2020 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040334.031743 -118.482509
Neighborhoods: West LA, Wilshire Montana
Exhilarating experience – I just went last Friday and it was such an amazing experience. It was a bit scary at first being in pitch darkness, but you hear voices around you so you know you're not alone and you really learn to use your sense of touch. I was holding hands with my date most of the night. The food was pretty decent and the portions were big, I couldn't even finish all of it. I loved the game of guessing different objects in a bag just by feeling the objects. And our waiter Michael was wonderful, he even serenaded us at the end of the meal.
Great Concept - Not so great food – Concept was great but it was definitely not worth the money! I've had much better tasting food and more filling at Lawry's or Morton's. The portions at Opaque were small and the taste was horrible.
Experience Beyond the Norm – Our dark dining experience was truly exhilirating. We took my brother and his wife for their anniversary. I've been in a lot of places and done a lot of things, but this is truly an eye opener, if you will. It allows a sighted person to experience for a time, what the blind experience daily. Since my wife is blind, it was real insight for me. I gained a world of respect for the wait staff and for blind people in general. While they may be challenged navigating our sighted world, I'm sure that given the accellerated senses of taste and hearing and smell and touch and the amazing memory jog, it's a pretty good swap.I can't wait for this to come to the Scottsdale area.
So much fun! Everyone should eat here at least once! – So much fun! It really was a once in a lifetime experience. It really is something you will remember forever. I thought that the food would be medeocre, (disney land-ish) since it is such an experience. But everything we had was great. My husband had steak and I had the salmon. They were both excellent!
When they say that it is pitch-black they mean PITCH BLACK! I could not see my hand two inches in front of my face. It started great conversation, and we laughed all night. I would recommend it for anyone. Go and see for yourself.
Ignore the Bad Reviews! – I saw some negative reviews online before my boyfriend and I went to Dinner in the Dark (but after it was too late to cancel the reservation - 3 days notice required) so I was really nervous and braced myself for a doomed evening on August 24, 2007. In fact when my boyfriend ordered steak, I almost told him to order something else because of the bad steak reviews. Fortunately, my salmon was perfect and his medium rare steak was prepared exactly medium rare - and it was probably one of the top 5 BEST steaks I have ever tasted. The tiramisu was lightly sweet and scrumptous, while the cheesecake was quite flavorful, and also a bit heavy - but that's exactly what cheesecake is supposed to be afterall, right? Also, all the food was served at the proper temperature, nothing was frozen or lukewarm. And everything you've already read about the "dark" experience is probably true: Yes, it is pitch black, yes your senses are extremely heightened, yes our server was blind (not blindfolded, actually legally blind - she used a radio head set to communicate our order), yes it is pricey, and yes it is quite fun trying to sample your dining partner's food without getting stabbed in the eye. In my Palm Pilot list of things to do is "Write brilliant review of Dinner in Dark" - and I'm usually WAY too busy to write reviews, but I really feel that those bad reviews are unfounded, or else this establishment has definitely changed for the better.
Darkness alone is not enough – I love this concept but it is not executed properly. My bff took me to Opaque as a surprise about a month ago. Although the total darkness is a really cool and unique experience, it alone does not justify the EXCESSIVE PRICE. Personally speaking I don?t usually mind over-paying for ?a great dining experience? I wish this had been the case. Upon arrival they take your order and introduce you to your wait staff, who is dressed in casual (even sloppy) street clothes. They escort you into the total darkness and seat you at a folding chair. Your (uncomfortable) folding chair is then pushed up to a plastic (outdoor) patio table. Although there is a table cloth, it is still a plastic table with a folding chair and you are about to pay $99.00 for the least expensive item on the menu! The food is nothing special, typical hotel room service food. Certainly not the ?local star chef? quality they were advertising. I see they have now removed that statement from their website. We were offered a cocktail when we first ordered and then never approached regarding a second one. My friend and I giggled through out the meal and had fun, but, especially if this is something you need to save up to try? I suggest your money would be better spent elsewhere. On a side note, I posted a similar comment on their website and it was removed within 12 hours. I then posted another comment saying it?s overpriced and it too was removed from the site. So not only should you know that the comments on their website are censored, they are unable to take constructive criticism. The bottom line is this would be a terrific experience if it was 1/3 of the price and/or they stepped up the atmosphere. Oh yea, and it cost $20.00 to park!
Can I help you? – Have you ever wondered whether you should approach a blind person when they seemed to have trouble and ask them if they needed help? Not at this joint. They help you! big time. You eat in complete darkness, YEP! dark! as dark as it gets, you can't see your hand in front of your own eyes. All the wait staff is actually blind. They change roles. Now you are the one that needs to ask for help. They help you and give you a wonderful insight in the surreal world of mystery. As that is what this is. A dark room that leaves a vast space for your mind to expand and have the time of your life. If you are open for it and don't have LA stuck up your *** as some of the other reviewers seem to have. Does it cost? yes, and not to little but thanks to Mastercard we all know that there are certain things in life that are priceless. This place is one of them.
dark is more – Unreal! How can someone come up with this idea only now? Why do we still eat in the light and in all those lame places? This is what LA, and I have been waiting for. Finally something that really keeps the promise of being a once in a lifetime experience. Thank you.
"Lost me at Hello" (Part 2) – (Continued from Lost me at Hello-Part 1) ....What kind of $100+ plate restaurant doesn?t have a lounge/bar area that u can relax while waiting to be seated (which is now 40 min late). The theme is ?nocturnal? & ?experience ur other senses?, so why not have a teaser that gets guests in the mood; GET RID OF the inexperienced young plain clothes dressed hosts; I want to be greeted by the ?Opaque Master Concierge?, w/a big black cane, top hat, & dark glasses, u know? GET RID OF the makeshift podium in the brightly lit lobby; I want to see ?OPAQUE? spelled out in a candlelight mirage the size of a wall in a dimly lit lounge as I enter. GET RID OF the old hotel lobby furniture, I want to be sitting near a suave bar w/dark velvet (sensual to the touch) rimmed bar stools & furry lounge couches, w/scented candles (sensual to the smell). & what about the hypnotic music from the web-site! U could only hear the bellmen service people below. & a 45 min wait w/no cocktails?! I want an audaciously themed cocktail called ?The Opaque? made w/black liquors & served in a tall glass w/tiny dark sun glasses & a cane as the stirrer. Well,we were so turned off by the initial impression of the venue & service, not to mention that we were now over 45 min past our original res time, that we did not even bother to go through with the experience. We left. So maybe the food was going to be exceptional, I guess we?ll never know. But for us it was more than just the food & eating in the dark. We eat out a lot ? we are not novice, so maybe are expectations were too high, (Opaque Web-site just reinforced those expectations). & based on the pricing I expected upscale. To top it off, when I told the ?host? we were leaving, he didn?t even ask why or act surprised?Like he?s used to this happening or something? Just all around disappointing, because we were really looking forward to it. Luckily my lady was so great that she had no qualms about leaving, & we had a great evening - we went to Agos.
"Lost me at Hello" (Part 1) – PART 1: REVIEW
So when I heard about this restaurant it sounded very intriguing so I went onto the website to check it out. The aesthetics & design of the website seemed hip, mysterious, & romantic all at the same time. The menu was "upscale" based on the $100+ per person price (drinks & tip not included), so I really envisioned a higher-end experience. So expectations were high, & I was looking forward to a very unique evening of nocturnal grandeur. So I pick up my ?fascinating-cute AND sweet-one & only? & we get to the Hyatt hotel in Hollywood (the location of Opaque). The 1st thing we encounter is a make-shift podium planted obscurely in front of?Well nothing. No official entrance to the ?Opaque? restaurant?just a couple of plain clothed (casual jeans & t-shirts) young ?hosts? with clipboards. No dim lights (as a matter of fact just the bright lights of the lobby), no candles, not even the hypnotic music that I had grown to love from the Opaque web-site. Little puzzled we walk to the young host & ask, ?Is this Opaque??. He does not answer with a formal welcome, just, ?yeah?, let me get you a menu so you can sit down in the lobby & wait. Our printer is broken so we are running a bit behind?. Ok?So me & Gorgeous sit down in a musty lobby chair to wait. We are literally right outside the hotel restrooms & mixed in with hotel guest in line to use the internet terminal. So the Hyatt has these double doors labeled ?Ballroom A?, just like any hotel that has meeting room facilities; Well next thing you know we see a couple who had just finished dining coming out of the double doors! So it appears that there is no ?Opaque? restaurant, but instead a make-shift environment out of one of the hotel conference rooms. Now, part of my is like, who cares, its in the dark so I wont be able to tell once I get in their anyway. But another side of me is thinking, but what about ambience, & character, & all of the other things that make a total experience. (continued on Part 2)
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