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.
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Honestly, this is some of the best food I've ever had in the Los Angeles area. The restaurant is a bit difficult to find, tucked on a side street in the heart of east downtown L.A., but if you know the restaurant State & Church, it's just across the street. It's a big red door. So, first let's talk about the beer. The menu is filled with artisan Belgian style beers, both imported and domestic. You can't go wrong, but talk to your waiter about what you like, or what you feel like having, and you'll get a good recommendation. Be bold - the selection changes all the time. I highly recommend the Ommegang Witte, if available - sweet, summery, just great. Then the appetizers. There are several mussel dishes to choose from - just pick one. I love the smoked salmon bruschetta - it's out of this world. And the mushroom risotto ... ay yi. I got a taste of the salmon sandwich and one of the burgers - they're pretty much fantastic. But let me tell you, it's all about the smoked wild boar sausage, with pureed roasted sweet potatoes, black kale and pearl onions. I haven't tasted boar sausage like this since my last meal in Venice (Italy, not the beach town). And if you're not adventurous for the boar, head straight for the grilled smoked salmon and taste a bit of heaven. Seriously, this is my new favorite restaurant.
I love this place. We go here at least once every two weeks or so and try our best to get one of the large booths by the front windows. Great place to have one of the best Bloody Mary's in town on a warm Saturday afternoon. I love the menu - it's not huge, but what they do offer is usually fantastic. I dream of their mussels with bread sops, the brussel sprouts with bacon would make a few vegetarians go back to the dark side and the savory pies take me back to London. They also feature a great beer menu plus all sorts of interesting cocktails. My favorite drink is the Ginger Top - a glorious amber beer topped with ginger beer. I had my 40th birthday party here a few weeks ago in the back room and the chef, managers and staff went above and beyond in terms of helping me plan and prep. It was the best bang for our buck and our guests had a fabulous time. In a nutshell: great food, great staff and never a negative experience.