Los Angeles is a place of constant change, and yet, that isn’t necessarily the case in Santa Monica. While recent transformations have altered this city, part of its appeal is that its most popular attraction – the pier and boardwalk – have remained the same. At Water Grill, the balance between consistency and cutting-edge is comfortably similar. For the past 20 years, this restaurant has been a staple for fresh seafood in an upscale setting. And at its oceanfront Santa Monica location, menu items are sourced from the best waters, even if those locations are in a perpetual shift.
Walk past the oversized bar at the center of a dark-wooded dining room and sit at a table overlooking a wall of windows. At dusk, shadowed palm trees line the view and a sea breeze will fill the air. Start with a cool Pimm’s cup or an apt sunset mimosa, and then order the crudo sampler with wild Eastern sea scallops and a Japanese mustard sauce. Later, squeeze lemon over a selection of oysters – which are sourced from Baja to Canada, New York to New Zealand, and beyond – and try a few with a kick of freshly grated horseradish. For the main dish, cut into the farmed Greek black bream of the snapper family, and enjoy it with a side of mashed potatoes.
If change could always be this cozy, it would never be a bad thing.