544 S Grand, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9007134.052223 -118.251898
Neighborhoods: Central LA, Downtown, New Downtown
Water Grill is a place where you order lots and lots of seafood. Get the oysters, uni and clams. And beer. You must get beer.
Legendary high-class seafood palace in downtown is heavy on the raw bar, shellfish and whole fish with price tags to match.
Just average. – I've heard nothing but amazing things about the Water Grill; it's supposed to have the best seafood in L.A. I grew up on the east coast, so I tend to be very picky about my seafood, and this just doesn't measure up to 'the best' of anything. When you walk in the restaurant the walls are covered with awards and Zagat ratings, and I really thought that might mean something, but apparently no. It's not even that the food was bad, it just wasn't great. It wasn't even good, it was just average. Maybe if I hadn't come from an amazing meal at Blair's two days earlier I might have felt differently. The crab cake appetizer was just so-so. Maybe I'm biased having grown up in Maryland, the home of the blue crab, but it was a bit dry and just passable. The scallop entree was good, if small portioned, it made me rather glad I'd eaten a salad a few hours earlier. My desert though, completely fell down on the job. From the menu you would think that their deserts would be the best thing ever. I had a peanut butter and chocolate souffle, that was supposed to be garnished with banana and marshmellow. They failed to mention the banana gelato on top, the popcorn or the caramel sauce or the chocolate sauce. It is possible to just go entirely overboard and this most certainly happened here. As I said before, it's not that the meal was bad, it's just that based on the hype it certainly should've been better. At least the champagne was fantastic, but then again, that was pre-packaged.
Delicious, High Quality Cuisine, Good Service, Ambiance needs improvement – Went there last night for the first time to have Valentine's Day dinner. I had the 5 course menu and everything was spectacularly delicious. Lots of interesting combinations and assertive flavors that worked together seamlessly. The service was good but not what I expected for one of the 18 (only) restaurants in all of Los Angeles to receive a Michelin star. The most surprising aspect of all is the ambiance...it feels like an upscale Cheesecake Factory. There is a storage cabinet in the middle of the dining room where the servers wrestle with silverware all night long. What??!!! So much for a nice intimate dinner. The food is truly special, no complaints there but IMHO, good atmosphere is a critical component of a fine dining experience and here is where Water Grill misses the mark. Go there for a delicious seafood meal if you're in the area for a show but don't go out of your way to come here for a special occasion.
Tasty, delicate food. Bad service :( – The food was wonderful, however the portions are very, very small. I am sure that they put a lot of time and money into each dish, however, the portions/price ratio was a little off. It's fairly overpriced for the amount of food that you get. I'm not asking for huge portions either, but I mean, one appetizer is about 2 bites. Nonetheless, the oysters are wonderful.
The biggest issue for me was that the service was inconsistent and fairly horrible. The host was wonderful and they were sweet enough to print my name and "Happy Birthday" on my menu. The server, on the other hand, was very bad. We weren't served for about 10-15 minutes. And then, there was some confusion so we had a couple of different servers at first, and then finally were given one who didn't seem like he wanted to serve us at all. He was not very attentive since we saw the runners and bussers more than we saw him. Also, after dining there for about an hour and half (on my birthday), he asked us to leave. We still had half a bottle of wine left and he basically made us drink all of it and rush through our dessert in 10 minutes. He said "I have to wake up early tomorrow morning." I feel that 1 1/2 hour-2 hours is a pretty reasonable time for dinner at a fine dining establishment and his attempts to get us out as soon as possible was very disconcerting. Service is so important at restaurants, and if it's not consistent with the food and overall ambience, it throws off the whole experience.
best crab cakes Ive had!! Waiter was wonderful and the dessert!!! – My boyfriend dragged me there (sorry but I'm very picky and untrusting to other's tastes) for my birthday and I have never been happier to have my arm twisted! We had reservations for 5:45 but were running late and he called and asked if we could arrive at 6:15. They were very accommodating, seated us immediately and in my opinion, sent the best waiter over. He recommended every dish I had since I was torn between two for each serving. The blue and dungenese crab cake was fresh, deliscious and not processed. The flavor of the fish is what bursts forth, they are not kidding when they say they have the freshest and best seafood. I then had the Maine Lobster, tender and moist and the broth sauce was subtle and complemented the overall dish. My bf had the grilled cobia which I will have in the very near future because I can't wait to go back!! BUT the dessert!! Oh I don't even enjor dessert all that much but this was scrumptious, delectable and heavenly. We ordered the red velvet pudding. I can't wait to go back. Oh by the way, I don't understand what these other negative reviews are about, the service was impeccable. Yes as in perfect. They timed our dinner perfectly so that we would be able to take the shuttle (right in front of the restaurant) to the Disney Concert Hall just in time for our 8 o'clock. I love this place!!
Verry diisapointed in the service and the food was not as good as expected for a restaurant which has just received a Michelin star. – Service and food not as expected from a Michelin star restaurant. Many restaurants in LA, So. Cal. South Bay and in Europe that are much better that do not have a Michelin star. Saving grace were the oysters which were excellent.
A lovely experience – I love tasting menus...there's something about the excitment of not knowing what you're going to get next...and the food is always beautifully presented with a detailed explanation of what you're eating...so, when I found out Water Grill had a superb tasting menu, you was extremely interested.
Water Grill's tasting menu surpassed my expectations!
First, the service needs to be mentioned...it was impeccable (and I never use that word!). From the moment you walk in, everyone is friendly and welcoming. The servers place your napkin on your lap, your plate is never absent of a roll, water is always refilled, such attentive staff...and yet, you don't feel as though you're being hovered over! You still have the privacy of a romantic dinner.
The food was amazing! I can't even decide what my favorite was. We had an amuse of tuna, a thai style jumbo prawn soup, two different fish dishes, a meat dish, a delicous melon soup, and probably the best dessert I've ever had. Each server during the 6 course meal, explained the dish in full detail. Our semmolier (sp?) explained each wine pairings to us in full detail, and even gave us a list of our meal with the wine she choose for us, so we could remember what we had. What I thought was perfect was the order of the food and wine...it started off with light foods and wines and then progressively deepened. It was the perfect amount of food...I was comfortably full and satisfied.
It's quite pricy, but worth every penny. It was the most romantic, delicious, warming dining experience I've ever had.
Great dining experience! – If you haven't been, you really must try the Water Grill. The menu changes daily but it seems there are a few things that remain the same. The crab cake appetizer, gorgonzola salad and red velvet putting were the most amazing food experiences I have ever had. Many flavors on each plate, only serving to compliment the others. The A-Z Pinot Noir was wonderful, as was the Water Grill's "The Nile", a vodka, pomegranate, sugar and lime juice martini. The fish dishes were very good too, however, the salmon was a little salty for my taste. All staff polite, friendly, helpful, while allowing you time to take your time.
The Water Grill is a place you will most likely recommend and visit again and again.
Best Tasting Menu and Best Service to date – I took my boyfriend here for his birthday last weekend. We both had the tasting menu with the wine pairing and it is, hands down, the BEST tasting menu we've had to date. I thought Sona was great but this place was even better. Everything they brought out was excellent, fresh, so flavorful and delicious. The chef was so gracious when he'd come out to explain his dishes to us. The wine expert Cara was so knowledgeble and friendly, even downright hilarious at times. The manager Steve came by to make sure we were ok, and he was really funny as well. The service was impeccable, attentive and accomodating but not overbearing. Water Grill has met and exceeded our expectations and I am looking forward to the next time I go back.
BEST DESSERTS ON THE WEST COAST!!! – What a great dining experience! I took my parents here for their 30th anniversary, and they were so pleased. To start, we had the oyster sampler plate and champagne. We then had Lobster tail, John Dory, and another fish dish. However, the best part was DESSERTS!!! Their Pastry Chef John Park is truly amazing! He is so talented at combining different flavors and making something so traditional so unique. You have to try his doughnuts and creme brulee. The red velvet cake is excellent as well. The service was great! (the busboys were especially good) I recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants good food, great desserts, and an overall fine dining experience!
Awful Service, Disappointing Food – Save your money. Whatever The Water Grill used to be, it no longer is. From start to finish, our experience was disappointing. Coat check was haphazard and we received no ticket. At the bar, an overworked, sweaty bartender took forever to get us drinks, then even longer to bring the oysters we'd ordered. At last, we gave up and asked them to bring our raw bar items to the table. The tuna tartare, which we'd heard so much about, was bland. Clam chowder was tasty but watery thin. We had to ask multiple times for bread. A steak entree was completely overcooked. The pastrami-spiced salmon was not thrilling and had sat for too long on the line, leaving it no longer hot. The overpriced lobster entree was only fair. We left feeling unhappy.
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