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Matthew R.
Edited: 12/22/2016

We had a lovely double-date experience at Water Grill. We started with cocktails, fresh oysters and stone crab claws (first of the season). Two members of our party ordered the same cocktail and upon delivery, one was noticeably more well-crafted than the other. We sent the one back with a busboy and when it returned, it was only half-heartidly fixed. Thankfully, our server quickly fixed the situation and everything was uphill after that moment. Our oysters included the Tomahawks and Mermaid Cove's, (all east coast). They were wonderfully briny and super fresh. The crab claws did not dissapoint.

In addition to the raw bar, each couple ordered wedge salads and clam chowder. Our server was smart enough to have the kitchen split each item without us asking. Kudos to her. The chowder was probably one of the best I have ever had. It was loaded with clams which were sweet and tender. It also included thinly sliced fingerling potatoes which I thought was a nice touch. The wedge was wonderfully crisp, and had the perfect amount of blue cheese with generous bits of lardon. The soup and salad alone would have been a perfect meal.

Since we were so full from the first two courses, we each decided to split lobster rolls and get a couple of sides. Having had lobster rolls all over the east coast, in addition to many of the popular sea food places around LA (Connie & Teds, Hungry Cat, Littlefork, assorted food trucks), I can honestly say, this was one of the best I've had. The roll was piled with tender lobster. It contained the perfect amount of mayo which allowed the flavor of the lobster to shine. I washed it down with a glass of Turley Zin, which is one of my all-time favorites. I was super-excited to see it on the wine menu.

We finished with the Key Lime pie, which was good, but maybe a tad bit tart for my taste.

Overall, service was spot-on. The staff understood we were two couples catching up and enjoying each others company. They were attentive and not obstrusive. The food itself is amazing and I'm already craving the clam chowder. We had a great experience and we're looking forward to going back.



Provided by Citysearch
Great Seafood -- some problems with sustainability

Came here for dineLA with my husband and 2 friends. The fish were just excellent with excellent service as well. This was our first time eating here. I had the red fish which is a mild white fish. It was perfectly cooked; not over-cooked like so many restaurants would do. The fish served here for the most part, according to the waiter, is sustainable and caught for the most part without bycatch and pollution to the ocean. They did have wild jumbo shrimp on the menu, which was from Mexico. Bottom trawls used to catch most imported wild shrimp damage habitat and unintentionally kill many unwanted invertebrates fish and sea turtles. But at least they are making some effort to serve sustainable fish that doesn't harm the ocean environment.

Since I wrote the above review based on the waiter's information I have found out that red fish is on Greenpeace's International Red List. Which means it is unsustainable and should be avoided. Redfish are vulnerable to overfishing because they are slow growing, long-lived and, even though they spawn every year, few young survive. Most stocks are now at historical lows and are considered depleted. Redfish are caught using bottom trawls and pelagic trawls.
Bottom trawling damages the seafloor, impacting marine habitats that are important to the survival of groundfish and other species. Many species depend on seafloor structures like coral and sponges for feeding, breeding and hiding from predators. Bottom trawling is also indiscriminate and incidentally catches other fish and marine animals that are dumped overboard as bycatch.
In fairness to Water Grill there is a very limited supply of red fish that is sustainable. Let's hope Water Grill's red fish comes from that source.



Provided by Citysearch
Strengths and weaknesses

Everything we ordered was excellent. main course portions are very small for the price.The service was both professional and friendly. There was a big time gap between the salad course and the main course.
Overall a pleasant experience. i would return.

Janne F


Provided by Citysearch
Best seafood

I am impressed, finaly found the best seafood in LA.



Provided by Citysearch
Very tiny portions

Four of us went to Water Grill before the theater. The appetizer of fish was small. But the portions of halibut and swordfish were even more disappointingly small. But the dessert was almost not even there...the tiny carrot cake was like a little igloo... a tiny mound with a white topping. ""Where is the dessert????"" I asked.
When I spoke to the maitre d', and with a smile he said,""I am sorry to hear that but enjoy the show!""
That was not the comment I wanted to hear! All four of us definately did not enjoy the meal!!!



Provided by Citysearch
Hadn't been to WG for a year, and went for Dine LA on Wednesday.

I wish I could go to Water Grill all the time but it's too $ for me. I went for Dine LA on Wednesday and had an amazing time. Generous portions. Great fish. I had the Sturgeon, my friend the Organic Salmon. Our waiter (great service) let us know they will be serving $44 Dine LA menu all February! I'll be back.



Provided by Citysearch

What a fantastic place! I went to Water Grill with a friend for the first time about a week ago. Beatiful restaurant, great service, top-notch cuisine, and a great innovative wine list. The service was inpeccable, not only by our waiter, but also by the wine director Andrews. With great sophistication and knowledge he presented us with a fantastic winelist, including top producers from around the world. We decided to look at domestic wines and he suggested to start in the Pinot Noir section. He described it as the focal point of the wine list with the most tie to the cuisine. This was one of the best Pinot Noir selections I have seen in the country. Great small artisan wines and well known name producers single vineyard selections. We ended up with a bottle of Native 9, a small winery from Santa Barbara. A fantastic wine that paired perfectly with the tuna dish. The tuna was beautifully prepared with a red wine reduction, lentils and brusell sprouts. Awesome expreience, and if you are into wine this is where to dine!



Provided by Citysearch
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.



Provided by Citysearch
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 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.



Provided by Citysearch
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.



Provided by Citysearch
Verry diisapointed in the service and the food was not as good as expected for a restaurant which ha

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.



Provided by Citysearch
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, 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 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 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.



Provided by Citysearch
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.



Provided by Citysearch
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.



Provided by Citysearch

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!



Provided by Citysearch
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.



Provided by Citysearch
Most Overrated

Average food, not excellent as I had expected. very thin clam chowder, with only a small amount of potatoes and clams. the chicken entree was good. Incredibly overpriced. Most of the wines are about $15 or $16 a glass. I thought there was a disconnect on how the restaurant perceives itself (i.e. ""fine dining"") and the actual quality of the food, service, and atmosphere. The dining room was tired and worn looking. There was an incredible lack of attention to detail--no one came to ask if we wanted another drink, we had to ask. We also had to ask for bread and butter. And our waitress was overly attentive (yet some how missing the basic details?!) What irked me most was that they offered to take our coats as we were sitting down, which we accepted. After our meal, we had to go find our coats on our own. there was no coat check, server, host, busboy to lead us to our coat. We had to fish through a shoddy coat stand that was overflowing with black coats to find our own black coats. When I mentioned this to the host, he was couldn't care less. very rude in that smug, haughty way that's annoying.



Provided by Citysearch
Fabulous Food! Fabulous Service! Fabulous Dining Room! Wow!!

My wife and I had heard of the Water Grill for a long time...but we rarely eat Downtown. Tonight, however, we had tickets for Disney Concert Hall, so we wanted to eat dinner close by. I read CitySearch (of course! THE best place to find restaurant referrals...), and - to be honest - I picked the closest restaurant on the recommended ""Top 10"" list to the concert hall. As it turned out, the closest one was Water Grill.

We dropped in at 6pm without a reservation, and the very kind host and hostess greeted us and seated us. The dining room is beautiful! Very warm colors...and not loud (i.e. they have carpeting instead of hardwood flooring). We enjoyed the atmosphere.

Our server -- I think her name was Donna Jo? -- was ""personality plus!"" She was kind and funny. We told her that we were on a tight timeline, and she said that she would be sure to get us on our way in plenty of time to catch the 7:30 p.m. show.

We started with drinks: My wife had a pomegranate martini...and I had my ususal gin-and-soda. Both drinks were exceptionally good. In fact, I got up and told the bartender how much we had enjoyed them.

For salad, we shared the Gorgonzola salad. It was SUPERB. After tasting it, I regretted that we had chosen to share it. Next time, I'm getting my own!

For our entrees, my wife ordered the tuna and loved it. I ordered the John Dory fish, and I thought it was good -- not great...but good.

Our dessert was Devil's Pudding, and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD!

After we paid our bill, we were on the sidewalk walking towards the Disney Concert Hall by 7:05 p.m. Just as Donna Jo had said, ""In plenty of time to get to the show...""

After the show, we returned to the Water Grill valet stand to get our car. Even the valet staffer was exceptionally polite - and quick.

What a delightful experience. It is rare that my wife and I leave a restaurant saying, ""Without question, we will be returning."" Water Grill? We will be returning!


Phone: (213) 891-0900

Address: 544 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071


More Info

General Info
Water Grill is one of the leading seafood restaurants in Southern California. The restaurant specializes in cuisines from northern Africa, Southeast Asia and India. It has a dining room that is accented with auburn wood and features marble columns, white tablecloths, cushioned chairs and booths. The restaurant s menu includes a variety of entrees, desserts and beverages. It additionally serves a selection of wines. Water Grill is located in Los Angeles and is owned and operated by King's Seafood Company, which was formerly known as University Restaurant Group. It operates various Southern California restaurants, including Ocean Avenue Seafood, 555 East, Lou & Mickey's and the King's Fish House.
Extra Phones

Fax: (213) 629-1891

Payment method
discover, master card, visa, amex, diners club, all major credit cards
Price Range
New Downtown, Downtown Los Angeles, Central La, Central LA, Financial District

The Water Grill

Water Grill - Downtown

Water Grill Downtown LA

Other Information

Parking: Garage, Street, Validated, Valet

Wi-Fi: Free

Bike Parking: No

Attire: Dressy

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: American, Seafood

Alcohol: Beer, Full Bar, Wine

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Good For Groups: Yes

Pets Allowed: No

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