. I left it all behind and bought a one-way-ticket to a big journey: Dear Cesar, my personal project. I’m traveling the world following my great-uncle’s steps, that I found through pictures and other documents.” 

Brazilian cinematographer women series

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“Women Series,” 1987, by Cesar Papa

Laura says, “I first met Cesar when my mother told me the story about her uncle who was an amazing artist. Since then, I started to look for the ones who could tell me more about him. Years later, I’ve collected almost 800 documents that showed me different stories of his life and also about his artworks. In addition, I found something intriguing about [the] archives: I could retrace Cesar Papa’s steps in this world. I’m traveling now guided by these documents – going to the places he visited, looking for the people he met.”

Although they never had the chance to meet, Laura says, “I grew up listening to people say we would’ve loved to have met each other, so I decided to know him by what he has left behind.” 

Papa lived in Laguna Beach from 1986 to 1989. “A time in which he truly developed his work and went from botanic and abstract oil canvas to huge and exotic jungle-themed pencil drawings, rich in details. Boyd/Sherrel, Internal Idol, Élan Gallery, and other gallerists hosted some of his exhibitions, and sold many of his paintings,” she says.

“Having the pictures Papa did in Laguna Beach 30 years ago in my hands gives me the chance not only to see how the city has changed, but also to experience the city as he did. Among the pictures left of the places he loved, I found [the] Boom Boom, Diane Nelson Gallery (nowadays Peter Blake Gallery), and the Laguna Art Museum.

Brazilian cinematographer no title

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“Untitled”

“None of this would be a complete universe without the people he met. That’s why I’m searching for the ones who met my great-uncle and maybe would like to share their stories about Cesar Papa with me. I would be more than happy to meet them. I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at (213)421-9453.

“All these adventures are part of my personal project: Dear Cesar, a documentary series about Papa’s archives and stories. After California, I’ll redo the trips he did as well – Hawaii, China, and Thailand. It is the way I found to get to know him and also to try to give people the chance to discover the amazing person he was.

“Unfortunately my great-uncle decided to suddenly return to Brazil, on the very rise of his career as an artist. Many don’t know, but at the time he was diagnosed with HIV and the doctors gave him a short period of life. He died in 1990, in Brasília, Brazil.”

For more information, go to www.laurapapa.com/dear-cesar or follow in Instagram @dear.cesar.


Laguna Playhouse presents four extraordinary shows celebrating musical icons

Laguna Playhouse presents “Sounds of Summer,” four extraordinary summer musical experiences that celebrate the songs and music of four legendary musical icons: Buddy Holly, Huey Lewis & the News, Earth, Wind and Fire, and The Carpenters. The shows begin on Wednesday, August 7 and continue through Sunday, September 1. 

The first “Sounds of Summer” show is “The Rave-Ons – The Music of Buddy Holly,” from August 7 - 11. 

Put on your “Blue Suede Shoes” and get ready to “Rave-On” with America’s number one Buddy Holly Tribute band. Todd Meredith & the Rave-Ons will give you some “Good Rockin’ Tonight” as they play a host of familiar classics, including “That’ll be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” and “Johnny B. Goode.” 

Laguna audiences will remember Todd Meredith from his starring role in the hit show Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. And “Oh, Boy!” are you in for a treat.

Laguna Playhouse Buddy

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Celebrate the songs of musical legend Buddy Holly at Laguna Playhouse 

Performing next is “Elements – The Music of Earth, Wind and Fire,” August 15 - 18. 

Covering a band as ground-breaking and multi-talented as Earth, Wind and Fire is no small task, but Elements does it with style. Known as one of the best Earth, Wind and Fire cover bands in the country, Elements combines tight horn arrangements, soaring falsettos, and a pulsating groove into one unforgettable night of hits like “Shining Star,” “September,” and “Boogie Wonderland,” among others.

The following show is “Back In Time – The Music of Huey Lewis & the News,” August 22 - 25. 

Take a trip “Back in Time” to the energy, excitement, and “Heart and Soul” of the 80s with this Huey Lewis and the News premier tribute experience. You’ll be singing along with every song as they take you through a trip with fan favorites like “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” “Workin’ for a Livin,” “Stuck on You,” “I Want A New Drug,” and more. It’s the “Power of Love” as “Back in Time” brings back the quintessential American rock band.

Laguna Playhouse Carpenters

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Remember the Carpenters’ hits at Laguna Playhouse

The last performance in the series is “We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered” from August 28 - September 1. 

“We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered” is the definitive concert show celebrating the music of one of the most successful recording acts of all time. The Carpenters sold over a hundred million records in just over a decade and still hold the record for most consecutive top-ten singles. 

Accomplished vocalist Michelle Berting Brett takes center stage accompanied by her 7-piece band of Nashville musicians directed by Harry Sharpe for a behind-the-scenes portrait of the pop music phenomenon that defined an era. You’ll sing along with hits that include “Close to You,” “Yesterday Once More,” “Rainy Days & Mondays,” and many more.   

Tickets range from $50 - $75 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices subject to change.     

All performances will take place at Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. 


Laguna Playhouse offers free Mamma Mia! tickets to patrons 21 & under

Laguna Playhouse is offering free tickets to patrons 21 years of age and under for selected performances of the hit musical Mamma Mia.

Get swept away by the infectious music, uplifting story, and dazzling dance numbers that have made Mamma Mia! a worldwide phenomenon. As wedding festivities commence on an idyllic Greek island, a young bride-to-be schemes to discover the identity of her father among three men from her mother’s past. With so many of ABBA’s timeless hits, including “Dancing Queen.” “Take a Chance,” “Money, Money, Money,” and “SOS,” this story of love and friendship, is an unforgettable musical experience that will leave you dancing in the aisles!

Laguna Playhouse Mamma Mia girls

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Photo by Ed Krieger

(L-R) McKenna Wells, Kristen Daniels, and Aubrie Knapp

The offer is valid only for performances on Thursday, Aug 1 at 2 p.m., Friday, Aug 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Aug 3 at 2 p.m., and is based on availability. The limit is two tickets; a valid photo ID is required to pick up tickets at Will Call. 

The offer is not applicable for previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. Online ordering tip: enter the promotional code 21UNDER!* and click “submit” before choosing seats. Ticket handling fees are added to all online and telephone orders. Additional restrictions apply.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, call (949) 497-2787.


Laguna Art Museum to host gala affair at Festival of Arts grounds on Sept 21

On Saturday, Sept 21, Laguna Art Museum will launch into its second century with its Gala 2019, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds. 

More than 350 guests will enjoy performance art, dancing, exquisite wines, and fine dining, hosted by Masters of Ceremonies Chuck Henry and Fritz Coleman.

Chuck Henry is co-anchor of NBC4 News. Henry has won dozens of awards and honors for his work as an anchor, host, reporter, director, and producer. 

Henry received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Television and Radio News Association; other awards received include Los Angeles Area Emmys, Golden Mikes, Los Angeles Press Club Awards, and a national Cable Ace Award for Best Host of a Series.

Fritz Coleman is NBC4 Southern California’s beloved weathercaster for NBC4 News. He joined NBC4 in 1982 as the weekend weathercaster and two years later moved to weekdays, where he has been part of the longest-running evening news team with legendary journalists Chuck Henry, Colleen Williams, and Fred Roggin. 

A Southern California broadcasting icon, Coleman is renowned in the region for his extensive knowledge of weather, his sense of humor, and affable personality.

Laguna Art outside FOA

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LAM will hold its Gala 2019 at the FOA grounds

The museum will recognize longtime supporters and community philanthropists Jane and Joe Hanauer as the Honorary Chairs for the Gala 2019 and will honor the acclaimed and beloved California artist Lita Albuquerque with its Wendt Award. Proceeds from the event ensure operating support for Laguna Art Museum to continue its mission to be the premier museum for California art and a center of culture for Laguna Beach.

Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. It collects, cares for, and exhibits works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field. 

Laguna Art Museum is proud to continue the tradition of the Laguna Beach Art Association, founded in 1918 by the early California artists who fostered a vibrant arts community. The gallery that the association built in 1929 is part of today’s Laguna Art Museum.

For more information, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org. 
Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Mantra Festival returns 

Mantra Festival girls

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Photo by Dianne Russell

After a 20-year hiatus, the local Krishna Temple held a Mantra Festival at Main Beach on Sunday. The event celebrated the arts and music of India with a main tent hosting a full day of acoustic Indian devotional music and chants.

Mantra Festival boys

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Photo by Dianne Russell

Boys paint sign while being questioned by man with sign


One way or another, Hollywood Blondie entertains old and young at Bluebird Park

Photos by Scott Brashier 

One way vocalist

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Diana Grace of Hollywood Blondie captures the audience at Music in the Park on Sunday with her voice, performance, and energy. The band’s musicians were exceptional and entertaining too!

One way bubbles

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Blondie and bubbles, something for everyone 

One way crowd

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Not an inch of ground to spare for music fans on a beautiful Sunday at Bluebird Park

One way dancers

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Tiny Blondie dances to tunes…

On Sunday, Aug 4, Bill Magee plays the blues at Music in the Park from 5 to 7 p.m. The series is a function of by the Laguna Beach Arts Commission and is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Please do not set up before 3 p.m. to allow children to enjoy the park prior to the concert.

For more photos by Scott Brashier, see slideshow below:


Laguna Playhouse continues to see growth and expansion from powerhouse women leadership

With the success of Laguna Playhouse’s recent annual gala and the kickoff of its 99th season with Mamma Mia! earlier this month, it’s hard to keep pace with the achievements of the powerhouse women in leadership at the Playhouse, who continue an exciting trajectory of making a difference in both the theater and community. 

Laguna Playhouse is already off to a great start for the season. Due to popular demand, the Playhouse has recently extended Mamma Mia! to run through August 4. At every turn, Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham continue to see growth and success. Their passion for theater and community is a common thread and bond they share. 

“I have now been with the Playhouse nine years and this trio of leadership – 

Ellen Richard, myself, and Denys Baker, our general manager – makes for a very strong team of seasoned professionals with a lot of regional and resident theatre experience, nonprofit experience, and a wealth of relationships within the theatre community across the country,” said Wareham.

Richard and Wareham were both raised the same way in the theater, mainly in nonprofit resident theaters, along the way pioneering paths and changing the landscape for the better.

Laguna Playhouse ladies

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Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham 

Richard joined Laguna Playhouse as Executive Director in 2016 after serving as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco, Second Stage Theatre in New York City, and Managing Director at Roundabout Theatre Company, which she helped grow from near bankruptcy to one of the most successful theater companies with net assets over $67 million. 

Wareham worked for 27 years as a Producing Partner and Producing Associate to Gordon Davidson at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, one of the largest resident theater groups in the country, prior to joining the Playhouse in in 2010 as Associate Producer and serving as Artistic Director since August 2011.

The two approach the work in the same way, which adds to their symbiosis.

“We have a really great working relationship. We’re able to be open and honest with each other. We have a lot of the same taste in shows and similar sensibility, which makes it easier to make decisions,” Richard said. “In the end by being able to have open discussions you end up with a better product.”

Lauren Simon of Bare Bones Theatre said, “Executive leadership in nonprofit theatres is undergoing a transition, and while still a significant minority, there are more women like Ellen and Annie at the helm of American theatres now than ever before.”

“My hope is that having more women in power will result in more stories about underrepresented people on stage. Bare Bones new play readings offers Playhouse patrons an opportunity to see more of these stories in an intimate setting, and I’m grateful to Ellen, Annie and the Playhouse Board for welcoming us into the fold.”

Between Richard and Wareham, the dynamic duo has 80 years of professional producing experience in the theater. 

“That should make anyone who supports the Playhouse feel confident that we know what we’re doing,” Wareham said. “Our job is to bring to the Playhouse work that resonates with this community and the community beyond Laguna Beach that supports us. That’s our job to bring first class theater. And that’s what we attempt to do with every show.”

“We produce with theatres all over the country and it is an absolute pleasure working with Ellen Richard, Ann Wareham, and the entire team at the Playhouse. After five years of partnering with them on our holiday Pantos, it was an easy decision where we wanted to premier our new musical To Sir, With Love,” said Kris Lythgoe, Owner and Producer of Lythgoe Family Panto.

“Ellen, Annie and the rest of the staff always go out of their way to make us feel like this is our home away from home. There is no other place like it.”

Collectively the duo has produced nearly a thousand shows spanning their esteemed careers. Over the years, the successes are many, including six Tony Awards as producer for Richard for Cabaret (1998), A View From the Bridge (1998), Side Man (1999), Nine (2003), Assassins (2004), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). 

 “I’ve had this pretty terrific career that drives across the country from New York and Broadway to not for profit in San Francisco,” Richard said. “I have a broad perspective of how institutional theater works. I am able to leverage my decades of experience, including successes and misses, to benefit the Laguna Playhouse.”

The Playhouse has seen tremendous increase in the last three years. The budget has grown from 5.5 to 7 million and has grown from 3,000 to 5,000 subscribers. 

“I would like to see that growth keep happening. Everything we make gets invested back into the shows that we put on our stage, which has impacted the size and the scope of the shows that we’ve been able to make,” Richard said.

“I think we have a lot of potential here to expand and bring in a wider and more diverse audience that we serve.”

It wouldn’t have happened without one of the Playhouse’s major board members Lisa Hale, who generously decided to underwrite the next two seasons. 

“She did that, it’s paid, it has worked. We did bigger shows, we did a broader scope of shows, and more people have come, so if it weren’t for her, I could have all the dreams in the world,” Richard said. “She gave us that seed capital to make it happen.”

During her three-year tenure at the Playhouse, Richard said she’s enjoyed growing the subscription base, increasing the budget size, and doing an exterior renovation of the theater.

“The other thing we’ve done is try to span and focus on communities and including them in our audience,” Richard said. “We’re really trying to see more opportunity for people and community here at the theater.”

Most people don’t realize the work the Playhouse is doing for the community, in the schools, and the work they’re doing to support those who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunities to see theater. Their focus includes reaching out to people with disabilities, military families, veterans, more students, students in need, and senior citizens.

“It’s not that transparent when you come and see a show,” Richard said. “You don’t see the other parts that are going on to the other communities that we serve. We would love to see more people included in that, we would love to see more support for it too, because the sky is the limit. The more money that we can raise the more we can do for the community. I would love to have more people learn about that.”

Their work is not going unnoticed and they are well-appreciated in the community.

“Fantastic dynamic duo...creative and accomplished with an understanding of how to build an audience...we are blessed to have a wonderful Equity theatre with Laguna Playhouse,” Pat Kollenda said.

Wareham added, “Laguna Beach is a very special place to be and I am aware of that every day. I live in gratitude for that and for the people who make this community as special as it is. It’s a pleasure and an honor to serve this community.”

For more information about Laguna Playhouse, its programs, or to learn more about the upcoming 99th season, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


Watercolorist David Solomon honored at book launch of David Solomon: 50 Years an Artist

Watercolorist David Solomon was honored with a huge turnout to celebrate the launch of the book David Solomon: 50 Years an Artist. Over 100 guests including Solomon’s family, friends, and longtime art patrons gathered at Forest & Ocean Gallery for a very special evening on July 11. The book, written by David’s daughter Gaylen Solomon Corbett, is a tribute to her father’s life and work, sharing photos and stories from his travels around Laguna and the world from 1969-2019.

Watercolorist David book signing

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David Solomon signs his book at launch

In the early 1970s, a new generation of artists discovered Laguna Beach. Among them was David Solomon, a Los Angeles native who stumbled upon the art colony and never turned back. Solomon and his friends formed a loose-knit band of plein air painters who would travel, paint, and exhibit their work together for many years.

Watercolorist David trio

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(L-R) Gaylen Solomon Corbett, David Solomon, Editor Rebecca Gates

A 50-year career is something to celebrate. Solomon exhibited at the Festival of Arts for 30 years and has won many prestigious awards for his watercolors, including a purchase award from the National Watercolor Society and a bronze medal in the Laguna Plein Air Invitational. The artist is not concerned with these honors though. His stated goal has always been to simply “enjoy life as an artist.”

For more information, visit www.gaylen.net.


“Temples of Stoke” exhibit celebrates California surf shop culture with two Laguna shops

California’s local surf shops have defined and reflected surf culture for decades. These “temples of stoke” are where generations have come to learn, laugh, talk story, buy a board, wetsuit, or bar of wax, and be indoctrinated into the lifestyle and culture that turns naive beginners into real, lifelong surfers. 

In recognition of the singular role that these shops have played in the world of surfing, the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center is proud to announce its Summer 2019 exhibit, “Temples of Stoke.” The exhibit will include two of Laguna’s iconic surf shops, Laguna Surf & Sport and Hobie. 

Temples of Jason

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Jason Watson, longtime manager and part-owner of Laguna Surf and Sport

“As surfers, our local shops are so much more than just a place to buy a surfboard or a pair of trunks” said SHACC’s curator Barry Haun. “These are the places where we learn to be surfers.” 

The “Temples of Stoke” opening night party will be held on Friday, August 9 from 6 - 10 p.m. at SHACC in San Clemente. Shop owners, employees, and industry luminaries will all be on hand to celebrate and share their uniquely classic stories that helped make the sport and culture of surfing what it is today. The exhibit will be on display through October 6. 

The organizing committee for the exhibition has invited 25 of the most iconic California surf shops to take over the SHACC exhibit space to install their “shrines”: photos, memorabilia, and artifacts that tell the story of each shop and the role it continues to play in defining the ethos and values of each uniquely different beach town along the West Coast. 

Temples of Hobie

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The iconic Hobie Surf Shop in downtown Laguna Beach 

As Hobie Alter famously said, “A great surf shop is a social and cultural hub for surfers – a place to meet and hang out, check out boards, brag about great waves or new spots ridden, laugh about a horrendous wipeout and to wax long and in detail about trips to Hawaii.” 

Confirmed surf shops include:

--Laguna Surf & Sport 

--Hobie

--Haut 

--O’Neill 

--Freeline 

--The Beach House 

--Morey Pope 

--V al Surf 

--Jacobs 

--ET Surfboards 

--Bing 

--Greg Noll 

--Weber 

--Rick 

--Dive ‘n Surf 

--Harbour 

--Rockin’ Fig/Chuck Dent 

--Jack’s 

--The Frog House 

--Donald Takayama 

--Encinitas Surfboards 

--Sunset Surfboards 

--Hansen’s 

--Gordon & Smith 

Tickets are available at www.templesofstoke.eventbrite.com

For more information, visit www.shacc.org. Follow SHACC on Facebook and on Instagram @surfingheritage. 

SHACC is located at 110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente.


Studio earns sixth consecutive Wine Spectator Grand Award

Studio, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star fine dining and elegant signature restaurant at Montage Laguna Beach, is among only 100 winners of the coveted Grand Award 2019 from Wine Spectator magazine.

Wine Spectator’s highest level of restaurant wine achievement, the Grand Award is bestowed on establishments that have world-class wine programs exhibiting a passionate uncompromising commitment to the very best quality level of viticulture. 

A full profile of 2019 winners will be posted at www.restaurants.winespectator.com and will appear in the August 31 issue of Wine Spectator, which will be released this month. Two upcoming wine dinners will give diners an opportunity to sample chosen wines that helped contribute to Studio’s recent kudos.

“We are thrilled that Studio has received this honor for the sixth consecutive year and [to] be included as one of only 100 Grand Award restaurants in the United States and 75 countries. This award, a resounding endorsement by Wine Spectator, gives much deserved credit to our talented and hard-working team at Studio,” said Anne-Marie Houston, general manager. 

“And we recently learned Studio has been welcomed into the Wine Enthusiast Restaurant Hall of Fame as a result of Studio appearing on its ‘America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants’ list more than four times. We are delighted for this additional recognition for our stellar wine program.”

Studio among bottles

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Studio at Montage wins prestigious “Wine Spectator” magazine award 

The Grand Award-winning lists usually have 1,000 or more selections, deliver serious breadth of top producers, and outstanding depth in mature vintages, in addition to having distinctive selections of large-format bottles. Along with the superior presentation of Studio’s wine list and its fine-tuned harmony with the chef’s menus, Studio has been recognized for offering the highest level of impeccable wine service. 

Studio’s extensive wine list particularly excels in collections produced in California, Burgundy, Rhône, Bordeaux, Italy, Champagne, and Spain, and the restaurant’s wine program is comprised of approximately 2,500 selections with 30,000 bottles in inventory.

The restaurant’s sommelier team is comprised of three full-time sommeliers, three of whom hold the advanced sommelier diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Ongoing education of the entire hospitality team is a priority at Studio holding weekly blind tastings, as well as the annual sommelier certification examination in conjunction with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

In addition, the wine list at Studio, which is highly dynamic and constantly evolving, features a variety of formats with a specific focus on half bottles – allowing guests the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of unique wines part of its 375 ml selections. 

This list includes rare, not widely available, verticals from BOND Estates produced by legendary oenophile Bill Harlan. Upcoming wine events as part of Studio’s 2019 Wine & Spirits Series include the Hundred Acre Winery Dinner on October 19 and the Riverain Vineyards Dinner on November 16. At each event Chef Benjamin Martinek will create an extravagant five-course dinner to be paired with selections from each participating winery.

Located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean along the South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, Studio is Montage Laguna Beach’s Forbes Five-Star elegant, free-standing fine dining signature restaurant. 

Built in the Laguna Beach Craftsman-style, it serves ever-changing innovative Modern California Cuisine with coastal influences and has a working 1,000-square-foot raised bed garden. 

Studio is known for its tasting menus, impeccable, warm professional service, and Wine Spectator Grand Award wine program, comprised of approximately 2,500 selections with 30,000 bottles in inventory. Studio’s elegant Chef’s Table is available for special private dining. 

Dining reservations can be made by calling (949) 715-6420.

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