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THIS LANDMARK LOCATION RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED DUE TO CITY POLICY ACCORDING TO A LOCAL STILL OPEN RESTAURANT. THE RESTAURANT IS MISSED BY LOCALS AND THOSE OF US WHO VISITED THIS WONDERFUL RESTAURANT. I WILL LEAVE THE TIP FOR MEMORIES.
Located in Pacific Grove, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Lovers Point, the Old Bath House restaurant, not only was a former bath house for the area, but has retained the feel of the era in the decor, while instilling an ambiance of romance and a gourmet dining adventure. A menu with such items as Prawns & Wild Boar Sausage as an appetizer, to entrees of Duck Merlot, Rack of Lamb, and Tournedos of Beef & Lobster Tail, the Old Bath House, in their own words," will delight all of your senses".
Favorite Dish: The Rack of Lamb served at the Old Bath House is presented in a unique way. The manager of the restaurant told me that a while back, a few patrons were commenting on their dishes, and one said the rack of lamb was small and looked more like chops, and not as nice as a location down the street. Well, upon hearing this, the manager explained this to the chef, who wanted to make amends by not allowing any restaurant outdo his creations, placed before diners whom order Rack of Lamb , a whole uncut rack of 8 points. Tremendous portion and unbelieveably delicious as well. Compliments to the Chef.
Updated Aug 30, 2011
Address: Ocean View Blvd. & 17th Street
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.
Updated Nov 23, 2006
This restaurant is open for business. Please check out the website to make sure it is open during these difficult times for restaurants. Tucked in the beauty of the Monterey Bay area with pines and ocean sand, sits The Fishwife at Asilomar Beach seafood restaurant. The outside is plain, not much to look at but it seems to fit, just sitting there saying only one thing, "come inside and enjoy the best seafood for the best value". It truly is a local gem, casual they claim and casual they are.
The menu is seafood full with crab cakes, mussels in garlic cilantro broth, fried calamari, snapper, catfish, filet of sole, and clam chowder. Open for Lunch and Dinner. Why not try it before or after driving the famous 17 mile drive which has a Pacific Grove gate only a couple of blocks away.
Favorite Dish: The calamari is fried golden and fresh. Good sized portions as well. The mussels are as good as in Italy. The Fettuccini Alfredo with Crab Sauteed Prawns Belize was excellent. Had to try the Key Lime Pie, which they call "Fishwife's famous Key Lime Pie. I didn't know if I got the famous one, but mine was quite good and refreshing.
Updated Aug 30, 2011
Address: 1996 1/2 Sunset at Asilomar Pacific Grove, CA
Phone: 831 375-7107
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.
Updated Nov 20, 2006
Address: 127 Central Ave, Pacific Grove, CA
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.
Written Aug 6, 2007
Address: 701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone: (831) 655-3311
I had seen Fifi's in Pacific Grove several times, and always chuckled at the name... snooty French restaurant named after a poodle? Recently I went to dinner with a friend of a friend who used to live in Monterey, and he chose Fifi's. I hesitatingly accepted the invitation and joined them for dinner. I was very, very impressed with a great meal in a classy atmosphere.
The candlelit dining room, unique European decor, and the great variety of food on the menu gave a great first impression. We sat beside the door, but the creative red velvet curtain made us feel like we almost had our own private room. We started with the smoked salmon plate that had a good quantity of salmon and a variety of cheeses ($9). I had the small spinach crispy fried duck salad with goat cheese that was one of the best salads I can remember ($6.50...next time I might get the large salad for $10.95 and call it a meal!). For my main course I had a very good, but somewhat small swordfish steak that was cooked perfectly and served with a cheesy sauce and a tasty mix of steamed vegetables (about $23). I passed on their impressive variety of about 8 desserts, but enjoyed a tasty cappuccino. Our total bill was about $40 per person and worth every dime.
Laura and I returned almost a year later for a nice Friday evening dinner. We arrived at 8pm and the restaurant was maybe half full. We were immediately seated in the far back corner, as all of the window seats (with views of a parking lot) were taken. Laura started with a glass of the house red wine ($5.50), and I had an Italian Moretti beer ($5 ... isn't this a French restaurant?). After hearing me rave about the duck & spinach salad for the past year, Laura had no doubt that's where she would start her meal (prices have risen significantly to $7.95). I started with a small bowl of the of their tasty seafood chowder, which was only $3.25 with an entree. Since the duck salad was so good, I decided immediately on the fried duck entree (one of the most expensive items on the menu at $24); it came with the great grilled vegetables and an odd huckleberry reduction sauce that I barely touched. Laura had the excellent seafood linguine with pesto sauce ($20). We finished with cappuccinos ($3.75 each). This was another very good meal, in a nice atmosphere, for a reasonable price!
Fifi's is located at the entrance to the Forest Hill shopping center which is home to Dos Amigos, Thaiwaiian, and a few other good local restaurants.
Updated Jun 28, 2008
Address: 1188 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
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.
Updated Apr 29, 2007
Address: 223 17th Street, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
An Choi offers a mix of Vietnamese and a variety of other Asian dishes from Thailand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and everything else besides Korean. The restaurant is located at the far end of Lighthouse Avenue not far from Point Pinos Lighthouse and Asilomar beach. An Choi sits off Lighthouse Avenue, kind of off on its own about 1/2 from PG's downtown. Inside the restaurant is deceivingly large, and it has a great cathedral ceiling over the dining room.
We had a great meal of imperial spring rolls ($7.50), shaken beef ($18), Hong Kong Crispy Noodles ($15), the prawn and garlic noodles ($16). The spring rolls were large and fresh, but served with a peanuty sauce rather than the traditional Vietnamese fish sauce. The highlight of our meal was the shaken beef which is a great meal of cubed filet mignon with garlic, pepper and onion. I liked the crispy noodles, which I first tried in Macau, that had shrimp and a few other seafoods with veggies. The fried prawns with garlic noodles were also excellent, and they came seasoned with a tamarind sauce.
Definitely overpriced, especially for Asian food, but it is a unique combination of a variety of Asian foods in a fancier than usual atmosphere.
Updated Aug 8, 2008
Address: 1120 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove's newest restaurant (summer 2008) is Pacific Thai. It occupies the spot that was briefly The Cellar Door Chop Shop, and many of the old Cellar Door decorations such as grapes and grape leaves are still on the walls. The old wine rack is still in place and fully stocked, making Pacific Thai a unique place for Thai.
We were in town for the farmers market and when we saw Thai food we quickly decided to stop in for dinner. The staff was very friendly and they promptly seated us in one of the two window tables. Our meals started with the fresh and tasty spring rolls (which could have used some shrimp or something to go with the veggies and tofu). My meal was a spicy dish with carrots, celery, and a few other vegetables with a side of rice. Laura had the fried noodles with veggies drowned in peanut sauce.
Our meal was good (but I'd get the peanut sauce on the side!), service was great, and the atmosphere good, despite the old decorations. This is a nice addition to downtown Pacific Grove, as it is the Lighthouse Avenue area's only Asian food, other than Takara Sushi.
Written Sep 2, 2008
Address: 663 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone: (831) 646-8424
International Cuisine, not to be confused with International Deli a mile away in New Monterey, is one of the rare casual dining establishments in central PG. The decor is comfortable, while being clean and comfortable, except for the old cafeteria tray slides along the kitchen that looks odd and out of place.
We had lunch here and were please with the quality and amount of food. I had the gyros sandwich which was pretty pricey at $9. It was very tender and tasty, but unfortunately didn't come with fries or any other side dish. Laura had the falafel wrap (also $9 despite not having meat!) which was consumed quickly enough for me to know it was pretty good. We were in and out in no time, maybe 45 minutes, despite us taking out time sipping a beer (Gordon Biersch draft was also expensive at $5.75) and enjoying a little sunshine.
This restaurant was the location of "Chili Great Chili" for about 20 years. In 1998 they expanded their menu to include more international selections, and most recently they changed the name to focus only on the international food at the expense of chili (great chili).
Updated Sep 28, 2008
Address: 620 Lighthouse Ave # 220, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone: (831) 646-0447
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