When we visit Orange County, we typically stay close to South Coast Plaza, so Water Grill is a natural choice at some point during the trip. Prior occasions have been uniformly very good. This one wasn't up to snuff.
Service at the bar was slow, as if the bartender was more interested in getting her sidework and prop done (we were there mid-afternoon). Then she poured us two glasses of flat Champagne at $24 a pop. Come on, Jessica. A bartender should be observant of sh*t like that. If the bottle has been open for a while, even the best Champagne stoppers won't keep the fizz in. Pour a little and either offer it to the customer for approval or taste it yourself to see if it has any life left. She seemed a bit put out to have to take it back and open a new bottle. To top it off, the balance of the old bottle went down the drain, rather than to the kitchen to use in Champagne vinaigrette. Somebody needs to do some training of the bar.
We had two appetizers - garlic crab noodles and hamachi nachos. For $24, I expected more crab than noodle, but got the opposite. The $19 hamachi nachos were great, but not enough to overcome the other shortfalls and make the $100 bill (pre-tip) justified.