Salt Wood Kitchen and Oysterette

4.3
288 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Welcome to Salt Wood Kitchen and Oysterette– the culinary destination in the Monterey area. Salt Wood features three distinct dining environments - a full-service dining room, lively bar and lounge and al fresco dining patio - its experiential oyster bar and central live-fire kitchen act as the heart and hearth of the restaurant. From cocktails on the patio to large group parties held in our multi-functional meeting space and private dining rooms, Salt Wood offers an experience like no other.
Inspired by unique natural surroundings, Salt Wood's menu and aesthetic celebrates the Salinas Valley and its rich, agricultural bounty.
With an emphasis on raw, cured and wood-fired cooking styles, award-winning chef David Baron's shareable dishes highlight locally-sourced seafood and produce.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood, Oyster Bar, Californian
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Hours of operation
Brunch
Sat, Sun 10:30 am–2:30 pm
Sunset Sessions
Sat, Sun 3:00 pm–5:00 pm
Sunset Session
Mon–Fri 3:00 pm–6:00 pm
Dinner
Daily 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(831) 883-5535
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
David Baron
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Catering
Our catering menu features locally-sourced seafood and produce that is refined yet approachable. Our expert culinary team will create a custom menu, certain to make your next meeting or event deliciously memorable.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Reservation Road
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

With the natural beauty of the California coastline, Salt Wood Kitchen and Oysterette at The Sanctuary Beach Resort is the destination to host your next special event. Our team of talented event specialists provide natural inspiration by creating unique indoor and outdoor events year-round.

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What 288 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent quality food, but only two things to discuss. Need to expand the menu a bit, for returning patrons like my family, I would like a few more options from time to time. Most times the only variety is the fish of the day.
Secondly, the appetizers leave a lot to be desired with portion size. Could be more for the cost being charged. Like last nights’ scallops were tiny compared to exorbitant price of $18. I will skip appetizers on my next visit there unless I see changes.

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ML
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

2 dinners and neither went right.
They did deal with the issue but for such a nice place they could get our dinner right

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J
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Had a great evening there with my girl. Food was great with good mix of flavors

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NW
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Read about the restaurant in the SF Chronicle and since I have a friend in the area saved it. Took my friend for his birthday and we both loved it! The oysters were superb, drinks great, wine lovely and our entrees were delicious. Nice fire going on a chilly night. The service was just right, professional, friendly and helpful. My friend declared it the best birthday ever.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

The restaurant itself was very nice. Attractive decor, nice seating and very comfortable. The service and staff were fantastic. Oysters had good flavor but very small and expensive. The food on the menu was fresh but the dishes were just average at best and a bit overpriced. Nice restaurant with a good concept but definitely has room for improvement.

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JA
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic! Doesn't matter what you order everything is good.

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WB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our third visit to Salt Wood and we are looking forward to returning soon. Oyster were terrific!! As was all the food.

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L
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Tasty food and great service. Would go again if in the area.

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RU
Central Coast
20 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Service was excellent, but the food was fair at best for the price level that they charged. I had the halibut on a bed of corn. The corn was so salty. Our plates all had a nice presentation, but quality of the food was not impressive?

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FF
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Came here for my sisters bday brunch. The food was great, the drinks are good, the feel is hipster but also cozy.

We had a large party and had a great place to sit with plenty of space for or party.

The only grip I had was that a server (not ours) she actually brought out our starters. She walked out of the bathroom stall as I was washing my hands and walked right out of the bathroom WITHOUT WASHING HER HANDS!

She then proceeded to serve a couple that had just been seated.

This was the most disgusting thing I saw. It is just common sense that when you enter and exit a bathroom you wash your hands especially if you are handling food.

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W
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 3

Food was just ok, definitely overpriced for what it is. We had reservations for a week, and made sure to tell them we’d have dog with us. They didn’t tell us that the majority of the patio was closed for a private party so we were stuck at the fire pit area without a table. Not ideal for an anniversary dinner. They did give us an anniversary dessert, which was nice. We weren’t compelled to come back during our stay at Sanctuary.

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G
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I heard some good reviews and I wanted to try something different within the Monterey County area. It is also a pet friendly environment.
The vibe to me is a beach front coastal setting and the interior feels homey, intimate and not over the top. There is a quaint cozy fireplace where one can sit and dine there as well. A private section can be used for special events. The service was great and we were well attended without feeling rushed. We could have hung out there all day soaking in the scenery as well as the food. The food was fresh and the oysters were fresh and delicious.

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F
San Francisco
57 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Thank you for a wonderful weekend brunch. Wish the oyster wasn't so teeny, but the monkey bread made up for it. Such a beautiful location and the decor is great! We will be back!

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DJ
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Fried chicken was way over cooked. Extremely dry and chewy. Never got a water refill after food arrived. Hostess looked miserable and was doing us a favor to seat us.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Not a great value especially on the oysters which were also clearly not freshly shucked. Whole grilled fish was impressively presented but not well seasoned. Cheese plate was very underwhelming with only 2 pieces. Pasta dish was good. Cocktails and wine reasonable. The burger was tasty and short ribs good. Seafood boil was generous but not too flavorful with sad squishy squash and a few unopened clams. Beautiful new decor and pleasant staff.

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MT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Why was our waiter loud talking to us over the rail?
Oysters were tiny for the high price.
Very so-so food for the premium.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The two women at the bar were very rude and gave off weird vibes... However, our server was really great! Love the decor, great food, and scenery. Would come back despite the bar experience :)

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DL
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Our third time at Saltwood and we have enjoyed each immensely. The eating area is both spacious and comfortable, even on a crowded night you don't feel squeezed. The menu is outstanding. While we were disappointed they were out of two local delicacies -- sanddabs and sardines -- my friends enjoyed a variety of oysters and all of us liked our mains. One friend and I shared a large grilled fish which was cooked perfectly. The two ladies enjoyed their salads and scallops. My favorite restaurant on the Monterey Bay.

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SF
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Salt Wood Kitchen is a bit of a mixed bag... more good than not-so-good. The ambiance is exquisite... lighting is perfect, overall restaurant is beautiful, bar is welcoming and appealing... in short.. it's a place where you want to be in. However, there seem to be a few glitches that still need to be worked out, starting with the service which seemed to be a bit "off" and not too friendly... and for the price, I think this should be a given.

The food was good... I won't say extraordinary but good. I ordered the fried chicken: I found the skin to be excellent but the chicken itself needing a bit more flavor, and the honey mustard that came with it being a bit too generic for the dish. My husband, however, ordered the pasta with homemade sausage... now... that was excellent! I highly recommend that one! The sausage was very tasty, the sauce well made, and the pasta 'al dente' enough to enjoy a good crunch out of it.

In terms of sides, we were not crazy about the Brussels sprouts, but there were other sides that sounded yummy and that I wish we had ordered.

In short... the Salt Wood is not bad and it has potential to be amazing. I wouldn't rule it out because there were good things to make up for what was "off." I do look forward to trying it again.

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K
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We were excited as we walked in the door because the place is beautiful but once seated everything changed. This restaurant is not inexpensive so we expected so much more.
1) We made a reservation and unfortunately that did not matter because we were seated at the worst table in the house. The tables for two were placed side by side with barely 12 inches between each table so our conversation was drowned out by the couple sitting next to us for our entire meal. It was awkward to get in and out with so little space, the couple next to us had to move their table to make room, and we are not big people. Unfortunately it was also the table on the end of the row and there was much server traffic going back and forth it was extremely distracting and very noisy.
2) Our dinners were served 15 minutes apart and my husband was done before my meal came. We were eventually told it was a communication error between their two kitchens but the place has been open one year and that should never have happened.
3) After we were served our first drink, and my one glass of Chardonnay was $15, we were never offered another or asked if we needed anything. When I questioned our server at the end his explanation was that customers usually flag him down if they want anything so he did not stop by again. Since he did not deliver our food we only saw him again when he took our order and delivered the check.

A manager did stop by to ask how everything was so we did have a conversation and our bill was adjusted and apologies given but all after the fact and our special occasion out was marred with disappointment. We do not recommend this restaurant and will not be back.

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D
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Many gluten-free options, including the fried chicken!!

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OT
San Francisco
92 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great experience. Each dish was delicious. Sand dab was exceptional as were carrots. Prices are fair for the quality. Wines are very reasonably priced. We saw some huge plates of fried chicken go by. Definitely going to try next time.

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AS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

I was expecting more of a farm to table experience. It was ok but not outstanding which is what I was hoping for. I don't think I will be coming back.

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LJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to eat. Food was delicious. Service was great. It has a great atmosphere.

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LF
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We took a quick overnight anniversary trip to Sanctuary Beach Resort and dined at Salt Wood that evening. First off, it's great to have this caliber of restaurant on the resort property. We could wine and dine to our hearts' content and not worry about driving. The restaurant is huge with a very large bar and several dining rooms. It is beautifully designed in a sophisticated beachy vibe. And the food? We loved our meal. We started with oysters, of course. They were fresh and delicious. For our entree, we had the whole roasted rock cod for two, which was tender, flavorful and perfectly cooked. For sides, we chose pan-roasted brussels sprouts and almond wood roasted carrots. Truly scrumptious. We shared the chocolate fondant for dessert. Yum! A great meal and wonderful evening all around.

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ND
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about this place was outstanding, from food quality to ambience to service. Beautiful setting. Would highly recommend.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love it. We had the grill fish,
Oyster top with kimchee sauce
And my favorite crap remoulade.

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j
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Saltwood's environment is an great improvement over the prior tenant. The inside has been completely updated and remodeled. The outside areas are conducive to relaxed drinks or eating.

Limited menu. Primarily seafood. Food was good though very slow to arrive to the table. Inconsistent service, especially from the lead waiter. He was gone for long periods of time. Others did a good job of tag teaming or delivering food items as they were ready.

Will return again to try the Tilted Chicken (fried), the #1 seller, and then decide whether it's worth another visit.

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M
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

#1- I’m not a fan of fennel. Seems like the chef seems to have found his muse. They were able to remove it from the food I ordered mostly.
#2- food was just ok. No real complex flavors or surprises. If I ate there again, I’d have a burger.
#3- they have some “salsa verde” potatoes that tasted heavily of oil. I mentioned it. Server insisted it was the salsa but she had admitted earlier that she had never heard of fennel prior to this job.

Once I’m in the $38 range on a dish, I sort of expect a little more.

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K
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was wonderful. The service was a little slow, but we didn't mind since it was a birthday celebration. The decor was open and inviting, very well lit and comfortable. We will be returning to try other yummy items on the menu.

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M
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant, we heard about this and it sounded great. After our experience we will be eating here again. Staff is super friendly and always attentive. Atmosphere looks up scale but you can easily feel comfortable here in comfortable clothing.
The JC for an appetizer is a must

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N
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

we love, love, love Saltwood. That being said, the Market Salad is not a meal. You get a small, admittedly very artful, and two small scallops for $24. That is a ripoff. My husband's shrimp and Grits was delicious and good value. The other meals we've had there (been there 4 times) have been more fulfilling with more value. Perhaps they need to re-evaluate some of the other dishes.
Otherwise, fantastic bartender, Bryan. Great ambiance, good music and great vibe.

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EH
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service, local, fresh seafood, and great experience overall.

I wanted to take my wife somewhere special for her birthday and surprised her with Salt Wood Kitchen. The ambiance is pleasant: the floor-plan is open, bright, and diners can have an easy view of the central grilling area where much of the cooking is done. We opted for the fresh-catch for two (rockfish) and Monterey sardines as an appetizer, both were grilled perfectly and tasted delicious. The sides of polenta and carrots were similarly well-prepared.

The nicest part of the experience were the little extras: the waiter (Dominic) was very friendly in wishing my wife a happy birthday and even arranged for a small desert at the end of our meal. This was one of the best dining experiences I have had and would absolutely recommend as a great date spot, especially if you want to taste local seafood.

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BS
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We made a 6:30 pm reservation for a Tuesday but arrived earlier, figuring we would sit at the bar if our table wasn't available. The hostess stand took a few minutes; they seemed to be figuring out seating for a larger group. After a few minutes they sat us near the window, but at a very small table. We then opted to instead sit at the bar, as it seemed like a better option.

Although we were not in a hurry, it took quite a while for the bartender, Brandy, to acknowledge us. It seemed as though there was some confusing regarding another table and drinks... it seemed like she was in a funk after that. She did her job but was definitely not overly friendly. Seemed she needed help making drinks, as she was referring to some papers quite frequently.

She finally took our drink order, made our drinks, and took our food order. We ordered the sardines, the JC appetizer, the strawberry salad, and the seafood boil to share. The sardines and the JC came out rather quickly; the sardines were so incredibly flavorful. The JC was supposed to have brie in it but if it did, they fooled me! Tasty, just not quite what I felt was advertised. The salad took a while to arrive, and when it did, it was... weak. Maybe 2 strawberries in the entire salad. It was lacking flavor and salt and pepper are not on the tables (or it was not offered to us at the bar).

We enjoyed the entrée - about that time my friend finished his beer and was offered another by a gentleman - perhaps a barback? - and politely declined. Shortly thereafter I finished my dirty martini - which needed to be made dirty after I received it - and I was not offered another drink during the rest of my time at the establishment. So I decided to save my money and did not request another.

Overall we enjoyed the food and it has the potential to be awesome. Next time we won't sit at the bar. I would suggest they have more than one bartender for a place that size. I'll give them a little time to work out the kinks before I go back.

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AB
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Was very lovely! We sat outside and watched the whales go on by while the sun was setting. The food was so delicious! Overall, it was the perfect intimate setting to celebrate my fiancé’s birthday!

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L
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service by management and 60% of the staff. That is pretty obvious right off the bat. Food is aMazing, TRY the oysters...I don't even like them but, my waiter talked me into trying one and it was BBQ and wonderful topping flavors. Drinks are $$ and regular well drinks not strong or even adequate. Thierry fu-fu drinks are nice. You just need the right bartender to pour a decent drink. Outdoor ambience and firepits and heaters are great.

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TS
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Loved the first two nights (stayed at the Santuary next door so only option if you don’t want to drive). Had a crappy crowded table for the first night despite requesting special occasion. Second night ate at bar which was much more comfortable and fun. Good food but overpriced for what you get. Ask for bread if you want to feel full. Final night had an awesome table and waitress but the whole fish special was bland and we were screwed on the strawberry torte after having it for two nights—guess they were running out because kitchen skimped on every ingredient in this otherwise tasty “deconstructed” torte. Lovely place tho. Would go back while staying at resort again.

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L
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friends and I each ordered the halibut that was delicious. Also, tried an oyster and was pleasantly surprised at its wonderful flavor with the additional seasoning. The ambience is too-notch. Staff friendly and attentive.

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TS
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent!

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DR
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Four of us enjoyed Sunset sessions. We had reservations for dinner. The king salmon was a disappointment. It did not taste like king salmon I have had other restaurants.
The roasted veggies were flame black on one side. Halibut was fine. Fish for two okay. The dinning experience was not what we had anticipated.

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