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“Steak? Yes. Other? No.”
Review of El Lagarto

El Lagarto
Ranked #3 of 74 Restaurants in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Barbecue, Costa Rican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed August 10, 2013

This restaurant came very highly recommended and failed to meet those expectations. It's a beachside place with huge heavy wood furniture (very cool) wrapped around a big ancient tree. The kitchen is an outdoor wood-fed grill that cooks nearly everything. It also has a large tiki-style bar. The food is all BBQ and comes on these cool thick wood plates that look like ring samples sliced right out of a local tree.
Each plate, though, is pretty sparse. You get a meat and two measly sides (usually a baked potato and small slice of red bell pepper). The meat is the reason to go. Thick steaks and ribs are the highlight. The calamari we ordered was overcooked and tough and the mushroom plate was similar. My wife had a fish fillet that was cooked perfect (from another kitchen).
Overall, I'd go for the scenery more than the food. The drinks were pricey and a bit watered down.

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Thank Staten7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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321 - 325 of 678 reviews

Reviewed August 9, 2013

El Lagarto was on the best meals we had while in Samara. We waited till our last night to eat here because so many people had told us it was the most expensive restaurant in the region. It's true that you CAN spend a lot -- if you order lobster and steak. But El Lagarto also has fresh-caught fish grilled to perfection for just $11. The menu is inventive, and the entrees are all grilled at the restaurant's signature, centerpiece grill. The ambiance is lovely. If you are celebrating something special, this is the idea choice in restaurants. But if you are looking for the best grilled fish in Samara -- and at a reasonable price -- don't miss El Lagarto. The food is delicious here.

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Thank EnoughBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

We sampled a mix of beef, fish filet and shrimp. All were spectacular! Strongly recommended to parties if adults only or with kids in tow!

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Thank SunSunSun06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2013

The drinks were delicious, strong, and cheap. The grilled steak and squid were amazing. The jumbo shrimp and other seafood were also excellent. Definitely the best meal we had during our two week trip all over Costa Rica. I am still thinking about the meal. The restaurant is on the beach, so your feet are in the sand. At night the crabs come out to party, and it's entertaining to watch as tons of them crawl around the sand. Do not miss an opportunity to dine here!! There's also a location in Manuel Antonio!

Thank SeaSaltStories
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

Outstanding atmosphere, food and service! After 3 days of eating at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, this restaurant is an excellent find. This was recommended by Hector Juan Carlos and Karina of Monkey Tours. Unfortunately, we went to try this restaurant by the beach on our last night in Costa Rica. The Grilled Red Snapper was so fresh, well seasoned, and delicious with grilled fresh tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes. This meal was excellent! You can taste the freshness of Costa Rica!

Thank Doyit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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