We wanted a seafood dinner while on the coast, and it was a toss up between The Lobster and Ocean Avenue Seafood. My husband decided to leave it up to the boss, so I decided on The Lobster. I have mixed feelings about the restaurant -- the food was great, however, even though we were on a patio with a 180 degree view of the ocean, we found it very crowded and noisy. Unfortunately, the patio does have lots of romance potential, but it doesn't and don't even think about having a private conversation here either. Though quite impersonal, the service was good. The food arrived in record time, and we generally had the overall feeling of being rushed through our meal. In fact, on leaving, we were barely on our feet, when the busboy came and swept the tablecloth off the table along with the dishes. Move 'em in and move 'em out!
Favorite Dish: The food, as I mentioned is great. It was a hard choice, but I went for the lobster salad with corn pancakes appetizer instead of the lobster entree. The lobster salad was NOT a cop out, by any means. The salad was chock full of big chunks of lobster lightly dressed with a taragon mayonnaise. A generous portion of salad was heaped onto small, fluffy sweet corn pancakes. Very yummy. My hubby had the classic wild Mexican shrimp cocktail, and the shrimp were huge and fresh. We both went for the crab cakes as an entree, served wtih a corn and radish salad. The cakes were the most divine we have ever tasted, no fillers, just lumps of good quality crab meat, and a light, crisp coating.
All, in all, you can't go wrong at The Lobster, but for the amount of money we were paying, I did not appreciate being rushed through my meal. It is also a very popular restaurant with locals as well as tourists, so it's very busy. Overall, we had a good time, but unfortunately we would not return because of the atmosphere.
I have been here several time, mainly to take customers to lunch. The food was good. The service was good. It was a good place with a good view of the ocean and the Santa Monica Pier. I think that's the main selling point of this place, the view.
Favorite Dish: The lobster....
One of the few restaurants in Santa Monica to have nearly a 360 degree view of the ocean! Try to go during sunset if you can! Also, the ambience here is really fun, albeit on the loud side. There is a pretty good bar and expect to see many 9-5ers coming in after work for drinks and dinner. I would highly recommend making reservations in advance (especially on the weekends) if you don't want to wait 1-2 hours! Valet parking is available for US$4.50 which can be validated up to 3 hours. Dinner prices usually run approximately US$18-$28. For lobster, expect anywhere between US$28-$50.
Favorite Dish: Try the crabcakes! The Lobster is known to have excellent crabcakes! The blackened steelhead on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes is excellent and so is their seared halibut w/ scallops in a cream sauce.
I stopped in The Lobster just to avoid driving out and eating elsewhere when I was at the pier, and I'm glad I did! I had a delicious salad and crab-stuffed steak that remains one of my best meals in Santa Monica to date. The setting was spectacular, with the huge windows you get the warmth of the sun and the amazing sunset over the pier. The service was great as well, and all of the drinks were made perfectly to order. I'd recommend this spot to anyone.
Favorite Dish: Crab Stuffed Filet!
It used to be an old shellfish shack back in 1923 but after extensive renovations its now one of the most popular restaurants in Santa Monica. Bang slap on the end of the famous pier this place buzzes continuosly and even after booking a table we still had a half hour wait to be seated. Seating is VERY crowded and it feels as if you are all sitting together on one big table while waiters lean perilously across diners to serve their neighbours. But the food is good, the menu varied and if it lives in the sea then they serve it!! The bar area is always packed from early evening til the early hours with the locals lined up with their Bloody Marys garnished with a huge shrimp, chatting and laughing or just people watching.
The dining area extends onto a terrace which overlooks the pier and is pretty spectacular at night when the pier has got her lights on. Even the inner area has ceiling to floor windows so the view can be pretty much appreciated by everyone. Dont worry about parking, just leave your car with the valet and they bring it right back to you when you want for approx.$5
Favorite Dish: Scallops, jumbo shrimp, halibut with garlic mash,mussels anyhow,spicy prawns ,sea bass oysters fancy or plain.....and on and on....