Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.42mi
  4. Distance: 0.54mi
  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.42mi
  4. Distance: 0.54mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.42mi
  4. Distance: 0.54mi
  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.42mi
  4. Distance: 0.54mi

About Opaque - Dining in the Dark, LA

Opaque - Dining In The Dark

Imagine that you are recognizing friends by their voice, sounds tell a story, aromas come alive and elegance is felt. In this era of information overload, visual stimulation has reached an all time pinnacle. But imagine, just for an hour or two that you cannot see, that you are abandoning vision in exchange for a new, more stimulating dining experience – this is “Dining in the Dark." Opaque - Dining in the Dark – will seat you in a literally pitch-black dining room where you will be guided and served by blind or visually impaired individuals that have been specially trained to serve meals in the dark, casually and comfortably offering guidance and reassurance for sighted guests.

We offer a prix-fixe menu at $99 per person.

2020 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403
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Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
American, Californian

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Thursday - Saturday: Seating times between 6:00-8:30

Cross Street:
20th

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$50 and over

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(310) 546-7619

Website:
http://www.darkdining.com/

Parking Details:
Parking is available for free behind the building. Disregard tow-away signs. Those apply to non-guests.

Private Party Facilities:
We offer the dining in the dark experience for group bookings on-site, or off site on any day per individual booking

Private Party Contact:
Sarah Luntz: (310) 546-1933

Additional:
Banquet, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room

Opaque - Dining in the Dark, LA Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.9

service

4.8

ambience

4.5

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

100% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (4)
Special Occasion (4)
Good for Birthdays (2)
See All
Fun (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Authentic (1)
Casual (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
Fit for Foodies (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Healthy (1)
Neighborhood Gem (1)
People Watching (1)
Creative Cuisine (1)
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411 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

A 3 month wait for this reservation for My other half’s birthday! Incredible fine dining in the dark. Literally pitch black, we had to use our sense of smell, taste and hearing to figure out what our 5 course meal was. It was a surreal experience and I highly recommend it. The only issue we had is that turns into a night club at 10 pm so make the reservation before 830 pm, if you don’t want to hear the bass. We had a few idiots try to use their phones during dinner but the servers quickly took it from them. Our server was Raffi , he was superb.

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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 3, 2017

I was disappointed in the mystery plate idea. My waiter Anthony was amazing about switching my plate from awful chicken to short spare ribs which was wonderful.

Tags: Good for Birthdays
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Food was absolutely amazing, perfect new dining experience.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

One word AMAZING!!! Our server Rafael was GREAT! We will definitely be going again soon.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

Dining at Opaque is an unforgettable experience. The staff is friendly and helpful with informing you the basics before you walk into the main dining room. The food was delicious and very filling.

Tags: People Watching, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Legally bling servers make the experience 100% better. It’s quite amazing and I’m proud to admit that it’s the only place I’m comfortable eating with my fingers lol
Amazing.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Really unique, cool experience. Food was enjoyable as well .

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 10, 2017

Food was quite good, the lack of sight really enhanced the experience. It was fun to guess what you were eating and the servers were really friendly

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Fun, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 10, 2017

Prepare for your hearing to increase sensitivity. Everything seems loud

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food3
ambience3
service5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Best host! Really took care of us. Food divine. Accommodating of my relatIves food allergy. Great experience. Staff was top notch!

Tags: Quick Bite, Gluten Free Options, Fun, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 5, 2017

Definitely overpriced unless you're willing to pay for the experience. The food was good but pretty basic to my senses, I've had every single dish before and there wasn't much of a twist. Considering it's completely dark, I can't really rate the cleanliness of the food/table but what I was able to see was pretty horrible. I guess the place is a part-time nightclub... and it definitely shows. The hallway leading up to the bathroom and the bathroom itself was disgusting. Mirrors were filthy, toilet looked broken down and scratched, floors were dusty. OH, and since they're a "club"/bar they offer you drinks prior to entering the dining area, don't do it. We paid too much for warm wine and a nasty mixed drink. On the plus side, they hire blind people, which is great (our server was superb) but I really hope they pay them well.

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food4
ambience3
service5
value2

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on July 30, 2017

Highly recommend it!!! Go with an open mind and enjoy. Rafael was amazing and the service was excellent as well as the food. If you are up to experiencing something really unique, this is it!!!! Servers are visually challenged or blind and they are amazing!! Will definitely go again.

Tags: Fun, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 15, 2017

This was my second time here and while the experience is definitely interesting and different, the food pretty much sucks. They say they have a new menu,but it's almost exactly what I had 6 years ago and they give each person a different entree but don't let you order. I ended up with dry, tasteless chicken, while my friends got salmon and steak. For 99.00 plus gratuity it's just not worth it!

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date
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food2
ambience5
service5
value1

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 14, 2017

My fiance and I really enjoyed ourselves and the experience. However when attending this venue, the meal is over rated. For the price of the meal, you would expect more. We had a very good time and appreciate the perspective that we took away from dining in the dark however the price of the meal was to high.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 1, 2017

I've been here once before in 2014, and I really enjoyed the changes made, especially not having the knowledge of the menu beforehand. It really allowed us to enjoy the food without prejudging it, while taking into consideration allergies and foods we do not enjoy. Raphael was amazing and the best waiter I have ever had. He was constantly asking us how we were doing, friendly, and made sure we had the best time ever.

Our one complaint was there were a few groups who were very distracting. One used their cellphone so the room was illuminated for a time, and there was another group who were incredibly loud and not quiet down when asked to. The servers and restaurant did a great job trying to handle the situation, but I think a change needs to be made to enforce it more.

Overall, I love this place and am excited to come back and would recommend this place in a heartbeat. Hopefully no inconsiderate older groups of people will be there to be rude. :)

Tags: Cozy, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 22, 2017

This was a fun experience for us. However, the website did not accurately explain the menu. The noise was NOT energetic. It was way too loud to even hear the server. Service and food were great!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Fun
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on June 2, 2017

That was the best dining I have ever had!!!! The hostess was so warm and welcoming, great conversation and even let me video him explaining the experience! Raphael was an excellent server and had a very touching story of how he became visually impaired! To me and my husband the 5 course mystery meal was very good and worth the $99. We both had different dishes and got to try each other's meals! I almost had to be rolled out by the time we were done! The alcohol was great, strong and they keep them coming when we needed a refill! Overall a great experience, you have to try it!!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 26, 2017

It's all about the experience. Definitely the most unique dining experience I've ever had. Food was good, but nothing special. Service was exceptional.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on May 6, 2017

An incredible experience that allows one to walk in the life of another. The food and experience are great however cannot match how ones empathy increases by having dinner.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Cozy, Romantic, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Healthy, Great for Brunch, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on April 27, 2017

We really loved the experience. The food was okay, but over all I'd encourage everyone to try dinning in the dark.

Tags: Good for a Date, Fun, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Healthy, Casual, Romantic
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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on April 22, 2017

The entire experience was magnificent. Our server Rafael was legally blind and perhaps one of the best waiters I've had at a restaurant. He made the experience very fun and informative if you wanted to know about the trials of the blind. Overall the food was great and not knowing what is being served builds anticipation and helps you further appreciate the flavor of your meal.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun, Romantic, Authentic
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food4
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value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on March 24, 2017

The food was nothing to write home about. Somebody posted recently that he/she felt that it was the kind of food they could microwave at home, and I completely agree.

I understand that the concept is to dine in the dark, but please, at $100 per person, you SHOULD have nice decor, nice tables and nice chairs... we were sitting on conference room chairs!! Even though we were in the dark we could tell that the cutlery, table cloth, table and chairs were below average at best... not to mention the impression that I got from the bathrooms and what I could see of the kitchen, the place was dingy and didn't give me the impression of cleanliness.

The noise level was so out of place and disproportional to what you'd think you'd experience in the dark... it was so loud and obnoxious that it took away even more from the experience. There wasn't any sense of coziness or intimacy in the dining experience... music was non-existent only loud and obnoxious conversations around us.

The only thing that I would rescue are the waitresses that were very friendly and so eager to tell us their story. It was a humbling experience for me and my date, and even confronting at times. I don't think I'd go back because there's just nothing that remarkable about the place. And it's a shame, because the concept is fantastic, but the delivery and execution is below average at best. This is the first "dinning in the dark" restaurant that opened in the US, it should be the flagship location for this concept, instead it falls way short of any basic expectation one might have.

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food2
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 (Los Angeles)·Dined on March 4, 2017

The experience of eating in the pitch dark was interesting and novel. I was expecting the meal to be quite expensive, which it was - however, the quality of the food was very poor. It wasn't bad, per se - but it felt like something I could easily cook at home in the microwave, as opposed to a $200 dollar meal. Same goes for the drinks, which ran at $18-20 a pop - I've had much tastier, stronger drinks at other venues for half the price.

The experience is unique and interesting, but I would never go again, purely due to the discrepancy between the price and quality of the food and drinks I purchased there. When leaving, I literally saw them preparing food (a salad, and some kind of potato dish, I believe) on a fold-up table in the parking lot behind the kitchen.

If you have a ton of cash sitting around, it's a cool experience. Just don't expect much in terms of high-quality food or drinks.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
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vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 25, 2017

This was an amazing and unique experience for both me and my date. Of note this was a second date for me with an adventurous woman - this could have been disastrous or magical but either way this is the kind of dining adventure you should have at least once. It is fascinating to be completely in the dark, feeling around for your utensils (if you chose to use them), your food, your glass of wine or even your date's hand. It really does open up a world of possibilities for your other senses to take over once the intense novelty of being deprived of all sight works its way through your nervous system.

I would highly recommend this to anyone so inclined. The food, as mentioned in many prior reviews is good to very good but that's not at all the point. It's a visceral, enhanced, intriguing and mind blowing experience.

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 18, 2017

For something new and creative on date night this is definitely a win. Great food comforting staff and a far different style of lighting than any other place you'll see, you are really able to experience things on a different level here

Tags: Romantic, Disabled Access, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Fun, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Late-night Find, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Really interesting and fun experience. While the food is not the reason to go, it is of sufficiently high quality not to detract from the experience. For us, they asked if we had allergies or any "absolutely no-go" foods, then surprised us. They served us each different meals, and half the fun was trying to feed each other in the dark. And by the way, when they say "dark," they mean absolutely pitch black. To the point that I felt a moment of panic shortly after I sat down, but it passed pretty quickly. The sight-impaired wait staff were friendly and extremely reassuring as well as instructive. Won't forget this experience for a long time -- and would go again if out of town friends want a new experience!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Fun
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food4
ambience5
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value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Great experience, dining in the dark with a visually impaired server is truly a one of a kind experience. You are literally led to your table with your hand on their shoulder to your table. You can not see anything , be prepared for a one of a kind unique dining experience!

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Authentic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Opaque was an amazing experience from the moment you walk through the door. We were greeted by a friendly hostess who seated us in a little booth and took orders for drinks. Once ready she asked about dietary restrictions (which gives you control of what you don't want) but at the same time leaves the mystery of what you will get, as she was the one to decide.

We were greeted by our waiter who led us in nice and slowly to our table and gave us a play-by-play on where everything was. He even double checked with us regarding out dietary restrictions so as not to have any mistakes about our food. With each course he would return in the perfect amount of time and asked about what we thought the food was and how it tasted. I think this really added to the experience because it truly showed how much your mind depends on sight. We definitely were more vested in the food because all we had was smell and taste to judge the food.

When it was time to go he gave us nice warm towels and took us out. A very pleasant and memorable experience that is unparalleled. The only downside I would say was that the music could have been turned down just a bit, however I felt like we were sitting right next to it so it seemed just slightly louder than it needed to be.

Definitely recommend this to anyone as it is such a novel experience.

Tags: Romantic, Outstanding Value, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Fun, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on February 11, 2017

The kind of experience you do once in a life time and won't repeat. Pricy as well. 200 for 2 people

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Dining at Opaque was a unique experience that we will long remember. From the moment we were lead into the complete darkness inside the restaurant by our blind server, we were helpless and yet we became aware of many new sensations. Interestingly, complete darkness is not fully dark, but filled with visions and colors created by the noise of visual neurons that can't stop firing. All of this was merely on the way to our table. We were completely dependent on our server, who was leading us through the darkness and was gifted by a special form of second sight that the blind possess, the ability to sense your surroundings based on sound and other cues that the sighted don't perceive.

As we were seated at our table we began to feel around for the familiar, reaching out for each other's hand for comfort and grounding as the feeling of vulnerability became a constant presence. As time wore on and we became familiar with the surroundings, food was brought to our table. Several appetizers, including tempura fried bacon and a spring roll served cold. The tastes were exquisite, and we noticed new and interesting flavors and textures. Our entrees arrived, I was served spare ribs and she received chicken, both of which were delicious. At the end there was a mango panna cotta and a chocolate brownie with pot de creme. The desserts were amazing.

We would highly recommend Opaque to anyone seeking a novel gastronomic adventure.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Amazing! Couldn't have asked for a better experience

Tags: Fun, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Unique place to eat ! It was awesome ! Everyone should experience it at least once . Great place to surprise friends. I invited my friends to dinner and didn't tell them exactly what it was . They loved the idea of doing something new.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 14, 2017

The waiters and waitresses are all blind! Very interesting experience. There is no sign on the door. You need to know the address. The address numbers are posted in large print on the outside of the building. Wash your hands before you go in as it is impossible to eat with a fork and knife. Don't worry, no one can see you and they give you material to clean your hands at the end before you leave the dark room.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 6, 2017

It was unforgettable!! Very enjoyable & the service was outstanding! Will return!

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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 30, 2016

amazing gem in Santa Monica, CA. But it is spendy, so be prepared for it. But the experience is like no other and worth going at least once.

Tags: Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 16, 2016

If it were priced the same as a regular restaurant, vs 200+ dollars for two people, it would be a great place. But, the experience does not command the price.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food2
ambience2
service4
value1

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 3, 2016

The experience was pretty cool. The food however was not that great and the use of flavors as a sense was not exploited as well as it could have been. My girlfriend and I enjoyed the evening but both felt like we didn't need to go back. The music was too loud and was distracting from the experience.

Tags: Romantic
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 5, 2016

It was a wonderful unique experience....priceless. The service was good. The servers were friendly. The dining experience was incomparable. Highly recommended.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 4, 2016

Dining in pure darkness is a blast. The food was excellent and the service was even better, thank you Seno....

Tags: Late-night Find, Cozy, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on September 16, 2016

An experience too unique to describe. It was very special and I will remember it forever.

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food4
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value5

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