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Sam's by the Beach

4.5
389 reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic

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About

Sam's By The Beach, opened in July 2000 as a neighborhood bistro, and has become a destination restaurant, thanks to its innovative food and comfortable yet elegant dining experience. Elias, inspired by his heritage, considers the cuisine to be California-Mediterranean, with an emphasis on high quality ingredients. "I enjoy going to the Central Market each day to purchase my vegetables and seafood. It keeps me in touch with what is fresh, and helps me to plan my menus." Sam's menu is seasonal and changes at least four times per year. In addition, there are daily specials and a chef tasting menu based on what Elias discovers at the market. Regular menu items include appetizers of Blue "Fin" Tartar ($17.95), Wild Mushroom Salad in lemon basil dressing ($13.95) and Fennel and Blood Orange Soup ($9.95); and entrées include Vegetarian Crepes ($23.95), Grilled Atlantic Salmon with braised Swiss Chard and roasted Jerusalem artichoke ($26.95), Roasted Duck Magret with poached Pear.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Californian, Mediterranean, Global, International
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Hours of operation

Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:30pm to 10:00pm; Sunday: 5:30pm to 9:00pm
Closed Mondays
Last Seating Tuesday to Saturday 9:30; Last Seating on Sunday 8:30
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Phone number
(310) 230-9100
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Sam Elias & Chef Oscar Benitez
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Private party facilities
Sam's By the Beach is a destination restaurant know for its innovative food and comfortable, yet elegant dining experience. Owner/Chef Sam Elias has been inspired by his heritage and considers the cuisine to be California-Mediterranean, with an emphasis on high quality ingredients.
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Private party contact
Sam Elias: (310) 230-9100
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Catering
We specialize in outside catering for Kosher and Non-Kosher Weddings, Bat Mitzvahs, Bar Mitzvahs and Birthdays.. Back-stage Catering at Staple Center (Downtown Los Angeles)
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Pacific Coast HWY
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Parking details
Valet $7.00
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Entertainment
Wine Maker Dinners, Special Theme Events, Mom's Annual Dinner (Third Wednesday of January), Tuna Feast(May-1st to May 31st)...
Additional
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 389 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on November 28, 2017

consistently meets all expectations: cuisine, service, comfort

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5.0Dined on November 28, 2017

Sam and his associate Jean-Michele create a special experience on every occasion at Sam’s. We have been there for private events, our own private party and many dinners. Sam NEVER disappoints. The food is fresh and delicious, the wine menu robust and well priced, and the specials are inventive.

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5.0Dined on November 23, 2017

Eating thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant seemed very strange to us, but as we were in town visiting family it was the best option and luckily we found ourselves at Sam’s by the Beach! The staff made us feel like we were dining at a friends house, they were funny, accommodating, and so so friendly! Sam is amazing saying hello to everyone, bussing tables and serving dinner, and Jean Michel, our server, is a gem, providing funny conversation and selecting the perfect wine for our meal. The food was exceptional and we couldn’t have asked for a better thanksgiving out. We highly recommend Sam’s by the Beach to everyone!

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4.0Dined on November 23, 2017

After reading a lot of reviews about Sam’s, I pretty much expected a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. The ambiance of the restaurant was really nice, comfortable. Wait staff was attentive. Dinner was good but a few things took away from it. Dry, over-cooked stuffing, missing cranberry sauce, mix-ups on who got what kind of soup and desert. I’ll visit Sam’s again next time we’re in Santa Monica and give it another try.

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5.0Dined on November 23, 2017

We had Thanksgiving dinner at Sam's. Very much a nifty little neighborhood place with great food. The service was very friendly and attentive. Small with a lot of character and ambiance.

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5.0Dined on November 22, 2017

Wonderful evening Sam was great , food delicious and attentive staff

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5.0Dined on November 22, 2017

Quiet, comfortable, friendly, efficient but non-intrusive service. Lots of interesting menu choices. Fair prices and an interesting, well priced wine list. Full bar for those that care. But parking is tough, and the valet costs $11.

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5.0Dined on November 22, 2017

Fantastic meal. Sam is a gracious host.

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5.0Dined on November 16, 2017

Food was absolutely amazing. Sam the owner was nothing shy of charming, charismatic and authentic.
Definitely will be back!

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4.0Dined on November 15, 2017

Food was great, really top notch. Parking was impossible. If you approach from the East, it takes a full 15 minutes to do a u turn on PCH and return to the restaurant to approach from the west. And the ballet fee is as high as any in LA.

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2.0Dined on November 14, 2017

Disappointing evening for four diners. The food and service was overall at best average and below our expectations. A few dishes were quite good, others not. The service was attentive, but sometimes obtrusive. The other diners in the restaurant were quiet, but the restaurant staff was noisy and the background music odd and unnecessary.
Perhaps this was an off night; by comparison to most others, the restaurant was blessedly quiet, a very big plus.
The only real parking option was valet at $11.

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5.0Dined on October 29, 2017

Great service, excellent food good wine. Loved it.

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4.0Dined on October 21, 2017

Very creative and all encompassing menu. The choices were extensive. Excellent bread, which always gives a clue to the rest of the food.
Seafood soup was and is huge, plus delicious. Enough for two.
Can be completely satisfied by ordering two apps.
Great location right across the street from the beach.
A big bonus was that we could actually hear ourselves talk.
Go and enjoy

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4.0Dined on October 19, 2017

Was my second time; not as good as the first, partially because there was a birthday table for twenty-three in middle of a small room & the noise almost killed it for us. Otherwise food was ok, especially the lamb chops, but not the mushroom salad. Dessert somewhat sweetened the dining experience. Next time have to make sure there's no large party dining at the same time.

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5.0Dined on October 19, 2017

Great food and hospitality keep us coming back to Sam's by the Beach. My daughter and I visited last year and were personally greeted and welcomed by the staff and made dishes to order that were delicious. We brought our family back on a recent visit to Malibu and the manager even remembered exactly where we sat the year before as he asked about my daughter's first year at college. I don't know of another place that is so welcoming. My favorite was the seafood soup (a huge portion) and risotto. We will return!

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5.0Dined on October 17, 2017

Celebrated my birthday here and had the most wonderful experience. Our waiter was over the top, spoke French with me and made my birthday extra special.

He brought out a savory puff pastry for a starter then we proceeded to order tuna tartar which was fresh and great way to start the meal. I️ ordered the lamb which was delicious but a little one noted with the sauce, my boyfriend got the filet mignon, which for him could have been more rare. My mom got the roasted smoke quail, which was so delicious and probably my favorite. The stuffing inside just melted in your mouth. Top it off with two lovely glasses of wine.

For dessert our waiter brought us creme brûlée and a chocolate cake with ganache, so yummy. Our wonderful waiter gave me a delicious dessert wine to end the night in the most sweet and perfect way! I’d definitely recommend this place and loved the ambiance and vibe.

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5.0Dined on October 15, 2017

We met for dinner here after a day at the beach. I cannot believe I didn't now about this lovely restaurant tucked into a cozy nook between Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica. I called ahead to check and see if it was OK that some in our party were dressed very casually and we were told 'No problem! It's Sunday!'.

The food was delicious, the service was outstanding, and the ambiance perfect. Such a charming find. This will become a regular outing for us.

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5.0Dined on October 5, 2017

Great atmosphere...very quaint. Sam provided excellent food and service. Highly recommend!

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5.0Dined on September 30, 2017

We have been to this great local restaurant many times and it is always great! Sam is an excellent host and a truly service oriented staff. There are lots of delicious specials, fresh fish and veggies...all perfectly prepared. The menu is very diverse and the seating is extremely spacious and comfortable for quiet talking. Also has a classic full bar, which is hard to come by in The Palisades as well as delicious wines by glass or bottle. I highly recommend it!!

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5.0Dined on September 28, 2017

If I were to describe this restaurant in one word, it would be "charming." We felt like we were dining in a European bistro more than a typical LA dinner spot. Sam waited on us himself. We had great food, drinks and even a special dessert. Definitely recommend for date night or small gathering of friends/family

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5.0Dined on September 28, 2017

My Family always enjoy eating at Sam's; great food and wine list, fresh ingredients and friendly and professional staff. Sam treats everyone like special guests.

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5.0Dined on September 27, 2017

Cozy, romantic, comfy, quiet, great service, friendly, amazing staff, great drinks and food. Went there last minute for a BIG anniversary with my wife and couldn't have asked for a better night. We'll be back, and back, and back... Go to this place. NOW. :)

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5.0Dined on September 27, 2017

Extremely good food and friendly atmosphere! Sam is a great host.

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2017

Charming restaurant with very attentive personal service, interesting menu, wonderful presentation and terrific tasting food. Sam is always there and the staff is awesome!

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2017

Food was good service was great, overall a nice experience. I would recommend

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5.0Dined on September 16, 2017

The ambiance is delightful, quiet and easy place to come and be able to talk . I love it! Sam is a doll too!

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5.0Dined on September 16, 2017

Outstanding food and service. First time here for my wife and I. Well worth the long distance we traveled. We've dined nearly everywhere along the Malibu coast. This is by far the best.

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5.0Dined on September 15, 2017

We always enjoy Sam's. We are never disappointed. Service is impeccable. There is a great menu with lots of options. It's quiet and romantic.

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5.0Dined on September 9, 2017

Rare dining experience for Sam's impeccable attention to detail in both food and service. Everyone is welcomed with genuine hospitality to what promises to be a deliciously memorable dinner. The wine list is carefully curated with a nice range in pricing. This is, by far, one of our favorite places in LA where the food is authentic and delicious minus the scene that accompanies many other places. Sam's has the feel of a secret neighborhood spot.

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5.0Dined on September 8, 2017

Delicious food! I go as often as I can.
A gem!!! Service and ambiance are excellent. I feel as if I'm in a Paris bistro

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5.0Dined on September 6, 2017

We enjoyed the wonderful food and fantastic service on our first visit to Sam's. The fish was so fresh and well prepared. The lamb was a large portion and outstanding. Our waiter was very personable and made the evening fun and enjoyable. We look forward to going back on our next visit to Santa Monica.

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5.0Dined on September 2, 2017

A good find in at the beginning of restaurant row on W. Channel. Excellent service, personal attention. Right across the street from the Ocean.

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5.0Dined on September 2, 2017

Love this place. The food and staff are amazing! And the location is easy to get to,

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5.0Dined on September 1, 2017

Sam is hands on and cares about your dining experience. This is a true gem. Loved the food and the service

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5.0Dined on September 1, 2017

Sam's was great. Our service was excellent, start to finish. Sam and the waiter were both so friendly, accessible, and knowledgeable. Our appetizers were delicious (melt in your mouth calamari) and the portions on everything we got were really generous. We only had pasta main courses but they were delicious, with such wonderfully fresh shellfish. I'd come back here anytime I was in Santa Monica to make my way through the rest of the menu!

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5.0Dined on August 27, 2017

EXCELLENT food, loving prepared by Sam and his chef; careful, attentive, knowledgeable service; cozy ambiance. Wonderful experience every time!

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5.0Dined on August 24, 2017

The service was exceptional. I have never seen three people work so hard. Jean Michel, our server, was simply outstanding--friendly, attentive and great food recommendations. The food was marvelous--great fish, great cordon bleu, great salads. Cannot say enough about this fine restaurant.

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5.0Dined on August 22, 2017

The staff is super friendly, and they work with you to provide a fantastic meal. It's a good value and a very quiet, romantic spot. Everything we had was amazing

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5.0Dined on August 19, 2017

The staff at Sam's by the Beach were very attentive to detail, and made me feel like I was having dinner at a family home. Haven't experienced service so friendly and thoughtful in a while. My dinner was also delicious and serving size is generous. Hope to be back again.

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5.0Dined on August 16, 2017

Went there for the first time to celebrate my birthday. Everything was superb. My new favorite special occasion restaurant!

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