When 101 first opened, it was a nice little neighborhood bar in the heart of a little beach town; a nice place to grab some wings and watch a game. But as with many mediocre restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, they got the idea that they could fancify their menu, raise their prices and the tourists would still come.
For a bar, it's a pretty nice place. They have a nice waterfall sign and nice bar stools. Lot's of TVs. Decent music. If you're in the area, it's a fine place to grab a beer or a drink.
101 Ocean Interior
They've installed "smart" parking meters in this area, so there's no need to load up on quarters anymore.jump-->
The problem with 101 Ocean is that it's too expensive for what it is. It's a bar masquerading as a restaurant. They're charging Las Olas prices in low-end Lauderdale by the Sea, which just doesn't pass muster. I've never had anything here that was better than just ok; sliders, wings, a fish chowder special. Most recently I had a bowl of Conch Chowder, which suffered from the same blandness as the fish chowder.
101 Ocean Conch Chowder
Too many potatoes and not enough conch. Not terrible, but not as good as Aruba's either. There's no master chef or white glove service here; this is the same calibre food as Big City Tavern or Cheesecake Factory at similar prices; except those restaurants are on Las Olas Boulevard, where higher rents bring an expectation of higher prices.
101 Ocean is the definition of a tourist trap, because if you knew about other nearby places to go and you have transportation, you'd go somewhere else. The lunch menu is a good example. They don't have one. So with Aruba and Blue Moon doing 2 for 1 lunches with fair prices, why would anyone go to 101 Ocean for lunch unless they just didn't know any better? Am I really going to pay $13 for a greek salad here when I can get a grilled chicken greek salad at Blue Moon in a nicer environment for $7? Am I going to pay $12 for a turkey sandwich here when I can go to Pomperdale's and get an overstuffed pastrami for $9? $29 for a lunch steak? Even the Capital Grille has a lunch menu. They're just not competitive with other, better choices.
101 Ocean is like a one eyed man in the land of the blind; in the center of a town where BurgerFi is a big night out, 101 Ocean is the only place that isn't a dump in the area if you happen to be on foot. The test I use, is that if you took this place and put it on US1 between Sunrise and Oakland with lower prices, would you think about coming here to eat?
I don't think I would.