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Monsoon Cafe - 78 Reviews - 1212 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401-1308, Santa Monica, CA - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (310) 576-9996

Monsoon Cafe

1212 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401-1308 (at Wilshire Blvd)
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 576-9996
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Food & Dining


Monsoon Cafe - Santa Monica, CA


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this place is awesome


There is one reason and one reason only that I go there, the scallop dynamite. This is what you should expect when dining at monsoon cafe, at minimum you will be greeted after ten...

One of my Favorite Westside Restaurants 7/12/2010

parisla Provided by Partner
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. Pros: good food, amazing dessert, nice ambiance Cons: large dining room, sometimes loud more

Hospital Sushi 2/25/2010

ollieclayton Provided by Partner
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. Pros: Great Decor Cons: Food more

great! 12/7/2009

lorenzotest70 Provided by Partner
this place is awesome more

Awesome sushi, and great happy hour! 9/12/2009

Bediggy Provided by Partner
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. Pros: food and drinks during happy hour more

Great food 7/19/2009

CSMobileUser Provided by Partner
The food and atmosphere are great I would've rated 5 stars if the restrooms were clean! more

best place I've visited in WLA 6/22/2009

panchhito Provided by Partner
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 Pros: atmosphere Cons: price, small dance area more

Horrible experience - worst restaurant! 6/7/2009

Bryhar Provided by Partner
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. Cons: Rude management and service more

Nice atmosphere... Terrible service 3/4/2009

gglennon Provided by Partner
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 Pros: atmosphere Cons: service! service! more

Amazing Sushi 2/23/2009

jfed23 Provided by Partner
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. Pros: ambience,food, service more

In response to dishonesty 1/22/2009

MonsoonCafe Provided by Partner
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. more

Problems with staff and management 9/4/2008

jtentertainment Provided by Partner
I was a guest in the "Lounge" area where they have live bands and dancing on a Friday evening. I made previous arrangements with the manager to celebrate my birthday there. The promoter and bouncer, who apparently are very dishonest, created problems for my guests throughout the course of the evening and accused me of owing $150 for guests who had never arrived; and rather than admit fault, they prevaricated their story. The location is beautiful and the food was very delicious but I would not visit again because of those problems with the staff and management nor would I recommend this location to anybody else. Cons: Staff and Management are Dishonest more

Poor Management, Dishonesty 9/4/2008

CuteQ Provided by Partner
I looked up reviews from others regarding Monsoon Cafe 1212 3rd St., in Santa Monica, CA and found the reviews were 50 percent negative. How could this earn a 4 + rating on city search? I can only say my vote would break the 50/50 tie and Monsoon Cafe would receive a thumbs down. I reported my experience to a bureau that is better than this business site will allow me to say (July 2008). The Monsoon Cafe response to my better or worse business complaint further proves the management and help are liars here. And honestly try typing in the name of the agency I eluded to. It comes up as three dirty words here! more

Good Asian cuisine, interesting decoration 7/23/2008

doll83 Provided by Partner
By entering the joint I was astonished how big it really is. The cuisine was a mix of Chinese and Japanese fare, though the whole decoration had an Indian touch (for instance the elaborate and huge chandelier dangling in the middle of the main dining hall and the pictures on the walls). On top of all that, the restroom's interior reminded me on African art and culture and at the top floor a live band was playing Cuban salsa tunes. Apart from the blend of various styles and design the eatery was arranged with, I really enjoyed the sushi and sashimi. It came fresh and tender. The tempura roll was crispy --spicy outside, hot and succulent inside--and the sashimi was juicy and fresh. The exposed kitchen in the main hall, with plates piling up to the ceiling, totally messed up the ambiance. Service was attentive and kind, rushing around the spacious dining room amid a vibrant crowd. Pros: Food more

Not something you would expect on the Promenade 7/16/2008

kiercemartin Provided by Partner
When you first see Monsoon it doesn't look like much, maybe a little Sushi bar with ESPN playing overhead, but when you walk past the first bar and into the restaurant proper it's hard to believe you were just on 3rd street. One of the coolest interiors of any restaurant in Santa monica. Two levels, great design, and live music on the 2nd level. The sushi is on par, and they have some pretty interesting creations of their own as well as a great selection of other pan-asian foods. Full bar with a great wine selection. It's hard not to like this place. more

Fun place on for food, dancing on Promenade 6/25/2008

jenheidir Provided by Partner
As soon you as you see the mask outside this restaurant on the Promenade, you know you?re in for a good time. The interior of this multi-floored venue makes you feel like you?re in the tropics, and the menu offers enough varieties of South Asian dishes to satisfy even the most diverse group of diners. The restaurant also offers salsa dancing sometimes on weekends. If you?re looking for a restaurant in the Promenade area with a fun, relaxed atmosphere and great food, this is a good choice in my book. Pros: food, ambiance, menu variety, dancing Cons: loud dining room more

A date-night MUST 5/31/2008

Citysearch User Provided by Partner
The ambiance is what draws you in, and the cuisine will bring you back. Fresh sushi, amazing soups (try the red wine one) and a great place... more

Fun Asian Restaurant on 3rd Street 5/19/2008

Citysearch User Provided by Partner
This is an upscale Asian restaurant right on Third Street Promonade in Santa Monica -- it is large with a nice bar area. The food is really... more

Good 5/9/2008

Citysearch User Provided by Partner
I have eaten here once on date night and once for a work event. It was good. Not a tone of food. I think the atmosphere is actually bette... more

Best Salsa Dancing in LA: Wednesday & Saturday Nights 4/4/2008

StephWSU Provided by Partner
I've been going to Monsoon every Wednesday night for the last 3 months. Now that I've discovered them, I can't stay away. The upstairs bar has salsa lessons on Thursday starting at 7:30pm and a live band/DJ that goes from 9:30pm-2am. All of the staff is very friendly, especially Doc, Jo, "Salsa", and Beth. This place has high energy, fun people, and great dancers. Even if you are a beginner dancer, like me, people are willing to show you some moves. This place is so much fun that I've met some people who drive all the way from OC and the IE (Be aware: there's a $10 (cash) cover charge, but it's well worth it!) The food downstairs is also great, reasonably priced, but the service is SLOW, so allow for some extra time. I've heard that Thursday and Friday nights are also fun, if you aren't into salsa.... Enjoy!!!! Pros: Best Salsa Dancing in LA Wednesday & Saturday Nights. Great food. Cons: Slow service downstairs more

blase 2/24/2008

Citysearch User Provided by Partner
Monsoon is your average third street promenade eatery. It isn't grimy and gross, but it is for sure not fine dining. If your just in the f... more
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Menu for Monsoon Cafe

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Come for Happy Hour, Stay for dinner at this Santa Monica sushi haven

Owner Message

  • At Monsoon Cafe in the Promenade in Santa Monica, we offer a great selection of Sushi & Sashimi, Rolls, Soups or Satay as starters, followed by grilled beef or fish as main dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of healthy salads.

    Our Santa Monica Asian cuisine cafe is open for lunch and dinner and offers a great selection of wines, sakes and specialty cocktails to complement your meal. Here at Monsoon Cafe, we are also available for private events and corporate parties. The Monsoon Balcony, always a unique experience with its view from above, will host up to 35 guests. Our Santa Monica cafe private lounge accommodates 80 guests for your larger Private Affair.

    Come and enjoy our daily happy hour with $4 beer and wine. We welcome you and your friends and family to Monsoon Cafe in Santa Monica!

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Thu 11:30am-10:30pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-11:30pm; Sun 2pm-9:30pm
  • Payments:

    Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover
  • Neighborhoods:

    West LA, Downtown