From Broadway to Barcelona: Chef Amar Santana Extends His Global Culinary Reach

From Broadway to Barcelona: Chef Amar Santana Extends His Global Culinary Reach

Partner Ahmed Labbate and Santana Announce Second Restaurant, Vaca

“Our gustatory interpretation will be ‘inspired traditional Spanish’ cuisine.”
-Chef Amar Santana

Ahmed Labbate and Chef Amar Santana’s inaugural effort is the hugely successful Broadway in Laguna Beach, CA. The pair will extend their influence on Orange County’s dining scene with the acquisition of new space in Costa Mesa’s Park Towers. “Spanish food is influenced by the cultures that have invaded and mixed with the indigenous cuisine. Our goal goes far beyond paella and bocadillos. We will bring Barcelona, Madrid, Andalucía, Sevilla and the Basque to Orange County — just as Broadway has re-interpreted food and drink in Laguna,” said Santana.

Culminating 35 years of successful restaurant management, operations, dining experience and the culinary breaking of boundaries – the Santana/Labbate duo will build on their combined skills and reputations as Vaca’s 2,700 square foot space matures from planning to plate. Vaca’s outdoor patios and interior spaces will be tinged with the romance of Spain and colored by Californian tastes, cuisine trends and the artistry that has made Broadway a celebrated dining experience — with a global following.

“I predict the return to meat will be accompanied by the demand for better interpretations of traditional steaks and cuts. From the best grass-fed Argentinian beef to genuine Kobe beef, flown in daily, Vaca will offer less celebrated yet undeniably superior tasting meats – done with respect for genuine Spanish cooking and my own twist on tradition.” -Santana

Labbate will oversee operations and facilities development. “Costa Mesa is geographically well-positioned and suits our expansion concepts perfectly. With Vaca we broaden Amar’s creative palette and our business profile – but not at the expense of Broadway and all that we have achieved in Laguna Beach. Broadway will continue to be the star in our tiara – while Vaca will become our sparkling new dining jewel,” he said.