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Monterey/Pacific Grove Update?

Heading down for Labor Day weekend from the Bay Area, 3 dinners, 3 lunches, with two fairly adventurous teen diners. Have done my searches, looks like Passionfish, Red House, Stokes, or a restaurant at the Aquarium are all good bets? Yes? No? Just looking for an update to make sure nothing has gone wildly downhill or no new great places have popped up. Also, if you've got any Mexican/burrito places or pho places down there, please let me know. Even good sandwiches other than Whole Foods, in case we decide to blow the budget on whale watching rather than food:). TIA to you all, tips on what to order, what time to eat etc. also much appreciated....

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  1. Haven't been to the restaurant at the Aquarium, but the rest are still good. If you go to Passionfish (my personal favorite on the Monterey Peninsula), don't miss the asparagus fries or the squid if it's on the menu; I also think they do a great job with mussels.

    There's only one place that I know if that serves pho, Pho King in Seaside. It's pretty good, not earth-shattering. The same owners have a more upscale Vietnamese-
    Asian fusion restaurant in Carmel called Julihanh; I haven't been but I've heard good things about it. Also, for tasty Mission-style burritos, I like Michael's Grill & Taqueria in Pacific Grove.

    FWIW, here's a link to the local newspaper's month-old "Best of the Best." Like all such lists, it should be taken with a healthy pinch of salt, but it may give you ideas of some other places you might want to check out. http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/mon...

    4 Replies
    1. re: mspea

      Oh I just love Chowhound:). Any of the places on the Herald list that you really like for simple fish and also the boy teen can get a steak if he wants it?

      1. re: LPCagain

        Max's in PG might be your best bet for a steak dish and a fish dish.

        I too love Passionfish. So many things there are outstanding.

        ed

        1. re: LPCagain

          FWIW, Passionfish often has a steak on the menu, though I've not had one there.

        2. re: mspea

          This is the first mention I've seen of Julihanh, has anyone tried it or have more info?

        3. no steak here, but there's a good offering of well-prepared seafood in the dining room,, and at the deli counter you can get some very good po' boy type sandos. Food here has never dissappointed (can't say that about the Asilomar location).

          Fishwife-Seaside
          and next door, their tauqueria, Turtle Bay;

          http://www.fishwife.com/map.htm

          1. I'm headed down there Labor Day weekend too. And so is half the Bay Area. :)

            One of my favorite restaurants in the area is Pepper's in Pacific Grove. It's California-influenced Mexican (they use a lot of local seafood and produce, especially artichokes) and is really down-to-earth. The wait on weekends can be quite long, but they accept reservations.

            And the margaritas are great too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mudster

              OK. Have made my reservation for Passionfish. :). We will improvise with the rest, either Max's or Red House or Pepper's for dinner, depending on kid mood. Will try to report back.

            2. Stokes makes a mean hanger steak, and there is no one in town that makes better real fries. (chips as well)

              1. What else does Stokes have that is good? That's also on my list of possibles. And what about the Hula Grill? Tr**advisor people rave over it. Any thoughts?

                2 Replies
                1. re: LPCagain

                  I recently had a very tasty calzone at Stokes and the little pizza also looked good. I agree that the fries were fantasic also. I've only been there once (about 2 weeks ago), and we went more for wine than food, but I thought that the menu was great as it had options for elegant dining, a casual evening and a terrific wine list. Service was wonderful and the room lovely. Passionfish is still my hands down favorite in the area, but Stokes is now tied with Robert's White House for the #2 spot. You may regret trying to improvise in that area on a holiday weekend; the good spots book up.

                  1. re: Jamie Rudman

                    OK. So I made reservations for TWO nights just in case:). Thanks for the heads up, much appreciated.