A golden spring light pours through the windows of the Water Grill in Santa Monica at the start of dinnertime. Fog begins to descend on the boardwalk outside, softening the sunlight and casting a gray haze on the Pacific Ocean in the distance. Inside, a crowd of cozy groups dines in a setting punctuated by dark woods and nautical designs that surround a bar of glittering bottles. It's a scene of comforts, a place where the menu changes with the tides but the sentiment remains the same: this is a gathering place that revels in its setting by the sea.
Peruse the restaurant’s famed raw bar as you sip on a classic Pimm’s cup made with fresh lemonade. Start with an oyster tier of the kumamoto, fanny bay, and naked cowboy – a selection fetched from Washington, British Columbia, and New York – and then dig into a crudo sampler lined with Bigeye tuna, sea scallops, and Atlantic salmon. After, order the wild eastern sea scallops with seasonal vegetables as candles are lit at every table and windows are closed to a cool breeze. Finally, scoop up the caramel bread pudding for dessert, and feel at ease in a moment that remains blissfully the same.