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“Friendly, Nice beach ambience, a little Mediterranean flair...food's good too.”
Review of Sam's by the Beach

Sam's by the Beach
Ranked #79 of 705 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Pacific Coast HWY
Description: A Mediterranean bistro, featuring some Middle Eastern tastes, run by a native of Damascus.
Reviewed August 16, 2012

We have been eating out quite a bit recently in celebration of our 25th anniversary. Earlier in the week we hadw been to Melisse, French, also in Santa Monica. Unlike Melisse, this restaurant is more of a beachy neighborhood restaurant...dress is casual, the feel of the dining room is rustic and warm. Although the menu is more casual than Melisse, the food was delicious. We selected a nice wine, and appetizers and entrees were delicious, nicely presented and seasoned. Our server was gracious and warm and really knew the menu. We were a party of 6 and everyone had a wonderful time. I can't believe I grew up in this neighborhood and have never been here before...we will definitely be back...I almost don't want to give a good review because it's nice to be able to get in without a fuss. :)

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Thank Briar G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 - 97 of 138 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2012

Well presented and very tasty dishes with excellent service.

Thank ernestadt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2012

I came in meeting a party of 6. Started out with Sam's Trio which was amazing! We also had the Tuna Tartar. The color and freshness was beautiful. I had the smoked quail on the menu accompanied by the freshest vegetables. Everyone in my party was delighted with the impeccable service and simply delicious food. I have traveled the world and have to say Sam's is one of the best ! The place was charming , and lively... The young couple sitting next to us were locals just raging to us about Sam's. It's a definite must go to place. Can hardly wait to return! Thanks Sam and your attentive staff for taking care of my group!

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Thank VanessaD007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

I never write reviews but thought this was necessary since all the other critiques were completely inaccurate in my opinion. The food was such a huge disappointment. The filet I ordered med-rare came out well done. They brought me another one 15min later and it ended up being a NY Strip folded in half (to give the appearance of a thicker steak, ie. a filet?). By this time it was too late and everyone else in my party had finished their dinner, so we didnt bother returning it again. The green beans tasted like they came out of a can, even though we know they did not. They simply did not taste good....almost like soggy beans that had been cooked a couple days ago and then reheated. 2 others I was dining with had the sea bass and both described it as 'fishy'. The only good meal was the shrimp ravioli. They gave us a free bread pudding dessert which was excellent. Bottom line for us is that we'll never go back...not just because they suspiciously sent me the wrong meal after they over cooked my first one, but also because the food was just not good. As a side note, we are all all in our early-mid 30s and were the youngest diners by about 15 years.

As we walked out and waited for our car we took a look in the restaurant next door...it looked great. Crowd was younger than 60 and it was much more lively, though not super loud. Seafood oriented menu, but had an array of options. We're going to try this the next time we come to town. In the meantime, skip Sam's.

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2  Thank jlk_gator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2012

Enjoyed a delightful dinner at Sam's. Service was great and the host/owner was funny, helpful and made the evening enjoyable.

The place is very small, only 12 tables or so but the menu is quite ambitious. We were a bit disappointed by the wine list but that is to be expected in such a small capacity restaurant. We had s bottle of Italian Valpolicella which was harsh and smelled of vinegar. My fault, not theirs.

The menu had a variety of Mediterranean dishes ranging from French to Italian to Middle Eastern with several fish and shellfish dishes, several poultry choices, beef, lamb, veal and vegetarian.

Prices for appetizers were $12-15. Including a wonderful beet salad which my wife loved. Very delicate tastes which brought out the flavored of the ingredients and not overwhelmed by the dressing. My roquefort salad was very tasty but less subtle. The two fresh breads were delicate and very good.

My wife had the veal cordon bleu with a fresh mushroom sauce that was amazing. I had the lamb shank which was a very nice large and very tender portion with a sauce that was a bit overpowering.

For desert, she had the bread pudding which is their signature desert and her favorite. She loved it. I had the middle eastern birds nest which was similar to a desert my grandmother made and was just what I expected with the right combination of sweet, crunch, pistachios and rose water custard. Not dissimilar from baklava with similar taste but completely different presentation.

This is the kind of place that makes for a very enjoyable evening. Just the right combo of every piece. Not to die for food, but the whole package comes together very well.

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1  Thank Foosh9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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