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Ryan Adams

By Susan BelknappPublished: November 01, 2012

Owner and executive chef Three Seventy Common, Laguna Beach
Hot factor: Blends great food and engaging design to great success

Chef Ryan Adams’ culinary roots go deep. Starting out at 15 as a dishwasher and prep cook, he worked his way up while studying culinary arts at Saddleback College and the California Culinary Academy.

After a two-year stint in Hawaii, Adams returned to the mainland and worked in a number of large cities before heading home to O.C. He worked as corporate chef for Culinary Adventures’ flagship chain Savannah, running its nine restaurants until the economic collapse in 2008 forced the company into bankruptcy. Adams soon received an offer to take over one of Culinary Adventures’ locations in Laguna Beach and he created the concept for Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink – an innovative approach all his own.

When you walk into the restaurant, you immediately get a sense of Adams’ vision in the interiors: a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace that looks early 19th century and refinished woodblock tables. The rustic, comfortable feel is a welcome contrast to the white-tablecloth bistro look so common in the higher-end areas.

The cuisine, which Adams refers to as “globally influenced/domestically sourced,” is focused on comfort, creativity and seasonal ingredients.

“We really wanted to create a ‘neighborhood restaurant’ feel,” Adams says. “We want to be that place where locals will go every week without fail – and that’s happening.”

Some of Adams’ most popular innovations are Sunday Socials, a three-course family-style meal for as low as $28 a person; and Uncommon Mondays, in which a guest chef prepares a trademark meal for a set price every third Monday of the month. The results are undeniable, and Adams continues to look for his next big venture.

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