We had a lovely double-date experience at Water Grill. We started with cocktails, fresh oysters and stone crab claws (first of the season). Two members of our party ordered the same cocktail and upon delivery, one was noticeably more well-crafted than the other. We sent the one back with a busboy and when it returned, it was only half-heartidly fixed. Thankfully, our server quickly fixed the situation and everything was uphill after that moment. Our oysters included the Tomahawks and Mermaid Cove's, (all east coast). They were wonderfully briny and super fresh. The crab claws did not dissapoint. In addition to the raw bar, each couple ordered wedge salads and clam chowder. Our server was smart enough to have the kitchen split each item without us asking. Kudos to her. The chowder was probably one of the best I have ever had. It was loaded with clams which were sweet and tender. It also included thinly sliced fingerling potatoes which I thought was a nice touch. The wedge was wonderfully crisp, and had the perfect amount of blue cheese with generous bits of lardon. The soup and salad alone would have been a perfect meal. Since we were so full from the first two courses, we each decided to split lobster rolls and get a couple of sides. Having had lobster rolls all over the east coast, in addition to many of the popular sea food places around LA (Connie & Teds, Hungry Cat, Littlefork, assorted food trucks), I can honestly say, this was one of the best I've had. The roll was piled with tender lobster. It contained the perfect amount of mayo which allowed the flavor of the lobster to shine. I washed it down with a glass of Turley Zin, which is one of my all-time favorites. I was super-excited to see it on the wine menu. We finished with the Key Lime pie, which was good, but maybe a tad bit tart for my taste. Overall, service was spot-on. The staff understood we were two couples catching up and enjoying each others company. They were attentive and not obstrusive. The food itself is amazing and I'm already craving the clam chowder. We had a great experience and we're looking forward to going back.
We made a reservation at 6 p.m. on Sunday and when we got there, it was already packed. The place is very small (can probably fit 30 people or so) so reservation is a must on weekends. We had an amazing Travelozoo deal where 2 glasses of wine, 2 appetizers, 1 pizza or pasta, 2 entrees are only $65 for two! For appetizers, we tried Baccala (whipped salt cod croquettes. salsa rossa) and Fichi (figs. whipped sheeps milk ricotta. saba). Baccala was good but a bit too salty and wasn't my favorite. Fichi, on the other hand, was amazing. I loved it. The next course was pizza; we chose Margherita D.O.P. (tomato. mozzarella di bufala. basil.). This was our waitress's #1 recommendation but it was very disappointing; it wasn't good at all. For entrees, we had Agnello (colorado lamb chops. potatoes. artichokes. black olive) and Port Braciole (neapolitan ragù. swiss chard). Both are very good but not the best Italian dishes I've had. The restaurant was packed so it took forever to bring the food; we didn't mind since we were not in a hurry but I saw two separate guests that night complaining to the manager. Our waitress was very apologetic and checked on us many times and they gave us free dessert so that was nice. I didn't see any self parking space or valet but you can find paid meter parking; but only 1 hour max so we had to leave the restaurant to feed the meter again while waiting for the food. Overall, I liked the restaurant and its ambiance and because of the Travelzoo deal, it was very good deal. But, I'm not too sure if I would come back here again anytime soon (I would rather want to check out other Italian restaurants in the area...)
This place used to offer anything on the breakfast/brunch menu, if you came on Saturday or Sunday before 10AM, for $7.95! Ah, those were the days! And the food they offered for brunch was some of the most inventive in town. Now, you pay full price anytime all the time, but the food is still better than most breakfast joints. Their homemade granolas are incredible. I have it topped with fresh fruit and vanilla yoghurt. The fruit is always well selected and very fresh. They make about six different benedict dishes that all have the potential to make this place legendary. The ingredients are always fresh as can be and the hollandaise needs just a bit more lemon to make it perfect. However (and this is a BIG however), they really have an overall problem with plating. It effects everything they serve but it almost ruins the benedicts. I know hollandaise is a delicate suace that can't get too hot, but how you deal with that is too make sure you pull all the ingredients together quickly. Pull the eggs out of the poaching trays, get 'em atop those slabs of Canadian bacon and pour the sauce on and GET IT TO THE TABLE. The eggs should help warm the sauce a bit in this scenario, but it seems they are always putting luke warm sauce on top of eggs that have gotten cold. The dish comes to you tepid and makes you think it has been sitting around. Not too appetizing. Sad, as I know from the flavors they have a potentially great benedict. Too many other inventive and mighty tasty dishes to mention but I can say the pancakes are quite delicious! All portions are very generous and the prices, even though not as low as days of yore, are still really fair.