Today is: Thursday, June 13, 2024

Akwa Restaurant Review

As each dramatic dish on Akwa’s eclectic menu demonstrates, Chef Salvador Garcia is not just a talented chef but a clever artist. Her wildly imaginative culinary creations are equal parts sculpture and cuisine. A rack of New Zealand Lamb Chops is
Glazed with scallions and ginger, over stir-fried vegetables. The sushi menu is absolutely fabulous, Chef Garcia combines flavors and textures as if no rules
existed, using only a theme—East meets West—to guide this hip
Santa Monica restaurant's Asian contemporary menu.

The tables were beginning to fill up quickly on the night my guest and I visited for dinner, despite the fact that it was barely 8:00pm on a weeknight. Our gracious
server, started us of with a nice glass of Moet Chandon Champagne and a
Long Island Ice tea, and with a delicious appetizer plate of their specialty rolls:

Green Monster Roll

Akwa Roll

Akwa Roll and Green Monster Roll both delicious and very creatively made, it
created a wonderful counterpoint of flavors and textures. The cooling mix
Shrimp Tempura added the perfect compliment to these sushi rolls.
Long Island / Champagne                                Sapporo Beer        

Dungeness Crab Cakes

Our server then showed up with a tempting platter of Dungeness Crab, Shrimp
and Vegetable Tempura and Heirloom Tomatoes. Although delightfully
reminiscent of Tiger prawns and shitake mushrooms, this version had
an even more colorfulflavor profile and presentation. The Buratta
cheese also very good and well presented.

Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura              Akwa and Green Monster Rolls

Buratta Salad

The word ‘presentation’ is key when describing the artful delivery of Salvador Garcia’s exquisite cuisine. It was observed by gastronomes centuries ago that
when we dine, we ‘eat’ first with our eyes. This fact is taken full advantage of
by Chef Garcia’s and his veteran staff, who make sure that the visual appeal
of each dish maintains a level of creativity that will impress diners before they
even lift a fork. The entrees we sampled were no exception to this rule.

Chilean Sea Bass

The magnificent Chilean Sea Bass, served along with Wasabi Mashed potatoes,
baby bok choy and carrots on a tamarind sauce, was an innovative marvel.

New Zealand Lamb Chops

We also tried an incredible preparation of New Zealand Lamb Chops; Glazed
with scallions and ginger, over stir-fried vegetables. These appetizing renderings
were also works of art on their respective platters.

Our fragrant, New Zealand Lamb was amazing to behold, this great combination provided a sumptuous meal of succulent chops from New Zealand that
practically melted in your mouth, and glazed scallions was a perfect
foil to the mix of flavors and textures.
       Peach Cobler                                    Chocolate Lava Cake

The dessert my guest and I shared was no less remarkable. Chef Garcia’s house specialty, the Peach Cobler, Akwa Chocolate Lava Pleasure and the
Cheesecake with Raspberry were simply heaven!

Raspberry Cheesecake

The rich chocolate lava cake was fantastic, but that was only the beginning. It
was smothered by a huge scoop of homemade ice cream and covered by
warm caramel and chocolate sauces, then topped off with a small mound
of whipped cream and a crisp, white chocolate sculpture. This turned out to
be one of the most decadent treats that I have consumed in a long time.

After a couple of expresso coffees and a little digestion time, my guest and I
eventually made our way slowly through the throng of happy guests, that
had now managed to fill practically every seat in the house. It was clear
to see that, they too, understood the satisfied contentment that can
readily be enjoyed when dining with a "trusted friend."

Salvador Garcia                                            Sushi Bar   

Akwa Offers: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Counter Seating,
Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal
wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies),
Private Room, Smoking Area, Wine

For map and location click Here!

For more information please visit their website at

Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx

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