Close enough to the sea to hear the surf above the mix of Latin music on the stereo, El Lagarto serves up real surf and turf, and Sámara's best buzz by far. Varnished wooden tables are scattered across the sand amid ficus and Indian almond trees. The food—fresh, local seafood and high-quality meat from lean Brahman cattle, is grilled to perfection on a massive, open-air barbecue. Sink your teeth into juicy tenderloin, lamb chops, mahimahi, prawns, tuna, mussels, chicken
breast stuffed with mushrooms and cheese, portobello mushrooms, or a whole grilled lobster. You won't find any barbecue sauce here; everything is simply brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with a bit of garlic, salt, and pepper to complement the flavor of the wood. Dinners include grilled vegetables and potatoes; a salad is à la carte. There's also a kids' menu, an ample wine list, and an extensive cocktail selection, not to mention banana splits. The restaurant is open for dinner only, though they open at 3 pm for cocktails. Tax and service are not included on the menu prices, so expect to pay 23 percent more than advertised.
200 m west and 200 m south of Banco Nacional or just walk west along the beach past Las Olas, Sámara, 50205, Costa Rica