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Herb & Sea, Encinitas, CA

Herb & Sea

4.6
4.6
2593 Reviews
$30 and under
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 Aidan Owens. 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

Make a reservation

2 people

8:30 PM


Booked 29 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Californian, Seafood, Oyster Bar
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Tue–Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (760) 704-8300
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Smart Casual
  • Owned/operated by
    Women
  • Executive chef
    Brian Malarkey and Sara Harris
  • Private party facilities
    Herb & Sea’s chic coastal ambiance meets a neighborhood-friendly vibe that can fit events of all shapes and sizes. The concept shines with a menu that focuses on simple, clean, bright flavors. Come into our home, where we think of it all so that you don't have to.
  • Private party contact
    Jarrod Zimpfer: (760) 704-8300
  • Neighborhood
    Encinitas
  • Cross street
    D Street and 2nd Street
  • Parking details
    Convenient street parking is available. The entrance is located between West D Street and West E Street on the East side. You are more than welcome to call the restaurant, (760) 704-8300, if you have further questions!
  • Public transit
    Encinitas Train Station: 25 E D St, Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Vegan, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 2,593 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • San Diego

    Californian

  • North San Diego

    Innovative

  • North San Diego

    Californian

2,593 Reviews
  1. LynetteJ

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Shrimp ceviche, local rock cod, branzino, charred cabbage, boardwalk fries, all delicious! Three ladies celebrating a birthday. We all want to come back soon

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  2. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was amazing. Robert our server was quick and efficient. His demeanor was calm and reassuring. The rest of the crew were extremely attentive and kept the table clean. I was attracted by the Instagram Post promoting their Happy Meal. The only way to describe it is FANTASTIC! I invited my Mom and Sister as is our newest tradition of inviting each other out to places that are unique and well recommended. HERB&SEA did not disappoint. The smash burger is cooked to medium rare perfection (as it should be) on a brioche bun with chunks of dilled pickle. Sorry to inform Starlite that they just got blown out of the water in terms of the burger standard. The best treat is that it comes paired with champagne bubbly and 3 oysters. I distributed my champagne in my mom and sisters glass and ordered an IPA. Not sure which IPA it was but it seemed easy and light in comparison to other IPAs I'm used to. But nonetheless it paired well with my meal. My mom had spied out the menu days before and came across the appetizers. She mentioned the Bone Marrow and Oysters Rockefeller App and I didn't hesitate. Another home run. Keep up the good work. Oh and don't forget to take a walk to the beach when you're done because you'll need to digest all the food you're going to eat. Thanks for the great experience. One slight suggestion though. If I make a reservation please don't sit me at the bar area next time. The Open Table App said I was to sit at a table and the hostess did not abide. The table area was pretty empty when we arrived. I did not ask or push any further but was disappointed with that minor detail.

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  3. OpenTable Diner

    Exclusive

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was amazing, their beets salad was one of the best I have tried.

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  4. Richard

    San Diego

    18 reviews

    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always a reliable 10! Great new Manuel item of a deconstructed mussel and baguette dish! Love this place.

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  5. Kris88

    Chicago

    14 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Service was a bit slow but our server was good at describing dishes and making suggestions. Food was unique and delicious with creative plating.

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food and service and setting! Trifecta of a restaurant with brilliant standards!

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  7. ajenilynn

    San Diego

    13 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    13 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The menu is very unique and most of the dishes were amazing. The 2nd course of the tasting menu and the the two fish collars weren’t up to par with the rest of our dinner choices - that’s the ONLY reason we didn’t give a complete 5 star rating. Our server was AJ and he was superb. We will definitely be back!

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  8. OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Premium price for middle quality and depth of flavor with small portions.

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  9. loric

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food, service, and atmosphere. We loved it!!

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  10. SuzanneB

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We went there for Mother's Day Brunch - Prix Fixe menu. Because we had such an outrageously delicious dinner there less than 2 weeks prior, we thought it would be a great experience for brunch. Not so much. The Brie Toast and Avocado Toast selections were very good and pretty decently sized, however, the crab cake dish consisted of 2 TINY (quarter-sized, no joke), over-fried bites. They were good, but nothing to write home about. Scallop roll was good. Beet Lox toast was excellent. Bloody Mary was WAAAY too salty and because it was a pre-mixed blend they created, they said nothing could be done about it (how about pour some out, add a little vodka and tomato juice? Seemed like an easy fix, but I didn't want to be a pain). They took it back and I ordered something different. Total bill for 4 people, 2 drinks each was $480. Ouch. Will come back for regular dinner but not for a specialty menu.

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  11. Dgzbff

    San Diego

    29 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We have had many meals here. And I love all of Brian's restaurants. However, the meal was only okay. The crab cakes were good but would have been delicious if they weren't cold! The beet cured salmon and avocado toast was tasty. Main course of Scallop roll was bland and uneventful. No flavor ; and while I love all types scallops, the small ones served were a bit fishy, not very many in the bread and the sauce had no flavor. The steak and eggs were basic... not bad, not delicious. The lemon pastry was scrumptious. But overall, Average at best. I love this restaurant and it pains me to give this review as I have had fabulous meals. This is the first where I was underwhelmed. But it doesn't stop me from going again! Sorry Brian!!!

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  12. GarySanDiego

    Orange County

    6 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Food was delicious, our waiter was very cool, but it took forever for the food to come out… we were staring at the walls. Our waiter was very apologetic, but the kitchen was slow. Hard to go out on Mother’s Day with everyone else when it overwhelms the restaurant.

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  13. ShellOfCarlsbad

    San Diego

    14 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Fabulous experience and Ryan our waiter was great! Described everything so well and was so friendly and gracious. Everything was delicious. We personally are not used to indulging in such a magnitude of exotic spices and sauces in every offering, but it was all interesting and we got those accoutrements on the side. Portions were perfect and timing of food delivery was great. Relaxing. Nice beach vibe. We’ll be back for sure.

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  14. scotth

    Los Angeles

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    The food quality and presentation was terrific. Our server was very knowledgeable when asked but did not offer suggestions unless asked. She also did not seem to be having a good day. We were kind of surprised as she seemed to be going through the motions.

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  15. MarkZ

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    As always… this place DOES NOT DISAPPOINT 💯 all day everyday. And oh… the new Mussel toast… OMG!

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  16. cardiffdiner

    San Diego

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our Mother’s Day meal and experience were excellent. Herb&Sea is one of the top places in Encinitas for a fine dining meal. Our server was very good and responsive.

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  17. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    The server was amazing!!! Maybe the best server e’ve ever had. Ever. Knowledge of the menu and wine pairings were impeccable.

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  18. CanuckDC

    Chicago

    181 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    181 reviews

    Dined on May 11, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Good service, share plates delicious (beef carpaccio, shrimp, carrots, beets). Lively atmosphere. Another fun dinner at Herb & Sea.

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  19. AleAranda

    San Diego

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on May 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great experience. Food was amazing and service wsas10/10 our server was awesome ! We even took our 2 kids and they loved the margharita pizza ! Great time !

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  20. ErikA

    Los Angeles

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on May 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Shared three delicious appetizers, ceviche, beef carpaccio, and spicy shrimp. Baramudi and risotto was fantastic. All served by our outstanding waiter, Robert. Great music as well.

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  21. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 10, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Hostess made a comment on check-in about our party of four including two children, which I found quite rude, but the experience otherwise was great.

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  22. OpenTable Diner

    Mexico City

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was our best dinner in the area in 5 days. The flavors & freshness are done so well!!! The hoecakes with caviar were crazy good!! We did tapas style and absolutely loved everything we ordered.

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  23. MichelleL

    Palm Springs

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great restaurant! Ambiance food and service were all great. Branzino was the best we’ve had in SD.

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  24. OpenTable Diner

    Detroit

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was prepared to perfection, we all loved each dish that was ordered! Shout out to Coryn for the dessert! :)

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  25. OpenTable Diner

    Charlotte

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The best dinner we had while visiting Encinitas! Loved the atmosphere and next time we visit, we will be sure to eat here again! A must try: the mussels and sour dough appetizer. We are still talking about it. The shrimp and pasta was best I’ve ever eaten.

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  26. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Seriously one of the best meals I’ve had in a long tine! Highly recommend getting a bunch of apps and sharing- SO yummy and absolutely beautiful ambiance!

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  27. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 4, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We saw that there were over 2,000 reviews on Yelp and that the rating was 4.7. We were excited to try this restaurant. The service was good, but we had issues with the food. I have never written a review about a restaurant before, but the experience wasn't up to the price that we paid. Appetizer: The shrimp appetizer arrived at room temperature. They apologized and brought another shrimp appetizer, but it was nearly the same temperature and not nearly hot enough. Entrees: The server advised that the branzino fish was deboned, but it had several bones, including a large 1-inch piece. The server specifically told us that the entree portions were quite large. I rarely see barramundi ($42+) on a menu, and I was excited to try the fish. As it turned out, it was the smallest portion of fish that I have ever received at a restaurant. One third of the fish was skin and I estimated the actual fish portion to be approximately 3 ounces. Sadly, I easily ate the fish in four bites. The flavors of the food were very good, but we expected a hot appetizer, no bones in the fish and a larger portion for my entree. In all fairness to the restaurant, it was a busy Friday evening, and they appeared to be hosting a large party, but we were just expecting so much more.

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  28. BobC

    Cleveland

    34 reviews

    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on May 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Kind off pricy but everything was very good. A little over noisy.

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  29. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Booked a last minute reservation for an early dinner with ease. Service was excellent and attentive and food was delicious . The oysters here are amazing. They serve them with this hot sauce on the side that they make there that I’m still daydreaming about.

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  30. SteffaniS

    New York City

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 28, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Such small portions for the price. Left hungry and ate street tacos from the cart right across the street immediately after. My fish was also drowned in an overpowering cream sauce.

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  31. AmyMichelle

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on April 28, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Have been wanting to try this place for a while. In the end, found it to be disappointing. Food was meh, service was slow, & it was extremely loud. Won’t be coming back.

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  32. DianeS

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Truly divine dining experience! The sumac salad, the barramundi were the stand out dishes, yet all were 5 star. So these two must be 10 star! Really enjoyable evening with the niece and nephew. Thanks so much!!

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  33. OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 26, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was great and the whole team at the bar were awesome!

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 26, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My wife loves this restaurant. Need I say more? We will be back…..again and again.

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  35. SueG

    Chicago

    16 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    I usually don’t do this but Our reservation was 6:45 and got there a little early. The restaurant was half empty and not sure why but we were seated half empty side of the restaurant, nobody was seated our side (empty side) near the front entrance, every time the door was open we were freezing. Also those who came after us was seated better tables. We just moved from Chicago to here and we were so excited to explore our new town but our experience of this restaurant was not good at all. The waiters are so stack up and needs more training, some how they think they are better than the customers. Foods was mediocre and really over priced. I would not recommended if you have high end restaurant experiences, we were so disappointed and We will never going back.

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  36. OpenTable Diner

    Las Vegas

    22 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Would give a 5 if the quantity of kanpachi crudo be more than wet the appetite. The Branzino and cod entrees are excellent. The choice of white wine are good. 4% employee benefit add plus tip. For two people expect to spend over $200 at least

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  37. joseph

    San Diego

    8 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on April 22, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Great new experience Well done Looking forward to next time

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  38. Rastratton

    San Diego

    210 reviews

    5.0

    210 reviews

    Dined on April 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had an amazing experience at the Wildcoast Fundraiser dinner with Chef Owen. the Roasted Fish was incredible along with the salad, veggies and dessert. Glad to attend the event and will be back again soon.

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  39. SimonA

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Salt-baked White Sea bass - more than a meal, a whole experience - and shared with a whole community of Wildcoast supporters!

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  40. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 21, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Delicious food. Lots of energy. Great wait staff. A little loud but tolerable

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FAQs

Herb & Sea is rated 4.6 stars by 2593 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

8:30 PM


Booked 29 times today
Google Map for Herb & Sea

131 W D St, Encinitas, CA 92024-3516

Additional information

  • Cross street
    D Street and 2nd Street
  • Neighborhood
    Encinitas
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Tue–Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Californian, Seafood, Oyster Bar
  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Dress code
    Smart Casual
  • Parking details
    Convenient street parking is available. The entrance is located between West D Street and West E Street on the East side. You are more than welcome to call the restaurant, (760) 704-8300, if you have further questions!
  • Public transit
    Encinitas Train Station: 25 E D St, Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Owned/operated by
    Women
  • Executive chef
    Brian Malarkey and Sara Harris
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Vegan, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (760) 704-8300
  • Private party facilities
    Herb & Sea’s chic coastal ambiance meets a neighborhood-friendly vibe that can fit events of all shapes and sizes. The concept shines with a menu that focuses on simple, clean, bright flavors. Come into our home, where we think of it all so that you don't have to.
  • Private party contact
    Jarrod Zimpfer: (760) 704-8300
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