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“Good night out”
Review of Salt Creek Grille

Salt Creek Grille
Ranked #10 of 143 Restaurants in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $40
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Kids, Large groups, Families with children, Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Crown Valley Pkwy
Marlow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
128 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Good night out”
Reviewed August 26, 2011

Went with family.
Really great service and nice food. Lovely waitress.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank DdB1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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269 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Appleton, WI
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Nice ambiance but average steaks for a slightly higher price”
Reviewed August 15, 2011

After driving around Dana Point and down to Newport Beach into the evening, around 9pm we stopped at Salt Creek Grille starving for a good steak. My colleague ordered the prime rib and I ordered the Fillet Mignon cut with some fries. The portion was an average size setting and my steak prepared med well but it really lacked any kind of flavor. I have had steaks that would melt away in your mouth and this just wasn't one of them. It was a good quality steak but average at best in taste and not what I hoped for based on the very nice ambiance and awards displayed on the wall near the restrooms.

It was rather later in the evening and still took about 35 min for our food to arrive to us so we tried the bread provided and that to lacked any real flavor although fresh but I think they they need to spice it up with some flavored butter or something. I ordered a beer on tap (Coors Lite) and that was about $7 so my total bill was around $42 and for me expensive for an avg meal.

My friend and I agreed we should have tried the BBQ restaurant within the same area about a block down. Service was also pretty average so I would give this one a pass and try something else. So many places you can get okay food at a cheaper price.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Brazoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mission Viejo, California
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 1, 2011

We wanted to go for their beer tasting event. One person in the party could not eat what was on the menu, and this restaurant would not allow us to order from the regular menu, on the patio, so this person could sit with the group! WOW!! How inflexible is that?

Visited August 2011
1 Thank Fynchbel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
phoenix az
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Pretty place, but it's all show and no substance underneath.”
Reviewed April 6, 2011

I'm guessing that this place started out great, but it seems like no one is really paying attention to the details any more and they are slipping in several areas as a result. We tried it because it looked very upscale and attractive from the street. However, we soon found that the place was all show and no substance.

The "show" is a nice fireplace outdoors where you can sit while waiting for a table, a pretty patio seating area and an attempt to "classy up the place" with mandatory but complimentary valet parking.

The substance should have been great food and service. But this is where they fell flat. We were seated by one server who took a drink and appetizer order and told us the other server would take our order shortly. The drinks came. The bread came. The appetizer came. We ate the appetizer. We drank the drinks. We ate the bread. And despite our menus being placed so they were quite obviously hanging off the end of the table and into the aisle, no waitress ever came to take our order (or refill our water/beverages.) We got bored and finally flagged down another server and asked him to get our waitress for us. Neither did the first server, so if he was supposed to be training or supervising her, he was doing a lousy job.

She was obviously very new and nervous so we decided to cut her some slack. But she knew nothing about the menu, couldn't answer a single one of our questions and at one point even leaned way over my husband and his menu, pointing with her finger trying to find the description of the entree he had asked a question about, hoping to find the answer there. (If it was there, we wouldn't have needed to ask, now, would we?) The fact that she didn't even know where to look on the menu to find the entree screamed that she wasn't ready to be doing this on her own yet.

Service went downhill from there with mistake after mistake, and though she was trying, it was just obvious that she was very young and had never worked in a restaurant before and had received entirely inadequate training here. We felt sorry for her as she awkwardly asked odd questions like "Do you want more, ummm, what was that?" (pointing to my water glass.) "Water." "Oh. So would you like some more?"

Later she at least recognized a wine glass was a wine glass and asked my husband if he wanted more wine. However, since we had ordered a bottle, it was sitting right there on the table still 3/4 full. So he said "no." At that, she cleared his wine glass from the table. So he was effectively "cut off" after one glass. Whatever. We just rolled our eyes at this point.

Dinner came out and we hoped the food would make up for the rookie service. Unfortunately, the portions were rather stingy, the steak was done unevenly - good on one side, overcooked on the other. And I wanted a little soy sauce to punch up my salmon and rice but of course our server NEVER managed to come by for a check-back. So I did without. No manager ever came by to see how things were going.

The dessert that came with my price fixe meal was right in line with the "all show and no substance" theme of the evening. It looked fabulous with whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate sauce artfully arranged on a slice of what appeared to be a flourless chocolate cake slice. But, while the toppings were delicious, the cake was not a rich flourless version but rather an extremely dry and bland concoction I can only describe as a prop to hold up the toppings. Seriously bad. If I made it at home, I would have thrown it and the recipe for it right in the trash. Needless to say, we only ate the toppings and went across the street to the grocery store's bakery case for dessert.

Now I understand that restaurants have to train new staff members and I am not averse to having a newbie wait on me. But to throw this poor kid out onto the floor with obviously inadequate training and supervision when diners are dropping $100 for dinner for two suggests that management no longer cares about quality or service. Heck, the chocolate sawdust cake shows they don't taste anything going out the door. With so many other choices nearby, I'd skip this one. We won't be back.

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank katimac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orange county, ca
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Good restaurant. Appetizers better than the entrees.”
Reviewed November 3, 2010

Service was great. Good ambience. Slider appetizer and the bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp were excellent. Our entrees were good, but were outshined by the appetizers. If I go back, it'll be for drinks and appetizers.

Thank caocgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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