Babalu

(310) 395-2500

1002 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions   90403

34.029128 -118.498779

Open Hours

Monday To Friday From 11:30 AM To 11:00 PM Saturday To Sunday From 08:00 AM To 11:00 PM

 
Restaurants, Californian, Caribbean  more

Price: $$

Tags: Breakfast, Date Spot, Outdoor Dining, Romantic Dining

Payment Methods: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

Neighborhoods: West LA, North of Montana

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Babalu
Babalu
Babalu
Babalu
Menu
Crab Cakes, Crispy Calamari, Yam Fries, Fried Plantains, Babalu Potstickers, Cashkabud Um June, Coconut Shrimp, House, Caesar, Chinese Chicken... more

Reviews for Babalu

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

I like this place because its casual , semi kid friendly, great food and easy going staff. I would recommend

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Food Poisoning at Babalu – I was thinking this would be a fun and yummy place to go. Turns out it was at the other end of the scale. The fish was so buttered up on first bites, I asked it to be redone. The menu said it was cooked in wine and horseradish; no way.

It came back and within 2 hours I got very sharp pains in my stomach, chills and sweats, so nauseous I laid down on the floor in my bathroom. But the worst thing is when I asked for my money back the next day, they IGNORED me and for the THREE days I called them. They always said the manager would call me and she didn't. My review is don't eat there!!! Service was bad too. My first clue should have been the older well dressed woman who was unhappy with her food at one of the tables nearby.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Don't GO! Better Places to EAT in Santa Monica – I was very excited to try this place. I have been wanting to try it for sometime. I live locally and am always looking for new breakfast/brunch restaurants. I though this would be a great place to take my parents. I understand things happen and am usually very understanding but the staff was so rude especially the manager I would have a really hard time going back or recommending this place. It was obvious our order got lost. A good waitress would have noticed this after 25 minutes and all of the other tables that sat after us received there food and DRINKS. After waiting 45 minutes I finally went up to the front counter and said something. The manager actually made me feel like I was doing something wrong for asking for my food and a glass of water — which I had to ask for 3 times. The manager came out and talk to tables around us never said one thing to my party. When the food finally came it all out 5 minutes apart. My little girls came last. Luckily my 3 and 4 year old children are very well behaved and didn't not make a peep even though they were thirty and hungry. My mom ordered the mediterranean salad — she almost broke a tooth on the olive pits in the salad with no actual olives to be found. The rest of the food was average. I usually give restaurants a second chance but in this case I don't think I would go back especially since there are to many other great restaurants on Montana Street and all around Santa Monica with excellent food and great service!…A few restaurants I would recommend: on Montana Ave. — Blue Plate, Montana Cafe and 17th Street Cafe. On Wilshire Blvd. — Snug Harbor and Hukkleberry Cafe

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Slow service, undercooked food, fixed poorly! – I sat down at 7:15pm. Not a busy time of the evening.

Server took my order without incident. Ordered a jerk burger.

It didn't come to the table for 20 minutes. That's a long time for a 5 minute item. (Did I mention that I used to be a line cook?)

The yam fries were fine. The onion rings were undercooked, a slight crisp, but almost white. I was willing to overlook this until I bit into the burger. I'd ordered it medium, it came rare. Not a little rare, but more like seared tartar. Crazy.

I sent it back asking for some more fire. It came back a few minutes later with the burger fully cooked.

However, the cook apparently dipped the onion rings into the oil to quickly warm them up. As such, they arrived warm, but soggy with oil.

This cook obviously sat on the order for 15 minutes before rushing it through. This is a human mistake that I can generally forgive, but when the onion rings came back having been dunked back into the oil, that's what really crossed the line and made me sick enough to my stomach to mention it here.

Doesn't Recommend
2.0
over a year ago

Hair in pasta – Friend found a very long hair (she has short hair) mixed into her pasta. When presented to the manager, her response was not to take any responsibility. She claimed it 'flew in from the air'. This hair was NOT laying on top of the dish, it was well mixed in. She said all her cooks have short hair. Offered no compensation, free dessert nothing.

Doesn't Recommend
2.0
over a year ago

Great Food, Service by Satan – How is it possible that the owners of Babalu consistently produce some of the best food in Santa Monica and yet insist on hiring careless, self-absorbed, narcissistic waiters? Yes, this is Los Angeles, but the heights of inconsiderate behavior reached by the wait staff make Steve Martin's Absent-Minded Waiter look like the paragon of service. Don't ever sit at a table outside; you will be left to molder until the restaurant shuts down. Don't ever wait to ask for a refill of your drink; you are better off quenching your thirst at your neighbor's table, assuming they still have something in their glass. Don't ever worry about forgetting the name of your waiter; they will never volunteer the information in the first place for fear of future reprisals. And if your waiter should happen to look you in the eye when asking you for your order, know that this is a nervous tick and to never expect eye-contact again.

For the owners: I don't know the name of my waiter on my last visit, but it was a dark-haired woman and the time of my visit was 5:00 April 12th. I have come to expect terrible service at Babalu's, but this last experience was one for the books.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Unbelievable Desserts! – My boyfriend recently had dinner with a friend at Babalu and had the amazing Turkey Meatloaf. He was dying for me to try it. It was great! But the big satisfying surprise was one of the best desserts I've ever had! I love coconut and their Coconut Praline Cream pie is out of this world. I want to tell everyone to go and have dinner but don't leave until you've had dessert! The service is excellent and the atmosphere is very cozy. I live in the mid-Wilshire area so it is a trek but so worth it! A new favorite on our list!

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Slow and Steady – This is one of my favorite places on Montana, and while it's true that you are almost assuredly going to wait. Let me just say that it is worth it. The unusual menu offers up all kinds of weird Cuban/American fusions that are pretty incredible. The inside of the restaurant has some really cool decor, and the paintings on the walls are always changing. Or if people watching is your thing, take a seat outside and enjoy the yuppies strolling down Montana. Either way this is a great little Montana spot, and yeah it's pricey, but you're on Montana what do you expect? I'd say it's definitely worth the price and the usual wait.

Recommends
3.0
over a year ago

Worthwhile – Above average food, slightly overpriced and a manager with bipolar. It's worth visiting when the angry blonde behind the counter has the day off. Coconut shrimp, chicken tacos, vegetable stir-fry, and all of the desserts are tasty.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Not worth the wait OR the price – Went to Bablu last night. We waited about 25 minutes, which I was totally ok with. It was, after all, 730pm in Santa Monica. The room has a good atmosphere, nice and airy.

When we were seated, the server was frantic. It's not a big place, but it was full... with a wait, and they had two servers and one busser working. She was nice, and the service was adequate. It was not reflection on the quality of the service staff, more about the management understaffing and not doing there job.

Now the food.....Disapointing at best. I had a chicken chopped salad. It was a Denny's quality mix of lettuce and vegetables, all diced up into neat little cubes. Decent dressing. I paid an extra $3 for chicken, which was also diced into cubes. The total amount of chicken was probably about a quarter of a chicken breast, with little flavor. Price = $20. Are you kidding me? I also got their version of Baba ghanoush (that's how they describe it. I can't remember the exact name). The pita was ok...obviously store bought and cut into triangles. No oil, no lemon, just cut up bread. The "Baba ghanoush" itself had a werd sweetness (maybe figs?) to it. Very dark, like refried beans. Very "fibery"; I could see strings of whatever it's made out of at the bottom. I didn't like it too much. I knew it was a little different, but I thought I'd take a shot.

My friends ordered :

1) Hamburger with sweet potato fries

2) Chicken Enchiladas (3 to an order) with rice and beans

3) Chicken tacos (2 to an order) with rice and beans

4) two ice waters, two iced teas.

Price .... you ready for this.... $90.

NOT Reccomended at all.

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