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“Cool, funky, awesome”
Review of Babalu Bar and Grill - CLOSED

Babalu Bar and Grill
Price range: $6 - $10
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night
Santa Monica, California
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Cool, funky, awesome”
Reviewed May 16, 2014

This a very cool place. The night we went they had live music which was really nice. We had fresh fish and it was really good. We also ordered a bottle of wine and all was pretty cheap. The setting is also really beautiful, right on the water.
The owner is an Italian guy and when he found out that we were also Italians , he came to sit with us to chat, even though the place was packed. The service is also very good . We loved everything about this place. We surely recommend it.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Roberta B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    38
    31
    8
    4
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Gastonia, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
53 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Hugely, Pleasantly, Surprised”
Reviewed April 18, 2014

Hmm... how do I say this. The place is extremely funky. It's like the place was just put together with driftwood and leftovers and nothing is plum or level or straight. It's quite endearing in a way but at first glance...well...we were very wary. The waitress was super nice there was an artist there who said we were the first to enjoy his new masterpiece he had just finished on the bar front. We ordered the shrimp ceviche and fried fish. The ceviche was incredibly good! We took the fish home and ate it later b/c we were just looking for a light snack after shopping in town but it was really very good as well. I also got a frozen rum punch to go but it was a bit too sweet for my taste. We heard some rumors about the ownership and their fish sourcing practices but we heard a lot of that about different establishments throughout the week. Overall, we really enjoyed it and would go back. The look of the place and the view definitely add to the experience.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jungledriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good food, service, and view”
Reviewed March 18, 2014

This is a nice little bar with a very laid bad feel. Service is extremely friendly and welcoming. The view outback is probably one of the BEST on the island for the sunset. The giant hole in the middle of the bar to watch the fish is great! and makes this place very unique. The fish I had was super garlic-y and delicious. Coconut shrimp and garlic shrimp also very tasty and well cooked. My main complaint is the drinks! Soda was flat, options very limited. I know you can't expect much for cocktails on the island but most places you can get a rum and pineapple, or a rum and gingerale, or at least a rum and something! I wouldn't come back here just to drink, but I would come back for the food and the view.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poland , NY USA
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Funky but chic....”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

During a couple of days on Utila, my wife and I ended up here twice, and had fun both times.
The place appears to have been built from driftwood scraps, but what it lacks in structural integrity, it makes up in soul. In the states, a place like this would be shut down in a matter of seconds, but you're not in the states....so enjoy ! Most of the servers/bar staff appear to be young backpackers working for tips only, so don't expect world class service...just world class friendliness. The food is good. The beer is cold. There's a huge square hole in the floor that allows you to watch the fish under the building. (very cool in the evening) As the sign out front says, "Americans must be accompanied by an adult".

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank EricC56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leon, Nicaragua
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“I loooooove this place! Food is excellent, atmosphere even better”
Reviewed March 2, 2014

If you're into beautiful sunsets and quiet dock bars overlooking beautiful water, sailboats etc, this is your place. Funky, fun, and not full of 20 year olds doing shots, this is my favorite place on the island. Local bear is $32, and the food is excellent - I had shrimp pasta that was to die for (if you like garlic, you'll be in heaven) and a great fish sandwich. I also had a veggie quesadilla that was good but not great it could have been the way my friend ordered it though. Anyway, this place is comfortable, super funky and cool and friendly. I went every single day I was in town and I couldn't get enough! Go, you won't regret it!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank International_Mel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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