Monday, August 17, 2015


The Seychelle
1755 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel: 310.971.4460
$$$ ($30-$45)
Cuisine: Seafood
Sat, 08/08/2015, 7:00pm reservation
   (2.5 Piglets)

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. 
THE PETER RABBIT ($12.00): Pimm's #1, bruised basil, pressed lemon, pickled carrot. This was probably my favorite drink out of the two. It was different and the basil flavor really comes out through the drink. It gave a smooth finish and wasn't too sweet nor too strong for my liking. A good drink overall. 
OYSTERS: FANNY BAY/BC ($3/EACH), COROMANDEL/NZ ($3/EACH), KUSSHI/BC ($3/EACH): The oysters were medium bodied and more on the medium-small size. They had a cucumber base with a nice fresh finish to them. These oysters were delicious. My favorite would have to be the Kusshi oysters. 
ALBACORE POKE ($14.00): Ginger, soy , spicy mayo, nori, avocado. This was probably my least favorite dish of the night. Although the fish tasted fresh, the poke had no flavor and lacked seasoning. I felt there should have been a little acidity added to the dish to brighten it up a little more. The fried nori was good and it went well with the poke, but it wasn't amazing.  I actually only ate a few bites and couldn't eat it anymore (and I never pass on the opportunity to eat food so this was a sad moment). 
ARANCINI ($9.00): Herb aioli, tomato, mozzarella. The aranicini were fried crisp just the way I like them, but I couldn't taste the tomato. The herb aioli just felt as though it shouldn't have been there. I appreciate the chef trying to do something different but the aioli lacked flavor in all aspects. I ate these bad boys cause I love fried food, but I probably wouldn't order these again. 
SLOW COOKED ANGUS SHORT RIB ($31.00): Creamed kale, fingerlings, parmesan pine nut relish, jus. Ok, ok, I always love me a short rib but quite honestly, not these. The short ribs were extremely fatty, which I normally wouldn't mind, but it was almost all fat. The potatoes were ok and  cooked well and the creamed kale was good, but nothing at all superb. 
HERB FRIES ($7.00): The fries were ok. They weren't as crispy as I would have liked, but still good nonetheless.  
MY FAVORITE DISH. MINT CHIP PUCK ($11.00): Housemade mint chip ice cream, almond "magic shell", chocolate crumble, chocolate sauce, candied smoked almonds. Thank goodness for this dessert because it basically salvaged the whole meal. Up until this, I was completely disappointed, but this was a good dessert. I appreciated the mint chip ice cream using real mint herbs to create the creamy specialty. The shell was delicious and the condiments to go along with the dessert were chocolate-y, crunchy, and had overall good flavors. 

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

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