The Restaurant at Sansara Resort

QUOTE:  “Food is an important part of a balanced diet.”  ---Fran LeibowitzSansara Surf and Yoga Resort, located in Cambutal on the Azuero Peninsula is a fabulous creation.  Much time, effort, and money was spent in making the entire Sansara adventure an exciting, but peaceful, tranquil, and healthy experience. 

The restaurant at Sansara certainly augments the resort.  Experienced Chef Sophia won’t disappoint with her refreshingly healthy and innovative menu—totally different from what most resorts offer.

Breakfast is a respite from the dull norm with offerings like sweet potato hash with poached eggs and fine herbs, seasoned wilted greens on herbed polenta and poached eggs, or a gluten free waffle, glazed with local honey.  Breakfasts usually include a medley of sweet, fresh fruit.  Lunch might include a Thai peanut salad bowl with chilled rice noodles, or a garam masala grilled vegetable flat bread with tomato jam.  For those less adventurous, there are charred fish tacos with grilled corn salsa.  All lunches are served with your choice of soup or salad.
Dinner is at another level, definitely with a subtle Asian influence.  On a recent visit, one of our party raved about the “Lemongrass Caesar,” shredded romaine with a vegan cashew dressing and gluten free croutons.  I chose the Thai pumpkin soup, a rich creamy soup with just a hint of Thai chilies.  For entrees, the Roasted Chicken Ramen was a hit!  Sophia whispered to me that it is one of the all-time favorites.  Also on the menu is the grilled Thai sea bass with coconut cream and cellophane noodles.  The feature of the evening was the seafood cazuela, a variation of bouillabaisse, but lighter with sea bass, head-on shrimp, and house-made sausage.

Four desserts were offered:  a vegan chocolate mousse, which was outstanding, a passion fruit trifle, flourless chocolate torte, and a trio of seasonal sorbets and ice cream.  The menu is redesigned about every 4 months.

Sophia has quite an interesting history, as she hails from Washington State, having graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon.  As we all know, the Pacific Northwest is also rich in fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables, so Panama makes a wonderful fit for her.  She has five years of experience in Panama City, having a café, catering business, and served as personal chef.  After awhile, Panama City became too congested and cumbersome, and thus, Mike and Janel (the owners of Sansara) found Sophia, and a wonderful arrangement was made.  Sophia feels that the staff at Sansara, “are a unique and special team…more like family!”  Congratulations to Sophia and her husband on their new addition, a three-month-old beautiful baby.  No doubt, their baby will be well fed.

Sophia was very adamant that she insists on high quality local ingredients in a relaxed dining environment.  She uses simple techniques to enhance the flavor and the quality.  Also important is that Sansara will make every attempt to fulfill special dietary needs, especially with advance notice.

Yep!  The restaurant at Sansara Surf and Yoga Resort is unique and a refreshing culinary experience.  The entire staff is nothing short of incredible, and many yoga and/or surfing retreat packages are available.  For more information, please visit their website: or feel free to contact them at  They received the 2016 Travelers’ Choice Award with Trip Advisor.

TIP:  If you are heading to the Azuero and your stomach starts nagging for some nourishment, watch for Los Quesos de Nilo, just shortly beyond the overpass in Divisa.  It is a two-tone blue building on the right hand side of the road.  Los Quesos de Nilo makes their cheese on-site, and they have a pristine restaurant where you can grab a quick empanada, sandwich, pizza, even a couple of pastas, or some wonderful fresh cheese to go.  They have a variety of beverages along with FRESH YOGURT.  It’s definitely worth a stop and the prices are very reasonable.
Epicurious Em welcomes your comments and suggestions.  As always, the information in this article was accurate at the time of the writing, but restaurant owners have the option of changing prices, menu, and hours at any time.  Feel free to e-mail me at