Water Grill - Santa Monica
Water Grill - Santa Monica

Water Grill - Santa Monica

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.watergrill.com/
  • Phone: 3103945669
  • 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 freshness
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Water Grill - Santa Monica reviews from OpenTable diners
354 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelEnergetic
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (173)special occasion (124)fit for foodies (124)vibrant bar scene (117)hot spot (89)good for groups (83)neighborhood gem (82)great for lunch (80)notable wine list (56)great for outdoor dining (51)romantic (46)great for brunch (37)late-night find (27)kid-friendly (23)Show More
  • Dinner with the college kids
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We got a recommendation from a friend and so glad we reserved for a sunset dinner with the college kids. The view on Santa Monica beach was perfect as the sun set, our server was knowledgable and attentive, my lobster roll was heavenly and the oyster selection was fantastic. We couldn't make our minds up over the delicious sounding sides, so we ordered them all...it felt like a thanksgiving feast. All in all, I would go back in a minute and gives thumbs up on a review! Well done, Water Grill!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always great
    WayneVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    When booking on Open Table I requested a booth. When I arrived the place was packed, but waiting for us was a booth. The food was excellent from the bread, through the crab cakes, the Dover sole and finally the dessert. Our server was a little surly, but he got the order right and it appeared promptly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • nice for boys night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    noisy tourist trap big corporate feel but good food fun for groups and less intimate gatherings
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place for a mini-reunion
    JohnVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Six of us met for Lunch to share stories from the past and had a delightful time as well as a delicious lunch ... our waitress allowed us all the time we needed but provided us outstanding service when we were ready for drinks and each course ... a great afternoon was enjoyed by all of our group.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Service was warm and attentive. Squid ink pasta and polenta side dish were great. Our lovely server suggested the caramel bread pudding with salted caramel ice cream. It was to die for. Overall great dining experience.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    4 out of the five guests thought the food was very good. The place is not a price performer. 5 people two were children sharing a kids meal and a soup. Only two deserts. Only two glasses of wine. $400,.00. Each fish dish was over $35. Service and ambiance was not up to these prices. I've spent as much, I've had better meals. Here I spent much and got less.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • SlickVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Loved the water grille. We were lucky to sit at a window table on a Friday night. Service was wonderful as was the meal. Thumbs up!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • great choices
    francophileVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    I had been to the downtown version of this restaurant and liked it. The Santa Monica location is great because relatively easy to get to, has valet parking, and best of all, has a wonderful selection of shell fish and fish. I had the tuna niçoise which was probably the best I have ever had and I have had it all over the world, including France its home. My partner had the lobster which looked and was reported to be terrific.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service and food!
    Hc777VIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    You can see Santa Monica pier and beach across the street and the food and service are very good. We never felt rushed even though we spent three hours for lunch catching up w friends. Get the cone side dish as it's a fun treat!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just ok
    leedles
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Went here as a 'send off' for our last night of vacation, as my wife and I had been not having typical sit down dinners. So she found this place and made a reservation. There really wasn't anything notable about the food or drinks. The bill was just under $200 with tip, and neither of us felt the wow factor. My wife's scallops were cold. (They seemed to be cooked though from the texture.) The sea bass I had was swimming in butter. Drinks were drinks. Clam chowder soup was great. Overall, I was disappointed over the cost verses quality (of preparation/presentation). For that price point we wanted to have a great last Cali meal, but walked away wondering why we didn't go elsewhere.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic fish
    ToinetteVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed a dinner with friends from out of town who requested that we take them to the best fish restaurant in town. Water Grill was beyond our expectations from the selection of seafood, to the quality and preparation of everything and the outstanding service. Really worth the price. We were pleased to find no corkage charge for the special bottle of wine we brought with us. The only criticism we have, but this is true of almost all restaurants in L A, is that recorded music is played in the restaurant. It was not as loud as in other establishments but we would prefer not to hear it and to be able to converse and hear each other easily. This is a fine dining experience that merits a quieter atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Water Grill
    Wellfedbutdeaf
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I have no idea why we had to wait to be seated when there were plenty of tables available. When I asked, I was told they were setting up a special booth. 10 minutes later, same answer. I objected and was seated at an available table: As we passed "the special booth", it was not being set up and there was nothing special about it for the fact that it was next door to the kitchen. The food was surprisingly good. The atmosphere was not and the noise level deafening: we had to shout at one another at our table to carry on a conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    way to pricey for what you get. Once the order was messed up and it happens, they did offer up some free seafood platters.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, ambiance and view
    SurprisedVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We were very impressed with the food...other than Their chips were not cooked well, so choose another side, some were soggy and spices were not good, but everything else was awesome. Everything was amazing and plate presentation was incredible. The view to the ocean was fabulous! Thanks for the great food and service! Would definitely recommend.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reservation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I couldnt have a dinner over there because when I arrived the table wasnt read and I waited in the bar. I'been wait for 45 min to get a table. And when the waitress show up to take me to the table I declined. The service in the bar was perfect.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • From the SEA to the GRILL
    SteveEats
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    In our recent trip to CA --this restaurant stands out as one of the best. The fish was so fresh that it could have jumped out of the ocean. Service was great -- the views are amazing -- it's easy to see why it's a LA favorite. I had the halibut -- it was perfectly cooked -- beautifully seasoned -- and stunningly delicious. The clam chowder was good -- but not great. Still it was an interesting interpretation. Like all great restaurants this place had the legs to transcend trendy.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DINING vs. NOISE, NOISE NOISE
    NoNameVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The noise level was so out of control that it was impossible to have a conversation and enjoy the meal. I know that Water Grill is not alone in terms of being a noisy restaurant, but I think I finally reached the I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE moment. I will NEVER go back to this restaurant because the ambient noise was unbearable. And, Open Table, you are guilty of encouraging this trend by having your highest level "energetic". What about being able to select "deafening, unbearable NOISE"?
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food
    fernVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Great food. OK service. We had to constantly ask for utensils and water. Beautiful restaurant
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Happening...but frenetic !
    JohnG
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This place is emblematic of the downtown Santa Monica scene....crowded, high energy level, upscale, and somewhat overpriced. As a weekend tourist, I was looking for something right in the middle of the action and this place fit the bill. That being said, we had to wait for table even though we had a reservation, the waitress forgot our appetizer, and the crowd at the bar made it difficult to get a drink. My Halibut was a bit overcooked, but the oysters on half shell and dessert were excellent. The seafood entrees, and appetizer menu were extensive, as was the selection of beers and specialty cocktails. I would go back, unless I was on a budget or looking for a quiet, romantic spot.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner
    pecansandapples
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Entertained family from out of town here - they enjoyed the ambience and we had a great server who was attentive while giving us the time we needed to decide on menu items and we never felt rushed as we lingered through an enjoyable meal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Treated like an A-lister
    Pizzadiner
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    My husband and I met friends of ours for dinner here last Saturday might. I had made reservations and so was seated at a quieter booth in the back, next to a high profile celebrity couple. Although not celebrities ourselves, we received the same great service. The food was excellent though my cod dish was a little oily. The oyster starter was extremely fresh and delicious. We'll be returning again soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent dining experience!
    BriHawk
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The food was great and the staff were outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food good, not great
    JM99
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Good, but not for the price. My wife ordered sea bass which was floating in butter. Crudo was one note Lobster Roll average Ice cream great Nice room, good service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • spdinerVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Cold seafood tower was disappointing as the shrimp and lobster were bland. Oysters were good. The scallop entre was excellent. Dessert key lime pie was ok.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So happy it's here!
    Marsee3VIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    We have been to Water grill many times. We love seafood and this place has now become one of our favorites. We love the service and the food. Waiters and waitressses Are really knowledgeable about the food . It helps to make ordering easier.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous Food and so-so Service!!
    NanaVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    The raw seafood is outstanding with the scallops being the crown jewel of the platter. I could have eaten a dozen. The Loup de Mer, recommended by the waitress was great as was the polenta side dish and crab cake. The service started out great but deteriorated as the evening progressed. We were there 3 hours which was one hour too long. It took 30 minutes just to order coffee and dessert from the time we finished eating and another 20 minutes until we got the check.!! There is no excuse for such poor service. All in all, the evening was lovely and we will return and hope for an improvement in the service (which was my complaint when we were there last year)!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This was my first stop during my engagement night to my girlfriend. I wrote this on the reservation requests and wanted to get a decent seat possibly near the window looking out to the ocean. They obv. never read my simple request because they sat us near the front door right behind the entrance and the hostess. They even placed a child stroller from another guest next to our table for storage. I wouldn't come here for anything special. They had nice tables and booths they could have sat us at. It was an early reservation and it wasn't packed yet. They either completely ignored the request or didn't read it.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excelent food!!!
    aleneubauer
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    The food was great! For seafood lovers!!!! The octopus and the seabass was delicious!!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    Familyguy
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Great restaurant and service was impeccable. Lively atmosphere but still easy to have a conversation. Staff couldn't be more helpful and friendly and food was excellent
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mediocre food
    vili
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Our whole fish with saffron did not even have a hint of saffron in it. Manager came and checked with us and started arguing that it had saffron ??. My son's scallop dish vegetables were burned. They bought us a complimentary desert.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Sea Food Restaurant
    MoJag
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Excellent Sea Food. The staff is pleasant and always willing to help with any problems. The locals go there as well as the tourists
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    Sheila
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Food was excellent. Service, OK. Our waiter was not friendly or interested in explaining the menu or dishes. Hopefully he was just having a bad night and not always that bad. It wasn't just us, he treated all tables the same. Would have been a better experience with a staff member that was enjoying their job.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Guests From Out of Town
    thefeff
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Had a small group of family here. Food was excellent and ditto re service. Would recommend it to anyone who likes fish and related food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous
    Foodislife
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Had the Alaskan Halibut dish - it was fantastic! The service was great from the moment we walk through the door. Great place, will definetely go again on next visit to SM.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Dinner Success!
    SeaFoodies
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    I brought my hubby in for his birthday this week and I have to say, our experience was fantastic! We live in the area but had never been, fearing the huge tourist crowd, but despite the loud atmosphere and medium wait time for a table, our night was wonderful and the food was amazing! I would definitely recommend that anyone who loves seafood and a vibrant atmosphere check out the Water Grill. It's definitely a Santa Monica gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good but not great.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    This restaurant has many good things. Nice selection of seafood options. Excellent location near the Santa Monica Pier and ocean. Attentive wait staffs. My major disappointment was the food. Our group ordered the Cioppino, Mahi Mahi and Cod. The preparations were plain and the flavor was bland. I expected more based on earlier reviews. Perhaps just a bad night but too many other good food options in the area to come back for another try.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad service, unspectacular food
    DAEF
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Have eaten at the downtown WG on several occasions and enjoyed it. This version is dumbed down for the tourist crowd, and the service was weak. It seemed no one who was serving food knew who was getting what (not ONCE, btw), items were forgotten forever, and the waiter was condescending (A dinnermate called it "Red Lobster Service."). Some of the food items were good, but not enough to make us want to return. Also, don't go expecting to hold an intimate conversation: it is a very noisy room (the Open Table designation of "energetic" is a lame euphemism for LOUD!)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Jonathan the Waiter was Superb
    Mspickynomore
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Being a self proclaimed foodie and having been to several fabulous restaurants, Jonathan our waiter has set the bar for outstanding service. He made a lasting impression on our dining experience and we would return as long as we could sit in Jonathan's section. The food was delicious, especially the polenta, halibut and unbelievable wedge salad and the cocktails were delicious. My only negative observation was the extreme noise level. It could have been the loud 4-some next to us but the entire place was very loud, to the extent we could barely keep a conversation going. The location is ideal if you are walking, but traffic getting there is next to impossible on a Saturday night. Nevertheless, we will return for sure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Noisy Crowd
    John
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Food was very good but extremely pricy. Had to wait a long time for a table even with a reservation. Very, very high noise level. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. Will save this restaurant for a rainy winter's night, never again a Saturday night in the summer.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nothing Like Downtown...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Too noisy and couldn't carry on a decent conversation. There were empty tables but we still had a wait of 1/2 hour. Many of the dishes were quite spicy and I mentioned to server but no response. It will not be "our" neighborhood gem!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic