Restaurant: Robata Bar
Location:1401 Ocean Ave a, Santa Monica, CA 90401. (310) 458-4771
Date: September 7, 2018
Cuisine: Japanese Robata
Rating: Just ok
We actually came here by accident. I won’t go into it, but we had a bunch of people and no reservation and just ended up here. They always have availability.
Robata Bar, right next to Santa Monica’s Sushi Roku and owned by the same (not so) Innovative Dining Group. I’ve never loved their places. Style over substance. And the style is a bit dated now too.
Build out is ok. Tucked around the corner from Ocean.
Organic Garden Salad yuzu ginger dressing.
“Hanabi ”spicy tuna on crispy rice. Never seen this in Japan but it’s a staple at places like this.
Brussels Sprouts Chips truffle oil, salt.
Popcorn Shrimp Tempura miso glazed. These are always tasty, but they are better at Nobu.
Yellowtail Sashimi diced chiles. Way way too smothered. No tasting the fish here.
Fried Ji-Dori Chicken “Kara Age ” cilantro aioli. Fine, but a bit dry.
A touch of sushi, Salmon and Tamago.
Sauce for the robata (grilled meats on sticks).
Chicken meatball and Kobe Pepper (american wagyu black pepper sauce).
Gindara (black cod with sweet miso), Sake (salmon with pesto), Nasu (japanese eggplant with sweet miso).
Tebasaki (chicken wings).
Yaki Niku (short ribs in asian marinade).
Kohitsuji (lamb chops marinated in soy garlic).
Overall, Robata was decent, with a pretty varied menu, but a bit uninspired. It’s certainly not bad tasting. Just there is little soul or pizazz to it. Not very crowded on a very crowded Friday night either.