Hot Box Grill
18350 Sonoma Highway
Sonoma, CA 95476Neighborhood:
CalifornianPrice: $30 and under
Hot Box Grill
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.hotboxgrill.com/
- Phone: (707) 939-8383
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Wednesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm,
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: American, Comfort Food, Californian
- Executive Chef: Mario
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Hot Box Grill
Serving locally sourced ingredients in a relaxed atmosphere, the Hot Box Grill is a wine country gem. Owner Daniel Ebrahemi and Executive Chef Mario create inspired comfort food using well known local purveyors for seafood, meat and produce. Our wine list proudly boasts the most comprehensive selection of Sonoma vineyards.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Hot Box Grill - Best Restaurants in Sonoma ›
Hot Box Grill reviews from OpenTable diners
29 reviews since July 27, 2014
- Ambiance3Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (16)fit for foodies (10)good for groups (5)hot spot (5)notable wine list (4)kid-friendly (2)late-night find (2)romantic (2)special occasion (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
- Warning: New Ownership and Not the SameOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 11/22/2014Not having been to Hot Box Grill in over a year, we decided to return last night. Though the staff was attentive and the new owner quite eager to please, we were extremely disappointed. The limited menu was quite expensive for such a casual restaurant (the special, Filet of Sole was $35). My husbands flat iron steak was tasty but only average. My chicken paillards, were too thin, had too much panko crust and tasted like dry, chicken fingers. Served with a small amount of kale, this was more like an appetizer than an entree, so I ate half of my husband's fries. The best part of the meal was the dessert, a warm bread pudding. We wish the new owner luck, but in such a small town as Sonoma with consistently good restaurants, he will really need to up his game in the kitchen.
- Change is not necessarily bad....UnclbarVIPDined on 11/15/2014We'd been to Hot Box Grill a number of times under the old regime. The new people changed both the kitchen and the front of the house. We found the kitchen's output was every bit as good as the prior regime's--though we did not test the desserts--and the front of the house change seemed pretty good to us. Now, there used to be a s'mores tart in the old days. Bring that back, and watch the crowds flock--though it was quite full when we were there last Saturday, even without the stellar dessert!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hot Box is a great find!theshort1Dined on 11/12/2014Hot Box was recently sold to new owners but it definitely does NOT disappoint. It is small but the food is excellent and so is the service. The "cowboy" steak and the Cornish game hen are just a few of the items you must try! We will be returning on a regular basis.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 3dcjDined on 11/2/2014Service was excellent. Did not find much ambience, very blah. Food was very good. Over priced for a Chicken Entrée. Specials of the day were over priced, i.e., lamb chops. Don't know what came with the lamb chops, but $40 for this entrée????
- need to work things outPandDDined on 11/1/2014although the food was very good, the service was just OK. new ownership needs to tighten up the wait staff and food preparation. side dish came out 5-10 minutes after main course served. although they took the cost of side dish off the bill, went to the inefficiency of the operation at this point. wait staff also needed to apolologize to other patrons about delay in food deliveryI would recommend this to a friend.
- DissapointingwcfoodieVIPDined on 10/29/2014The specials were described to us by a host then described again by the server. Trouble was that the description of the fish was completely different depending on who was telling us about it. ordered it only to get a dish that fit neither discription. Turned out that the chef decided to use a sauce that was featured last week but they would take it back if we didn't want it! The food was good, but we were on edge the whole time just wondering what was going to happen next. Can't support this restaurant when there are so many great options in Sonoma.
- PriceyAndreVIPDined on 10/24/2014Over-priced for ambience, quality of food and service.
- Hello Again, Hot Box Grill!JanKVIPDined on 10/24/2014We discovered Hot Box Grill a year ago when we first moved to Sonoma and loved it. The restauarnt has re-opened and is under new ownership. It is as great as ever, if not even better! Daniel has kept most of the original menu (which is a good thing!), has nightly specials, and has an energetic crew working for him. What they lack in polish, they make up for in their energy and exuberance to make your dining experience as wonderful as possible! And the fact that Daniel works the dining room, introducing himself and lending a hand with the service only adds to the dining experience. We're so glad Hot Box Grill is back and we can add to our 'favorites' list!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not as good as expectedfreddyperryDined on 10/23/2014The beet salad was good. My wife had the ribs which were not hot, barely warm. I had the mussels which tasted old. I didn't finish them. Will no go back again!
- Great Potential........MickeyLDined on 10/18/2014We were disappointed in our lamb chop entrée. Extremely fatty! They did not seem prepared for the large crowd. The wine from CLine was excellent.Special Features:
- sonomalisaVIPDined on 10/11/2014This is one of the homiest most pleasant & friendliest neighborhood restaurants in Sonoma- in feel and ambience- great food fresh & wonderfully prepared. We have been coming here since the original opening, and the new owner, Daniel is the most pleasant host imaginable. My favorite is the fried game hen with the BEST hot sauce, slaw and mac & cheese on the side. It is delectably juicy and hot every time-nowhere else in Napa or Sonoma can compare. The crust is to die for Chicken paillard also very good, the devilled eggs are yummy appetizers.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- devronVIPDined on 10/10/2014The staff and cooks are trying very hard and the food keeps getting better. It is a reliable good meal that we and our guests consistently enjoy.
- High Marks on EverythingFoodieFoolsDined on 10/10/2014Husband happened upon an ad online for Hot Box Grill .., showcasing an incredible, mouthwatering menu. At 6:30 pm he made the reservation for 7:30 via his handheld device -- all very convenient and easy. I dont know which was better: the food or the staff! We were greeted with wide smiles and seated immediately. Various staff members checked on us every 20 minutes or so. Husband had delicious rack of lamb while I ordered prawns provenciale with rice piloff -- both dishes cooked to perfection. The chef is a gem! No room for dessert but did ask to see the menu. Wide range of tempting desserts offered; hope we can save some room next time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great PlaceOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 10/10/2014This restaurant was wonderful! The food was delicious, and the service was very good. The new owner made a point to come by our table and introduce himself. We will be back...Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 9/26/2014One waitress for the whole restaurant, after waiting for some time, she brought me the wrong meal.
- What a gem.SueseaQDined on 9/21/2014Daniel has opened the next great Sonoma restaurant. It doesn't look like much from the outside but it is phenomenal. Exceptional food. Cowboy steak perfectly paired with a local red can't be beat!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Promising but not quite there yetJJMVDined on 9/21/2014Five weeks after new ownership, Hot Box shows promise with an interesting menu in an unpretentious setting. Service was a bit spotty but adequate and friendly. The owner was trying hard to greet each table. The skirt steak was delicious and tender; chicken paillards crispy as advertised with a nice corn sauce. Deviled eggs as a starter was disappointing (the egg yolk stuffing was rather plain, relying on a sprinkling of bacon and parmesean chips to elevate the dish). To our disappointment, some menu items weren't available. Looks like a simple neighbor diner but much more innovative. Worth trying and watching as it develops.Special Features:
- excellent experience with new ownerdevronVIPDined on 8/29/2014This is a new owner who is trying very, very hard to make everything as good as can be and succeeding quite well. Service is superb, food is the same as prior owner with same suppliers. He is waiting to alter menu, but for now as good as it ever was and that is excellent. We have eaten here several times with a uniformly good experience. No negatives we have seenSpecial Features:
- Comfort food to the next levelyumseekerDined on 8/28/2014Duck-fat french fries did not disappoint. The daily specials lighten up/round out the menu well (enjoyed the roasted carrot soup and frisee salad with quail), but I'm gonna have to try the "Western" Burger with bacon next time. It looked too good to miss.Special Features:
- The following 438 reviews are from the Hot Box Grill reviews archive.
- Ordinary food and long waitBridgeDined on 4/27/2014The erver was verynice but the food was not that good. I had the steak and my oyfriend the burger. We both asked for it to be ccoked medium but it was rare. It was dissapointing because it took an hour to get the entree. They redid them but it was not tasty at all. It lacked spices, salt, pepper. We were on vaaction and looking forward to eating here based on the reviews that we read on the internet but I would not recommend it.Special Features:
- hot box grillOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 4/11/2014Our party of four had the same entrees which the Cowboy Steak. One couple ordered steak well done and the other ordered medium rare. Unfortunately, our steak was also well done and a huge disappointment. Our waitress asked how our dinner was and we showed her the steak which wasoverly chewy and overcooked for our taste. She returned and said that the chef was very sorry and comped us two deserts. We very much enjoy this restaurant, but I think the chef needs to learn how to do two entrees being cooked differently.
- Chicken promoted to Cornish henMysterheeVIPDined on 4/9/2014If you want an upgrade on your fried chicken, try this little diamond in the ruff. Located off the well-beaten path of Sonoma Square, this 'little box' holds an abundance of flavors. From fish to pasta to the delectable fried Cornish hen, there's nothing fancy going on except the food. The service was attentive and pleasant. If you need a view, choose another spot, but if you wanna eat, need I say more?Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Steady As It GoesHandsontechDined on 4/2/2014I think this restaurant has been open for a couple of years now. It remains steady with good food, service and ambiance.Special Features:
- Food is awesome - tiny quirksIntoGreatDiningVIPDined on 3/22/2014Hot Box Grill hit it out of the ballpark again. Last time the chicken, this time the melt-in-your-mouth sweet Mahi Mahi on a kale and farro salad. Beautifully, perfectly executed. There was a bit of attitude too. Usually when we ask for something a bit off the menu, our servers act interested and imply that it would be their pleasure to check with the chef if what we asked is possible. In our case all we wanted was a serving of the kale and farro salad as a dish in its own right. Our server seemed bothered by our inquiry. In the end it was fine with chef. We also strongly suggest adding non-carbonated non-alcoholic alternatives to wine. Lemonade, apple juice, iced tea would be fine and shouldn't seem to be a hassle.Special Features:
- Disappointed in SonomaEllieDined on 3/22/2014Not great food...was surprised for Sonoma! Steak was under seasoned and not tender. Appetizer was a chicken wrap, no flavor! Would not go back......
- Great everything butBigfoodogVIPDined on 3/22/2014Our waitress could have been a little more pleasant and friendlySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good but not greatVdfdfsDined on 3/21/2014We live close by and really wanted to like this place. Most things were good, although key items were off. What we ordered: Duck Fat Fries, Deviled Eggs, Cowboy Steak for 2 and a Boston Cream pie thing.
- Unassuming, but exceptional!atowens67Dined on 2/26/2014The Hot Box Grill is unassuming from the street view, but the food and service were outstanding! A must when in Sonoma. Be sure to try the beet grapefruit salad, duck fat fries and homemade ice cream. Well worth indulging on this night!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What a Find!BicoastalGirlVIPDined on 2/26/2014There are a lot of great places to eat in the wine country but Hotbox really stands out for fabulous food. It was pouring rain and the night we went and the night's menu was just the right mix of comfort food and more adventurous options. Starting with warm from the oven sweet potato rolls we had a great meal. The tuna tartare timbale was amazing - whatever the spice was, it was addictive. The pot roast with a drop of horseradish creme fraiche served with potato pancakes was lick-your-worthy. My husband raved about his crispy chicken paillard. The weekly ice cream specials are to die for. Spiced coffee the night we were there and I hear next up is bourbon salty carmel. Yum, we will back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing fishtravelconstantlyDined on 2/23/2014Just had dinner - restaurant under new ownership - just reopened last week. Had series of tasty appetizers - deviled eggs, avocado gazpacho, beet salad, padron peppers - delicious, then a fresh caught salmon for main course. Reasonable prices, good portion size - only problem was that we couldn't finish it all!Special Features:
- Food was great. The tuna appetizerLisaDined on 2/22/2014Food was great. The tuna appetizer was amazing and I am already craving more!. We had the flat iron steak and fried Cornish game hen and everything was delicious. The homemade ice cream was also very good!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Our first visit to Hot BoxingsDined on 2/19/2014Our first visit to Hot Box Grill, and we will be back! Food was wonderful, nice variety, beautiful presentation, and delicious! Thank you!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good local foodvacationerDined on 2/15/2014Ribs were great, steak tough, fries could have been thinner cut and more tasty, aoli ok, a bit too much vinegar for my taste. Service great. Ice cream great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We have a new winner!IntoGreatDiningVIPDined on 2/14/2014Quirky and delicious. We have heard wonderful things about Hot Box Grill and decided to treat ourselves for Valentine's Day. It's a small place and in a modest neighborhood not far from the Sonoma Mission Inn. Walk inside and look to the left. The entire wall is one big chalkboard with the day's specials. The menus come clad in retro plastic sleeves. Friendly, willing servers are quick to respond, happy to explain and don't hover. At first the menu seems pretty straightforward, but read the descriptions. The chef/owner's high end restaurant experience turns the common into the exquisite. We each ordered one of the chicken dishes and absolutely loved them. Servings are generous. Wine list is good too. Looking forward to the leftovers.Special Features:
- Good but staleOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 2/14/2014We live nearby and have eaten here every six weeks or so. The core menu repertoire is a great selection of comfort food peppered with some specials on the blackboard wall at the end of the room. All this is good but it'd be nice to see something new. The tasting menu hadn't changed in 6 weeks (big disappointment) and the special main seemed overly familiar. Service is indifferent, and a little variable. Hot Box is a good restaurant but seems to have lost its way in the creativity department.Special Features:
- Great modern comfort foodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 2/14/2014This is a foodies place. The ambiance is okay and the service is pretty good, but the food is the main attraction. Simple, fresh ingredients prepared well. Never had a bad meal here. I recommend the Ahi tuna tartar, the deviled eggs, and brussels sprouts.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Don't pass this one upKeepsaVIPDined on 2/5/2014Admittedly, it doesn't look like much from the outside, but don't let that deter you. The food is amazing, fresh and innovative. A++Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointedHiraraDined on 2/1/2014Meat of port roast was dry with no sauce and Iron steak had no taste with oily French fried potato.
- The food was good, but it1carguy1Dined on 1/29/2014The food was good, but it was a long drive (45 minutes) or a rainey night.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Closed to the Fairmont hotel!OpenTable Diner Since 2000VIPDined on 1/25/2014This restaurant is a great alternative to guests staying at the Fairmont hotel if you do not want to dine inside the hotel. It is walking distance from the hotel, price is reasonable, and food served here is more homey than santé at the hotel.Special Features: