Sneak Peek: Water Grill brings its LA flair, pristine seafood to Dallas with debut tomorrow

Sam King has a reputation for serving pristine seafood and inventive preparations at his LA-based Water Grill and King’s Seafood restaurants in Southern California. Now he’s branching out to Dallas, opening a 9,500 square foot Water Grill in Uptown Dallas tomorrow that’s going to turn heads. If you’re into seafood, this is the restaurant to beat.

Take a walk with me:

“I knew Dallas was the right place for us the first time I came here,” King told me at a VIP preview of Water Grill, which opens for dinner Wednesday, January 11. “A few places are doing seafood right” — he named Montlake Cut as a favorite — “but Dallas is an underserved market, and the cost of doing business here is so much lower (than in California), that we can fly fish here from LA and still make a profit.”

King said he plans to offer seafood that isn’t normally available in Dallas, from California spiny lobsters to Santa Barbara spotted prawns to salmon fished from eleven different rivers in the spring. “We can put fresh fish on an early morning flight from LA and have it on the plate here for dinner.”

The space is gorgeous, the staff is well-trained, and the menu romps from dry-aged steaks (King also owns two steakhouses) to king crabs to lobsters to fin fish and oysters from three North American coasts.

In addition to Water Grill, King operates the 11-unit King’s Fish House casual-dining chain plus two steakhouses (555 East Steakhouse and Lou & Mickey’s), Fish Camp and Pier Burger.

“And we’re already looking at Frisco for our next restaurant,” King told me.