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“Charming, cozy, Very good food, attentive service”
Review of Sam's by the Beach

Sam's by the Beach
Ranked #79 of 705 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Price range: USD 31 - USD 40
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Pacific Coast HWY
Description: A Mediterranean bistro, featuring some Middle Eastern tastes, run by a native of Damascus.
Reviewed 23 September 2011

My wife and I found ourselves in LA on business the day of our anniversary so I set off to TripAdvisor and elsewhere to find a restaurant. I didn't know Sam's from Adam, but the Mediterranean / French menu looked like fun, and we wanted to be at the coast. We lucked out. Sam's is a small room, and it was not busy on this particular Thursday evening. I cannot be sure but I am guessing that the concept is something along the lines of "Colonial French / Lebanese" -- hummus shares the menu with crepes suzette. We sat along the front window in a cozy banquette with pillows; after dinner the staff chuckled at me because I was so comfortable that I reclined back a bit like Caesar. The tuna and avocado appetizer is excellent. I decided to try "Sam's Spaghetti," a steaming bowl of perfectly cooked spaghetti in a tomato and squid ink sauce. The sauce was thick and black, of course, a bit shocking, I guess, but the flavor was so rich and powerful I could not finish the entire portion. I can honestly say that it was a very good food experience that probably I will not try again, it is just so rich. Sam's Bread Pudding, which we shared, was so good that we teased the waiter about ordering four more. Sam stops by every table to check in, a nice touch. A very pleasant surprise!

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1  Thank Tommyg2230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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103 - 107 of 138 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2011

The food is amazing and Sam only uses the freshest ingredients. Although you cannot go wrong with any selection, definitely try "Sam's Trio" as an appetizer and the bread pudding for dessert. His homemade sorbets and fresh poached fruit are also excellent. If you are lucky, he will be serving his heirloom tomato soup.

The service is attentive but not intrusive. The atmosphere is romantic and refined but not pretentious.

A must try!

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2  Thank Kenmar5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2011

Loved this restaurant! Sam was wonderful, welcoming and knowledgable and we will happily return! Thoroughly recommend (especially the sardine spaghetti!!)

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3  Thank Susand70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2011

We have dined at many upscale restaurants throughout the United Sates. Sam's by the Beach is the best restaurant at which we have dined. We just had a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner at Sam's. The food and service were, as usual, exceptional. Sam personally selects fresh seafood for the daily special as well as the meats and vegetables. The meals are not only delicious, but very healthy. Sam's has a great wine list. The service far exceeds what we have experienced at other upscale (and more expensive) restaurants at which we have dined. The restaurant offers a more intimate dining venue and is a great place to get together with good friends and enjoy an evening of fine dining and great conversation.

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4  Thank IMBITTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2011

My family and I visited Sam's last weekend, and what a discovery. The place was recommended to us by our hotel concierge. We were not surprised to see the restaurant full, because the minute you walk through the front door you can't help but notice the wonderful aroma of food filling the dining room. We got greeted by the owner himself Sam, he assured us that our table would be ready in 5 minutes, sure enough we were seated and ready to experience true Mediterranean Cuisine as our concierge had told us. Our waitress was very informative and guided us to select a few favorites from the menu and from the daily specials. I ordered the special fish of the day, it was so divine and fresh that I felt as if I was dining along the side of the Mediterranean ocean. I also had a bite of my dads Venison, it was to die for. I looked at the rest of my family and all I saw was a big smile on everybody’s face. Everyone kept saying that I had the best dish tonight. Now is time to select the dessert, so we decided to choose 4 between the six of us, the bread pudding the best I ever tasted, the chocolate mousse was very light and smooth a sign of great quality chocolate, a classic crepe suzette that my Mom would not share with anyone because you can't find that on any menu these days, and the special Rum Baba was soaked with rum and rose water a great twist on a classic dessert. Just before we were ready to pay and leave, we had the chance to chat with Sam. We found out that he goes to the central market daily to pick his Grass Fed Meat and Organic Vegetables. He then goes to the Japanese Fish Market for the best quality seafood. This is what I call Labor Of Love. It really shows in his charming place and food. Such warm hospitality!
I will highly recommend this place to anyone who is going to visit Los Angeles. I believe anyone who gets to taste this place is very lucky. I can't wait to come back to Sam's.
Bon Appétit

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4  Thank foodwine007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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