1002 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040334.029128 -118.498779
Monday To Friday From 11:30 AM To 11:00 PM Saturday To Sunday From 08:00 AM To 11:00 PM
Neighborhoods: West LA, North of Montana
Make like Ricky Ricardo at this Cal-Caribbean favorite for a jumbled menu of delights and a colorful, relaxed beachside atmosphere. – In Short
The sarong-clad waitstaff glides from table to table, casually serving stylish Montana Avenue shoppers and neighborhood families. Brunch favorites include pancake and omelette specials, as well as a creative eggs Benedict on corn cakes with chipotle hollandaise. Light lunches feature dishes like a blackened chicken tostada salad, while dinner picks include chicken with ancho chilies and sweet potato tamale. Homemade gooey desserts are favorites.
LOTS OF FUN, UNUSUAL DECOR, AND A MENU FULL OF SURPRISES – This is a good place to go for something off the beaten path but still civilized. The menu should have something for everyones taste: Carribean/California Fusion. There is lots of light and the area is well organized, if a little tightly spaced. Like every place in LA the service varies from excellent to just OK, but mostly good to excellent. Prices are moderate. Parking in Santa Monica does not exist; Montana is metered, so try a side street South of Montana. It is worth the trouble and every trip back will be different.
Long wait, followed by SLOW SERVICE!!!!, More Confusion that Fusion – The atmosphere looked promising, but after a 45 minute wait, I was hoping to be blown off my seat. The restaurant is tiny yet somewhat cozy depending on the table you get. The waitress is virtually non-existant and I am still hoping the more efficient busgirl got the tip we left rather than that pretty L.A. waitress/actress who made 1 cameo at our table (once to take our order, lastly to receive the check once it was paid). Not impressed.
The food was pretty good. The ribs and the Jamaican jer* chicken are the way to go, but a lot of the menu seemed confused - from szechuan rice to missippi short ribs....i don't know what they were going for...but i expected more Carribean cuisine on the menu.
Good wine. Good beer. Ritzy neighborhood. Most menu items priced above $20
Small town neighborhood atmosphere with good food – This place has a small town neighborhood feeling. It's not a Mom and Pop shop but it seems like it would be. The food is good and tastes fresh. They have good coffee and really good desserts. I had the crab enchiladas and scallop appetizer. I've only eaten here once on a Wednesday but there was no wait. A lot of people in earlier posts wrote that the service was bad but I thought it was great when I went. Maybe they made some adjustments since. Definately a place worth trying.
Great neighboorhood spot in Santa Monica – Loved Babalu. Extensive and fresh menu. There is something for everyone. I had the shrimp special and it was delicious.
Food OK, Service Terrible, Dirty Forks, LOOOOOONG Wait – The food was decent but the wait was horrible and they even sat three people who were behind us even when we had been waiting over 40 minutes. The forks had gluey goo over it and it took over 10 minutes to get water and coffee. The waitress finally spilled hot liquid all over my legs and in the end, we left the restaurant disappointed. I definitely don't recommend this place, and there are many other restaurants on Montana where you can get the same quality of food without going through the hassle of bad service. Thumbs down for me.
great food, HORRIBLE MANAGER – The food here is great and the staff is very friendly, however they seem overworked and under appreciated. I've been to Babalu many times now, sometimes eating in and sometimes picking up to go orders and everytime ive always been impressed with my meal. The hostesses are always polite and friendly as well as the people waiting tables. The only complaint I have- other than the long waits- is about the blonde manager. She is rude to customers and every time I have been in the restaurant she is yelling at her staff. Then, today I went in and after picking up my to go order she actually stopped yelling at her waitress for accidentally breaking a cookie and started yelling at me for not being prompt in paying for my meal. Frankly, it was enough to make me swear off Babalu- on days she is working, that is.
loved the pies – I really liked this place, great and healthy food and amazing desserts. Afterwards you can go shopping on Montana too!
great food, HOT staff – Decided to check out Babalu with some friends last Wed night. Had a great time, even though the place was a little chaotic. Food rocked, and so did their staff. Men, leave your dates at home. Every one of the girls that was working was SMOKING. We were treated to a great time by a group of sweethearts. Fyi, we had the special halibut, special baby back ribs, ahi salad and chicken bolognese. All of us cleaned our plates...but we couldn't resist the banana brownie cream pie at the end, and damn it was tasty. We'll DEFINITELY be back!
Decent food, TERRIBLE service – My buddy and I arrived a few minutes before noon to beat the crowd. Even so, it took 15 minutes just to get water. Their menus were interesting if not oddly limited, considering the number of choices availble. My chickenw was a touch dry but otherwise tasty. But it was like pulling teeth to get our server to refill our drinks. I don't really dig places being snooty for the sake of being snooty. It wasn't even that fancy. I'd perhaps give it another try someday, but only on off-hours.
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