1212 3rd St Promenade, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.018003 -118.498959
Neighborhoods: West LA, Downtown
One of my Favorite Westside Restaurants – Monsoon is one of my favorite places to eat on the Westside. Whether you are in the mood for sushi or asian fusion or thai, they have it all. It's good, fresh food and satisfies most appetites.
The large dining room has a great ambiance with rich woods and asian style chandeliers. The booths have great privacy, but a table out in the center can be a little loud and exposed.
Hospital Sushi – Hospital sushi. Period. By the end of the evening, my husband and I concluded that former Taco Bell cooks had been trained to prepare sushi, and came to Monsoon with the same sensibilities. No artistry, no deftness of execution. No flavor. We started with eel, something I love and can always count on. It was presented with a thick, opaque, and gelatinous sauce that raised my eyebrows, but I decided to not make rash judgments. We ordered the Monsoon roll, expecting it to be their piece de resistance of flavor and their ultimate sushi dish, being their namesake. Sigh. It was bland. Lifeless. Its appearance and taste was washed out, needing the soy sauce or their ill-conceived spicy mayo [better suited for a sandwich] to provide interest. Wonder Bread sushi. But we forged on, determined to have one delicious memory of Monsoon. We ordered a Spider Roll, looking forward to the warm crispness and flavor of the soft shell crab. Alas, there was an icy cold component to the dish [the crab meat?], which completely cancelled out the sparse presence of the tempura-battered crab. We didn't finish it; we gave up. At $14 and $15 per roll, we expected to at least enjoy our food. It was such a sad experience. We have eaten at small, hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurants and elegant establishments. And all were superior to Monsoon. You want sushi? Better to go to Trader Joe's instead of Monsoon.
Awesome sushi, and great happy hour! – I recently discovered Monsoon and I am now a regular customer. Their happy hour is fabulous - everything on their set menu is $4 during happy hour (they have 2 happy hours - one early and one late). The sushi is great! It's always exceeded my expectations. The service is ok, but not great. Sometimes you kind of have to grab the wait staff as they zip by, but for $4 rolls and $4 wine, I'm not complaining.
Great food – The food and atmosphere are great I would've rated 5 stars if the restrooms were clean!
best place I've visited in WLA – i was there on a sturday night for the salsa dancing. Which was great . I had so much fun. Although It is A small place
Horrible experience - worst restaurant! – Friends and I went for a birthday meal. As a celiac I cannot have gluten. When I politely asked the waitress to help me determine which items I might eat she came back with the answer "nothing really." I had to ask several times to even get her to speak to the chef. When I got no real answer about the sauces I asked if the chef might grill a piece of fish or chicken with a little diced mango (mango was all over the menu as well as fish and chicken) and put it on some brown rice - NOTHING fancy, out of the ordinary or time consuming. It should have been quite easy to do. What came was a dry bowl of rice and a salad sized plate of bone dry chicken. It was as tough as jerky, no mango, butter, oil, nothing on the dry chicken. When asked about the mango she brought some slices of dry hard mango but seemed angry that we had asked. We spoke to the manager (with the chef present) and both looked at us blankly like we were a nuisance, not a customer. The restaurant wasn't even busy with over half the tables empty on a Saturday night (now I see why). I have never been so appalled by treatment in a restaurant by the waiters, managers and chef. I would never eat there and recommend that no one support an establishment that treats people so poorly.
Nice atmosphere... Terrible service – I went there on a date with my girlfriend and the service was terrible. I eat out a lot and have a lot of patience but the waitress was MIA. We ordered sushi, which was really good but the drinks were terrible. Horrible service, good atmosphere... too bad I won't be back
Amazing Sushi – Best Sushi I have had! They offer the typical but it was their unique creations/dishes that were wonderful. The atmosphere was great and the staff was friendly and helpful. I recommend it to anyone in the Santa Monica area.
In response to dishonesty – Although it is against normal standards, I felt compelled to at least bring to light the two previous reviewers without attempting to "pad" Monsoon Cafe's ratings. I do welcome people to visit the three lettered business bureau referred to in the previous review, as the issue was responded to properly. As for the situation the previous two reviewers are speaking, it was a matter of a customers over intoxication & unacceptable conduct, that led to apologetic friends that financially took care of the services rendered.
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