On a recent trip to the North Coast, we didn't expect to find very good food, but we were surprised. Here are some of the places we enjoyed.
Arcata: Jambalaya - An American bistro with a fine wine list, I had a great NY steak and my husband had a wonderful maple smoked pork chop. Very nice ambience. Right on the plaza at 915 "H" Street.
Eureka: Although we didn't go to them, there are a couple of Wine Spectator restaurant winners here. One is the Rib Room (a beautiful, clubby space circa 1920) at the historic Eureka Inn and the other is Carson House in another beautiful old building. We did make it to a pleasant bistro called Hurricane Kate's (511 Second Street in Old Town) for lunch, which boasted fresh food (pizza, pasta, salads, etc.) and another good wine list.
Trinidad: This tiny town about 20 miles(?) north of Eureka is in a beautiful setting. Its harbor with hundreds of fishing boats and beautiful, jutting rocks looked like somewhere in Japan to us. We ate at the local "fish shack" -- a place called Sea Scape that is right on the pier so the breathtaking view can be had from almost every table. A very casual, family place, it is extremely popular and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fish is plentiful and fresh and you choose the way you want it prepared (eg - broiled, breaded, sauteed, poached, etc.)
Ate at Jambalaya last night. Overall, very good after a long day of driving- not spectacular, not super unusual, but solid & good if you need a place to eat right in town in Arcata.
The good- short but good list of wines by the glass (and generous pours). Macaroni and cheese for my daughter was tasty. Wild salmon entree was delicious (and i generally don't like salmon} and served with greens (beet greens maybe?) and squash that was very tasty. Also served with rice with cut carrots and peas in it- which I felt was a mismatch for the rest of the goodness on the plate, but my husband disagreed. Ceasar salad with steak skewers was very good, though i'd probably omit the steak next time (a little tough, a little unrelated to the salad for me).
The Bad- The fish & sweet potato fritters we ordered were still frozen in the middle. Pretty bad, but forgiveable in the context of the whole meal.
We used to frequent beautiful Trinidad often and our hands-down favorite was Larrupin in Trinidad. Sadly we have heard the owner was attempting to sell this outstanding restaurant where an appetizer is their gravlax sample and phyllo wrapped chicken with cream cheese as an entree to name but a few. They bottle their sauces and I have seen in Cost Plus. Call ahead and see if they are still open. Undoubtedly the best restaurant possibly in Arcata/Trinidad...
Wendy-san, thanks for this info; it's all new to me. I anticipate a series of short trips to Eureka this year, and hope to see more chow shots about this (new to me) region.
Do any of this board's auditors have personal experience with Tomo Sushi in Arcata? It looked like a jumpin social venue; just wondered if the food was OK. I'll settle for hearsay; rumor; or innuendo.