The Bottom Line
- A refreshingly enthusiastic and creative chef with diverse culinary inspirations
- Beautifully cooked fresh seafood dishes
- Laidback but foodie-friendly dining
- Under the same roof as lounge/bar Glow (in case you want to make a big, long night of it)
- The restaurant's harsh, recessed CFL lighting is a major mood-killer
- The restaurant is located in a difficult to find spot in the back
- Stones is open for breakfast and dinner.
- Their hand-crafted sandwiches include the Caprese, steak sandwich, classic club, tuna sandwich and prosciutto sandwich.
- Main dishes range in price from $21 to $28.
- The restaurant offers a choice of chicken, chorizo, pepperoni and mushroom flat breads for $12-$13.
Guide Review - Stones Restaurant at the Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey
The Mariott Hotel may not be the first place in LA that you'd expect to house a creative Californian dining establishment. In the context of trend-concious Los Angeles, it may lack that requisite cool caché. But, you can't always judge a book by its cover. Such is the case with Stones restaurant.
Against the odds of a fickle dining scene, this eatery shows promise. Stones set out on its current path as an inspired and creative bistro via a revamping of its menu under the guidance of Executive Chef Chad Roldan and restaurant and bar manager Greg Simons.
So, in some ways, eating here feels like a bit of an experiment--but not in a bad way. Chef Chad is clearly super-jazzed about what he's doing and it's evidenced by some fun and tasty selections--in one particular case a 10 out of 10 perfect dish (from main to sides). That would be the John Dory. I would never have thought that a popcorn crust could have added to such an elegant fish but again, don't judge a book by its cover. The juxtaposition was perfect, as was the exquisite sweet corn ravioli, and vegetable slaw.
I'm not usually a big fan of calamari, as I find it too greasy and heavy but Stones' calamari was delightfully light (perhaps flash-fried?). And continuing with a perfect 'batting average' in the seafood category, the grilled shrimp starter with orange marmalade was fresh and delicious.
The restaurant's filet mignon with yukon mash and cauliflower is rich and lovely as well (though I personally felt that the cauliflower may have been a slightly rich side course choice alongside the already buttery cut).
Unfortunately, despite Stones' success in creating and executing a wonderful bistro menu, its harsh and off-putting recessed CFL lighting put a real sour taste in my mouth. A great restaurant should touch every sense. That said, lighting is a major mood-setter (or in this case killer). I did mention it to the manager who seemed quite open to suggestions and changes so here's hoping the lighting design can become as inviting and inspiring as the food.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant to seafood lovers without any reservations (no pun intended). And it's obvious that the chef has many more culinary experiments and tricks up his sleeve. I'll be eager to see this promising newcomer (not technically 'new' but in a new incarnation) develop and blossom under his direction.
4100 Admiralty Way.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292