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Mar 7, 2013 04:26 PM

Downtown LA's Water Grill coming to Santa Monica.

Good news for seafood lovers, Water Grill is coming to Santa Monica with a 2nd location in the Ocean Ave Seafood space. Should be open sometime this summer.

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  1. Was/Is/Are Water Grill and/or Ocean Ave. Seafood part of the King Seafood group that has at least a couple of restaurants in the San Diego area as well?

    2 Replies
      1. Water Grill is a good restaurant. Ocean Avenue Seafood is crap. It will be interesting to see what the new Water Grill is like.

        1. I used to love the old Water Grill and had many expense account dinners there. So when i was invited to dinner there several days ago I was apprehensive as to how I would like it.

          I was not at all shocked at the change in decor although puzzled that the WG designates "dressy apparel" even though jeans were overwhelmingly the norm.

          The service was spotty but the food was, IMO, just not up to snuff. Ordinary would be my description. I would be hard pressed to go back again if I was paying.

          Just my opinion.

          6 Replies
          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

            I have to agree with you, Silverlake Girl. Was there recently too and I miss the excellent seafood and service from the old Water Grill. It is not nearly as good as it used to be.

            1. re: SilverlakeGirl

              Plus 10.

              I was there the other night.

              10 years ago, Water Grill was a special place. A cool business lunch spot reserved for those celebratory lunches or A-list client meetings. And for dinner, even in DTLA, it felt classy and vibrant.

              Now? It's like getting McCormick & Schmick's with an auto 15% surcharge on the food.

              This latest expansion just sort of puts the nail on the head for me. If you can't do one place right, trying to do it in two places is, to use a very hackneyed term, a recipe for disaster.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I agree that Water Grill used to be better, before the changes. (It's worth remembering that this was a Michelin-starred restaurant when there was an LA Michelin guide.) They intentionally dumbed it down a bit; now it's more casual and less fussy. But Water Grill is still far better, in my opinion, than McCormick & Schmick's, which is truly awful.

                1. re: AlkieGourmand

                  McCormick & Schmick's is along the line of Carlos and Charlies anyway.

                  The Water Grill was at one time a wonderful place to dine. No longer.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  I couldn't agree with you more. We loved the old Water Grill. It was a special place. It was a bit dressy, but not fussy. It was reasonably quiet, had proper and professional service, had tablecloths, and most importantly outstanding and pristinely fresh and beautifully prepared seafood. It was a dependable, almost special occasion place where we could take business or personal guests and be absolutely certain that everyone would love it. Unfortunately this is no longer the case.

                  We've been twice since the "updating and remodel". Pretty much everything we loved about the old Water Grill is no longer...except the prices which have remained very high. In the past, to compare the Water Grill to McCormick & Schmick's or King Seafood restaurants would be ridiculous. Unfortunately, that comparison is not that ridiculous any longer. Sure, Water Grill is still somewhat better than McC & S, but not by that much...but it is way more expensive. It is certainly no longer a special occasion restaurant, and is very overpriced for what it is.

                  I totally agree..."If you can't do one place right, trying to do it in two places is...a recipe for disaster." With so many excellent restaurants in Santa Monica at the price point of the Water Grill, I can think of no reason why anyone would choose to dine there (more than once).

                3. re: SilverlakeGirl

                  It wasn't that long ago that Water Grill had Michael Cimarusti (Providence) and David LeFevre (MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite) as executive chefs. Damon Gordon is serviceable, but the food lacks the ingenuity and innovation that the prior chefs brought to the restaurant.

                4. Water Grill Santa Monica is set to open for dinner tonight (7-22) and for lunch tomorrow (7-23) but as always call first.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: wienermobile

                    After the rather uninspired dinner I had at the downtown location yesterday as part of the DineLA, I'm not all that anxious to test the Santa Monica restaurant.

                    1. re: wienermobile

                      Really? I called the flagship and they said they weren't open.

                      Can't find a phone number for it either.

                    2. Anyone try it yet? How does it compare to the downtown location?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: foodsworth

                        By the way, they ARE open now. (Open Table would take the reservation for today, but I didn't give it).

                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                          Also, their website has been updated to reflect the two locations, with slightly different menus for each location (mostly in the raw bar selection).