I'm not a fancy writer... just a girl that likes a good drink.


Bamboo Izakaya

The Giddy Geisha $6
I love living near the ocean, sure the traffic sucks and parking is nonexistent, but a cocktail on a sun soaked patio by the beach never gets old. So I was looking forward to checking out Bamboo Izakaya. The restaurant opened earlier this year on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica and owned by the same management group as Ocean 41, the members only restaurant/bar next door.

The space itself is very well done, with a mix of black and light bamboo for a clean, cool interior. There's outdoor and indoor seating, a main dining room, sushi bar and a private seating area in the back.

Walking in, we were greeted by a friendly host-- unfortunately service took a huge nose dive to rock bottom from there.

It's been a long time since I've experienced such horrible service. The server never came by, never brought menus to our table, or share plates, napkins or utensils. Normally these are already setup at every table prior to the guests' arrival but not in my case. I had to flag the waitress down every time I needed something and usually she would forget. I've experienced better service at Norms.
Sake "Yuzu Shu" $6

She also spilled another person's cocktail into our share plates, didn't notice and walked away before I could say anything. Take note that we got there at 3:30pm, it wasn't a near a dinner or lunch rush by any means. The busser was the only saving grace and we began requesting items directly from him.

I wrote the restaurant about my experience a week ago but have yet to hear back. (Presumably inundated with emails about bad service. Because it was really that bad... I can't even remember the last time I wrote an establishment about something like this.) 

Besides the poor service, the happy hour is solid. $4 / $5 / $6 dishes. Which include an array of dishes including various rolls, a kimchee burger, wasabi fries and popcorn shrimp.The food and drinks came out at a good pace. And again, it's located on Ocean Blvd, you're here for the cocktails, happy hour specials, comfortable seating and proximity to the beach.

Unfortunately a good happy hour, comfortable seating, and proximity to the beach doesn't make up for such bad service. There are many other places in Santa Monica with all of these and great service.

Happy Hour dishes
Happy Hour Drinks
Garlic Edamame $4

Popcorn Shrimp $5
Kimchi Burger $6

Chicken Skewers $5

~~~~ Reviewed by Jenni ~~~~

Bamboo Izakya
1541 Ocean Ave. Ste 120
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 566-3860

Happy Hour: 2:30pm-6:30pm daily

Parking: street meters or valet

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