Upon entry into Broadway Restaurant in downtown Laguna Beach, a cocktail was waiting for me on the counter. It was too colorful to miss. “Leave it to be” was the name of this pretty pink gin drink. Gin though would not be Amar’s liquor of choice. He likes the flavors of scotch or bourbon.
As I gaze down at his full two page menu, you instantly find ingredients that describe how he likes to cook. He prides himself on dishes that are balanced but also opposing. Each dish needs to have salt and sweetness, while smooth and also crunchy. The perfect must have dish: Crispy braised Duroc pork belly with broccoli puree, soy glazed shitake, black bean miso caramel, and pickled carrots. Amar loves pork, it’s his favorite protein to work with (you wont miss the copper pig mounted on the kitchen wall), but if you don’t fancy pork, try pan roasted Sea Scallops with fennel orange broth, Spanish Octupus with black olive emulsion, Mediterranean Branzino with truffle jus, or Aged Farm Duck Breast with parsnip puree and raisin foie gras. I can go on and on. If you are really lucky and get there before it runs out, made fresh daily, is the Chocolate Cavatelli Pasta with spicy pork ragout, shaved parmesan and pickled bing cherries.
Don’t forget to eat your veggies he says, you wont want to skip it when they are described like this: Crisp brussels sprouts and Chinese sausage, with sweet and sour and cilantro OR the maple glazed honey carrots with pistachio pesto. And save room for dessert. Sharing is allowed when you order the oversized bowl of Panna Cotta tarragon coulis, with chocolate pearls and fresh strawberries.
Luxe Tip: Amar frequently collaborates with wine makers and prepares one of a kind menu items that are served only at Wine Maker Dinners. You may find kiwi or passion fruit and other unexpected fruits to be included as they are good ingredients for wine pairing. After all, wine is made out of fruit.