1755 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Sat, 08/08/2015, 7:00pm reservation
Chef Brian Malarkey is a Top Chef that is the man behind the Searsucker and Herringbone brands. The latest addition to his repertoire is the new Herringbone in Santa Monica. Set at The Seychelle's on Ocean Avenue, the restaurant boasts a fairly large seafood menu. Malarkey's vision is to bring fresh seafood while incorporating meat dishes to highlight its flavors. Although I appreciate the inspiration of also bringing locally inspired dishes, it failed to deliver. Many of the dishes were under-seasoned and the flavors were in-cohesive (but more on that later).
On a positive note, the restaurant's decor is something pretty spectacular. It gives a sense that you're partly at sea and partly on land. A large communal table, casual seating as well as a large bar composes half of the restaurant ideal for social gatherings. The restaurant is not at all pretentious, so it was definitely a big plus for me. There are oyster hours daily from 4:30-6:30 pm offering $1 oysters and drink specials as well as live music Thursdays and Fridays.
|Part of the interior|
|The other half of the interior|
|JALE BERRY ($11.00): Strawberry jalapeno, infused tequila, lime agave. This was a refreshing drink with a slight kick to it with the jalapeno. It's perfect for summer but I wouldn't say I loved it.|
|HERB FRIES ($7.00): The fries were ok. They weren't as crispy as I would have liked, but still good nonetheless.|
Overall, I feel as though Herringbone has the potential to be something amazing. The decor is already fantastic, but they need to improve a bit on the food and definitely the service. Herringbone had been opened for about a week when we visited the restaurant and they were definitely working out the kinks. First and foremost, they couldn't find our reservation, secondly, the waitress didn't have the menu memorized and was reading off her notes, third, no one would come by to check on us if we needed anything, and lastly, the busboys would try to take away our food when we were in the middle of eating (it happened three times). Maybe they need to have a bit of time working on this and then it could be something great. Nice try though!
Notable dishes: Mint Chip Puck and Fresh Oysters