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Water Grill due to reopen after a month of renovations

January 16, 2012 |  9:00 am

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Water Grill, the seminal downtown L.A. seafood restaurant that opened in 1991 and blazed a trail on Grand Avenue long before the current nouveau restaurant-and-bar invasion, closed down in mid-December in order to renovate its dining room and kitchen. It will reopen in the next few weeks with an entirely new look and a fresh, updated menu.

I stopped by for a hard-hat tour on Thursday and was amazed by what I saw. There's little doubt that the restaurant will remain a fine-dining destination, but the place has been updated to allow for a certain casual breeziness. An original wood ceiling was uncovered; old murals were repainted (some were removed); the bar has been moved to a dominant spot in the middle of the room, surrounded by raised booths and augmented with a sleek new raw bar; and the kitchen has been opened up, creating a welcoming flow throughout the space. Lobster tanks are now visible to the dining room and casual bar bites like classic fish and chips have been added to the menu.

It's still very much a work in progress, but the construction has moved at a breakneck pace and Water Grill should be ready to dive back into business in about two weeks. 

Water Grill, 544 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 891-0900; www.watergrill.com.

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--Jessica Gelt

Photo: The new open kitchen at Water Grill. Credit: Jessica Gelt

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