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Water Grill

Went Saturday night. Place was packed. They had jammed in extra tables. Even so they were behind 25-30 minutes on reservations. Everyone was polite. Once seated, though cramped, there was good service, a nice amuse, some wine specials at $60 a bottle. We shared crab cake, tuna tartare, cod and salmon, devil's food cake and mignardises with some earthy Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage. Not cheap, but certainly worth it. Recommended but probably even better not to go on Valentine's weekend.

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Water Grill
544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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  1. A terrific place, but nothing's up to standards on a holiday weekend. Our favorite time to go to the WG is Sunday evening following a matinee. It's very quiet, and even though it's Sunday their fish and seafood are pristine!

    1 Reply
    1. re: josephnl

      Plus on Sunday Water Grill offers a clambake option that includes a whole lobster

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      Water Grill
      544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

    2. I last went on a weekday for a business lunch. We arrived around 1:30 and had a leisurely lunch. Everything was fantastic. I don't remember the final bill, but there was 6 of us, so it wasn't small. I highly recommend a lunch visit.

      7 Replies
      1. re: valleygirl617

        I'm kind of curious how Water Grill will evolve now that Amanda Baumgarten from Top Chef has been chosen as executive chef. I guess we'll find out when the LA Times does another review pretty soon.

        Its a bit unfair to judge her too much from a reality TV show, but she was really underwhelming in her season of Top Chef. It seemed like she survived each week only because somebody else dish was slightly worse than hers.

        When I think of Water Grill, I always think of seafood. But, Amanda didn't exactly shine with her seafood dishes on Top Chef- she got eliminated for her tuna tartare dish. According to her Bravo Bio, she described herself as a butcher and her favorite dish was a meat dish.

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        Water Grill
        544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

        1. re: hobbess

          The tuna tartare was very good Saturday night.

          1. re: hobbess

            Right...I too am wondering what this fine restaurant will be like with Amanda at the helm as executive chef based on her Top Chef performance.

            1. re: foufou

              I could have sworn I saw david lafevre walking around during RW. Ok, nevermind, just googled it and saw he was leaving.

              In Amanda's defense, I wouldn't take Top chef too seriously, if she doesn't finish my dish in the 30 allotted mins, I'm ok, with it being a few mins late to get it right. I think bravo was trying to type cast her as the ditsy california girl. You don't get to be the executive chef at the water grill by being a lightweight. Anyway, according to my chef friend, he says hells kitchen is much more indicative of what a real kitchen is like which makes sense. Top chef is more about being flashy, although I do love me some top chef (not so much recently though.)

              1. re: chezwhitey

                Didn't Lefever already leave awhile ago?

                In Sept 2010, it was announced he was leaving so I assumed he's been gone since then?

            2. re: hobbess

              It's been floundering (hah) for a while and needs a new executive chef to give it some direction.

              1. re: cls

                It seemed up to the task on Saturday night.

          2. Was the last night. Had starters and main course. Definitely a great evening with friends. Everyone loved the atmosphere.

            1. That $19 Jumbo LUMP crab cake (singular!) needs to be more lump and less shreds of crab. I used to love that crab cake, but am no longer enamored.

              2 Replies
              1. re: insomnia

                Even as skeptical of Amanda B. as I may have been after her Top Chef performance, I'm still surprised that she didn't even last a year as executive chef at the Water Grill before they reached a mutual decision to part ways, ie she was let go.

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                Water Grill
                544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

              2. I have been to Water Grill three times in the past couple of weeks. I am sorry to say that it has really declined IMO. There are some good dishes (e.g., the skate), but I've yet to have a great one. The food seems greasier, saltier, and more amateurish than before the revamping. Plating is far inferior, and while this isn't the be all and end all of a good restaurant, it does suggest that the food isn't being taken as seriously. It's a shame the menu was so greatly overhauled. I even miss the old bread basket (though to be fair, the new bread is a very good effort).

                2 Replies
                1. re: AlkieGourmand

                  "I have been to Water Grill three times in the past couple of weeks..."

                  Haven't they been closed for a remodel for the past few months?

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Sorry if I got the timeframe wrong. Come to think of it, it's odd that I ate there three times in the past week yet wrote a somewhat negative review. It can't have been that bad! And it isn't that bad -- it's just not as good as it used to be IMHO.

                2. Thanks for the write-up. Do you know if the menu is different than before the renovations? Their website hasn't been updated.