The seafoodization of Los Angeles continues unabated with the opening of Water Grill Santa Monica. The Monster could not be happier.
This snappy space on Ocean Ave overlooking the bright blue is handsomely done up in a manly aesthetic and works equally well for a business lunch or a nighttime bite.
Anyone familiar with the original will know an extensive seafood menu awaits featuring oysters aplenty, iced shellfish and a slew of app/salad/sandwich/entrée selections. Sure, a few meat items appear but if you’ve come here for chicken what is wrong with you?
So, The Monster peruses the menu and this is tough. Uni toast on brioche sounds great as a starter but so does a crudo of wild Columbia River king salmon. Playing it safe, The Monster opts for fish tacos with fresh Atlantic cod.
As for the main dish, wild Maryland softshell crab bahn mi with pickled red onion, daikon sprouts and cucumber salad seems a no-brainer at lunch. Yes, a lobster roll would be dynamite and cioppino is always a favorite but those are being saved for the next visit.
Hot and freshly baked bread starts you off, delicious. But really, you are saving yourself like mom and dad always said you should for that special someone. And in this case that special someone is fish tacos.
They are huge, beastly affairs. Fresh fish and accompaniments too big to mash into the hungriest of faces. So you’ll be getting dirty on this one but it is worth it. Well worth it. But think of this as merely the foreplay for what is to come. Mom and dad we’re right, save yourself.
Because The Monster falls in love with the softshell crab bahn mi. Absolutely, utterly ridiculous is how best to describe it. It will deflower your mouth with flavor. It will make you weak in the knees and see stars. It will…you get the point.
Fully sated, The Monster leaves Water Grill SM eager to return. And urges you to check it out as well.
Why go? Hungry Cat, BP Oysterette and now Water Grill make a nice little murderers row of seafood in SM.
Monster rating: 4½/5 Monsters
1401 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401