Malbec - Santa Monica

4.3
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603 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Argentinean
Serving the finest Argentine cuisine in the Southland, Malbec offers traditional and contemporary dishes, while also fusing the various cultures of Argentina to create new ones. Only using free range meats cooked over a wood fired grill, seafood, game and homemade pastas. Also featuring the finest selection Argentine wines with some attractive California picks.
Fresh food, excellent service and great ambience come together at Malbec to create an unforgettable culinary experience while keeping it affordable.
What 603 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
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.0
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
71% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RJ
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Love Malbec. Food, wine and service are always terrific.

O
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Cute place but service was not good. Waited almost 40 mins till the steak came out and the waitress offered to take off 2 ice read because we waited so long basically $3 off. They forgot the bread and my skirt steak was very salty. It was Ok but for the price and the occasion I wouldn't go there again.

JF
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall2food3service3ambience1

Food was good. Way too noisy to have a comfortable conversation. Valet parking did not exist.

d
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Slow mediocre food

m
Orange County
64 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Arrived early, was seated immediately. Opened the napkin with utensils inside, both of us had forks with dried food still stick on the tines. Told myself it happens, give them a chance.

10 minutes passes and the hostess notices that we've not been attended to. She comes and offers us water, asks if we would like to order drinks.

It's 5 more minutes until our server to comes to the table. He introduces himself to us, or tries to anyways. He's literally speaking into his paper pad where he's writing. That, and the fact that it's LOUD in the restaurant. Not energetic, just LOUD.

I show him the forks, says he'll bring new ones.

We ask a few questions, he answers, order iced tea.

Iced tea shows up. Looks like colored water. Clearly this has to be the bottom of the batch that was brewed.

We decide to order empanada appetizer. Asked specific questions about the two different flavors we're going to order (chicken, creamed corn). We order that only.

Empanadas arrive a few minutes later. The chicken, however, we were told the olives were ground up in the mix, had two slices olives in each end There's also carrots inside. I'm Argentine and have NEVER in my nearly half century on Earth seen this. The creamed corn empanada we were told also had olives. None found.

While eating our empanadas, we decide we've had enough. We decide to cut dinner here short.

No points for making an Open Table reservation at another restaurant within 2 hours of this seating.

Very disappointed in this place.

For the record, went and had a top notch experience at Fogo.

PF
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Other than too much salt everything was wonderful. The service was attentive without being fussy. The presentation of the food was lovely. The flavors were terrific but, as I've said, too much salt.

DB
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is fantastic!! Love getting different dishes and sharing. Too hard to pick just one thing. Steak- amazing, pasta- perfect. Desserts- delicious!! And all with gracious and attentive service.

m
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great food selections; wonderful cuts of beef, and a perfectly prepared salmon fillet for those who prefer fish. No rush to turn over tables. Friendly service.

M
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great neighborhood restaurant. I just found Malbec and have been back twice! Terrific happy hour and delicious food. The seafood paella is amazing plus the steaks are incredible!

MW
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Although the food quality was good, I was disappointed that the menu we were given had no uniquely Argentinian selections.

DH
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Really tasty: The steak (we got the Tabla Mixta, with the Bife de Chorizo and the Lomo, I believe) and the peppercorn and gorgonzola sauces. And the Panqueques de Dulce de Leche was fantastic. Also liked their Sangria Argentina. And the salad was good -- I think we got the Remolachas y Peras.

Underwhelming: The Cebiche Clasico and the Albondigas. The corvina in the cebiche was fresh but I was expecting more flavor from both dishes.

Also: The Happy Hour specials are available in the bar area only, which I didn't know when I made my reservation. They were kind enough to make an exception for a couple of the things we ordered, esp. since it was already close to 7pm, but I'm not sure why they make that restriction.

BH
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I ate at the bar with friends. We ordered almost everything off the Tapas menu. The vegetarian dishes were excellent and the steak divine. great service at the bar.

RM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall the food here is great - quality meat and ceviche that never fails to be great quality.

HR
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Terrible service. Never looked if we needed salt or something. Walked by without any interest in helping.

GD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience1

The meal are very expensive. The alliance was very poor, the music was not in accordance with the argentinian restaurant.

OT
Los Angeles
37 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic NY steak. Lots of great vegetarian options. Cool cultural vibe thanks to the Argentines. Good spot for solo dining at the bar too.

m
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

With my son! Best salmon dish! And great ambiance

S
Los Angeles
21 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food (once the chef got it right) and the service was very good. But the kitchen was very disorganized. It took three times to get my order right. And, the entrees were served while we were still on the appetizers. Malbec used to be much better, but it's not the same.

LA
Los Angeles
42 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been to Malbec in Santa Monica many times, and it is always a wonderful dining experience. The food is delicious.
The servers are polite, informative, and attentive. The noise level is low to moderate so it is easy to carry on a conversation.
We’ll be back and we highly recommend it.

OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We chose to dine off the DineLA menu. My friend and I both had the steak as our main and it was tender, juice and flavorful. The mushroom wine sauce was the perfect pairing. The meal was very good and the price was perfect.

H
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Always a consistent solid meal.

J
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our first time at Malbec and it’s become our new favorite place. The food was unique and creative and our server was fun, efficient and we will definitely be going back again soon.

J
Los Angeles
140 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great lunch with family and friends ...

SC
London
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Food was very good, particularly my steak which was cooked just as I ordered.
Ambiance spoiled somewhat by a couple at the next table where the woman was obsessed with taking photos of her food and both were using their phones constantly which shattered the nice dark atmosphere. Not the restaurant's fault but rather the ignorance and selfishness of some customers.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. Argentinian meets Californian cuisine

B
Los Angeles
40 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Malbec Santa Monica is one of my all time FAVORITE restaurants EVER! The food is GREAT and the service is wonderful. I have sent so many guests here and they rave about Malbec Santa Monica. great for couples, families, business dinners, celebration. great place to have a pre-production or post production dinner.
Vegetarian options and fabulous steaks, cocktails, wine and beautiful desserts. Adrienne Francine Caudill Miley, Chef Concierge Hotel Shangri-La

KB
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food. Everything was great, shared two different fantastic cuts plus housemade pasta. Perfect.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall5food4service2ambience3

EXTREMELY slow service as always (and we were the only 2 people in there) but the food is so good it keeps me coming back!

f
Los Angeles
68 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My wife and I have decided to make this our default neighborhood restaurant. The food and service was excellent and the prices reasonable. A very strong plus is for the noise level. we could actually have a decent conversation.

g
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall3food5service2ambience4

The food was excellent -- we very much enjoyed the meal. The menu is unique with interesting, well prepared dishes. The service, however, was way below standards. Our waitress seemed distracted and dismissive. She took forever to get to our order, spent almost no time at the table and kept getting order details wrong. Totally out of place for a restaurant of this caliber and price.

OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Party of 11. Orders taken and kept straight, courses served together

NK
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was excellent!! Ordered grilled salmon, prepared beautifully. All dishes had great presentation and tasted wonderfully! Will definitely come back to dine at Malbec! Gracias!

PB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The reataurant can be too noisy, especially on weekends. Good ambiance, food, and service. Nice location.

S
Los Angeles
33 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I can't really attest to the noise level as we dined at 5 PM with a toddler so we were the only diners for quite awhile. I had the Tabla Iberica (SP). It was a special that night. Way too much pork. It could easily have been split with an additional side.
The avocado and tomato salad is delicious.

HR
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My family and I had a lovely dinner at Malbec. The only complaint we had was that there was another table nearby that was so loud we really struggled to hear each other. It made things particularly difficult for my father, who is hard of hearing. I've been to Malbec on past occasions when the restaurant was much quieter, so I think this is just a once-in-awhile problem rather than a regular occurrence. If the more enclosed rooms had been a little emptier, I would have asked for us to be moved there. Keep this in mind if you have someone in your group who relies on a hearing aid or lip reading. The staff dims the lighting, which could make it hard for lip reading. I'm sure if I'd called ahead and mentioned my dad's hearing issues, we could have been better accommodated; I'll keep it in mind for next time, as my family agrees that there will definitely be a next time. :)

S
Los Angeles
116 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Not a bad venue, but needs a little more to make it interesting.

The nicer room that we prefer was closed for the night, and apparently they now only open it on weekends which was disappointing.

The appetizers were pretty good (Provelta and Samosas) but not outstanding.

The New York Steak Pepper Steak on the Special of the day was tough and grisly. I took half of it home for the dog. The vegetarian dish that one our guests had was reportedly good.

J
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall3food2service3ambience2

Malbec was okay-ish. For the fact that they claim to be a steak restaurant there was not much creativity in those meals. Nor was there a lot of meat to choose from. If you wanted to choose there were about 3 or 4 cuts which were super expensive which for sure made you change your mind. Like the idea and the restaurant looked great, but don't bother going there for steak.

r
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an excellent dinner at Malbec. Our first time, we were impressed with the menu, excellent food and wine, and the service was very attentive and professional, they went above and beyond to take care of us. I can't think of anything critical to offer, this is an excellent restaurant and we had a lot of fun!

S
Los Angeles
39 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great seafood paella and skirt steak. We return again and again for these dishes.

DT
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall4food5service3ambience3

We put tother an asado menu that could have been served in Buenos Aires. Sausages, mullejas, and steaks were perfectly prepared, and the house red wine (a blend) was excellent. Service was a bit casual to start, but improved over the evening