Permanently Closed - Tabu Grill

4.4
421 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Take an adventure to Tabu Grill. Tabu has a “hip” vibe, called by some as an upscale "Tiki Hut." You won’t want to miss the grilled Mexican diver scallops, served with Potato Puree, Tangerine Beurre Blanc, and citrus baby greens. One of the local favorites is the yellow fin poke, with mango, celery, avocado, and mint, served with soy ginger taro root. If it’s steak your appetite is longing for, our 16 ounce prime bone-in rib eye served with forbidden rice risotto, caramelized chippolini onions, forest mushrooms, chanterelle cream will satisfy your craving.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Californian, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(949) 494-7743
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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
Kevin Jerrold-Jones
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Private party facilities
Tabu Grill is small; however we just added another room that can handle up to 24 people. This room is offered for wine dinners, private events, and celebrations. Sunday-Thursday with a pre-set menu.
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Private party contact
Nancy Wilhelm: (949) 494-7743
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Nye's Place
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Parking details
We have parking in the structure under the offices at the signal at the Nyes Place. The entrance to the parking is low, be careful with your SUVs. We also have some limited parking behind the restaurant (turn on to Hinkle Street from PCH) Street parking is available. If both lots are full. Please don't park on Terry Road behind the restaurant.
Additional
Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 421 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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KJ
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was absolutely AMAZING!! From the incredible cuisine (sea Bass was unbelievable) to the service...and ambiance! It was a perfect evening!! We will be back...we have found a new favorite!! Not only was everything extraordinary...but we happened to be using a Travel Zoo voucher this visit and everyone was gracious and accomodating as if we were their most important guests!!! Love the service, attitude, cuisine and ambiance!!

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s
Phoenix
5 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

All the dishes served at Tabu are exceptional and they are best known for their flat iron steak, which for years was the tastiest slice of beef out there...until last night. So very sad to report the taste was gone and the cut was chewy. And the accompanying Mac and cheese recipe must have changed too because it was below average. Tabu, PLEASE bring back your originals! Everything else was amazing, just you signature dish was a disappointment.

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PP
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. The poke and sea bass are decadent. Great atmosphere and decor. Great service. Highly recommended.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wife had the duck breast with soba and she said it was excellent. I ordered the Cobia. The fish is firm and doesn't have much character. It was described to me as tasting like Chilean sea bass except caught in the Atlantic. Chilean sea bass would have been much better. The coconut panna cotta dessert was excellent.

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OT
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2015
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We have eaten here 4 or 5 times before and introduced many friends to this restaurant. This time, however, we arrived for our reservation only to wait approximately 45 minutes for our table. Ordered a bottle of wine while we waited.
Food was just ok this time, not what we have been use too. Duck, prime rib eye, filet, wilted salad etc. Prime rib eye had a good one inch of solid grizzle down one complete side, but looking at other tables, this was not consistent as others did not have this with the same entree order. Duck was good as was fillet. Salad was terrible.
No offer of anything for keeping our party waiting over a half an hour, even with reservations for 7PM.
We would not go back here after such terrible service, and lack of stellar food.

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FO
Dallas
24 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2015
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

This restaurant was recommended by two friends who love this restaurant. I was disppointed with the Caesar salad and duck breast entree. For my wife and me, Tabu didn't measure up to our other dining expereinces in Laguna and Newport Beach. The host was very personable, and the waiter served us well.

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B
Central Coast
48 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I can not believe this place closed! So sad.

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SS
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I have not been here in awhile, so I was surprised that there are less offerings on the menu than before. The food is always flavorful. I like eating here early because it can get noisy later on.

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OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Small place and tables close to each other. Usually quiet. However, this time we had a loud group of six next to us, which made our dinner experience uncomfortable. Food has always been good. Good wine selection. Server was not that experienced.

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T
Orange County
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2015
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We tend to avoid neighborhood restaurants as they aren't typically very good. Tabu always pleasantly surprises us. Everything on the menu is solid and creative.

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C
Central Coast
29 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the moment we entered we were made to feel welcome. Eclectic menu well prepared. Great service and very attentive. A little expensive and only beer wine but good wine selection.

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TG
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2015
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I made a reservation to this restaurant one week in advance because I wanted to try the Chef's tasting menu. I received a phone call to confirm my reservation the day before my visit and I asked the lady on the phone for the offered on the tasting menu. She asked me to hold then proceeded to go over the selection on this special menu. I was excited to go the next day and even picked a wine to pair with the meal. When I got at the restaurant with my dining partner we ordered a glass of wine to begin and a waiter opened the bottle I brought to go with the tasting menu. A second waiter arrived and asked if we would like a starter. We explained that we wanted the tasting menu and he told us it was not offered because it was Mother's day. We took a moment and decided we did not want to stay. While the second waiter handled our departure well, we felt embarrassed and confused as to why this was not communicated to us over the phone the day before and that is why we ultimately did not stay. It is sad that a restaurant with such a small staff could not communicate to one another any change of events. I will not return.

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AL
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is tucked away on the inland side of Coast Highway and is easy to miss if you haven't been there before. Parking can be challenging but there are parking spaces nearby so give yourself a few extra minutes to locate a space. This restaurant is worth the minor inconvenient parking, so don't let that keep you away! I requested a special table to celebrate a special birthday. We were seated at an amazing table cut from a tree trunk that can seat a larger group than we had. The table and location in the restaurant set the stage for a night we will all remember! The service was fantastic...not too overbearing but always available when we had questions or needed something. The food was absolutely delicious! The sea bass was perfectly cooked. The filet and lamb were cooked exactly as requested. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anybody wanting to have a memorable celebration for a special occasion.

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l
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. The service, the food, the ambience. The seabass is a must. And get the kale salad to share. A new fave restaurant from a very particular foodie.

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OT
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our dinner was fantastic and the service was awesome. We will definitely be back.

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M
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Everything was good except for the duck. Not used to eat duck without being completely cooked.

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L
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2015
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Generally speaking the food is fabulous here. Unfortunately we hit an off night and several of the dishes did not live up to expectations. I would still recommend it but will be on the lookout if this were to occur again.

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US
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Wife and I had the grilled scollops to start. That was really good. My filet was cooked correctly, not anything special on flavor. The sauce that came with it was good. I had the Brussels sprouts for a side dish, they were tasty. My wife had the duck with Mac and cheese. Both were good dishes. I highly recommend Mac and cheese side. The waitress was just okay. She took a long time to get around to us. It's a small place so I didn't understand why we had to wait so long after we finished dinner to get a desert menu, or why it took so long to come get my card to check out. The team of waiters keep your water full so you get taken care of during the meal.
So to sum it up the food was good the wait staff is good. Our waitress was nonexistent.

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L
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing. Great service - an overall wonderful dinning experience!

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t
Orange County
73 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Happened in on restaurant week - nice special menu. Everything was very tasty - salmon was delicious. Servers are very knowledgeable, friendly and professional.

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K
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The tasting menu and wine pairings, $30 + $10 were outstanding.

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RL
Orange County
70 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The best restaurant in Laguna Beach and possibly all of OC. Everything you order is cooked to perfection and tastes really good. I have never had a bad experience here. Highly recommended.

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MM
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this neighborhood find in touritsy Laguna. The ambiance is urban and the food is cutting edge. Our wait staff had terrific timing and was effortless.

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b
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2015
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. A first time diner, won't be the last.

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G
Miami
12 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tabu was such a great find! We always drive by it, but never tried it as it never looked busy. Much to our surprise it was busy and it was because of the windows in the front that we never saw anyone. Chef Kenny is amazing at what he does and puts together a very creative menu. The scallop starter dish was the best we've had, hands down. Our main course ribeye was just as amazing and cooked perfectly, medium rare with a nice lightly chared outside. Then to top the cake we received a tasting of the sorbets and flour less cake. The winner was the corn sorbet, who would have thought of that, simply delicious! We will be back and we will be bringing friends!! I have to compliment the staff, other chefs and the owners for being super hospitable and simply fun to be around with high energy and just the right amount of interaction with guests. See you all soon Tabu!!!

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OT
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I can't eat here too often or I would gain 100lbs. The chef never disappoints, hard to have a meal here without saying "taste this" to others in your party.

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OC
Orange County
48 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

What an incredible evening! Wonderful ambiance, and the food was spectacular! Both the Diver Scallops and Poke appetizers were melt-in-your mouth! Their Sea Bass and Pork Chop entrees are known around town, and even better than we could've asked for! You won't be disappointed!

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C
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were both fantastic. On an understaffed Christmas eve, my mother and I had one of the best dining experiences I can remember. The owners visited our table several times and every staff member offered their services in making our experience great.

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H
Los Angeles
94 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2014
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Had 6 people. EVERY DISH for every person was perfectly prepared. Service was a little slow/ackward, with long waits between courses, and not all the entrees came out together. (Oddly delayed) However, it may have just been that we were having so much fun that they didn't want to disturb us???

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JL
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2014
Overall 1food 3service 2ambience 2

The food was well prepared but don't order the pre-fix if you want a full meal. We ordered the SCALLOPS as the main dish on the Pre-Fix. However, when they arrived, it was just ONE SCALLOP, and a small one at that. Upon our complaint, the waiter disappeared and the host returned to point out that the menu does, in fact, say scallop. However, the waiter had called it scallops and was also embarrassed. The host then said that, usually, the scallops are bigger. Then, to add insult, the dessert arrived. It was supposed to be flourless chocolate cake. The restaurant took one slice of cake and cut it up into tiny portions. It was embarrassing for me and my 3 guests. I would never go back. The waiter didn't know much about wines. We ordered the flights. We were told it came with every course. However, it did not come with the dessert course. He selected the wines, bringing red before white and proseco with the second course. Made no sense. We all went out for pizza after the dinner.

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CD
Orange County
61 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2014
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food was very tasty. This restaurant now has valet parking which makes it easier to park. Service was great.

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M
Orange County
15 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a great steak. I wish it was a little warmer but it was tender inside and the char on the outside was perfect.

Quiet little place perfect for a date night and the side room has a large table for 6-8. Looks like you can sit bar side and watch the cooking too.

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P
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2014
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

My wife and I finally visited Tabu Grill. I had really looked forward to it because it's been highly rated in several places. My overall impression is that it was good but not great and because it was a bit of a trek for us we won't be going back. This can be considered a solid neighborhood restaurant.

I gave it 3.5 stars overall while my wife gave it a 3 in terms of food. Here is what we ordered:
- Ceviche of the day (scallops) - It was fine but we wouldn't order it again
- Beet Salad - We enjoyed this
- Seabass (miso) - It was very salty which ruined it for us. Otherwise, it would have been a solid dish.
- Duck - I thought the duck was outstanding.
Overall, there were some bright spots in terms of food but overall it wasn't spectacular.

In terms of wines, the restaurant had a variety of wines priced reasonably and many can be ordered by the glass. We tried the 2 sangrias: mango/pineapple (white version) and the mixed berries (red version). We concluded that the mixed berries / red tasted superior in terms of how the flavors blended together.

The service was attentive and the owner / proprietor came by and greeted every table which was nice and is a bit of a rarity these days.

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BG
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Pricey, but worth it! (and even parking too!) server was attentive and food creative. Best polenta ever!

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DL
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I normally don't take the time to respond to review requests, but after enjoying one of the most memorable dinners I have experienced, I have to give my two cents. The food was five star all the way. I had Duck, which was cooked perfectly and the pomegranate reduction was a exquisitely balanced for the dish. Couldn't be happier. My date ordered the Sea Bass, which in my view could be the most perfectly layered fish dish I have ever tasted. It had many flavors going on but was not overpowering. She glowed about her meal. The owner was visible and attentive. The server was knowledgeable and spot on in his recommendations. I highly recommend Tabu to anyone who appreciates excellent food, service and ambiance! Thank you for a wonderful night!

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SP
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2014
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

The bartender at the Montage recommended Tabu...and others at the hotel

It was a quiet night at the restaurant and we had a 8pm reservation. They were out of the steak I wanted so I ordered the filet (medium rare)...it came out medium well so they remade it...with a much better piece of meat....but still was not cooked well. Food OK....Waitress was amazing!!

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ST
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2014
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Kudos to the owners for trying out a new format and slightly revised menu, but the new chef needs time and experience before I'll go back. The food sounds good on the menu but doesn't deliver on the plate. Flavors are just off the mark, seafood is slightly over- or under-cooked, and prices for both food and beverage are way above where they deserve to be. One bottle on the wine menu was 10% higher than the exact same one at the far-superior Sapphire up the street. That just won't do. We aren't that dumb. Good luck with the new and improved goals. I'll check back in a year or so.

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JJ
Orange County
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We absolutely loved our 9th experience at TAbu...The best there is bar none...Loved every moment there!

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P
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2014
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Tobu is a good but not exceptional restaurant. I found the tables a little too close for a high end restaurant allowing people at the nest table to overhear your conversation. The food was good but very expensive. At the price point, there are many better choices.

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m
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So amazed by this little gem. Get the scallops!
impeccable service!

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