Scott Savoy launched Dexter’s Unique Cuisine almost 10 years ago
and has been garnering a plethora of published accolades ever since.
Walls inside the restroom are testimonial to some of these reviews
The words of one hometown customer on his initial foray here said
it well, “This is a true Laguna Beach dining experience -- watching
the chef cooking while sharing stories of our town with locals and
The tiny boutique restaurant, nestled in an offbeat Coast Highway
location south of town, opens past a trio of inviting sidewalk
tables. These lead into the spare interior dominated by a small
kitchen topped with a gleaming free-form aluminum hood finished in
gold leaf. Here is where Savoy regularly puts on his fascinating
one-man show. Settle yourself at the bar facing this efficient
cooking area and be entertained as you watch this creative chef
shuffling pans steaming with assorted sauces and vegetables on a
six-burner stove while simultaneously searing salmon, shrimp, pork,
lamb, steak atop an adjoining grill.
Though not extensive, Dexter’s menu does cover most of the bases
featuring appetizers and entrees, which reflect Savoy’s early-day
association with many a French chef as well as his formal training at
a Long Island technical school. Listen to the daily quotes! The soup
du jour recently was velvety creamed spinach festooned with feta
cheese; the appetizer was grilled prawns wrapped with smoked salmon
atop balsamic vinaigrette-doused greens. Favorite entree extras
offered on weekends, may be charbroiled Hawaiian denizens such as opa
and escolar piquant with tangy mango lime sauce. Standard appetizers
are anything but standard. Consider the international taco trio:
Greek souvlaki lamb taco, Oriental mu shu duck, and cajon fish taco.
The smoked seafood plate consists of salmon, trout and mussels with
mascarpone creme fraiche and lotus root chips. Angel hair pasta gets
a boost with smoked salmon and artichoke hearts in garlic cream with
fresh basil, tomato concasse and asiago cheese.
Among imaginative main course selections comes the creative mixed
grill teaming prawns, lamb loin and chicken breast with
accompaniments of delicious corn-sprinkled polenta, red bell pepper
coulis and fresh whole beans; tender grilled pork tenderloin gets a
tangy boost from pear apple chutney and a demi-glaze of apple brandy.
A charbroiled certified Angus N.Y. steak comes with wild mushroom
brandy demi-glaze and garlic mashed potatoes; pan-seared pepper
crusted salmon tops a bed of garlic mashed potatoes with champagne
sauce. Save for a colorfully impressive metallic collage near the
entry, walls are purposefully bare. As for the namesake Dexter, he
reposes in all his canine splendor wearing a white chef’s hat in
photos, one adjacent to the kitchen another at a corner of the bar.
Savoy is already booking parties for the holiday season and says
his personalized receptions are available for anywhere from two to
2,000 guests in private homes and offices, up to 60 people in the
* GLORI FICKLING is a long-time Laguna Beach resident who has
specialized in writing restaurant news and views since 1966. She may
be reached at 494-4710 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org