Water Grill

1401 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Water Grill +

Michele Stueven Hamachi crudo


  • Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-mid.
  • $$$
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Full bar
  • Street Parking, Valet Parking
We’ve got more oyster choices in L.A. than ever before, but the greatest selection is at one of L.A.’s seafood institutions, the Water Grill. You can order from about 20 different varieties according to size, brininess, coast or town. The raw bar and iced shellfish platter selections of Peruvian bay scallops, lobster, mussels, clams, crab and wild jumbo brown shrimp are extensive and can be customized to size and preference. And try the generous crudo sampler of big eye tuna, wild Nantucket Bay scallops and New Zealand king salmon. The original old-school location is downtown in the art deco Pac Mutual building, complete with carved ceilings, brass doors and leather booths. By contrast, the newer Santa Monica outpost is a breezier version on Ocean Avenue, perfect for watching people and sunsets. Both menus vary but are always seasonal. Pacific halibut season begins this month and runs through summer. During that time you can live out your mermaid dreams with Water Grill’s roasted Alaskan halibut tail tacos with roasted tomato salsa and pickled mango. The tail is served whole and makes a fantastic mess as you dissect the tender flesh from the bones and crunchy skin. The martinis are top-notch and come with a blue cheese–stuffed olive upon request. —Michele Stueven

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