Sea Harvest in Carmel
We've taken our parents to the branch of Sea Harbor in Moss Landing several times. My thrifty mom likes the value there, and the view can't be beat at that price.
On Tuesday I had an errand to run in Carmel Valley, so piled the folks in the car and wound up at the Sea Harvest in the Crossroads in Carmel, just off Hwy 1. This has less seating than the Moss Landing location.
My dad has his usual of bbq oysters. They're six to an ordere here without the option of ordering them by the piece. Slathered in garlic and butter, these were bigger than the ones he usually gets at the other branch. These came with a spot of barbecue sauce for dipping and some cocktail sauce too. We asked for them cooked on the soft size, and they came out just right.
My mother had filet of sand dabs and chips. Unlike the regular fish and chips, these are just dusted and cooked quite delicately. The battered chips had a nice golden crunch and we polished them all off. The tartar sauce was nothing special, but the fresh, sweet dabs just needed a bit of lemon to set them off.
I had a bowl of utterly unremarkable white clam chowder. More potatoes than clams, but at least it wasn't too floury and thick. I helped my parents finish off their plates.
With an ice tea, this set us back less than $33. My mother felt the fish and chips portion was a bit smaller here but with higher quality. We all left happy.
Image of filet of sand dabs and chips -
On Wednesday I took my parents to Sea Harvest in Carmel again for an early dinner. The specials board listed local sand dabs and local seabass so that's what we had. Both my parents ordered the dabs, lightly breaded and pan-fried with fries. We still like the crispy, thin battered fries here alot, better than the other two locations. However, priced at $14.95 including a choice of soup or salad, I think the lower-priced filet of sand dabs with chips is a better deal w/o the extras, nearly the same amount of fish, and more than enough to eat.
I had the sea bass with roasted garlic sauce, $15.95. Luckilly our server asked me if I wanted the sauce on the side, and I agreed. The sauce was FOUL, with little garlic flavor. The industrial strength white vinegar was acrid with solvent-y off flavors and aromas. But the fish was good with the tartar sauce. I found that the addition of a squirt of lemon could come close to the lighter, almost frothy texture and taste of the version in Moss Landing. I ordered my fish grilled "rare", after too many mishaps at the other locations. Good thing, as the tail end of the filet was quite firm and done, and the thicker end was barely medium. Again, the kitchen overcooks grilled fish yet manages to fry properly. As much as I like the fries here, I was happy to see some greenery on my plate. The fresh green beans were very good and garlicky.
Not perfect by any means, but a good meals is you can overlook small lapses and no question that it's great value.
re: Carb Lover
Sorry, I haven't had the clam chowder in Moss Landing. The tartar sauce is superior in Moss Landing, lighter and lemony.
The fish counter is larger in Carmel with more high end options and larger quantities. My mom was suprised that it had so much stock and wondered how this place could move all that merchandise. But during the time we were there, customers wandered in one by one to buy fish. I told her it was probably very busy after work.
Oh, and the two rest rooms in the hallway behind Sea Harvest are large and unisex. One was big enough to turn around a gurney, let alone a wheelchair.