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Herb & Sea, Encinitas, CA

Herb & Sea

4.6
4.6
2498 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

7:00 PM


Booked 44 times today
Experiences are available.

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

Experiences

  • Easter Brunch

    $65.00 per person

    Mar 31, 2024 only
    Gather your family and friends to join us at Herb & Sea for a pre-fixe brunch for the Easter Holiday. Pricing will be $65 for a 3-course brunch experience. We are looking forward to hosting your Easter holiday!
  • Mother's Day Brunch

    $70.00 per person

    May 12, 2024 only
    Celebrate your mom at Herb & Sea! We are offering a pre-fixe brunch menu to spoil your mom on her special day. The pricing for the menu will be $70 per person. We are excited to host you and loved ones on this holiday.

What 2,498 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
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • North San Diego

    Californian

2,498 Reviews
  1. Viss

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    the food is absolutely delicious, and the staff is wonderful and nice - its just louder than i would like for a nice sit down dinner place. i wish the loud music would stay over by the bar

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  2. Irene

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 1 day ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious food and wonderful service! Would definitely return.

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  3. KDasani

    Exclusive

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing food and ambiance! I had the espresso martini which was delicious and my husband had the Barbera wine which he loved. We ordered the lamb flatbread, shrimp pizza and the butterscotch budino. Lamb flatbread was too good and so was the pizza! The budino was a bit sweet for our taste but loved the overall food and ambiance. Will definitely come back again!

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  4. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food, great ambience with energy. Wine was priced a little high so next time will bring a bottle and pay the corkage fee.

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  5. Ginger

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Excellent shrimp linguini, carrots and beet side dishes.

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  6. JonnaB

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Herb & Sea is one of our favorite restaurants and this dinner proved us no differently. Everything was outstanding.

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  7. AnnI

    San Diego

    10 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    10 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We love Herb and Sea, and the service is always great, the food interesting and delicious. But when it is really busy, it is annoyingly loud inside the restaurant. To the point of making conversations challenging.

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  8. JoannaF

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful night out with 6 guests at the chef's table.

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  9. Ashley

    San Diego

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I wasn't that impressed by the food. It was decent although nothing made me want to return, especially considering the price point. The restaurant was beautiful and very busy. Service was good.

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  10. BethanyH

    Phoenix

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 19, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was amazing- food, service, ambiance. We’ll be back!

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  11. EvelynB

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was a great spot, we saw so many people on dates but also big crowds for bdays or families. Great, cool vibes without being over the top. Food was really delicious, highly recommend the goat milk cavatelli and focaccia with burrata! Our waiter was amazing and friendly, overall really great spot!

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  12. JeffH

    San Diego

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We always have a great dining experience at herb & sea. Our server Ryan always does an awesome job! His attentive and friendly service always enhance’s our dining experience. The food was delicious, and the cocktails were equally impressive. I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone looking for a great meal and excellent service.

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  13. ChrisH

    New York City

    23 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    I felt fairly ambivalent about this restaurant. The food was good, but it should have been plated differently. Like lamb meatballs on a tiny plate, so sauce fell on table. But whole fish, but no side plate to place bones on. Also, it was very loud (at least to me!) And the service was fairly scattered. Very attentive at first and then not. Also, fairly expensive--especially given the all too typical new mantra of restaurants telling you to order '2 to 3 things...'

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  14. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Great spot. Food was amazing. We enjoyed all the dishes we ordered. It’s a little loud with the music they were playing but overall fantastic date night spot. Also, there is no parking so just be aware of that ahead of time.

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  15. DaraS

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Our waiter Miguel was wonderfully attentive with good good recommendations.

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  16. TimH

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Yet again this restaurant delivers! My wife & I went there on our first date. We’ve been going back to celebrate our meeting anniversary every year. Each time we are made to feel so welcome. The food is always sooo good. My favorite this year was the sumac tomatoes - such a creative and original dish, and delicious. The staff are incredibly friendly and their service is impeccable

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  17. ErinC

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The mahi ceviche was some of the best I have had. Crispy potatoes and carrots were delicious. Great service and suggestions. Only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the sausage pizza, did not like the lemon on it at all.

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  18. BrittanyM

    Orange County

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Best restaurant in North County!!! Amazing food, drinks, and atmosphere

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  19. Kfoodie

    San Diego

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The food was really amazing. Our server AJ was also amazing. The Salmon was expensive …$52.00. However it was good. The only complaint I have is the music was so loud I couldn’t hear conversation at the table which is really annoying. Otherwise it was a perfect night.

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  20. Davethediner

    San Diego

    291 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    291 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    We really like the food here - creative and always good. Even though we come often and early we keep being seated in a busy and noisy area next to the door - and each time we ask for a table in the dining room and you move us. This time after being seated we waited more than 10 minutes for someone to approach our table - and that was after waving my arms to get someone’s attention - please work on the service! Thank you .

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  21. OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great Valentines dinner. Set menu covered all the bases. Chef Aidan creates delicious food!

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  22. Vijay

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent service and very flavorful food! We will return soon.

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  23. DustinS

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Incredible food. Decent value. Great service. Love this restaurant every time.

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  24. Peytonj

    Portland

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    Our waiter was excellent, but one of the managers asked us to move to the bar after dropping a considerable amount of money. When our meal was done, they must have wanted our table, so they tried to move us out. On Valentine's Day, a couple should not feel like they are on a conveyor belt, and resented for taking time to enjoy the overpriced meal. Yes, it was overpriced. I lived in Europe for 12 years, and the food seemed pre-cooked, and heated up. Nothing except the oysters was good. Everything else tasted like a microwave dinner. To sum up, everything seemed RUSHED. The food was rushed, and we were obviously being rushed. My advice is if you want to serve people a memorable evening when they've trusted you for their special night, don't try and rush them to the bar because you want their table. Five more minutes we'd have been gone, and no harm done. Somebody needs to go back and learn what hospitality means.

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  25. SurfsUp

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Service was excellent and food was great. We went for Valentines Day and had the set menu with wine pairing. Tosh was our server and it was a wonderful experience. I would recommend this place for date night!

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  26. Leslie

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    We visited on Valentine’s Day for their special meal. It was very expensive while the food was just mediocre. They squeezed extra tables in the space and it seemed to throw off serving. We sat by the kitchen and saw many dishes sitting on the counter waiting to be picked up for serving. Very disappointing based on the price and the reputation of the restaurant group. No one seemed pleased around us.

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  27. mobileprof

    San Diego

    14 reviews

    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We went for Valentine's Day, so I knew my options as a vegetarian were limited. However, menu items were not thorough, and I did not know that one of the starters was predominantly fish. The server was very understanding, and I ordered two portions of a delicious kale salad, since the portion was more like a side salad than a starter. I had the mushroom risotto, which was excellent. My partner had the filet, which was cooked to perfection. The citrus tart was very good. Overall, excellent food, pricey, but worth it for V-Day. We booked an early time slot at a high top for two, which did help with some added space and diminished the noise. The noise level slowly rose over the course of the evening. Parking can be a problem, but we found parking about two blocks, and a nice walk, away. I would go again to try the regular menu.

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  28. BrandenO

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The restaurant was full and pretty loud. I enjoy that atmosphere, but if you're looking for a quiet place, this might be too noisy. The food was very good, and we plan to come back to try out other items. I really liked the service provided by the staff and overall would recommend Herb & Sea.

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  29. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was excellent! Created my 50th birthday but quietly without staff knowing

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  30. NYCme

    New York City

    30 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    I liked the creativity of the menu but the food left much to be desired. Ordered the bone marror and cooked oysters which were essentially delicious but so salty it spoiled the dish. For a main the Filet Mignon was very good and the carrots were perfectly prepared. The other entree was the sea bass with risotto. The sea bass was expertly prepared and had fine taste and texture but the risotto was inedible - again so much salt. Is there a taster in the kitchen? Less than satisfied with the meal we were hoping for the lava cake to provide uplifting experience. The cake was mediocre. Nice presentation but the lava inside was limited and left us mostly with a dry chocolate cake and lots of chocolate and vanilla syrup. The server did not respond so our disappointments well but the manager was gracious and very k retested in making us happy. He was decent and did not charge us for the sea bass risotto dish. Creative good ideas but their vision exceeds their grasp and execution. Perhaps just a bad night ?

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  31. OpenTable Diner

    New York City

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Service, Food, and Ambience all 10/10!! Perfect restaurant!!!!

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  32. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This is one of my favorite restaurants in all of San Diego! Amazing seafood and veggies! Perfect for vegetarians and they have meat, so there’s something for everyone. Outstanding service always with a lively, beautiful atmosphere. Highly recommend!

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  33. MonteCarlo

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delish and great service! We order 4 dishes and all were amazing!

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  34. BarryA

    San Diego

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Food was okay, definitely overpriced. Good but not worth the price. Love the restaurant decor!

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  35. NoThatEasyToImpress

    San Diego

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a fabulous dinner here. The Gem salad was delicious, the focaccia bread had an outstanding topping, and the salmon was lovely. The place has a beautiful, energetic feel. The manager, Luke, was very gracious and came around to see how we were enjoying the meal. We will be back soon.

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  36. RebeccaG

    San Diego

    18 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We were celebrating a 60th birthday and an engagement of my best friend from college. Becky, our server, gave us complimentary glasses of Prosecco with little pansies in it, which were delicious! We loved the Mahi Mahi ceviche with plantain chips, the gem salad and both the branzino and barramundi fish dishes, were outstanding. The noise level is noticeable when the restaurant is crowded, so I am glad we had a corner booth so we could hear ourselves talk.

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  37. Linda

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Attentive service and excellent food - what more could you ask for? I questioned having prosciutto on scallops, but I’m not one to pass by any scallop dish - and was I pleasantly surprised! The crispy flavor of it on top of the succulent scallops was delicious. The Embered Beets were also wonderful, with such an interesting and flavorful combination (I’d love to replicate their pistachio butter & seasonings, but not sure I’m capable!). We ordered 2 different entrees: the Branzino, prepared with my favorite Castelvetrano olives, and the Barramundi. Both had exciting flavors. We’ll be back!

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  38. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Amazing vibe. Food was delicious. We will definitely be returning.

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  39. RES21

    Denver

    15 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on February 1, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 2
    Our first time to Herb & Sea. Our bartenders were great! We split the Roasted Bone Marrow and Oysters, a Gem salad and the Catch of the Day which was fish collars (I wish I could remember the type of fish) with a buttery poke sauce. All of the dishes were delicious, well portioned and nicely prepared. My one issue with the restaurant was the decor. Spindled blond oak chairs with delicatessen style tables. In my opinion, if you didn’t look up at the lights and open kitchen or venture to the bar area, you might think you were at Red Lobster. It’s too bad, the food is a couple of big notches above the decor.

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  40. steveb

    Atlantic City

    2 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    Overpriced for everything especially $25 for oysters; entrees do not come with vegetables & each side is over $12 including chips! Will not go back!

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Herb & Sea is rated 4.6 stars by 2498 OpenTable diners.

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

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 44 times today
Experiences are available.
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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