Ma'Kai
Ma'Kai

Ma'Kai

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.makailounge.com/
  • Phone: 3104341511
  • Hours of Operation:
    Happy-Hour Monday - Saturday from 4:00pm-7:00pm Sunday- Wednesday: Kitchen- 5:00pm-10:00pm Bar- 5:00pm-12:00am Thursday: Kitchen- 5:00pm-11:00pm Bar- 5:00pm-12:00am Friday & Saturday: Kitchen- 5:00pm-12:00am Bar- 5:00pm-1:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Japanese, Asian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: The restaurant if available for large and private parties. Please contact the restaurant directly for more information.
  • Private Party Contact: Micall Weinberg 3104341511

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Ocean Ave.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking~$10
A word from Ma'Kai
Renowned as one of Santa Monica's hotspots, this restaurant/lounge offers an upbeat, sophisticated and sexy candlelit atmosphere with two enclosed patios, fire pit, and a central bar. The menu is Asian inspired, featuring signature sushi and fresh fish. In addition to the extensive selection of wines by the glass, there is also an innovative drink menu featuring a weekly Farmer's Market martini, cucumber sakitini, sugarcane mojito and our signature Ma'Kai kiss. During happy hour all bottle wine is 50% off, specialty cocktails are $8, well drinks are $5 and wines by the glass are $2 off.
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Ma'Kai reviews from OpenTable diners
8 reviews since July 2, 2014
Overall Rating3.3
  • Food3.6
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
66% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (5)scenic view (4)vibrant bar scene (4)great for outdoor dining (3)neighborhood gem (3)great for brunch (2)great for lunch (2)hot spot (2)special occasion (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Lovely food
    MrsWoolmerine
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Great food really enjoyed the Asian fusion, but the set up of the restaurant/bar is bizarre with sport on all around you? Not somewhere to reccomend for a couple looking for a romantic meal as we had a group of lads shouting at the tele the entire meal pretty much at us as we were under a tele playing baseball. Cannot knock the food at all as it was great, but go there with a group of friends not too dressed up and up for watching sport not a couple on their honeymoon.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I will never go back!!!!👎
    Foodbabe28
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We had 7:30 reservations and didn't get our food until 9:15! We ordered at 7:45, food came out at 8:15. There was a mix up in our order and they brought out roasted chicken instead of salmon. The waitress blamed the mix up on the kitchen while the bus boy explained our waitress messed up our order. I understand mistakes happen but the way you treat customers is important. Both the waitress and the "manager" were unapologetic and couldn't care less. The waitress still expected us to pay for our meals and brought over a $90 bill! After complaining to the manager he comped our meals but he never came back to our table to see if everything was okay. We payed for our drinks and appetizers and left very disappointed.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • fun bday dinner and drinks
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    took a group here for a 30th bday celebration...great time had by all!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 5 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.4
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance4.6
    • Service4.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 133 reviews are from the Ma'Kai reviews archive.
  • My frequent spot is getting worse
    RB36VIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Been going here for a while. The food is great and the view/outdoor patio is awesome. But the service has gotten worse and worse each time I have gone. The bussers or runners have been more helpful than the actual servers. I ordered a beer and got it half way through my meal and it was half gone already meaning someone drank it already or it spilled at the bar and they took it out anyway. The hostesses were taking shots throughout our meal on the patio and we asked for water 5 times and didnt get it until we asked the busser who immediately got it for us. Overall food is great but the service just keeps getting worse.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fire pit with an ocean view!
    CaliforniaLoveVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Best seat in the house is the fire pit on the patio overlooking the ocean. It's smart to request that table in your reservation if you have a larger party. Best appetizers were the sliders, calamari, fish tacos. Rolls are okay. White sangria, moscow mules, and lychee drinks were solid. One waitress was friendly, the other was a little too busy to be nice. Hostess was accommodating, eventually. Great for a light bite and drinks with friends while watching the sunset!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good for a Tuesday Night
    SuburbanVisitor
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    Why We Chose It and What We Thought of It: Before reading any online reviews, we chose Ma'Kai solely based on location and hours of operation. It's walking distance from the public structures (closest being Santa Monica structure number 6), and it's open til midnight, which is good for those of us who work the next morning. Hours wise, we knew our party would arrive and eat late, so for a reservation at 9pm on a Tuesday we were still able to order and have an amazing 4 course meal, alcohol in-between each round. Service: Amazing. Hostess, waitress, & bus boys were polite and accommodating, which isn't too common in the late night bar or lounge scene.
    Special Features:
    Late-Night Find, Scenic View, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Happy hour adequate
    Mdz2010
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Food is very average, but overpriced. Especially the sushi. I'd recommend going only for drinks and the truffle fries
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing service
    PedroVIP
    Dined on 3/5/2014
    We waited 30 min for our table, despite the reservation. Service was in general slow and waiters wouldn't take our dishes away until they would come with something else.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nightlife
    Shawn
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    The atmosphere is great for a night out, young crowd, great music, food not so good, had better at Red Lobster.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • the Sliders
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    I have to say, we are sad Makais is closing! We loooooooved the sliders and music on Saturday night. We are gonna miss Makai !!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great menu, poor service
    amkag
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    There seemed to be only one server for the entire restaurant. And while there were not too many tables sat, we received very little attention. It took a long time to even have a server take our drink order, and our appetizer was brought out at the same time as our entrees. We literally had to flag down someone to order dessert and when I asked to order a coffee, I was told they didn't serve coffees because it made it feel too much like a coffee shop. The food was delicious, however I would not return due to the poor service, which definitely impacted our dining experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Can't spend the night...
    LAFoodieVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    i came here on Sat. night w/2 friends. Our plan to have a nice dinner out was cut short when food came out, not spaced at all (I had ordered a salad and they had ordered appetizers) within five minutes of being there. I can barely remember what our waitress looked like since we had such brief interactions before the bill was handed to us. I got the lobster roll and the "lobster" was dried out mush on top of a crab roll. Overall, disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 12/8/2013
    I had been to Ma'kai for a company dinner once before, and my boyfriend and I love it so much we came to it for our 3 year anniversary! So, when I saw a Living Social Deal for a brunch for 4 I couldn't pass it up. We had a great time - and it wasn't packed at all. Of course, on Sundays they show football so it can be a little loud from the TVs, but we had a 2-hour brunch and weren't rushed out at all. Will definitely be coming back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent experience
    Spatino
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    I celebrated my birthday with friends at Ma'Kai and it was an exceptionally excellent experience. I will definitely be back sooon!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, scenic view, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was overpriced and
    DeedotVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    The food was overpriced and not good. It was like sushi you'd get at some cheap supermarket that had been sitting out for awhile. I ordered the tuna tarter with crispy rice. It came with 4 itty bitty pieces with what was supposedly a dab of tuna and a sliver of a jalepenoe. It was pathetic. The server didn't fill up our waters once. And we had to wait 10 minutes to get soy sauce after our food had already come. Also, the music was SO loud we could barely think and we were sitting outside while the music was inside. It was a Sunday when we ate there so there might not be a dj other nights. But this place sucked.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • I used to love this place.
    caroleVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2013
    Not anymore. The service was poor and the food mediocore. Plus it is pricey for what it is. My sushi was more rice than sushi. The pieces were very small. We were sitting in a booth that needed serious painting on the wall (and this was at night! Can't imagine what it looks like in the day!). Not what it used to be or even close.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The atmosphere was fun. The
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    The atmosphere was fun. The food was very ordinary. The sushi rolls were very bland.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food, Horrible Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    I went on a Saturday night for dinner and it was just around the time that the lounge area started to pick up. The bar was packed and loud music was playing. Which, I didn't really mind considering it was 10:30 pm on a Saturday night. We were seated at a table by the patio and were not greeted by a waiter for over 10 minutes. We ordered the fish tacos and sushi. Now I understand the place was busy but 20 minutes for fish tacos.. and the sushi.... well that just never arrived. After waiting for an hour we just left cash on the table and walked out. It was quite ridiculous and a let down, because the fish tacos were excellent.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food with decent service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    My friends and I stopped here for dinner before hitting some bars. It was the perfect place to get the night started. A DJ was on hand spinning some upbeat tunes. It wasn't too loud, so we were able to chit chat and enjoy our delicious sushi rolls. The food options were exactly what we were looking for - some lighter options so we didn't fill up too much, needed to save rooms for after dinner drinks! We sat outside on the patio which was beautiful. Sure, you're right off of PCH, but it was great for people watching and you can't beat that ocean view. The service wasn't necessarily bad, but nothing to write home about either. This was my second visit to Ma'Kai and I will go back again.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Clueless hostesses
    brneyedgurlVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2013
    Starting with the hostesses, they were pretty much clueless. The first hostess told me that the other hostess would help me. She preceded to stand there and talk with a waiter, never acknowledging me standing in front of her. After what seemed like an eternity, the first hostess came back and showed me to a table. The Yelp reviews were pretty accurate on that point. Should have listened and gone somewhere else. The food was okay, nothing special enough to come back for. With many restaurants in the surrounding blocks, do yourself a favor and pick another place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • sushi mistake
    Mauigal
    Dined on 6/29/2013
    This was our first time in downtown Santa Monica. We sat outside on their patio it was crazy and noisy and it was a weekend night. The waiter was attentive and the meal arrived hot but the ambiance was just not there. Dont think we would return to this restaurant. Not only that we had two girls who were seated next to us with drinks and one of them was loud and annoying. The restaurant had to ask them to leave due to them not ordering any food. Glad they had left because it was much quitter once they were gone.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tourist Trap
    FairCriticVIP
    Dined on 5/19/2013
    If you are looking for a place to eat on Ocean Drive or don't want to go too far into the promenade crowds to eat then here you can enjoy the ambiance of the beach crowd. The food here is basic, the desert options are something to try, they have an interesting creme brûlée trio. As for the professionalism, our waitress was nice, but the service of the host was lacking over the phone and in person. The interior seems to have taken a little beating from wear and tear and the restrooms were bad. I wasn't a fan of this spot. Overall I felt it was a 2 Star restaurant, maybe the turnout would've been better had I went at night for drinks only, as they seem to have a happy hour.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • a watering hole trying to morph
    JamesVIP
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    a great bar for after-work, but not for brunch. the decor is looking pretty shabby by daylight.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service was terrible. Food
    AllUrFoods
    Dined on 4/21/2013
    Service was terrible. Food was bland. Definitely a bar not a restaurant
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overall, it was a positive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    Overall, it was a positive experience. I was happy with the attention we were given and how quickly the food came out.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bait and swich
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    Where we're 4 in our party One vegetarian I looked at the thier website before reserving Looked like a great selection When we got there the menu was very different than what is on the website Almost nothing vegetarian Considered leaving because I felt bad for my friend and the deception from the restaurant Ended up staying Two of my friends picked sandwiches When we went to order they said those were only available before 7. Doesn't say that on the menu and no one told us that up front So now we felt deceived again Should have left Not much on the menus Food we did get was good (ribeye,hamachi) Overall way too expensive for what we got Dj was crazy loud It's a fun bar that I've been to 10 times Happy hour is good Don't
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great lunch menu and awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/2/2012
    Great lunch menu and awesome service. Would definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was very inventive and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/26/2012
    Food was very inventive and unique. Love the outdoor dining. Great for all food preferences. Sushi is just typical sushi; it's not really anything special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I came all the way from Agoura
    CoachSG
    Dined on 10/20/2012
    I came all the way from Agoura because it is worth it. Enjoy the tapas style selections-all extremely tasty down to the veggies! My date had an absolutely perfect martini!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My girlfriend and I commented
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/13/2012
    My girlfriend and I commented all evening on how great the food was. The bar tender Sam was also a delight to order and chat with. Great overall experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • On a busy Friday night in
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/3/2012
    On a busy Friday night in Santa Monica, I booked this table about 30 mins before arrival. We asked for an outside table if possible and they gave us a time limit. We weren't in the mood to be rushed, but were also starving and figured 1.5 hours for 4 people was doable. The table offered a slight view for our out-of-town guests and the cocktail list was one to enjoy. The food, however, was OK and the inside bar area seemed so cliche. The service was good and we had an overall good experience. Could possibly go back, but now I know what to expect.. and what not to.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Had a blast!! The DJ was
    lillulu
    Dined on 7/27/2012
    Had a blast!! The DJ was great and so was the food and service. Took family who was visiting from out of town and everyone had a great time.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The patio is the main reason
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/24/2012
    The patio is the main reason to come here. ThIt is not as nice as it used to be. The food is ok, more like bar food, and the drinks are fine. But you cannot beat sitting on the patio on a nice day next to the beach.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The ambiance of the restraunt/
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/21/2012
    The ambiance of the restraunt/ lounge was great, however the service was horrible. They called me probably 3 times to confirm, then by the third call they said the reservation had no details even though i specifically asked for a table on ocean, It was quite frustrating. Once we go there they had given us a table on ocean and put two tables together since there were 6 of us, after about an hour they took one of the tables away and said that they have other people that need to sit and that it usually sells for 500 a night, which is less then what we actually ended up spending. The service was annoying and unhelpful. but was a fun venue for a birthday.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was noisy, the people in
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/14/2012
    It was noisy, the people in the restaurant were loud, the service (other than the bar) was awful and the food was mediocre. Good place to go for young singles to dance but not for dinner.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Asian gem in Santa Monica
    sirmichaelmaster7
    Dined on 4/4/2012
    My first time dining here was a delightful experience. Very friendly and attentive maitre'd and waitress. Food was incredibly perfect. Service was fast. Atmosphere was warm, cozy, romantic in this Asian gem on Ocean Blvd. in Santa Monica just a few footsteps away from a fabulous view of the Pacific Ocean.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great spot to eat in Santa
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 2/21/2012
    Great spot to eat in Santa Monica! Good prices (especially happy hour) for the location.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • They took over an hour to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/15/2012
    They took over an hour to cook a cod and then came back with it isn't coming out right. Like are you kidding you can't cook a fish right at a restaurant of this caliber on a non busy night? Then ordered salmon and it took another 20 minutes. Portions are ridiculously tiny. I will never recommend this place nor be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for happy hour
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/15/2012
    The restaurant is very modern and nice, the food was good my favorite dish was the fish tacos. My husband and I sat at the lounge, which was nice. we went for happy hour so there wasn't that many people and we were able to talk and watch some basketball. I will recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was outstanding but the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/21/2012
    Food was outstanding but the customer service was the worst so far! I get better service and attitude from a drive thru than here! Will never go again nor do I reccomend this place!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic