Tabu Grill
Tabu Grill

Tabu Grill

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.tabugrill.com/
  • Phone: (949) 494-7743
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Kevin Jerrold-Jones
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Tabu Grill is small; however we just added another room that can handle up to 24 people. This room is offered for wine dinners, private events, and celebrations. Sunday-Thursday with a pre-set menu.
  • Private Party Contact: Nancy Wilhelm 9494947743

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Nye's Place
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: We have parking in the structure under the offices at the signal at the Nyes Place. The entrance to the parking is low, be careful with your SUVs. We also have some limited parking behind the restaurant (turn on to Hinkle Street from PCH) Street parking is available. If both lots are full. Please don't park on Terry Road behind the restaurant.
A word from Tabu Grill
Take an adventure to Tabu Grill. Tabu has a “hip” vibe, called by some as an upscale "Tiki Hut." You won’t want to miss the grilled Mexican diver scallops, served with Potato Puree, Tangerine Beurre Blanc, and citrus baby greens. One of the local favorites is the yellow fin poke, with mango, celery, avocado, and mint, served with soy ginger taro root. If it’s steak your appetite is longing for, our 16 ounce prime bone-in rib eye served with forbidden rice risotto, caramelized chippolini onions, forest mushrooms, chanterelle cream will satisfy your craving.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Tabu Grill reviews from OpenTable diners
54 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (42)romantic (31)neighborhood gem (31)special occasion (27)notable wine list (13)good for groups (11)hot spot (11)great for outdoor dining (6)scenic view (3)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • Great little place.
    Matt
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    I had a great steak. I wish it was a little warmer but it was tender inside and the char on the outside was perfect. Quiet little place perfect for a date night and the side room has a large table for 6-8. Looks like you can sit bar side and watch the cooking too.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good not great
    Paul
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    My wife and I finally visited Tabu Grill. I had really looked forward to it because it's been highly rated in several places. My overall impression is that it was good but not great and because it was a bit of a trek for us we won't be going back. This can be considered a solid neighborhood restaurant. I gave it 3.5 stars overall while my wife gave it a 3 in terms of food. Here is what we ordered: - Ceviche of the day (scallops) - It was fine but we wouldn't order it again - Beet Salad - We enjoyed this - Seabass (miso) - It was very salty which ruined it for us. Otherwise, it would have been a solid dish. - Duck - I thought the duck was outstanding. Overall, there were some bright spots in terms of food but overall it wasn't spectacular. In terms of wines, the restaurant had a variety of wines priced reasonably and many can be ordered by the glass. We tried the 2 sangrias: mango/pineapple (white version) and the mixed berries (red version). We concluded that the mixed berries / red tasted superior in terms of how the flavors blended together. The service was attentive and the owner / proprietor came by and greeted every table which was nice and is a bit of a rarity these days.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • R2DforU
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Pricey, but worth it! (and even parking too!) server was attentive and food creative. Best polenta ever!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Magical Night
    DLStrang
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I normally don't take the time to respond to review requests, but after enjoying one of the most memorable dinners I have experienced, I have to give my two cents. The food was five star all the way. I had Duck, which was cooked perfectly and the pomegranate reduction was a exquisitely balanced for the dish. Couldn't be happier. My date ordered the Sea Bass, which in my view could be the most perfectly layered fish dish I have ever tasted. It had many flavors going on but was not overpowering. She glowed about her meal. The owner was visible and attentive. The server was knowledgeable and spot on in his recommendations. I highly recommend Tabu to anyone who appreciates excellent food, service and ambiance! Thank you for a wonderful night!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Highly recommended
    ShabuParkCityVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    The bartender at the Montage recommended Tabu...and others at the hotel It was a quiet night at the restaurant and we had a 8pm reservation. They were out of the steak I wanted so I ordered the filet (medium rare)...it came out medium well so they remade it...with a much better piece of meat....but still was not cooked well. Food OK....Waitress was amazing!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A work in progress
    SandyToes
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Kudos to the owners for trying out a new format and slightly revised menu, but the new chef needs time and experience before I'll go back. The food sounds good on the menu but doesn't deliver on the plate. Flavors are just off the mark, seafood is slightly over- or under-cooked, and prices for both food and beverage are way above where they deserve to be. One bottle on the wine menu was 10% higher than the exact same one at the far-superior Sapphire up the street. That just won't do. We aren't that dumb. Good luck with the new and improved goals. I'll check back in a year or so.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • There's no Tabu like Tabu!
    JessesJems
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    We absolutely loved our 9th experience at TAbu...The best there is bar none...Loved every moment there!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but Pricy
    Paul3804
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Tobu is a good but not exceptional restaurant. I found the tables a little too close for a high end restaurant allowing people at the nest table to overhear your conversation. The food was good but very expensive. At the price point, there are many better choices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • the best!
    molly
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    So amazed by this little gem. Get the scallops! impeccable service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely dining experience
    Lschapi
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    A quaint intimate ambiance with a unique flair in preparation. Lovely staff that was extremely knowledgeable .you can watch the expert preparation and see the care that went into ever dish. Presentation was lovely. Would good. Would definitely go again next visit to Lqguna Beach!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We stopped in for an early dinner after a day of shopping in Laguna Beach. We decided to share a few small plates. Each were outstanding. We had Scallops, Pork Belly and Short Ribs. We sat at the bar, where the chef and sous chef are cooking, it's quite a show! We struck up a conversation with the sous chef and she also gave us a taste of the gnocchi on the house. Was also delicious. Server was delightful, wine list was great. Outstanding experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic Food Flavor
    JLM63VIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    My wife and I stayed nearby and walked to this Laguna Beach restaurant. I had the Heirloom Tomato appetizer which had a fine flavor but wasn't far from what you'd expect. My wife had the sears sole and it was delicious and light. I chose the sea bass and can say with no hesitation that it was the best of that fish I've ever enjoyed. Good portion size but not oversized. Desserts were the banana bread and the flour less chocolate cake. Both were great, but the ice cream served with both was the surprise. No bar but adequate beer and wine selection. Definitely recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappoints
    lagunafoodboy
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We seem to end up at Tabu about every 4 months of so. We had some friends in from out of town and wanted a place we knew would be a great experience. Tabu never disappoints. The ambiance is great. The service is exceptional. The food was very tasty and well prepared. Overall, in a town where most good restaurants are inconsistent, Tabu is a an pleasant exception.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best in town
    Rick
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    My wife and I like to escape to Laguna often, Tabu is the best we have found.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Still a gem
    Fitfoodie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We have not been at Tabu for several years, but had very fond memories of our prior experiences. With having some friends from out of town, who we're staying in Dana Point, and appreciate good food - we wanted to go somewhere where we could actually carry on a conversation. From the beginning to the end - our service was impeccable. The food was still as good as we remembered, and the owner as charming as ever. Having some dietary allergies - I am always not sure how a restaurant would respond; Tabu was spot on, and accommodated my requests.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Well Done
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    My lady and I dined at Tabu last Saturday and it was fabulous! One of the best meals I have had in Southern California. The Pork Belly and the Pork chops are a must for the pork lover! My lady had the chicken and she loved it! She usually does not order chicken too. I would recommend Tabu to close friends and family without a doubt!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Surprised
    Redheddy
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We have driven by so many times and finally made reservations. To our surprise the food was outstanding. Every bite was delicious. Everyone was very friendly. A little pricey but worth it. Will go back soon. It is quite intimate and dark inside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always satisfied!
    GenevieveCVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    This is one of our favorite spots in SoCal! Whether its a special occasion, date night or we are entertaining guests. Tabu Grill is always on point!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Truly special
    Luv2eatVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Tabu is a small restaurant serving excellent food. Pork belly, lamb, short rib are great entrées. Grilled Caesar salad and scallops are great starters. Great ambiance!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • very good food, but overpriced
    robinocVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    When I made our reservation, I requested "nice table please". When we arrived, friends had already been seated at our table- the very worst table in the place- in the back, next to door to the restrooms- even though other tables sat empty for over an hour. menu is limited, and has gone up. My sea bass was excellent but at $46, should have been larger and had more sides Just some vegetables in a broth that were tasty, but on the small side. Chicken was $34 and tasty, but not great. We had a gnocchi beforehand, and while gnocchi was out of this world, did not care for the sauce it was in- a pesto sweet sauce. The flourless chocolate cake was one of the best I have had. Too bad we had such a bad table
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best of Laguna
    Mbren530VIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Beet salad with goat cheese baklava was superb. Don't miss it. Scallops and sea bass were terrific.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An Instant Favorite
    FoodfanVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We were in the area for the weekend and looking for a romantic dining experience. This proved to be one the the best finds. We would recommend this restaurant due to the food alone, Fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Superb Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Great place to set and friendl service. If you are in Laguna beach don't miss this place
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great find In Laguna Beach
    Dotster
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    The place was outstanding. We stopped in for an early dinner before going to the Pagent of the Masters. The owner and wait staff were just amazing. The food was OUTSTANDING. When visiting Laguna we will definitely be back and sample more of their outstanding cuisine. We went with the sample tasting menu because we didn't have a lot of time and it was just incredible. Go here you will NOT be disappointed and will have wonderful memories.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic all around
    GourmetSeekerVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The best food, service, ambiance and presentation. Was recommended to us by a local and was definitely worth a try! If you are in Laguna Beach it's a must! Gnocchi is one of the best I've ever had. Scallops are outstanding. Short rib one of a kind. Beet salad delicious and creative. Desert is heaven. We are coming back again and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lagu
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    even though we had an excellent table there were many "continental seating" tables where on person is looking into a blank wall and those tables were close together
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wish it could be kept a secret!
    SunsetPig
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We live nearby and walk over and always leave there feeling so grateful and blessed to have this gem of a restaurant so close to us. We're consistently impressed with both the food and the highest quality in service. The staff are class acts themselves, everyone here is a foodie and appreciates the entire experience from start to finish....Nancy the owner is just lovely and a great restauranteur.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dining here is not Tabu
    Santaluzer
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    A great find in Laguna Beach. We were visiting to celebrate our anniversary and a little online research and a recommendation from our B & B made this an easy choice. Tabu is at the Southern end of Laguna and the food was great. The wait staff including the owners were amazing and the best part of the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 26 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 339 reviews are from the Tabu Grill reviews archive.
  • Slightly disappointed
    Lovefood
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    After reading the reviews and seeing the Zagat rating, we had high hopes. Unfortunately, it was not up to par. The Caesar salad lacked flavor and my husbands filet mignon was lukewarm but tasted good. Our friends had the salmon and pork chop. The salmon was outstanding but the pork chop was ok. We also ordered the Mac and Cheese....save your money!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hmmm- ok, but...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We were staying in town and walked to the Tabu for dinner. The location is unique... However while the food was ok-good, the presention was good-very good, the price was extreme. As it happened, the next night I had a dinner for a larger number of people a few miles away in Dana Point and found the other restaurant to be a much nicer environment - and much less expensive. I would rate the food and service at both to be about the same - and Dana Point also had a spectacular view too, I would not recommend it.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our Anniversary spot
    Mikesexton3
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Felt at home from the first moment I walked in the door. The food is always amazing and the service is perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    Socountyfoodie
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Great ambience, courteous wait staff and outstanding food!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tabu?
    Koz1VIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    The food was cooked well , and the quaility of the meats were good. The menu had alot of heavy dishes with root vegetables , purees that one would expect in winter not summer. Have hesrd this was a great spot for years , but the lack of imagination with the menu will keep us from returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best food in Laguna Beach
    marcos
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Wow !! I ate at Tabu Grill Thursday night and I once again found out why it has been Laguna's number one restaurant. Nancy and her staff get it. Friendly staff and unbelievable chef who always has something incredible up his sleeve. I had the pork belly to start and I think I actually hallucinated while eating it. It was amazing as were the scallops and Filet. If you haven't been here you must go....Mark
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food but way too expensive
    Annee
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    There was really nothing to complain about until the bill arrived. It was twice as expensive as a comparable restaurant in Laguna. There's too much competition in Laguna to charge outrageous prices.
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Really enjoy the food, service and decor but it all comes at a very high price!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beebop
    BeeBop
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Excellent appetizer and entree. Prompt service especially refilling the water. Fun ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful!
    coopsterVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Great neighborhood restaurant in south Laguna beach Delicious food, exotic decor , quiet friendly ambience We will be back!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We will come back for more
    Loverly
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    This is a hidden gem. It was not crowded and it is away from the traffic and congestion of downtown Laguna Beach. Great food. Very tasty. Had the pork chop with pork belly, wow. Also had the special which was salmon. Both were delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very tasty!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    After a nice walk over from the Montage (mostly all on sidewalk except for the last 100 yards) we had an excellent meal here. We decided on a starter each, and then split the 14oz rib eye - a perfect amount of food. The tuna poke was excellent, but the real stand out was the house made gnocchi. The mix of thai basil pesto, sweet corn, hazelnut brittle was a fantastic mix of sweet, salty, and savory that was almost life-changing. DO NOT MISS this dish. The brown-butter banana bread was an excellent way to finish the meal. The wine list had good variety, and was very reasonable ($50-$100)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate