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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
  • "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."
    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!)"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "got stuck in the back by the iced fish area. kinda dark and very noisy. best experience (prior) was sitting at the window with a view of the ocean and palisades park. the back tables are not as attractive. great service."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "The chef should be replaced. This restaurant had an excellent reputation in downtown LA but this location has terrible food."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Generally, you know what you are going to get at WG; very fresh, high quality sea food and the best raw bar in the city. This doesn't disappoint; the seafood is the best quality and the preparations are spot on; you will pay dearly for the whole, fresh fish options, we had the dover sole and the sea bream. Both were among the best fish you will ever have. What also makes WG great is they now have a great cocktail program and great wine options by the class, and carafe. The cooked other dishes are great too; the tomato salad is farm to table fresh, and the octopus is incredible. If you go here, don't complain about the prices, if you want the highest quality seafood in the city you will have to pay, there is no better place to do that."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Best seafood restaurant in SM. I enjoy lunch because of the great ocean view."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "From a foodie's prospective, there is still room for improvement for those seafood dishes. Specifically, some seafood dishes such as the swordfish does not have very rich flavors. Considering swordfish has very meaty and dense texture, I would enjoy much more if the sauce is more flavorful and juicy."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "The poor service started when we walked up to the receptionists and were ignored for several minutes while they chatted with each other. No "I'll be right with you" or other acknowledgement. My salad was ordered with "easy dressing" and arrived with none. The plates were cleared as each diner finished, not when all were through. One fish had to be sent back due to over-cooking. No fork was delivered with the main. No one noticed. Waiters and busboys handled dishes sloppily and even knocked beer out of a beer glass onto one of our laps with no apologies. The food is pricey and mediocre. A restaurant of this supposed quality and higher prices needs to train their servers to be attentive in a non-obtrusive manner."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We tried a dinner from dineLA 2014 menu - $45 pp. With an addition of 2 cocktails (1 for each), choice of side dish for each and coffee for one, it came up to $145 (before tip). Claim chowder was amazing, sword fish was a little dry to my taste, but still good. Altogether we enjoyed our dinner and the time spent there. The service was excellent! There were people waiting to be seated (it was Friday night), but we didn't fill rushed at all). Every few minutes our waiter or somebody else from personal including a manger would stop by to check on us. To avoid disappointment of not getting a window table, we didn't ask for any specific location. We got seated by the table in a second row from the windows, so we still got a great view."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Water Grill is a great seafood restaurant and a hot new gastropub. Excellent food, innovative dishes and a lively atmosphere, especially around dusk when the sun sets over the ocean as viewed from the large windows that open the cozy interior to the breezy Santa Monica street scene. Also, best crab cakes I've had in Los Angeles! A new hangout for sure."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Loved the food, loved the ambiance, and love the fact that you can valet your car for cheap. My scallops were perfectly cooked (as they should be when you're at a restaurant that specializes in seafood). Our drinks were really well made, very comfortable and casual even though you could dress up if you want to. Would definitely come back!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "excellent restaurant superb food great atmosphere very good waiters"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Both were excellent. The server did a fantastic job. I can do without the traffic & noise, but I understand words like "vibrant" & "energetic" imply that the crowd & noise are what draw people who like to be part of the scene. For the food, i will definitely be back! keep it up, please."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Scallop appetizer was really outstanding, worth going back for. Salmon main dish was fine. Waiter went out of his way to be helpful with menu changes. No charge for sparkling water - that is a treat."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "crowded, noisy, average food. Don't think I'll be back soon."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Fresh, well prepared, and great service ... hard to beat for a good meal with friends and family ..."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Took my wife there for her Birthday and the food was most excellent! Had a booth adjacent to the sidewalk with an epic view of the Pacific ocean, sexy exotic vehicles, and tourists. Great selection of seafood entrees and appetizers, and I highly recommend the fresh oysters, soft-shell crab or pan seared sea-bass. Decent selection of craft brews, and the service is very good. Definitely, on my frequent visit list."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "A very good selection of Raw Bar and Shellfish items. An extensive choice of wild fish entrees. On the evening that I was there, they also offered Prix Fixe menu choices that were delicious and a great value. I had Salmon over vegetables and heirloom tomatoes. The Keylime Pie with Creme Sorbet for dessert was also very good. We sat in the front where it was less noisy and had a view of the Ocean. Our waitress was very friendly and attentive. I will definitely be returning."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Although the fish was outstanding, the noise was so very loud that if we had not been in a private room, the evening would have been ruined. Tables next to the open windows (during the summer) would be beautiful. Service was a tad slow (especially for a Monday night) but waiters were very attentive."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "II had to wait about 10 minutes but the food is excellent, I recommend"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Good seafood, good service, and fun place to be. Will go back ."
    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