Nobody ever said it was easy running a restaurant, but the saga of hush, which closed suddenly three weeks ago, is really no piece of cake.
Belying its name, hush generated a lot of press almost from the beginning. The restaurant opened with a splash around Valentine's Day 2004 on South Coast Highway in a spot that had housed a much-admired Mark de Palma establishment. Hush had a lot to live up to, and it did.
Owner Chuck Rock, a veteran in the restaurant business from as far afield as Aspen, Colo. and Ocean City, M.D., and locally grown managing partner Daniel Reyes, spent a reported $1 million to improve the place, already one of the most elegant dining spots in Laguna.
Rock and Reyes, and founding co-partner Jonathan Pfluegar, apparently spared no expense in the year they spent revamping the restaurant, ending up with a 12,000-bottle wine collection to go with an elegant food selection that our reviewers raved about repeatedly over the next six years.