Michael and I recently headed down to Laguna Beach for my mom’s birthday. We had reservations at Broadway by Amar Santana as we’d watched him on Top Chef, we really liked his personality, and his cooking looked terrific.
A bit about the restaurant: Inspired by the theaters in New York City, award-winning Chef Amar Santana alongside restauranteur Ahmed Labbate creates an atmosphere where the food becomes the main show.
The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the creativity of Chef Amar Santana and his version of Modern Cuisine of The Americas. It features top-quality ingredients, focusing on local farms that can provide the menu’s seasonal requirements.
The interior reflects an industrial New York look with an open kitchen that is the center stage, with six coveted seats at the chef’s table overlooking the activity of the kitchen. Chef Amar Santana will personally create and prepare a multiple-course menu to those guests that choose to be adventurous with their cuisine.
It was packed and jumping at 6:30 pm on a Friday in July. We were seated immediately, the service was attentive, and the servers were extremely knowledgeable.
We had them open a nice bottle of wine that we had brought with us, and we let that breathe while we ordered appetizers to share.
We had a couple of Roasted Heirloom Beet Salads with whipped Feta, red wine shallot vinaigrette, watercress, and pistachios. I eat a lot of beet salads, and this one was unique due to the whipped Feta, which was great. We also shared the Housemade Focaccia with sundried tomato, parmesan, and whipped butter. We could have eaten multiple loaves! The kicker was the Crisp French Fries with chipotle aioli. The best fries ever.
For our second courses, I had the Herb Roasted Mediterranean Branzino with cauliflower puree, pickled clam shell mushroom, and truffle jus. Michael had the Thyme Basted Sonoma Duck Breast with an endive marmalade, duck confit stuffed apricot, sunchoke puree, and cassis duck jus. My mom enjoyed the Lamb Tagliatelle with slow-braised lamb ragout, mint pesto, fresh horseradish, and shaved parmesan.
For dessert, we shared the Oh Beehive, which is a lemon goat cheese mousse, honeycomb, elderflower, and honey ice cream, the Lemon Ricotta Fritters with lemon cream and rosemary honey, and the Chocolate Praline Crunch with salted caramel ice cream, and candied hazelnuts. On top of that, they brought the birthday girl a Bourbon Vanilla Bean Panacotta with strawberry sorbet, chocolate pearls, and tarragon.
Between courses, we spent time with Amar, who was a delight. He’s personable, down to earth, and the same as he appears on Top Chef. He and I discussed some chefs we had in common as I worked for Wolfgang Puck at the original Spago years ago, and Amar knows Wolf. He told us quite a bit about the experience of being on the show and its effect on his business, which is considerable. It truly made our evening, and my mom had a great time.
Absolutely everything was top-notch. It was a fun, tasty experience, and we’ll be back the next time we are in Laguna Beach.
328 Glenneyre Street
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Hours and Services
We are currently open for dining Monday – Sunday. Our current hours are as follows:
SUNDAY – WEDNESDAY 5:00 pm – 9 pm
THURSDAY 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
FRIDAY – SATURDAY 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
We are open for Curbside Pickup and accepting online orders every day.