Bite: Hendrix in Laguna Niguel

The team behind popular coastal destinations Driftwood Kitchen and the Deck in Laguna Beach has opened Hendrix in Laguna Niguel. The smart space offers spacious blue-fabric booths, cool light fixtures, a convivial central bar, and New American fare—seafood, fire-roasted steaks and chops, and rotisserie—by chef Rainer Schwarz. Choose from a dozen small plates to start, including the made-to-order zucchini cornbread with honey compound butter and sea salt, the porchetta sliders, or the grilled Spanish octopus. Continue with something from the rotisserie, such as the rosemary lemon chicken with a wedge salad of butter lettuce with buttermilk chive dressing. Spit-roasted items, which also include porchetta or leg of Colorado lamb, can be offered as shareable platters to go as well. The restaurant’s Austrian apple strudel is inspired by the chef’s youth. Wines can be purchased at near-retail prices at the on-site wine shop, and excellent cocktails are divided into Juicy, Boozy, and Twists On Classics.  Small plates, $5 to $18; soups and salads, $8 to $15; entrees, $16 to $28 (ribeye $42); desserts, $7 to 8; cocktails, $10 to $12. The restaurant is next to Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas. Ocean Ranch Village, 32431 Street of the Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, 949-248-1912,

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