Ocean Sushi has a nice location in Monterey with a full restaurant, and they have this little hole-in-the-wall in PG. While the PG branch has no sushi bar or tables, it does have a small shop with Japanese snacks and trinkets. They also have some very tasty sushi.
So far I have only been there once, and I had the chirashi bowl. This was a great meal with at least six or eight varieties of fresh and tasty seafood for about $16. Chirashi is one of the most expensive items on the menu...most everything else is under $10. You can call in your order or just show up and wait approximately 15-20 minutes depending on your order. This is a pretty popular little shop.
Though they claim to be open everyday 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., we've stopped in around 6:30 on Sunday nights and the lights were off and the doors locked.
Breaker's Cafe is a good, little, local restaurant that features hearty traditional breakfasts. In this clean cafe you will find locals enjoying hearty breakfast meals such as omelets, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and more.
We stopped in one Friday, and had a nice breakfast with excellent service. I had the ham and cheese omelet with potatoes and biscuits while Laura had one of the breakfast specials with eggs, bacon, and toast. My omelet was excellent, the potatoes tasty but a little undercooked for my taste, and the biscuits were chewy like bagels, probably the worst I've ever had. But since the main course was great and the service flawless, I still give Breaker's 4 of 5 stars...
Dos Amigos is a little Mexican joint, hidden in the back of a small chopping complex at the top of the hill above Pacific Grove and New Monterey. I didn't even know the place existed until I had been in town 7 months, when I just happened to stumble upon it. This same little shopping complex also has a "Thaiwaiian" bistro, a Mandarin Chinese restaurant, a deli/cafe, a French bistro, and a little Italian cafe. These restaurants offer a great variety of inexpensive meals, all accessible from, but well away from the crowded tourist areas of downtown and Cannery Row.
I stopped in for a late lunch at Dos Amigos. I was the only person in the restaurant, so I grabbed a seat at the small, five-stool bar with the waiter who was just grabbing his lunch. I glanced at the menu then the bartender recommended the chipotle enchiladas. I ordered them with beef, refried beans, and rice, and I enjoyed a smooth Pacifico beer as I enjoyed the view of the parking lot. The meal was quick and tasty, nothing spectacular, but a good hearty meal. My total bill was about $12...not bad for a big lunch in Monterey! And I'll definitely return to Dos Amigos and to try the other restaurants in this little shopping center.
The restaurant is owned and operated by San Pabeo, Qaxaca, Mexico natives Steve and Ericka Corres, along with John Stidham from Pacific Grove.
And they take care of the locals: they proudly give 10 percent off the bill for active duty military members!
Though I do not eat much Chinese food when I am home, I have an occasional desire for some good dim sum. After searching and searching I finally discovered two place in the area that have dim sum: the Golden House Chinese Restaurant in PG (dim sum on weekends only) and Tommy's Wok in Carmel (dim sum daily at lunch).
We arrived at the nearly empty Golden House around 1130 on a Saturday, and were seated with a regular menu and a dim sum menu. We didn't even peek at the regular menu as dim sum was on our minds. We looked through the 20 or 30 dim sum choices several times while waiting for the waiter to come back, and after asking a few questions we settled on the bbq pork buns, the pork and leek dumplings, the hun gow (shrimp rolls), and the shaw mai (also with shrimp). The dim sum ranged from $3 to $6 per plate and was all pretty tasty, but the service was a little too slow, especially for dim sum at an almost empty restaurant.
Golden House is tucked into the corner of a small shopping center; just look for the red Chinese lanterns out front. Inside is decorated with a few nice touches like the fish tank, lanterns, and paintings to give a clean, almost sophisticated look. We especially liked the yellow tea sets with the dragon.
While the service was iffy, the food was good, and its the only dim sum around. I'll be back for dim sum and probably to try some of their other dishes. They also offer takeout and delivery.
Passionfish is one of Pacific Grove's finest restaurants for seafood and wine, and it offers a classy atmosphere and reasonable prices. We arrived with a big group of about 15 for a birthday dinner, and the lone waitress did a fine job of taking care of us, even willing to discuss the wine options and other aspects of the meal. We started with the unique fried olives ($5) and the frita mista (mixed fried veggies including artichoke, muchrooms, and more for around $10). For dinner I had the very good sturgeon special for around $20.
The food was good, the atmosphere somewhat formal yet pleasant, and the prices very good for this type of dining experience in the Monterey area.
Be warned that this can be a very busy restaurant....even with reservations we were forced to wait maybe 20 minutes, and there were perhaps 20 others also waiting for tables.
If Fandango's isn't the finest restaurant in Pacific Grove, I'd be very surprised. I don't normally hunt out the fanciest most expensive places to eat, but this was certainly one of the best places I've found since moving to Monterey. Fandango's is just one block off Lighthouse in Pacific Grove in a large old house. The restaurant opened in 1983 and was purchased by the current owners--the Bain family--in 1986. Fandango's features two main dining rooms plus five private dining rooms with charming fireplaces, murals on the walls, and comfortable stonework.
After paging through the 50-page wine list we selected a local Riesling (for a very inexpensive $18), and we ordered the tasty tapas appetizer ($9 for 5 or 6 small dishes). I moved on to a tasty tomato and onion with bleu cheese salad ($8.50) while Laura enjoyed the tender heart of palms salad ($7.50). For dinner I had the special scallops over pasta ($30) and Laura had the double lamb chops ($25). The scallops were huge and very tasty, and Laura enjoyed the lamb. For desert we each had a cafe latte which came as a shot of espresso with a small pitcher of whipped milk and a tiny cookie ($4 each). Laura and I shared a nice frozen Gran Marnier souffle ($6). The total bill was $120 before tip, but it was a great meal with an excellent waiter taking care of our needs.
Some of their meals are much more expensive, but I'm sure very tasty, such as the 26-ounce porterhouse (around $50) and the cold water lobster tail (around $75).
We had an amazing waiter with a slight French accent, the food was outstanding, and the decor classy yet comfortable. I highly recommend Fandango's to anyone.
After visiting the original Fishwife in Seaside, I have been anticipating a visit to the bigger and nicer Fishwife location at Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove. We arrived for lunch at about 1115 and were the only people in the restaurant until about 1145 or 1200. The staff was friendly and quick, but seemed to really want to push us into ordering more food ("How about chowder?"... "How about a salad?" ... "How about some coffee?" "How about desert?" How about if I want something else I'll order it?). This is a nice sit-down restaurant just around the corner from beautiful Asilomar Beach, but does not have a beach view.
Dad and Mom had the fried tilapia sandwiches, and I had the grilled tilapia sandwich with fries. The lunch dishes are very inexpensive such as swordfish for about $12. The bread they use for the sandwiches is awesome, and I really like the pico de gallo.
Other options include salads, huge bowls of Boston clam chowder, shell fish & calamari appetizers, a selection of seafood sandwiches, pastas, and a huge array of seafood dinners. Their non-seafood dishes are very limited such as grilled chicken sandwiches.
Perhaps the most unique feature at this restaurant is "The Fishwife"... their website calls her "legendary lunch hostess Anita Starr." She's so friendly but somewhat senile, waving through the window at us while we ate, then hugging us and patting our bellies as we left.
Fishwife actually has a small chain of four restaurants in the Monterey area: This Fishwife restaurant is at Asilomar State Park on the edge of Pacific Grove (Sunset Drive), the original Fishwife location at Seaside, a restaurant called Turtle Bay Taqueria in Monterey at Tyler Street & Bonifacio, and finally a second Turtle Bay location co-located with the Fishwife in Seaside.
According to the plaques on the wall, Fishwife was named as "Restaurant of the Year" by the State of California Senate and even more impressively it earned "Restaurant of the Year" in Seaside/Sand City.
A nice little seafood restaurant in Pacific Grove... we stopped in one night for dinner after deciding the seafood places along Cannery Row were just too touristy. The small restaurant was relatively busy on a Friday, and we chose a table near the window overlooking the street. For my meal, I enjoyed a unique dish called ciopino, which was a mix of about 5 types of seafood in a tomato broth forming a hearty soup. Laura had the sand dabs (something we have never heard of on the East Coast), which she really liked. We also had a few Anchor Steam drafts.
I hate to be overly negative, especially about a restaurant, but I have to give the warning. I went into Toastie's at 1:30 on a Sunday, because it seemed like not much was open. It was kind of a desperation thing since I was soooo hungry. Food was bad and not even close to being mediocre, and it did not "sit well" with me for several hours. It really set a negative tone for a while since it was so bad.
Also they didn't have soup of the day because it was Sunday. And the decor of the inside of the restaurant was way too dainty for my taste. Not to mention all the odd rabbit and pig trinkets laying around.
Favorite Dish: My what?
Passionfish is centrally loacted in Pacific Grove. Its menu is advertised as Creative America. I had the Rib-Eye with a three pepercorn wine reduction sauce. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. I would also recommend any of the seafood dishes. ( The fish is very fresh.) Prices for entrees range from $16 to $23.
The wine list is just as great as the menu, and resonably priced too. Passionfish doesn't gouge you on wine prices.
I ambience of the restaurant is simple and casual, but with class. The staff was great. Our waiter was helpful, and funny. We had some laughs with him that night.
Favorite Dish: Rib-Eye steak with 3 peppercorn wine reduction sauce, with fried polenta.