Photos by Ben Brown

Water Grill: Taking Sustainable Seafood to New Heights

In a world where fine dining is dominated by red meat, Water Grill emerges as a rare entity that truly puts seafood first. Water Grill takes their seafood so seriously, in fact, that they control virtually every step of their supply chain. Sustainable seafood has been a top priority since the first restaurant’s opening in 1989, long before it was ‘cool.’ Over nearly 30 years, Water Grill has expanded ever-so-carefully with prime locations across Southern California and Dallas. 

A theme of humble elegance resonates from the moment you set foot through the doors. A sprawling dining room with plush booths, dark wood tables and dim lighting speaks to the iconic steakhouse while the raw bar, lobster tanks and fish state that while steak is served here, it comes in a distant second. The staff to guest ratio is astounding, with an army of servers catering to the haute crowd in spectacular fashion, even by fine dining standards.

Water Grill’s menu is both vast and ever-changing, the revolving door of seafood selections changing with fishing seasons from across the world. An impressive raw bar showcases all the oysters you could ever want, as well as a fashionable crudo lineup highlighted by addictive Japanese-seasoned scallops. 

Iconic dishes such as crab cakes and lobster rolls have been perfected over three decades. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t order the Chilean seabass, a historic best-seller so rich and flaky that it practically melts on the plate. Shellfish is nothing short of top-notch—spiny lobster was in season at the time of this writing, served sliced down the middle and practically bursting at the seams with butter.

Artfully crafted cocktails and a sophisticated wine and beer list contain a pairing for everything, and that impeccable service staff is more than ready to navigate the menu for you. Expectedly, the price point here will set you back, but is worth every penny. For more information, visit WaterGrill.com.

Humphry Slocombe: Unconventional Ice Cream Right at Home in Venice

Founders Jake Godby and Sean Vahey put it best by describing Humphry Slocombe as a “bizarre, delicious frozen universe.” Since 2008, Humphry Slocombe [the name comes from the 1970’s sitcom ‘Are You Being Served’] has turned heads with flavors that taste as exotic as they’re named. And where would a place that defines itself by going against the grain be better suited in LA than the heart of Venice?

This humble standing-room only parlor boasts rows and rows of seasonal and evergreen flavors. Strawberry Captain Crunch, Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee and McEvoy Olive Oil are just the beginning. A lineup of ‘boozy’ creations includes secret breakfast [made with bourbon], black forest white Russian [made with Kahlua] and Jesus juice [wine and cola sorbet] among others. And then the granddaddy of them all: Harvey milk and honey graham [see what they did there? And yes, that’s a direct quote from the display].

Humphry Slocombe offers unlimited samples for visitors, allowing patrons to indulge their curiosity while at the same time making it even harder to decide on just a few flavors, let alone one. 

Fresh-made waffle cones and gourmet toppings such as frosted peanuts and custom cornflakes maintain a quality experience. The only area where Humphry Slocombe falls short is their root beer floats, where something more artisan should take the place of the canned A&W currently being used. Milkshakes would be highly desired as well, though patrons can treat themselves to a coffee float or a custom sundae. For more information, visit HumphrySlocombe.com.

Farmer Boys Steps Up Its Fry Game

Farmer Boys has been serving up burgers, sandwiches, salads and breakfast since 1981, and nearly 40 years later have pulled the trigger on a new way to French fry. The 93-store chain recently launched ‘always crispy’ fries across all locations. 

Not that there was anything wrong with Farmer Boys’ former fries, but the change has made for a pretty good upgrade. They snap when you bend them and have a great crunch, but remain perfectly golden with a good balance of rich and fluffy, and not too oily. 

“As consumer eating habits change to where the majority of fries are consumed outside of restaurants, fries that stay crispy longer provide an obvious…benefit,” said Larry Rusinko, Farmer Boys’ Chief Marketing Officer. 

The new fries, as is the case with everything else on the menu at Farmer Boys, are made with farm fresh ingredients. And as predicted, they make an excellent fit with a classic farmer’s burger [double burger, cheese, bacon, avocado, 1000 island], a barn burner [burger, pepper jack, fried jalapeno slices], or anything else from the long list of specialties. Wash it down with a cookies ‘n’ cream shake and enjoy the nap you’ll need afterward. For more information, visit FarmerBoys.com.