Berkeley >Food & Dining > Sea Salt
Great experience from start to finish....
Went here for the first time last night, and it was a great experience from start to finish.
I like dry, not-too-tart wine, and the server got it right with his suggestion - the very first time.
The food was excellent. We had deviled duck eggs (served with lox on top - that was a surprise), warm broccolini salad, fresh oysters, swordfish with local mushrooms, and steelhead.
I'd never had steelhead before. The server explained it was like salmon but better...and it was.
For dessert, we had a strawberry-rhubarb tart, and chocolate bread pudding.
I can't say enough how wonderful this place was. It is a bit out of my price range for everyday, but they do have a happy hour...
From 3-6 and again from 10-12, oysters are $1 and there are drink specials too. They are open until 12 every night...even Sunday.
Moderately priced dinner.. Sea Salt is located near the corner of Dwight Way and San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. As is the case with many restaurants in Berkeley, Sea Salt does not have its own parking lot. There is, however, plenty of parking available on the nearby side streets. The menu features mostly seafood options. I ordered the white clam chowder, fish & chips, and sorbet. The clam chowder was flavorful and the bacon scattered throughout the soup was a nice addition. The fish & chips were very good. I particularly liked the aioli that was served on the side. I ordered the sorbet for dessert and thought it was a refreshing end to the meal. My dinner companion ordered the dungeness crab cakes as the main entree and the sweet potato pecan pie for dessert. If you typically eat small portions at dinner, the crab cakes would be just right for you. On the other hand, if you prefer more sustenance at dinner, the 2 crab cakes would not be filling. As for the overall quality of the crab cakes, I have tasted better. The pie earns a mixed review. While the filling was excellent, the crust was too hard and without much flavor.
Fresh, well-prepared seafood. I love Sea Salt.. I live on Alameda and head here whenever I am in the mood for fresh, well-prepared seafood. The ambiance is unique, and very fitting a high-end seafood restaurant. And if you ever want to test whether a restaurant truly has friendly service, go with a baby. We had four adults and an infant on our first visit. We didn't get any askance glances from wait staff (or other diners), and were able to enjoy a truly adult meal with great conversation. This place is not cheap, especially if you love oysters (which our group did) and keep ordering more. But the quality of the food and excellent service still makes it an overall excellent value.
Good food, but loud and expensive.. My wife and I went to Sea Salt for dinner on a Saturday night, and were a bit disappointed by the experience. There is nothing wrong with the food, exactly - it is all nicely cooked and so forth, and the service is quite good, but I just didn't feel that it was very good value for the money. Our bill, including two glasses of their cheaper wine, was a tad under $100, without the tip, which I thought excessive. $18 in particular for fish and chips is a bit over the top. The ambience also leaves a lot to be desired - it is another of these ultra modern restaurants with hard surfaces everywhere, nothing to absorb the sound, and is quite loud. We found it difficult to have a conversation at a normal voice level, which I detest. Quite frankly, if I'm going to drop $100 on a meal, I would go somewhere more soothing, like JoJo's or Citron, rather than have my eardrums assaulted at Sea Salt.
Great seafood and great service!. I dined at Sea Salt with a group of eight friends and the meal, service and wine was solidly good. Our server, L*sa, was very attentive, friendly and provided good recommendations. Everyone in the group enjoyed the different appetizers we ordered and everyone's salad was well liked. (I ordered the Marin Root Salad which was superb.) I asked our server to pick a fish for me since I was undecisive and the Hawaiian Walu I received was one of the best fish dishes around. Desserts were ordered all around and followed by the comment "Wow!" On the way home, a friend and I remarked how no one offered tasts of their meals or desserts. The reason...everyone liked their meal so much they weren't willing to give any of it up.
Go for the oysters during happy hour ....
I went with a group on a Sunday evening and was surprised at how busy it was.
To start and pair with our Champagne we all shared a few dozen mixed oysters, at $1.00 a piece it was a great deal. That said, if I had it my way they would all have been kumamoto?s.
For my starter post Oysters I had the steamed mussels, which was nothing special, the same I?m sad to say went for the entree?s of the pan seared Sea Scallops with Chanterelles and Big Eye Tuna that I was sharing. The home run was the grilled sardines and the Octopus salad.
With so many other good restaurants to try I doubt that I will be returning on my own accord.
A great, non-traditional seafood restaurant. We've eaten here several times, and I my experiences have been great. The smallish plates are impeccable, both in presentation and in taste, and priced moderately in my opinion. The servings are much more European than American sized, which doesn't bother me, but others may feel ripped off. The oysters they serve tend to be smaller varieties; but that may be variableI prefer the smaller ones, myself, so it's no problem for me. The executive chef is innovate and creates some unusual, interesting and delicious dishes. We have yet to be disappointed with the food. That said, it is in an coming-up neighborhood, and parking can be a little tight on the lighted San Pablo Ave. The restaurant itself is a little crammed, and some of the tables are awkward, as noted, but the ambiance is nice, the service is quite good and the food is well worth trying. It's not Fonda; a place you want to go to again and again, and there are no non-fish offerings, which limits it's appeal, but it's worth at least a try.
sparkling oysters, darkly cozy ambience, great staff.
The reviews for this place didn't inspire confidence to dine here, but I was glad we decided to ignore them! Friday night at 7PM and the restaurant was packed but it took us less than five minutes to be seated at a cozy bistro table.We started off with Beau Soleil and Long Island Blue Point oysters making the round and both were refreshing and delicious, not briny and just the slightest hint of creamy. We ordered the sardines as an appetizer as it sounded interesting, but it never reached our table. My boyfriend had the grilled big eye tuna (rare), which I spied leaving the kitchen earlier and it looked fabulous. His came to the table looking just as spectacular as the one I saw- translucent slices of seared ruby tuna on a deliciously creamy bed of mashed sweet potatoes, their sweetness tamed by buttery undertones. The bok choy and curry sauce that accompanied it were good but nothing to write home about.
I ordered the pan seared halibut which arrived well seasoned and crisply served. Pan seared to perfection, flaky yet moist, the tarragon beurre blanc and grilled asparagus complemented the dish well. The only part that was slightly strange was the crab ravioli- what seemed to be a mysterious gummy substance beneath the halibut and sauce was actually wonton wrappers doubling as ersatz ravioli pasta. Not bad, just not what I imagined when ravioli comes to mind and the crab was lost trying to compete with the stronger halibut. For dessert we shared the strawberry napoleon which was a great balance of textures and a clean way to end the meal. I'm glad we decided to eat here afterall. My advice is to not order ordinary things like clam chowder or caesar salad, as you can get that anywhere. This is a seafood restaurant, go for their showcase dishes and be adventurous. The missing appetizer? Our server took good care of us by compensating for it in other ways after we informed her. Great food, great service- and oyster happy hour! We look forward to returning!
Fun to eat at the food bar. My husband and I went recently for our second go round. The first time we went it was for lunch, this time for dinner at the bar. We were more impressed this time. It seems to be getting the groove like Fonda has, only not as busy. The service was excellent. We had great oysters - normal size, not small like the other reviewers claimed. Also had the endive salad, clam chowder, and caesar salad. I do agree that there was a bit too much bacon in the clam chowder but the caesar was excellent, very much like Lalime's. The Lalime's pinot noir was a nice touch too, as was the champagne. I will go again, although I still like the bar at Lalime's better.
No reason to return. Why the hype for this place? It's so overrated and much too expensive for the small portions. I went for lunch, but the waitress was unable to meet my friend's request of grilled fish atop a salad. We left, and I returned with another friend for dinner. The crab salad was good, but the $2 oysters were literally the size of a quarter. The waitress seemed annoyed when I returned the miniscule oysters for clam chowder. The "Creamy Clam Chowder," as labeled on the menu, should have been called "Greasy Bacon Chowder," as it had more bacon bits than clams. Overall it was a disappointing experience, and I see no reason to return.
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