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“Modern and slick with passion and service”

Broadway by Amar Santana
Ranked #14 of 187 Restaurants in Laguna Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Forest Avenue
Description: Open Daily at 5pm. Ongoing specials: Monday ~ $39 Prix Fixe, Tuesdays ~ Small plates, Wednesday ~ No corkage, Thursday specials.
Reviewed August 23, 2018

This is a modern restaurant with open kitchen and great menu. Serves are big for the style and its not overly expertise for the quality

Date of visit: June 2018
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Thank BellyTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 224 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2018 via mobile

‘Broadway.. by Amar Santana’ is one of our true favorites.. (that’s why we keep coming here) the atmosphere is vibrant, lively, and welcoming, the food is over the top and the people...tremendous; the servers, bar, hosts, chefs......ALL! This makes for a wonderful culinary experience. We were celebrating our birthdays (8/1 and 8/4) and pulled out all the stops. They reserved us the food bar which we asked for, and then it began. Starting with the crispy Brussels sprouts with Chinese sausage and sweet soy... mmmmm. Then the Hamachi and Foie Gras. I had a beef Tenderloin and Robin had the Roasted Branzino. All this was accompanied by wine that we brought.. a crisp Frank Family Chardonnay and also a bottle of ‘Cuttings’ (Cab blend) by Prisoner Wine Co. We then took a break to attend the Pageant of the Masters - which was great as always and walked back for dessert (baked Alaska), lattes and some 5 Puttonyos Tokaji. A real WoW dinner, but we are somewhat spoiled by how consistently excellent this place is time after time...the ambience, the people and the food. Amar and his team are the very best. *****

Date of visit: August 2018
Thank 292rajanb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 10, 2018

It was supposed to be a great occasion. My sister and brother and spouses were joining me and my sweetheart for dinner together. We're scattered across the US now, so any time that we're all in one place is great. Orange County is where we grew up and we all like Laguna.

And I watched Amar Santana on Top Chef, so was quite eager to try out one of his restaurants. Especially one where the menu looked so appealing.

We spent a few hours at the Sawdust Festival, then a long walk on the beach. About the time that the day started cooling down, we headed to our Sunday evening reservation at Broadway. We were in a good mood and ready for some drinks and nice meal.

The restaurant decor is simple and modern. Nothing amazing, but comfortable. We were seated at a front table, so even with the shade down, enough sun came through to be in our eyes for the first half hour or so. Still, not a big deal.

We ordered drinks to start out. A couple glasses of wine around the table, a couple of beers, and a cider. All decent, though no standouts.

It was time to order starters. My sister and hubby shared an order of oysters, my sweetheart and I shared the egg yolk raviolo, and my brother had the hamachi.

The oysters were good, though sis and hubby thought them a bit pricey for 6 oysters. Our raviolo was (as the same suggests) just one ravioli, quite big. Unfortunately, it was too big for a single yoke, so the ricotta filling dominated the (lack of) flavor. The duck prosciutto was nice, but there were very few pieces of it, and those pieces were minuscule. My brother's hamachi dish seemed to be nice, but not a lot of citrus flavor.

On to the main courses. My brother and I ordered the fish special, which was some sort of white fish that I never heard of, and that the waitstaff all had problems pronouncing the name. My sweetheart had the Alaskan halibut, my sis and hubby had the scallops, and my brother's wife had the chicken. I also ended up with the eggplant rottini, but more about that later. Overall, the fish special was a disaster, the halibut good, the scallops good too but very small order, and the chicken bland and salty. Not what I expect from a fine California kitchen and a high-rep chef.

The fish was oil poached, which can be quite bland if it's not seared afterwards or if the oil has no flavoring. In this case, the fish was absolutely tasteless. There was a slightly sweet, very spicy and flavorless sauce underneath. First, if you're going to make a dish spicy, it has to have the strong flavors to support the heat. Second, you need to tell the diner that the dish has spice. I happen to like spice, but serving such a hot dish without warning is just bad service.

The scallops were nice, good seared on one side (you can argue the one-side vs. two-side sear, if you want), and decently seasoned.. The "corn pudding" underneath was just cooked corn. Nothing to write home about. And sis and hubby thought that three scallops was a big small for a main course.

My sweetheart liked the halibut a lot. The lobster risotto was flavorful with a generous serving of lobster and the halibut was nicely cooked. Though the sear on the fish was a bit too hard, such that it was difficult to cut through it, even with a sharp nice.

The roasted chicken was just salty and bland. The chard on the plate was especially salty and maybe the main culprit.

When the server came to ask how things tasted, I politely told them that our fish dishes were not great. The manager came over and asked if I wanted a replacement. I didn't feel like meat at that point, so ordered the eggplant rottini. This dish was fine, but nothing special. The tahini in the sauce was just too strong and gave it that peanut-butter-stuck-on-your-tongue feeling.

I will say that they didn't charge us for the fish specials or the replacement eggplant dish. Even with two free mains, it still averaged $50/person.

Maybe if all the dishes were as good as the halibut, I'd be writing a different review. However, we had too many basic mistakes in preparation. Amar Santana is a better chef than this, so it seems like he needs to stay closer to home and watch over his kitchen more carefully.

Date of visit: August 2018
    • Value
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Thank 8cu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 10, 2018

Can't believe we have never been to this restaurant in Laguna - it is over the top FABULOUS! The only reason I did not give it a 5 rating is the noise level and how tight the tables are. Other than that, not only is the food excellent, so is the service. It is not cheap; but, worth every penny. We shared the Seared Fois Gras - which included a reduction sauce with wild bing cherries. It was one of the BEST appetizers --- no, I retract that, it was the BEST appetizer I have ever had. For the main course, I had the Herb Roasted Mediterranean Branzino - perfection! We concluded with the Honey Bee dessert which was a combination of a meringue in the shape of a beehive and with honey ice cream with bits of lemon and actual honeycomb. Besides being beautiful and creative it was incredible. As it was my birthday, I was also given their creme brulee. It was truly one of the best, inventive meals I've had. BRAVO to the chef and his crew and the wait staff!

Date of visit: August 2018
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1  Thank Baltimore48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 7, 2018

We made dinner reservations for a Sunday before going to the "Pageant of the Masters". We were seated immediately upon arrival. Seating is tight with tables situated along one wall. That means that some in the party will have to face the wall. Which I hate to do. But there was great art work by Andrew Myers displayed. We just happened to see him on TV a few weeks earlier. I didn't know about the chef seating at the time. So when you make reservation ask for it. And you can watch the chefs in action! Now to the food....Amazing! For staters we had the Pork Belly. It had just a hint of heat with the Thai chile. The Grilled Skirt Steak was tender, juicy and well seasoned. The Roasted Chicken was good but I would have preferred a little more seasoning on it. It was served with swiss chard and parsnip puree, which was really delicious. Service was just a little slow, but that makes me think that the food is not just prepared ahead and warmed up. I will definitely go back on my next trip to Laguna Beach.

Date of visit: July 2018
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1  Thank Chelibug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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