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Fish worth the money in Carmel/Monteray

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any suggestions? casual is preferred...

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  1. It looked way too touristy when we were there but later I started seeing good reviews so you might want to check out "The Sardine Factory" in Monterey as one possible choice for fish-worthy.

    All I can confirm and we were warned ahead of time by Chowhounders, is there is nothing on the wharf itself -- except everything really being too touristy. How is that for irony - we were tourists and liked the atmosphere of the place as tourists ourselves, but bombed out on the food...... badly in this location. And we turned out nose up at The Sardine Factory as way too touristy, but we would have done much better there than the way too touristy wharf. Oh well. Sometimes you just go with the flow.......

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    Sardine Factory
    701 Wave Street, Monterey, CA 93940

    2 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      Sardine Factory is very expensive and not casual. It's been there forever (the bar is in "Play Misty for Me"). Wine list is gigantic and contains some very expensive rare old bottles. Largest wine cellar between SF and LA.

      For me, Passionfish is the most interesting choice for seafood as well as reasonably priced wine (and the list is very extensive there as well).

      Monterey Fish House, Sandbar and Grill, and even Cafe Fina on the Wharf are decent also (imho), but Passionfish is a cut above and a great value.

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      Passionfish
      701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

      Sardine Factory
      701 Wave Street, Monterey, CA 93940

      Monterey Fish House
      2114 Del Monte Ave, Monterey, CA 93940

      Cafe Fina
      47 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940

      1. re: Ed Dibble

        "Sardine Factory is very expensive and not casual.' Expense and formality actually depend upon which room one dines in. Eating in the lobby lounge area can be very casual and reasonable depending on which menu one orders from. Another nice feature is Sardine Factory has its own on-site parking lot whith a parking attendant and ADA-entrance for those who want to avoid the front steps.

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        Sardine Factory
        701 Wave Street, Monterey, CA 93940

      1. re: Beach Chick

        Beach Chick has the correct answer. Besides being a regular at the farmers markets, the chef and his wife offer wine at retail price, with no mark-up on glasses or bottles. (Most restaurants mark up two or three times!)

        During the Eco-Farm conference at Asilomar every January, there is a winemaker's event. Afterwards, most of the winemakers I've seen go straight to Passionfish for dinner.

        Great, great food.

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        Passionfish
        701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

      2. You want casual, I got casual. Sandbar and Grill on the Municipal pier, not the tourist pier. It is popular with the locals too. Good drinks and simply prepared fish. I would recommend mussels, fried oysters, sand dabs (local, sweet and wonderful white fish) and calamari.
        Passionfish and Sardine Factory are a big step up from the Sandbar with more sophisticated dishes. Passionfish is noted for a very reasonable wine list.

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        Passionfish
        701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

        Sardine Factory
        701 Wave Street, Monterey, CA 93940