Permanently Closed - Malbec - Santa Monica

4.3
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636 reviews
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$30 and under
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Argentinian

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Serving the finest Argentine cuisine in the Southland, Malbec offers traditional and contemporary dishes, while also fusing the various cultures of Argentina to create new ones. Only using free range meats cooked over a wood fired grill, seafood, game and homemade pastas. Also featuring the finest selection Argentine wines with some attractive California picks.
Fresh food, excellent service and great ambience come together at Malbec to create an unforgettable culinary experience while keeping it affordable.
What 636 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MK
MartinaK
Cancun
3 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was very good and the staff was nice. Will definitely return.

L
Loveforfood
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great restaurant, wonderful food, fantastic service. We really enjoyed our visit!

PA
PAMD
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

The food at Malbec is extremely well prepared and delicious! The restaurant itself is a bit
shabby/ worn. Could use a little TLC (paint job and new chairs) especially in the bathrooms! Otherwise its menu is wonderful. Food terrific! P.D.

EM
EmmaMatilda
1 review
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Amazing food! The paella was wonderful, shared it on two persons and we both were stunned. Wine was delicious and perfect choice. Friendly and helpful staff. Noice level was slightly high but the place had a lot of customers at the time so it's understandable. Can highly recommend the restaurant.

SP
vipSamP
Phoenix
10 reviews
Dined on 6 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent all the way around - can’t wait to go back

MF
vipMaryF
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great steak. Get the shared steak platter of two or more cuts. Sliced for the table and enjoy. It’s the best. Cooked perfectly. Mashed potatoes have nutmeg mixed in so pass on those. But spinach, carpaccio and empanadas are great.

C
vipColleengardeningmama
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on 19 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is delicious and consistently Good. It feels like a small neighborhood gem but the meats and vegetables are perfectly grilled with many sauce and dip options. The appetizers are easy to share. The wine is far priced and unique in a good way. It’s a no fuss relaxing meal.

V
vipVisitor
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on 16 February 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience3

We saw good reviews online so we made a reservation. The restaurant was empty on a Sunday evening - this should have been a hint for us. But we made an advance reservation so we went in, and were disappointed. Service was mediocre at best. The waiter was not able to explain the menu and gave us a look when we asked for a few minutes to think. No effort to make us feel welcome or comfortable. I ordered Entrana steak that was supposed to come with three souces including chimichurri but only came with one diner-quality sauce. The steak tasted like a shoe, none of us were able to chew - just cut and swallow. Fried calamari as an appetizer were dry and so crunchy you could lose all your teeth. The bread was stale. Sides were inedible - not grilled well, raw and crunchy inside and burnt outside. We did not feel welcome and the food was no better. It was the most expensive and the worse prepared meal I've had in LA during this visit.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Amazing food but the restaurant was SUPER BUSY for Valentines Day. We had reservations at 8 but had to wait 20 min. We had 3 in our party but they didn’t realize that and tried to sit us at a table for 2. So we had to wait another 30 minutes. Waiter was great but it took another 30 minutes to get our main dishes after the appetizers. Long story short: definitely eat here, just not on Valentines Day.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience1

We made a reservation for 8 pm and was seated at 9:10pm. The staff was very unprepared for the crowd they received on Valentine’s Day and didn’t care. The service was poor. Waited 12 minutes for a ginger ale. There was something in my drink. Everyone food came out at least 5 minute apart. I mean should I continue ....

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience2

They forgot our order of ceviche, and dinner was not served straight from the kitchen. Temperature was hot.

B
Bksncats
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous evening. My friends and I will definitely be returning to try more of the amazing choices on the menu. Drinks were wonderful too. Loved the Hand of God cocktail.

LW
vipLillyWillis
Los Angeles
21 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Service was attentive. Steaks were not prepared properly but they made efforts to correct things. Overall pleasant evening.

MT
MrTommyBoy
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on 4 February 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Service started off slow but since I was with a good old friend I did not mind. The food was really good and the waitress recommendations were spot on. We brought out own wine and I think it was decanted poorly as the bartender dumped it upside down into the decanter. Not the way to decant 12 year old Cabernet worth $120 a bottle. Fortunately it was light on sediment and all is well that ended well!

I shall return for another meal and instructions on decanting in the future!

DW
DelosW
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on 30 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal. Sweet breads were on point and amazing. Lamb and steak were cooked perfectly. Wonderful wine list too.

s
skygal
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on 28 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Malbec is a beautiful find - stumbled upon Dine LAWeek menu which featured burrata prosciutto app and a lovely thick steak with mushroom and demiglaze sauce that was delicious. The ambience is moody and upscale, the service excellent. I will be back, Dine LA or not!!

SP
5thSPARROW
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on 28 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food for the Dine LA Dinner with lovely wine!

TR
TheRestaurantExplorer
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 27 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were both excellent. We opted to order from the regular menu rather than the the
Dine LA menu. The house vegan soup and the salmon topped Malbec salad are both outstanding choices when you want to eat at a nice restaurant and still watch your weight.

AS
vipAnnieS
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience3

We had an excellent evening at Malbec. The menu offerings and food were excellent. We did realize when we were home later that evening that our side courses (2) of them were never brought. The waiter completely forgot and unfortunately so did we.

The prices are high, but we did not mind however both my girlfriend and I noticed after visiting the ladies restroom that it was fairly scuzzy and that the restroom did not match the menu prices of a fine establishment. Kind of gross.

I would definitely go again but would pay more attention.

A
vipAdman1126
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 24 January 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Dine LA week. Service was subpar and food was mediocre. Wanted to try new Argentine cuisine.

b
vipbefree
Los Angeles
51 reviews
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Well placed table, attentive wait staff and good food!

m
missy
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Great waiter Martin

R
vipRicky
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience4

Food was good but service was lacking. Server did a poor job checking on our group. Some side items didn't arrive with our entrees, we had to hunt the server down a number of times. When I asked the server to please clear the table he responded in a rude manner and tone. I think someone needs a training refresher.

q
questhaven
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on 10 January 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

We were blown away at how incredible the food and wine are here. I really can't wait to go back, but I think that they could use a bit more support in the service staff because they were stretched really thin and it took awhile to get drinks, place orders, get bread, etc. That being said, the service issues were in no way significant enough to prevent us from going back - it's just the difference between being an A- vs. an A+.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Very good food and menu for NYE.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
4 reviews
Dined on 25 December 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The food was delicious drinks the service was great. Loved the dulce deleche

SE
vipScottE
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on 24 December 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Our table was ready ahead of the time of our reservation. The food was great. The service was slow at first but then was reasonable. We were sat at high-top tables near the bar and were able to converse without having to talk above any noise in the restaurant.
The lighting was just right for dinner.

V
Veronica
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on 21 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was Amazing

C
Customer
1 review
Dined on 17 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service!

Highly recommend!
















Excellent food and service!

S
Silvo
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Malbec is a opportunity to experience Argentinian cuisine and wines in a delightful small restaurant atmosphere. The staff are attentive, the Argentinian wine selection extensive, and the food is excellent.

OL
vipOlgaL
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 30 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious and not expensive. Not noisy.

CS
CarolS
1 review
Dined on 29 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner was excellent! We were well attended to and taken care of. Definitely coming back and will recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 16 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was very tasty

RJ
RickJ
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Love Malbec. Food, wine and service are always terrific.

O
Oclady
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Cute place but service was not good. Waited almost 40 mins till the steak came out and the waitress offered to take off 2 ice read because we waited so long basically $3 off. They forgot the bread and my skirt steak was very salty. It was Ok but for the price and the occasion I wouldn't go there again.

JF
JerryF
1 review
Dined on 25 October 2019
Overall2food3service3ambience1

Food was good. Way too noisy to have a comfortable conversation. Valet parking did not exist.

d
docdave
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on 14 October 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Slow mediocre food

m
vipmarzdog
Orange County
65 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Arrived early, was seated immediately. Opened the napkin with utensils inside, both of us had forks with dried food still stick on the tines. Told myself it happens, give them a chance.

10 minutes passes and the hostess notices that we've not been attended to. She comes and offers us water, asks if we would like to order drinks.

It's 5 more minutes until our server to comes to the table. He introduces himself to us, or tries to anyways. He's literally speaking into his paper pad where he's writing. That, and the fact that it's LOUD in the restaurant. Not energetic, just LOUD.

I show him the forks, says he'll bring new ones.

We ask a few questions, he answers, order iced tea.

Iced tea shows up. Looks like colored water. Clearly this has to be the bottom of the batch that was brewed.

We decide to order empanada appetizer. Asked specific questions about the two different flavors we're going to order (chicken, creamed corn). We order that only.

Empanadas arrive a few minutes later. The chicken, however, we were told the olives were ground up in the mix, had two slices olives in each end There's also carrots inside. I'm Argentine and have NEVER in my nearly half century on Earth seen this. The creamed corn empanada we were told also had olives. None found.

While eating our empanadas, we decide we've had enough. We decide to cut dinner here short.

No points for making an Open Table reservation at another restaurant within 2 hours of this seating.

Very disappointed in this place.

For the record, went and had a top notch experience at Fogo.

PF
PaulF
1 review
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Other than too much salt everything was wonderful. The service was attentive without being fussy. The presentation of the food was lovely. The flavors were terrific but, as I've said, too much salt.

DB
vipDavidB
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on 10 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is fantastic!! Love getting different dishes and sharing. Too hard to pick just one thing. Steak- amazing, pasta- perfect. Desserts- delicious!! And all with gracious and attentive service.

FAQs

Permanently Closed - Malbec - Santa Monica offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (310) 315-5457.

Permanently Closed - Malbec - Santa Monica is rated 4.3 stars by 636 OpenTable diners.