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Jun 22, 2007 09:19 AM

Carmel, Carmel Valley, Monterey recommendations.

Where should we eat in Carmel, Carmel Valley, and Monterey?
Thank you!

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  1. darnit - we ate in this little whole in the wall sushi place that was sooooooooo good and now I am drawing a blank on the name...... I can tell u this....
    It is a few doors down from Pelican Pizza...... around the corner from the Best Western Heritage Inn (in fact they recommended it to us)
    We ate there a few months ago and LOVED IT! Sorry I can't remember the name, they are never really catchy names (sushi places that is) so I forgot.
    enjoy - hope you go.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rachellemybell

      I just drove by today! Is it Sakura or Crystal Fish

      1. re: sweetnspicy

        I think Sakura sounds more like it.... It is near the left corner if you are standing at the hotel.....I mentioned

    2. The place you mention is Sakura - but the GEM in the area there is Won Ju - the little Korean restuarant next door.

      This place is so good and many people don't even know it is there -

      Give it a try - you won' tbe dissapointed.

      There is also a GREAT Thai place in Seaside in the University Plaza called Bhan Thai - as good as any I've had in NYC or SF.

      In Pacific Grove there is Peppers Mexicalli cafe - great local joint.

      In Carmel Valley there is a great place called Cafe Rustica.

      Also in Carmel there is a great Chinese place with the unlikely name of Tommy Wok - very good though and relatively affordable (rare for Carmel)

      Happy eatin!

      6 Replies
      1. re: jbyoga

        Can you tell us more about the Thai place in Seaside,in terms of what you like on the menu and places you would compare it to in SF?

          1. re: Ed Dibble

            yes, I have eaten at Krua Thai though it has been a few years. I recall it being pleasant but not outstanding, though I can easily believe that it is as good as one might find on the Peninsula.

          2. re: susancinsf

            Man - where to start - I dated a Thai gal a while back and she loved the place! I like the spicy wide noodles - the great green papaya salad and really, I've never had anything other than great food and service from this family run, unassuming place.
            Try it and report please! P.S If you want SPICY food they'll accomodate!

            1. re: jbyoga

              well, spicy wide noodles got my attention :-) Did a search and came up with Baan Thai at the following address:

              1760 Fremont #F1
              Seaside, CA

              I assume this is the place you mean, and thanks, will try and check it out soon. I think I've driven by and been curious: time to stop in. Any other reports on what Hounds like here?

              1. re: susancinsf

                That's the place! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Also check out Won JU for the real deal Korean...yummm!

        1. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Passionfish (in Pacific Grove) yet. It may not be perfect, but it is a locals' favorite that serves some innovative dishes, has an outstanding wine list (at near retail prices), and supports sustainable seafood. A real Monterey peninsula style place.


          6 Replies
          1. re: Ed Dibble

            Ed, have you heard anything recently about M & Santos on the small pier?

            1. re: Gail

              I assume it is still there, but that is a tough location so who knows. To be honest, the little I have heard has not been especially good. My local friends who used to like the place a lot don't go there anymore for unspecified reasons. It has been probably three years since I was there, and I went mostly for the wonderful chowder.

              Recent chowhound experiences by people whose tastes I trust have been generally negative, so I have quit recommending the place even though it does have a wonderful view.

              The other thing that bothered me about the restaurant was that it is a prime offender of the "daily special" scam. The place has the same daily specials every day, and the only thing special about them is that they cost around $10 more than most of the items on the menu.

              If anyone else has more recent information, please post it.


              1. re: Ed Dibble

                Thanks for the headsup, Ed. We were there last Oct. I have always had good food. One thing that irks me, as the "specials" do you, is I just want fish and a green salad. I don't want the vegs and rice. Both times I've been charged extra for that simple, and less expensive or equal, substitution.

                What do you think about the deck at Schooners? We love to be on the ocean and a simple, good fish lunch is what we want.

                1. re: Gail

                  Never eaten there, but it would have a view. I would expect it to be expensive as well.

                  The Sand Bar and Grill on the commercial pier - the one east of Fisherman's Wharf may be worth a try as well. It is slung down from the pier, so the view is unique. I was there for cocktails on a recent visit, but it's been years since I have eaten there. I recall a poster here raving about it within the last year, so it's on my list to visit.


                  1. re: Ed Dibble

                    You might find it interesting that the chef owner of Melange, Pacific Grove used to be the head chef at the Sand Bar & Grill. No doubt that explains the poster's raves a year or so ago. The two places are still affiliated with each other as they have the same business partners, but obviously the chef of Melange has his hands full now with his own place.

                    OP, I'd recommend Melange for dinner if you like creative food with many good wines by the small taste, glass or flight.

                    In Carmel, I enjoyed a good dinner at Cantinetta Luca and L'escargot and recommend both. Bouchee has a new chef (who worked at Campton Place, Jeanty at Jack's and Jardiniere, S.F.), his new bistro menu and a new open kitchen dining room. I haven't tried the new Bouchee yet, but it looked good, the dining room was busy and the owners are very capable restauranteurs (they also own Cantinetta Luca).

            2. re: Ed Dibble

              Some of us just feel like broken records when we mention it constantly, since it would have come up for OP had s/he done a search....:-)

            3. I just got back from Monterey today and wrote up our experiences here:


              Hope it's helpful!