Ideal Bar & Grill
Bar Open until 12:00am and 2:00am on Friday and Saturday
A bit disappointing. Quality of food depends on what you order. My baked salmon was too dry, but the wife and daughter both enjoyed their Chicken Parmesan and fish dish. Island rice was excellent, and the baked potato fries very delicious. Our main problem was service. The waiter was a nice guy but not very attentive (and we aren't exactly high maintenance. Just check up on us once in a while.) Often he was too busy socializing with other waiters to notice us trying to get his attention. Eating on the patio was also a challenge since it was so dark. We took out our phones just to make sure the plates in front of us had what we ordered. 'Would probably not go back again - at least not to eat on the patio.
The sea platter that I ordered as a main dish came first, I had to ask the waiter to first bring the clam chowder that I ordered and take the main dish back. Only five minutes later when I was only halfway with the chowder, the waiter came bringing the main dish again. Again I had to ask the waiter to take it back and wait until I had finished my chowder. I didn’t feel treated as a guest here.
The kitchen was slammed, so the food came out later than expected. Overall, the restaurant is great.
Unfortunately the experience was not good. Our server was fine and tried hard. But, the kitchen let her down and made us wait for substandard fare. This was our third visit and yet this is the one that we will remember and not in a good way. After waiting close to an hour for our food to arrive, the burger was over cooked and another dish was missing some additional items ordered.
I didn’t receive open table points for my reservation
Service was poor
Food was cold
Ideal used to be my favorite place to go in Santa Cruz. The last few times I've gone, I have regretted making the effort. The service is slow, server pays no attention. Main course arrived before appetizers. Then for we were only comped for one of them. Menu is limited (compared to past visits). You go to eat on the beach, you want sea food... not seeing your favorites only offered once a week. And never on the weekend.
We don't live in the area anymore. We traveled 400 miles for a weekend getaway. I have gone to Ideal for over 15 years. Sadly I have decided not to return again.
Service was great from the minute we walked in to the minute we walked out.
But the food was...amazing! My ten year old had the crab legs and said they were the best he's had(he has been eating them since he was 5 years old).
This is a great place to eat, very comfortable too.
Nice dinner in the evening, prime rib was outstanding!
I thought the atmosphere ( laid back) and service was excellent at this waterfront restaurant. The ribs were the best I’ve ever tasted!
A fine place but overpriced. Not unexpected given the location and convenience to the Boardwalk. Server was quite good though.
The food was amazing and even though it was busy, the service was great!
Everything was good. It was busy. The only thing I didn’t like was the oysters. I should have asked if they had mignonette...... they don’t.
I had dinner here for my birthday and had made reservations for my 8 guests, myself included. I believe everybody loved their food and thought our waitress was quite professional.
I did not like how they nickled and dimes you to death. $3.00 more if you asked for this, $6.00 to add this...... simple things
The food just isn’t that good. Weird seasoning on fish and chips, sea bass thin and dry. Mashed potatoes with chunks of skin ( regular potatoes not red or thin skinned). Food doesn’t seem to be the main concern. Anniversary was both checked and written in the table request but was completely missed or ignored. might try lobster night if we happen to be in SC on a Wed but otherwise, will probably not return.
Ok for a big group, but not great food
We had a great time. I share a birthday with one of my dearest friends. It has become a tradition, every year we celebrate together at Ideal Restaurant's birthday bash. With so many people in one place celebrating birthdays, as soon as you walk in the door, you feel the happiness. its festive without being too loud or irritating.
The food was good, reasonably priced and the service was excellent.
Ideal Bar & Grill hosts a Birthday Specials for those lucky people celebrating a birthday in any given month. My month was June and on the 3rd Thursday of the month is a free Birthday Prime rib dinner or 1/2 rack of baby back ribs. I had the prime rib which was great! You must buy and equal or lesser value entree. Great views, good for people watching and a must for the award winning Clam Chowder.
Soooo loud, food was terrible, thankfully I was only there to drink
Great casual place. Right on the beach, nice outdoor eating area. Close walk to Beach Boardwalk. Reasonably priced. Good Santa Cruz surfer beach atmosphere.
We were delighted by good drinks and a perfectly cooked steak with an excellent crust and lovely King Crab which was cut for us so easy to get to. It was chilly outside but we sat under the heaters and enjoyed watching people go by.
Breakfast special was good and a real bargain.
we came down for our sons baseball game. i had to change my reservation 3 times due to the game prior to my sons and then his game. you were very accommodating...we finally got there and the food was delicious...great menu choice and great server!!!!
Our server was kaitlyn . She was very nice , very friendly , great smile and awesome service . I will for sure be back to eat again .
We celebrated my daughters 2nd birthday. Our server was super nice and helped us make her feel so special. The food was good and the atmosphere was perfect for beachside dining.
Unfortunately, this night was a complete disaster!!! We have been going to this restaurant for years, at least 20 years that I can remember. Friday night is prime rib night, so I decided to have my birthday dinner there. Made reservations and everything was good to go, Until we sat down. No color crayons for kids anymore even though the kids menu has an activity page. The appetizers were so greasy and not very good, Dinner was ok for the adults. The food for the kids, my grandchildren was straight up disgusting. How in the world do you mess up a corn dog? Chicken nuggets?? They both tasted old, freezer burn, just absolutely horrible. I will say the service was absolutely horrible, we ordered drinks and had to walk to bar and get our drinks before our dinner was almost done. We will absolutely never go to Ideal again !!! Such a disappointment after years of being a faithful customer. Never again !! Food horrible, drinks not so good, service deplorable !!!
First 10 minuets no one came to our table once they did he stopped and said I will be right with you then 10 min later with no drinks we walked out!!!
I ordered the prime rib, medium and received rare to medium rare. Sent it back, and my partners was more than half way through her dinner when the prime rib returned. It was now well done, but I was hungry and my partner was almost done. The prime rib had good flavor just over cooked. I would still recommend the place and the prime rib.
Loved the prime rib special! Nice table by Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Daughter was glad for the kids’ menu. We would go again if in Santa Cruz.
A typically mediocre beach bar. It's all about the real estate. My fettucine was pretty much inedible although others enjoyed their salmon. Service was perfunctory but adequate.
Ideal bar and Grill is a great place to go after the she is beautiful 5k run. The restaurant is all about excellent service,food, and fun. Please enjoy and consider that it will be busy. The waitresses and waiters really care so pls don’t be too harsh on them for minor incidents; they will make it right. As far as a not so eventful day, Ideal bar and Grill is a fun place to go. Cheers and enjoy
the ideal bar seemed like a great place to dine at while there in Santa Cruz. We had a resravation was seated as soon as we got there one young lady came and took our drink order than a RUDE MAN CAME BACK FOR OUR DRINK ORDER because she only came back with water. After he brought our drinks back he took our order (RUDE) my food was wrong he did sent it back came back with it from there the services SUCKED FROM HIM THE REST OF THE EVENING FOOD WAS OK/GOOD HE NEVER CAME BACK TO CHECK ON THE TABLE WE HAD TO ASK OTHERS FOR THINGS WE NEEDED HE WAS JUST AWFUL.. IF I HAD TO DEAL WITH HIM I WOULD NEVER COME BACK.. BUT FOOD WAS OK/GOOD WE DIDNT HAVE ANY COMPLAINTS AFTER EVERYTHING WITH FOOD WAS RIGHT.. JUST A NOTE YOU MIGHT WANT TO SHARE WITH STAFF CUSTOMER SERVICE IS VERY IMPORTANT YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU ARE SERVING... GOOD DAY
First entree was sent back. Salmon was burnt. Changed to their fish special which was delicious.
Great clam chowder. Very lively and boisterous atmosphere.
We both got the lobster and New York with veggies and Toasted S’mores pudding and it was so delicious! What a great treat this Valentine’s Day! Also, we had the Calamari App and we both agreed it’s the best we have ever had!
Great Lobster! Not so good pot roast, not even close to my wife's.
We stopped in for the Wed. night lobster special. The food was good but the special only included the lobster and rice. Anything else, such as a side vegetable, was extra. Still a good value but service could be improved.
I enjoy going to Ideal Bar & Grill to watch sports and dine.
Especially this last time celebrating as well my 28th wedding anniversary with my adoring wife!
Our server was excellent, chef’s special was amazing, a great end to a fun day exploring the area:)
Our family of 6 adults and 4 little ones recently dined at Ideal Bar and Grill in Santa Cruz. It was across the street from our hotel which was perfect after an afternoon at the Boardwalk. They have a wonderful beer selection and many tasty food options on the menu. Our server was efficient, accommodating and fun! We all enjoyed the evening and will definitely return.