Amar Santana

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2014

    Amar Santana Announces Upcoming Concept: Vaca, a Spanish Restaurant

    When a chef goes off to open their own concept, it's a risk. Those that succeed are in it for the long haul. Some are even crazy enough to go through the process a second time. In the case of Amar Santana, he is revving to go. Previously based out of Charlie Palmer's inside Bloomingdale's, chef ret ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2014

    PigOut 3.0 Coming This Sunday!

    You may already be familiar with this annual summer soiree to celebrate the curly-tailed hog. But if you're not, let us educate you. Created by the non-profit, Inspire Artistic Minds, this porky social brings together many of Orange County's haute chefs to showcase their creativity with our savory ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2014

    On the Line: Alexander Dale of SeaLegs Wine Bar, Part One

    Chef Alexander Dale and I met the morning of Valentine's to go over his questionnaire. In the unusually peaceful wine bar, we covered topics that included his connection to Villa Nova and his juice obsession. You find culinary inspiration based on the weather. Any ideas for the recent rainfall and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2013

    Dave's Top Five Restaurants of 2013

    I used to throw this list together; I picked my favorite restaurants and dashed off the paragraphs in just a few minutes. Apparently, though, some of you are foolish enough to give a damn what I think about food. I'll be frank; I'm jaded. I'm tired of the food hype machine, every PR person's wet dr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2013

    Chef-Driven Event To Fight Breast Cancer Coming October 27

    "It started with my fear of dying-- that everything goes with me." To say that Geeta Bansal has been through a lot is an understatement. As chef of Clay Oven and a Stick A Fork In It contributor, her emotional journey as a breast cancer patient sent her to places that weren't always geographical. W ... More >>

  • Food

    October 3, 2013

    The Blind Pig: Off-Broadway

    This Rancho Santa Margarita restaurant has a great view and a slew of young talent, but the food is still in progress

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2013

    Chef Amar Santana Receives Threats After His Cell Number Was Posted Online By Anti-Foie Gras Activists

    "Are you the foie gras motherfucker?" Amar Santana received this greeting last week when he answered his cell phone. The caller hung up immediately after. The owner and chef of Broadway By Amar Santana in Laguna Beach had been getting a string of calls from blocked numbers, yet no one left a voi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2013

    Laguna Beach A La Carte Starts Thursday

    Despite the departure of restaurants in Laguna Beach this past year (The Royal Hawaiian, The Cottage, French 75 and now Katsuya), the third annual A La Carte event hasn't skipped a beat. The four-day celebration begins this Thursday with kick-off dinners galore. There are events and specials through ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2012

    Gustavo's Top 5 Drinks of 2012!

    Although we've been boozehounds here at SaFII since forever, 2012 was the year where we really took off and became full-fledged drinkers. Not only did we hold an epic Happy Hour with KCRW and the OC Bartender's Cabinet (and stand by for the next one...) but we began reporting on alcohol as its own s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2012

    No. 5: Spontanaé Menu at Marché Moderne

    South Coast Plaza typically isn't a haven for bargain hunters, but for several years the prix-fixe lunch at Florent and Amelia Marneau's Marche Moderne has had one of the best lunch specials in the county.Dinner for two at Marche can easily top $100, but like Rachael Ray taught us on $40 a Day, expe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2012

    No. 6: Anything By Taco Maria

    I have been known to wait outside Taco Maria for 20 minutes, desperate to be the first in line before the masses come. I've been known to drunkenly tweet that if you don't know Taco Maria, you don't know Mexican food, and fight with people over said sentiments. I've plugged Taco Maria God-knows-how- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2012

    No. 8: Pot Pie Purse at the Crosby

    Aside from La Palma Chicken Pie Shop and a handful of chain restaurants (Claim Jumper, KFC, Marie Callender's), there just aren't enough places doing pot pie anymore. And if they are, it's certainly almost never beef pot pie.Comfort food in the wrong hands can be too much of a good thing--over-porti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2012

    No. 7: Venison Filet Mignon at Mare Culinary Lounge

    Mare is supposed to be known for its seafood. But you should know by now that Alessandro Pirozzi of Cucina Alessa fame has the golden touch, even with game meats, as it turns out. The venison filet mignon he serves at his newest restaurant, two cubes the size of a baseball sitting on opposite side ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2012

    No. 11: Picadita at Alebrije's Grill

    You can join the thousands of non-wab Orange Countians who have visited Alebrije's on the corner of Main and Cubbon streets in SanTana, eat nothing but their legendary taco acorazado (which we named our favorite dish in Orange County in 2010 because it was), and you'd be in our good graces forever. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2012

    No. 12: Blowtorch-Seared Mackerel At Izakaya Ku

    The menu said the mackerel would be seared tableside; but I didn't expect the hand-held flamethrower. I admit it:I was nervous. I inched away in my seat a little when the waiter lit it and the thing whooshed like an acetylene torch. We were sitting in an all-wooden booth shrouded with noren, the tra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2012

    And the County Said Oink: PigOut 1.0 This Sunday

    What exactly is your pork tolerance limit? Could there be a dish where bacon does not fit in somehow? Is it truly possible to get the ham sweats? Come to Newport Dunes Resort on Sunday and find out.As Anne Marie said back in June, local kitchen man Amar Santana and orange-scarved food impresario Bob ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2012

    PigOut 1.0 Coming August 5, to Feature a Bunch of Local Chefs Butchering Pigs

    When 15 accomplished chefs are given carte blanche to serve swine, you know it's time to make a reservation. Chef Amar Santana of Broadway and Bobby Navarro of fully intend to make your visit memorable, all while raising funds for culinary scholarships. The inaugural PigOut 1.0 is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2012

    On the Line: Jeff Armstrong of Splashes, Part Two

    ​With 20 years of cooking under his belt, Jeff Armstrong has paid his dues. With no particular role model or long-term plans, we get the feeling he's not quite happy-go-lucky, but more living in the moment. Part one may be where we started our conversation, but our second round of questioning prov ... More >>

  • Food

    October 13, 2011

    Start Spreading the News About Broadway

    Amar Santana's new restaurant in Laguna Beach would make Charlie Palmer proud

  • Blogs

    September 30, 2011

    Restaurant Roll Call for September 2011

    ​Let's get down to it, shall we? Here's our monthly roll call of what we like to dub "open and shut cases". This list compiles what we've observed over a month that saw the momentous opening of Batali's long awaited Mozza in Newport Beach and Broadway by Charlie Palmer protege, Amar Santana.See th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2011

    On The Line: Sea Kyeong Kim of Charlie Palmer At Bloomingdales, Part Two

    Photo by Meranda Carter​Our interview with Chef Kim continues as we look into his background in Korea, as well as his aspirations for the future. We also hear about his experience working for previous On The Line subject, Amar Santana. Stay in the loop by reading Part One here, and get your heirlo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2011

    On The Line: Sea Kyeong Kim of Charlie Palmer At Bloomingdales, Part One

    Photo by Meranda Carter​When we first began our On The Line series over two years ago, Amar Santana was one of our first interviews. How times have changed. As Santana puts the finishing touches to his  Broadway baby, we spend some time with his hand-picked successor, Chef Sea Kyeong Kim. Ori ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 1, 2011

    [UPDATED] DG Burger at Charlie Palmer: Is Anyone Listening?

    ​UPDATE, 8:45 A.M., FEB. 1:  We've received a response from the Charlie Palmer Group--see bottom of post for details. ORIGINAL POST, 10:30 A.M., JAN. 31: Well, it's evident the management at Charlie Palmer in South Coast Plaza aren't paying attention to what's being written about the DG Burge ... More >>

  • Food

    January 20, 2011

    DG Burger Is Damned If You Do

    Charlie Palmer's downmarket burger at South Coast Plaza tries not to eat up all the profits

  • Food

    December 31, 2009
  • Blogs

    October 10, 2009

    Charlie Palmer's 50 for 50 Now Bi-Monthly, With One Today!

    ​According to general manager Ahmed Labbate, the once-a-month wine sell-off, whereby 50 wines are reduced in price by 50 percent, proved so popular that they're now running it every other weekend, from 3 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. The savings are pretty good, whether you're looking at the higher or lower e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2009

    On the Line: Amar Santana of Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's

    ​This week we grilled Amar Santana, Executive Chef at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's, South Coast Plaza. As well as cooking, the Dominican Republic-born chef also teaches regular kitchen technique classes at the restaurant (for information, check the website).Here, he talks about his love of por ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2009

    Easy, Breezy Recipe: Amar Santana's Gazpacho

    Here's a signature from Amar Santana, Executive Chef at Charlie Palmer, South Coast Plaza. Light, healthy and a cinch to make, it's perfect for summer (once the weather perks up, that is). On the other hand, if you're feeling fancy, you can jazz it up by garnishing it with marinated baby shrimp and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 26, 2009

    Classy Stuff--This Time At Charlie Palmer, Bloomie's

    OK, so Marché Moderne's cooking classes are all booked up - as I noted last week. But if you're quick off the mark you can sign up for one of the "kitchen technique" classes at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's, South Coast Plaza. According to our sources, they're likely to sell out very quickly.Run ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 5, 2009

    Valentine's Menus for Just About EVERY Restaurant at South Coast Plaza

    Just in time for Valentine's Day, I got an unsolicited e-mail from a PR person working for South Coast Plaza's restaurants. This time, there's finally some information I'd want to share with you: the special Valentine's menus for just about every eatery at SCP. So if you were thinking of one of SC ... More >>