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: 7079398383x
- 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
Hot Box Grill reviews from OpenTable diners
16 reviews since June 23, 2014
- Ambiance3Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (11)fit for foodies (8)good for groups (4)hot spot (3)notable wine list (3)kid-friendly (2)late-night find (2)romantic (2)special occasion (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
- 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.
- 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 waitOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined 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 henMysterheeDined 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:
- did not disappointvmg1Dined on 1/23/2014We had the swordfish & the lamb meatballs. DELICIOUS. Our server forgot to bring our bread until after the appetizer course. I was unhappy that the first thing that went down on our table were two tall glasses of water after California just announced a drought. Particularly in a restaurant setting where the water usage is already high, at least the potential for waste could be managed at the table, requiring customers to ask for it. One other thing, there was only one Cab on the wine list & it was on the pricey side. We opted to try the Muscardini syrah & we were told that they were out, of all the syrahs. We ended up buying the Cab & it was quite good. We were happy we ordered it but would have appreciated more choices. We will go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing foodPepperDined on 1/18/2014This has been my third time there. Every time the food is outstanding. When I have guests visiting me I always take them to the Hot Box.Special Features:
- Gone downhillnexus6VIPDined on 1/18/2014Not sure if they have new management, or have a new chef, but this place has gone downhill. It used to be our favorite place to go in Sonoma. A little gem. During our most recent visit, we were handed a tasting menu that sounded nice. But, only one of us (2 diners) wanted to get it. Our waitress informs us that both of us would need to order the tasting menu because it is too much of a bother for the chef if only one of us orders it. Mind you, the food on the tasting menu was also on the a la carte menu. Nothing special or unique. Nothing exclusive to the tasting menu. Excuse us for being a bother to the chef. We ordered a la carte instead and were a bit disappointed. We will not return.
- slightly high pricedpepperDined on 1/17/2014We thought the portions were small for the price. The $6 deviled egg, was 1/2 of an egg, if bought as an appetizer. That price is ridiculous. The carrot-ginger soup was devoid of a carrot flavor, rather bland. Chicken entree was good as was the dessert.
- Our server needed people skillsSharonDined on 1/4/2014I was REALLY looking forward to dining at this restaurant. Unfortunately, I left the restaurant with mixed feelings: The food was excellent. We ordered the Winter Tasting Menu. I will say that my lettuce wrap appetizer didn't pair well with the butternut squash soup or pot roast but each little course was delicious. We must have been served by the same sullen server as the other disappointed reviewers. Either she didn't want to serve us or she didn't want to be there herself. 3) I get it...it's a diner. However, the decor and stark, on the edge of, but not quite, dingy design was disappointing. However, the restaurant kitchen and appearance of the chefs were sharp looking. Perhaps the juxtaposition was intentional? Hopefully not.
- Meh.....KathleenTDined on 1/1/2014We ordered the roasted beet salad which my friend enjoyed and the crab bisque which was overwhelmingly acidic and had little other flavor. Because of the rave reviews we ordered the Cornish Game Hens. The presentation was appealing and the cornish hen looked surprisingly large, but had so much breading that at least 80% of the portion was the breading. Unfortunately lovely looking golden crisp breading had no flavor except that of unseasoned nearly raw flour. Bring salt. After peeling the breading off it filled half of my dinner plate. The service was good as far as the seating and food service, but even after seeing all the breading removed and laying in our plate our server did not inquire about our satisfaction with our dinner.
- Loved Hot Box Grill!JanKVIPDined on 12/27/2013Since moving to Sonoma a few months ago, we have been trying a different restaurant every weekend...this is now one of our favorites! Think home cooking meets Wine Country! Serving staff takes their food seriously, but without pretension....and the food is wonderful! Husband had the Chicken Paillard, which he said was one of the best yet, and I had the delicious pot roast. They have an extremely well priced tasting menu ($29), which includes 4 courses and is a great way to experience the kitchen's expertise,,,,and the best part was when we left, one of the chefs came out to ask us how our dinner was...nice personal touch! Will definitely go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeliciousLanieVIPDined on 12/22/2013Game hen was outstanding and leave room for their delectable desserts!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- hope things get bettermobrVIPDined on 12/22/2013Hotbox has been one of our favorites in Sonoma. The owner-chef is a fantastic cook, having studied in Asia and in Europe. However, this was such a disappointing experience mostly due to the unbelievable behavior of the waitress. It was not a busy Sunday evening, and the waitress was incredibly rude. We were treated as if it was a bother to have to serve customers. She is doing no favor for the owner chef and for the food/ambience. The chicken dish is good as always; however, other dishes were nondescript. It's hard to comment on the meal, as the service was so abominable that we couldn't wait to pay and leave. We hope that the service issues, so that customers will have a memorable dining experience in the future.
- One of the best local spotsnlk1VIPDined on 12/15/2013One of the best local spots in Sonoma. Really good food, a small and comfortable space with freindly staff.Special Features:
- OUTSTANDING food - ok service5678Dined on 12/13/2013We had a butter leaf salad, prosciutto and melon, and some soup. Everything we ate was outstanding! We would have stayed and ordered more food, but I think the server was having a rough day, and it was obvious. We felt tolerated.....but the food was SO GOOD that we looked past the service. ABSOLUTELY worth the drive. Go and dine well!!Special Features: