Roy's (The Inn at Spanish Bay)
Pebble Beach is home to many of the Monterey Peninsula's classiest and most expensive restaurants, and Roy's at Spanish Bay is no exception. Roy's was started by Japanese-born Roy Yamaguchi back in 1988 in Hawaii, and it specializes in “Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine” which is mostly seafood, but also with a little beef. Today there are 34 Roy's, including 25 in the Continental US, 6 in Hawaii, 2 in Japan, and 1 in Guam, and it is considered one of the best chains around.
A group of six of us stopped in one night in April 2007 for a friend's birthday. We started with a few drinks at sunset out on the patio near the gas fireplaces, then moved to our table tucked into a back corner to the left of the kitchen. Before dinner we tried a variety of appetizers including three different kinds of sushi (~$15 for a large plate of about 8 pieces) and the spring rolls (~$12 for 4 small pieces). The spring rolls were good, but nothing spectacular, but all three types of sushi were unbelievably tasty, especially the Kobe beef roll!
For dinner, three of us has the "signature" blackened ahi tuna, two others got the swordfish and scallops, and the last of our group was in trouble because she's a vegetarian and Roy's offers no vegetarian dishes. The ahi was excellent, just lightly seared and a tender reddish purple in the center, served over rice and topped with some greens and a strong horseradish sauce ($33). The others said the swordfish and scallops were also excellent (about $30-35 per main course). The vegetarian ended up with a Chinese dish with the meat left out, but she really didn't enjoy it, so she ended up nibbling on mashed potatoes and beans or something (luckily she was not charged for the meal!). With our meals we had a few bottles of excellent white wine from Roy's extensive wine list of hundreds of varieties (our wines were about $40 per bottle). For desert, the birthday girl got a complimentary plate of sherbet, and a piece of chocolate cake, while the rest of us had coffee ($10 with alcohol, $5 without).
Favorite Dish: The meal plus tax was just over $400 for the six of us, expensive, but a very good meal. There were a few minor problems such as the lack of vegetarian dishes, and I think they were out of one of the wines we ordered, but the staff was friendly and professional, making up for any shortcomings. Overall, an excellent meal, but maybe not quite worth the high price tag.
On a second trip two of us had a great dinner with the Kobe beef rolls, blackened ahi tuna, and some wines and beers. This time, there were no complaints... the food and service were spectacular and worth every penny! We also finally got to see the sunset bagpiper after at least four or five failed attempts.
Dress is "resort casual" meaning slacks and a collared shirt, and reservations are recommended.
The Tap Room (The Lodge at Pebble Beach)
Halfway through our afternoon on 17 Mile Drive, we stopped at the Lodge at Pebble Beach for lunch. The Stillwater Bar & Grill (with its view over Stillwater Beach and Carmel) was full, with a 20-minute wait, and Club XIX was closed for lunch. We decided to eat at the more casual Tap Room.
The Tap Room offers a variety of sandwiches and salads for lunch, in addition to heavier meals like steaks, seafood, and chops for dinner. I had a good club sandwich with a huge mound of tasty fries for about $15, which was probably the cheapest thing on the menu. Other meals go as much as $25 for lobster salads or $35 to $40 for steak. They have an extensive wine list and a variety of beers.
Though the club restaurants are open to the general public, don't arrive in blue jeans and a ratty old T-shirt and expect service!
Monterrey Golf Club: Sorry, Members Only
The numerous country clubs at Pebble Beach have memberships costing many tens of thousands of dollars. At least one club charges $30,000- per year in addition to the cost of becoming a member. Membership is limited, so purchasing membership means buying from a member who no longer needs membership. Some of the clubs do have publich access for a price, but others are more private. My uncle purchased his membership for some $9,000 in the 1960's and recently sold just the golf player's part for some $200,000-. The exclusive, private, and understated Monterrey Golf Club has a clubhouse restaurant, which has excellent breakfast and lunch menus, the price of which are not astronomical. The formal dining room has a wonderful view and an excellent dinner menu, and naturally the per person price will blow away the budget minded diner. A tie is required for dinner, and Levi's are not permitted anywhere in the club. This club also has a beach house, which is used by members to host parties. The crash of the winter waves has in previous years broken the front window and eroded the foundation, but it has been restored and is a great place for a wedding or 50th wedding anniversary.
Favorite Dish: I've had lunch and breakfast several times recently. The almond crusted French toast is wonderful. The omeletes are similarly great. I love the fresh orange juice. The coffee is slightly disappointing as it's just an old-fashioned conventional American coffee style, but refills are generous and frequent. Lunch sandwiches are also quite good, although it was hard to find anything not deep fried, something my cardiologist advises me to avoid. It's been awhile since I've been in the formal restaurant, but I do recall a great old vintage wine list and fresh fillets of fish carefully prepared.
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I had a delicious breakfast...
I had a delicious breakfast here at The Gallery and it didn't cost me a bomb (less than US$10!). What makes this eaterie so special and a cut above the rest (in my humble opinion) is their outdoor deck which overlooks the 1st tee of Pebble Beach Golf links and the nearby putting greens. You'd also catch sweeping views of the Lodge, Stillwater Cove and beyond to even as far as Point Lobos! Yes, absolutely stunning!
Favorite Dish: Definitely, their Philly Cheesesteak on French roll!!!! I had this for lunch and it was heavenly..... :-))
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