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  • Water Grill - Santa Monica

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Water Grill - Santa Monica
Water Grill - Santa Monica

Water Grill - Santa Monica Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.watergrill.com/
  • Phone: (310) 394-5669
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch

    Daily: 11:30am - 4:00pm

    Dinner

    Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm; Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - midnight
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American
  • Executive Chef: Damon Gordon
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, View

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking available in front of restaurant. Metered street and lot parking near by.
A word from Water Grill - Santa Monica
For over 20 years, Water Grill has sated the palates of fish lovers. From the moment it opened, this flagship downtown restaurant from King's Seafood Company has satisfied the need for a world-class fish eatery in Los Angeles. Hailed as "the best seafood in Southern California" by the internationally recognized Zagat Guide, Water Grill has consistently offered dazzling fish preparations of superior quality and freshnessContinued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "II had to wait about 10 minutes but the food is excellent, I recommend"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "I took a couple out for the wife's birthday. I went on The Water Grill website to make a reservation in Los Angeles. I saw they had opened in Santa Monica and booked there as it's closer. To my surprise, this location is totally different than the original location. I wanted reasonably quiet in a more formal ambiance which the downtown location is. The food is very good and management is extremely attentive, but that's where it stops. Santa Monica location shouldn't change as it's very popular. However, the name should denote a different experience than the original location. If you go to a high end steakhouse in different cities it's usually very similar; corporate management at Water Grill should get that and change the name slightly."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "The Water Grill- Santa Monica has very good sea food and is pricey. It has a very busy and noisy bar, hard surfaces without table cloths, and service seems geared to turning over tables quickly, like a high-priced TGI Fridays. Dishes removed while others were unfinished, courses served in rapid succession, coffee not offered, and check presented quickly without asking--out within an hour after being seated. On the plus side, a front table near the windows provided a view of the action on Ocean Avenue and of the ocean beyond. If you like edgy restaurants with good food and an interesting scene and want to eat and get out quickly, this is a good choice."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "We had a terrible experience. It started off ok, menu looked great, ambiance fun but when it came time to order it became beyond frustrating. I ordered fish but asked to have it simply grilled and was told it only came with the sauce described, no other preparation permitted. I asked to get a side of seasonal grilled vegetable that was offered with another entree and was told they were only available with that particular entree. Seemed strange but they did offer a side of garlic sautéed broccoli with Chinese sausage. I ordered the broccoli but asked to have it plain steamed instead and was told no, the only modification was to leave off the Chinese sausage. I have never been to a restaurant that so refused to accommodate its guests!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Made a reservation for 3 on Wed. at 7:30 and indicated a choice for a window side table. We arrived at 7pm. The hostess assured me our table would be available and we should go to bar area to wait. She would fetch us when table was ready. At 7:50 we checked in and hostess again confirmed our watersideview table would be available as soon as the diners completed their entrees. At 815 we checked in to be told by the hostess that VIPs had come in, and had taken our table. I inquired what is it that makes a diner a VIP and it is an owner of the restaurant. Hostess "had" to give them our table. To imagine the owners would usurp a table that was reserved for their own benefit, well... If it's true it's shameful. If it's a lie it's disgraceful."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "We had a table by the window and the weather couldn't have been more perfect that night. The oysters were excellent and the clam chowder was very good. My husband would have preferred it to be thicker, but the flavor was great. We both had lobster which was good, but mine was a little overcooked for my liking, so it was taken off the bill without us even asking. Our waitress was great! She was very personable and friendly. We will definitely come back."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Great food as always. Only complaint was the high noise level, but I expect that at a crowded and popular place."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Perfect for Friday night on a week-end get away. Much more casual and much noisier than the downtown locattion. Would come back if situation was right."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Place sits on Ocean Avenue. Front windows are left open to bring in the sea breeze, Hah. Room acts as a wind tunnel; we were towards back inside and freezing. Room is very loud and pace is frenetic...we had to protect food from over eager clearing staff. They knicked last bite of dessert. Get em in, get em out; keep noise level up so they drink a lot..."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Several friends recommended WG and we not disappointed!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Everything was perfect for the evening....from making the reservation on OT to the call from the restaurant the day of to confirm. We requested a nice table with a view since we were meeting out of town family and they accommodated my request reserving a table by the front open window. Our res was at 7:00 but our guest arrived about 15 min late due to traffic and they were very nice holding our table. Mark was our waiter and rounded out the great experience we had. He was friendly and gave us a thorough review of the menu..while providing us excellent service. Location is great for walking around after dinner. One thing, it is loud so if you're looking for a quiet romantic evening this isn't the place."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Right on Ocean Drive in Santa Monica overlooking the ocean (though across the street), this place has great people watching. And great seafood."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Food was excellent--Black Cod was a signature dish. No attitude about sharing a meal--very gracious. A bit loud for the baby boomer set!"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Went with 3 others on Saturday night, 4th of July weekend. We had reservations and were seated immediately. Waiter was terrific and answered all questions. We had oysters and crab cakes to start. Crab cake was the best we ever had. All had various fish for dinner. The sea bass was phenomenal. All other entrees were great too. Fish and chips, scallops. Dessert was ridiculously delicious..something with caramel ice cream on top. Great beer and wine choices. Just be prepared for a hefty sized check!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "The waiter clearly preferred to be elsewhere! He had no real interest in being at work. He performed his duties with total detachment. The food was okay. The expectation was of extraordinary food and attentive service not an air of complete indifference."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "It was perfect. This is one a my perrenial favs. Whoever conceived the redesign of the Water Grill got it right....and the food quality is better than ever."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Food was really good. Oysters were fresh and yummy, and the crabcakes were awesome! Chilean seabass was spot on, ribeye was amazing, but the kale was kind of blah-it tasted boiled and water logged. Server was great, she took it off our check. Wines by the glass were a bit pricey, but they have a great selection. Try the bread pudding-it's the bomb!"
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "My husband and I thought all our courses were delicious. The crab cake appetizer was excellent, our beet and apple salad had a lovely blend of flavors and my halibut was outstanding. The waiter was attentive and helpful. The meal was very enjoyable."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Service was prompt. The food and wine were both quite good. Nice table. Nice view. Priced as expected."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Very nice ambiance. The food is good, but pricy. We had the lobster which was very hard to eat as it was over cooked. Still a great place that provides a good compromise between food quality and elegant context."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Had a lovely time here for our first anniversary dinner. My gf had the miso cod and I had the Chilean sea bass, both dishes were very flavorful and the service from our server Christopher was excellent. Will definitely make this a favorite place when on Santa Monica!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We were looking forward to good food with a lovely ambiance. We were shoved in to a small table. Too many people and too much noise. Wait staff tried to clear our plates before we were done. The food was ok, but nothing special. The place is packed, but no sense of occasion. I expect more from a $200+ dinner for two. It was our anniversary, and I had informed the restaurant. There was no mention made. It was overall very disappointing, as we like the downtown Water Grill location and used to be regulars at Ocean Avenue."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Amazing place. Serve dinner till late. Interior decoration is out of this world. The big heavy windows open and close with air and hydroelectric equipments!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "There are better seafood restaurants in the area. The staff was a little gruff in seating us, clearing tables, and generally barking at each other. Not polished at all. The bread brought for the table was stale, the butter in my fish dish was burnt, and it didn't come with a side (an FYI would have been nice). The seafood tower was good, but nothing revolutionary. We had great expectations for the Water Grill. Expensive for an OK experience. Nice view of the ocean if you're near the window, though."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "My white fish was undercooked and almost raw. When I pointed this out to the waitress, she made an off-hand apology and took it back to the kitchen to be properly prepared. It was returned by some other waitstaff who again did not deem it necessary to offer much of an apology. The sauce accompanying the fish was very bland. The bar scene and private rooms seemed to be the place to see and be seen, but the quality of the food was such that I will not return to this restaurant."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "A great place for fresh seafood ... very attentive staff ... and a wonderful place to meet and visit with friends and family ..."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "It was a good meal after a stroll along Santa Monica pier. Definitely make a reservation so a table can be secured for the crowds are plenty and without a reservation, the seating opportunity might be slim. The waitress that served us was very friendly though seem to be less knowledgable with the menu. Because the washroom is shared within the building, the sanitation was a little bit questionable and limited rooms (3) were inconvenient, but overall still bearable. If you want to be seated by the entrance which was over looking the shores of SM, do request when you make a reservation and make sure they can accommodate the company; seatings were very limited and all depending on the host's willingness."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Good seafood but very expensive. Expensive valet parking as well"
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Outstanding menu selection for seafood and raw oysters. Excellent wine list."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Frankly, we were disappointed in our experience. Depressing, Dark decor! Noisy! Small servings! Sides not included. Good choices of wild caught fish. Not wonderful like Ocean Avenue Seafood!!!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Vast improvement in staff. No longer is there an attitude of get out so we can turn table over. They actually seem to want us to return. Thank you."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "We have now had two "special occasion" dinners- anniversary and father's day, and have been blown away by the freshness and flavor of each meal. Looking forward to the next time!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I have been to the Downtown Water Grill many of times and have thoroughly enjoyed each visit. This was my first to the Santa Monica branch, which we had gone to for my son's graduation from UCLA. We asked for butter for the bread and on the third request we eventually received it. A particular glass of red wine was recommended for me by the waiter and when I received it, it was off as the bottle it was poured from had been open too long. One of our party decided to order a recommended chicken dish and it was brought out totally raw inside. She sent it back and received it almost 10 minutes later in the exact same condition. The rest of us had fish and each portion was over-cooked. Overall, very bad experience there!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The fish and shellfish are displayed and the food is very fresh and delicious!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I really enjoyed the food and service. The server was patient in explaining the menu and always made sure we had water."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The customer service was great from the host to the wait staff! The view of the ocean was nice too. The food was very good but , I thought, overpriced."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Living in LA I've become accustomed to high-priced restaurants but even with that the Water Grill seems a bit pricey. Dinner for two with one entree each, one appetizer and one desert shared was $165. A lot of places charge big money and the food fails but I have to say that despite the high prices I'd go back (I might be more careful about ordering but probably not - sometimes you just need to suck it up, you know?). The fish was superbly prepared - I had sockeye salmon and my wife had the cod - and arrived hot and exactly to my order. The tuna poke appetizer was terrific - tender and tasty - and even the pot de creme desert was delicious. So if you don't mind the price it's a great spot. Excellent food even if a bit pricey."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We were there twice during our stay in Santa Monika and received two different impressions. The first one: quietness and excitement. Both accompanied by fantastical food"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Everything on this menu is absolutely amazing. Not being a HUGE fan of seafood, but appreciating it enough, I initially went here for my birthday for the location. The crab cakes are by far the best in the city. The Miso Black Cod is absolutely amazing and melts in your mouth. And whether you're a red or white wine aficionado, the servers/bartenders will help you find the perfect glass/bottle on their diverse wine list."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "I'd love to give the Water Grill 5 stars but, sadly, not all of our meals were of that quality. Our party of five started with the ceviche. It's beautifully presented. It's not huge but was enough of a starter for our table. Two of us ordered halibut and it was superb as was the salmon. The sweet spot shrimp from Santa Barbara and the soft shell crab, however, were not so great."
    Dined on 6/10/2014