6711 Forest Lawn Drive
Toluca Lake, CA 90068
Santuari Restaurant boasts that they offer a fresh take on California cuisine with Mediterranean accents.
I loved how beautiful this restaurant is and was so happy to be going for dinner. We initially found this restaurant with the Dine in LA (3 courses $55 or 4 courses $65) and gathered a group of 4 of us to go. Parking was super easy as they have a dedicated parking lot and walking up to the restaurant was so beautiful and we all had high hopes.
We were seated on the tennis courts, outside and when I say that I mean the amazing outdoor seating that you would never know was a tennis court. Believe it or not, they have to teardown and set up each day as this is really a tennis court that we were sitting in.
They also have indoor dining, only after 8:00 pm (at least when we came), for either dinner option reservations are a must!
The restaurant, in general, has a preset menu (like Dine in La, which was cheaper since they were part of Dine in LA), they also have an upgraded menu so you have 2 choices.
We purchased the wine pairing for each meal, $35 for 3 courses and $45 for the 4-course dinner and it was lovely, the extra $10 for the 4th serving doesn’t really make sense as they are not full pours and more of a smaller portion (I think 2 oz) so to charge $10 for a smaller portion is a bit high, in my opinion.
We had a little issue getting our drinks initially but it all worked out. For my first course I got the heirloom tomatoes & peaches, it was good, with the burrata, 2 slices of peach, a piece of lightly grilled bread, and a small portion of arugula. It all complimented each other and I really did enjoy this first course, although on the menu and Dine in LA it was supposed to be with watermelon and not peaches.
and I got the grilled octopus, again good, this one I gave to someone at the table as I knew I could only eas so much. The octopus was dressed perfectly and cooked to perfection, it was not chewy and tasted fresh.
Another add on was for the potatoes, $20 more for the truffle added to the top of the potatoes
I will say that I appreciated the serving size and presentation of the little gem salad, it was perfectly dressed. This salad had an anchovy vinaigrette dressing and crispy quinoa with Parmesan cheese
The short rib was ok, had too much clove in it and needed to cook for about 1 more hour as it was very tough. The presentation is a 10 out of 10, I only wish they had cooked it a little longer as this could have been the dish that everyone spoke about and instead left everyone questioning why they didn’t cook it longer.
Someone at the table got the 4 course and the NY steak, add on another $34 for that, although he said it was good and the harissa complemented the steak but another $34 added to the bill…here we go!
$20 more for the truffle sauce added to potatoes
Someone also ordered the lamb cortina pasta with is a lamb ragout, ricotta and herbs. It looked delicious!
The final bill for 4 people, part of the Dine in LA is $677.38, this included the extra charges for the NY steak, the black forest brownie, a healthy LA fee, and a mandatory 20% gratuity.
Here is the Dine in LA listing for the restaurant, nowhere is it a mandatory gratuity or healthy LA fee. With all the extra fees, it left a terrible taste in our mouths for the restaurant as a whole.
My date and I
FINAL THOUGHTS: While the night was beautiful and the food was good, it could have been better. Service was very slow, they forgot our wine pairing and the food, while beautiful left us wanting more. We also didn’t like all the add-on charges, they forgot we were doing Dine in LA and charged more, they added the Healthy LA fee and they added the gratuity (we would have probably done 20% either way but it should be up to us). For the 4 of us, the bill was $677.38 and I personally think there are better options and restaurants to visit with an average of $170 per person.
For a Date: This is a lovely date night but I would suggest eating on the terrace as it overlooks the park and is elegant. Don’t expect the best service and the food is beautiful but not as satisfying. Expect to pay for the decor/beauty and wow factor that may benefit you at the end of the evening 😉
Did you visit this restaurant? Please let me know how what you thought of the restaurant! Leave a comment below and share a picture or tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #yourbestbite!