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Herb & Sea

4.8
531 Reviews
$31 to $50
Californian
Blending classic East Coast culinary traditions with a modern Californian sensibility, Herb & Sea is Chef Brian Malarkey’s venerable companion restaurant to the much-loved Herb & Wood in Little Italy. Quickly becoming one of the most sought-after tables in town, the concept shines with a menu that focuses on simple, clean, bright flavors. Located steps from Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, the vibrant space is housed in a 1920’s art deco building that has been restored to its original glory.

Daily operations are helmed by Executive Chef Sara Harris. The menu includes a mix of raw bar staples, fresh seafood, meat dishes, and roasted vegetables. A variety of pizzas and pastas round out the offerings, alongside dessert and a dedicated kids’ menu.

The spirits program is bright and playful, emphasizing citrus and floral notes that utilize the same ingredients found on the menu. The wine list offers a similar sense of whimsy, highlighting labels meant to complemen

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 531 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JG
JanetG
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious!

M
Matt
San Diego
17 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service !! Definitely will be back!

K
Kevin
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing restaurant!

Report
PT
PowerTam
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved our experience at Herb and Sea. Our table was ready when we arrived, staff was friendly and the food was really good. We were able to sample quite a few of the small plates and everything was excellent. Cocktails are fun and interesting. Totally forgot about Covid but felt very safe with the outdoor dining.

SA
StefanieAnn
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Moonlight desk was a great place to enjoy our dinner. Servers were attentive even though it was a busy night I didn’t feel like I was waiting forever for my meal. Food was delicious with great presentation. I would definitely go back and recommend to others

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best restaurant in Encinitas. Fun menu, tasty mains, and delicious deserts. Pricey but ambiance and waitstaff make it all worth it. Well run overall and the best especially during Covid. Feels safe.

RC
RobertC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Food was very good. Service with Sarah was outstanding!!

VS
vipVitoSanDiego
San Diego
39 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What an exceptional dining experience (especially in Covid). Incredible service where the team was incredibly knowledgeable and wonderfully responsive. The cocktails, appetizers, main courses each soared. Kudos for doing your best to thrive in the midst of this pandemic.

M
vipMonk
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first restaurant dining experience in San Diego since COVID. Herb and Sea did a great job in redesigning space to make everyone comfortable. The food and staff were terrific, just as we had remembered.

S
Stephen
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The service was fantastic; friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and wine list. The food was amazing-as always-which makes it difficult to decide what to order because it is all so delicious.
This is one of our favorite restaurants in town.

ML
vipMarshaL
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience3

Service was excellent; friendly and professional. Salad was great. Shrimp toast was heavy/bready. Pizza was overwhelmed by ingredients. Great cocktails!

A
Alex
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Really great food for Encinitas. Portions were a little small and the price was a little high. However the dishes were creatively done, with fresh ingredients and the service was great. I'd say one of the better restaurants in North County for sure.

E
Eric
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall2food4service4ambience2

During COVID dining restrictions this place doesn’t seem to care

JB
vipJudyB
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

You have it down during this pandemic. SO cool how you added that entire area in the back for seating. The food is always outstanding and the service is great. Love going there.

BK
vipBunnyKItty
San Diego
64 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

One of my fave places with Adam being the BEST waiter. They've just reopened so somehow, the food was not completely up to their usual standard, but nonetheless~had so much fun.

LM
vipLaneM
London
10 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great. Connor is amazing, Jason was a fantastic server... incredibly knowledgeable and skilled.

I
vipIsla
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the food to the service (Rob took stellar care of us!), everything was exceptional. We’ll definitely be back.

H
vipHriddle
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved every dish on the Valentine’s menu. Thank you for a memorable celebration!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Stellar!!!

Report
BM
BrittanyM
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great experience! Amazing food and cocktails.

MS
MaryS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such good food!! Loved everything about the Valentine’s Day menu. Excellent service also.

SA
SteveA
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

4th time at Herb & Sea. As always, the food, the service, and the ambiance were excellent

NU
vipNoahU
San Diego
38 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There is still no indoor dining in the art-deco building, but we sat out on their new Moonlight Deck, a raised wooden patio built in the parking lot with an enjoyable ambience. We both started with the tequila cocktail, Fire & Nice, to go along with our first course, the Blistered Tomato & Burrata Salad and the Baja Shrimp Cocktail. The salad was tasty but we loved the combination of horseradish and citrus with the shrimp. They were serving their Valentine's Weekend Prix Fixe instead of their regular menu so Tori and I had our choice of four entrees. While I picked the Filet Mignon, my wife ordered the Plancha Whole Fired Branzino. My steak was cooked perfectly and Tori shared a bite of her fish topped with Castelvetrano Olives and Calabrian Chilis. I don't eat a lot of fish, but I thought it tasted delicious. Our family-style sides were the Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and the Roasted Baby Carrots. The potatoes were good but we loved the tender carrots topped with Aleppo Yogurt, Carrot Top Pesto and Dukkah, a Middle-Eastern mixture of herbs, nuts, and spices. We shared the Chocolate Lava Cake, topped table-side with raspberries, creme anglaise, and chocolate sauce. Tasty, but not too rich after a large meal.

TH
TinaH
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really enjoyed Herb & Sea! Passed it pre-covid and looked very nice. We arrived through the back, and there was a big outdoor patio, which was nice. Menu was impressive- we got veggie pizza + salmon app + cauliflower entree. Hope to try more fish dishes in future. Was very impressed, modern, stylish!

C
Cherbere
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The food was outstanding. It is a great place to order and share. The only down side was the steak. It was expensive and kind of blah. But the the appetizers were spectacular as well as the pizzas.

BM
BrianM
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

I don't write reviews but feel compelled on this one given the brand cache. Oysters were phenomenal so good selection. My linguine with crab was overpowered by too much fennel (so obvious). The half chickens my wife and son had were both dry/overdone. The half chicken was placed on a bed of kale that should have been properly sautéed. My daughter's salmon was a bit overdone as well. The side order of mushrooms and smashed potatoes were great. Service was just OK. The meal was overpriced for sure...$400 including tip. I could have gotten better for $300. If they're going to charge that, they should deliver. There are many better options. If you're in North County, Jeune et Jolie (a reasonable comparable) is a far better option. More sophisticated food, better prepared, and better service. I would go back to H&S for oysters, apps, and drinks. Never dinner. Disappointed.

B
vipBill
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great service
Great food
Prices a bit unreasonable

AM
vipAngieM
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our outdoor dining experience here was fabulous! They were completely covid safe, staff was phenomenal and food + drink did not disappoint. They were attentive and the outdoor scene was beautiful and lively. Will definitely be back!

FH
FHauser
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food here was excellent! Every dish was delicious. Very attentive staff!

C
Carls
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Daughter in town. Always special to have her with us. Also celebrating moms birthday!

JP
JessicaP
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We bring everyone from out of town here. Fantastic food and service!

AM
AprilM
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

My birthday dinner at Herb and Sea was great. The food was absolutely delicious - I highly recommend the Crudo and the Octopus for appetizers, and the Crab Linguine for the entree. They are making the best of the COVID situation with the tent adorned with lighting. We weren’t spaced quite 6 feet from the next table, but we felt comfortable and safe. Highly recommend.

y
yb69
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Best part was the coffee, with second best the pumpkin cheesecake. Everything else was mediocre, at best.

JA
vipJAR71
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Thanksgiving Dinner. Perhaps my expectations were too high reading the quality of the food but it did disappoint. That said good service from friendly staff and a nice place to celebrate.

JM
vipJudiM
San Diego
17 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2020
Overall3food5service5ambience1

The food was great. However, Brian has added a tent roof. The patio is no longer open. We felt unsafe and kept our masks on whenever possible. BIG MISTAKE! The roof needs to go.

LC
LadyCorcoran
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

A real dining experience with delicious food and a professional waiter who made our evening special. Thank you for a taste of normal during these crazy times. Your patio is lovely and warm.

DG
vipDouglasG
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

We’ve been to Herb and Sea many times. The food is good, but not always great and a bit inconsistent. Tonight we had the hamachi which was great. The carrots were way over cooked. They tasted like yesterday’s carrots and were cooked until they were no longer carrots. Most dishes are slightly over spiced or over sauced, making the food underneath mainly a textural item. The cauliflower was warm on the surface and cold in the middle. Clearly it had been parboiled and then reheated, but not reheated long enough. The sauce on the outside looked like gravy. It had a good flavor, but I would suggest a dry rub and then baking the entire cauliflower. The salmon was delicious. The broccolini was hidden under too much sauce, again hiding any flavors from the original vegetable.

LB
vipLorettaB
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience all around!

KH
KarenH
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All the staff were very helpful and pleasant. Zach was very personable, he made recommendations from the menu that made our dining experience and anniversary very enjoyable and memorable! Excellent! Thank you!
Karen and John

KM
vipKMoney
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We LOVE Herb & Sea! Our first time there was pre-pandemic right after they had opened, and we sat at the bar. The food was honestly better than we expected, and such a refreshing change for North County which is seriously lacking in delicious dinner options that aren’t pizza and burritos. Since then we have been back half a dozen times at least. They are ON IT with every new government regulation thrown their way during COVID, and their customer service has never waned. The food is excellent every time. Some staples stay on the menu and then there are constantly new additions - so far we have tried almost everything, and the only thing I don’t like is the broccolini. The moonlight deck is fun and vibrant, the staff is friendly and excited to serve, and the food is out of this world. Herb & Sea is a MUST!

FAQs

Herb & Sea offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (760) 704-8300.

Herb & Sea is rated 4.8 stars by 531 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.