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Carmel / Mmonterey Friday night help for NYC chowhound

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Help! Yelp completely lead me astray! Went to Flying Fish Grill tonight based on over 100 reviews totaling 4.5 stars, and it was so mediocre! Have a res for Passionfish but afraid I will be disappointed with the price point and read some negative reviews. Just looking for a delicious, can be simple, fare for me and my mother for Friday dinner. I fly out on Saturday so I want to make this a good one... Was looking at Dametra but we have great Greek in NYC. Please help!

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  1. Mundaka

    Or you might find something else of interest in my recent report http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/851540

    1. Love Passionfish....what would make you disappointed in the price point at Passionfish?
      One of the most reasonable priced wine lists (almost at cost half bottle) and their seafood is priced very well.

      1. I've had hit and miss at Passionfish; when they are on it can't be beat, but sometimes it can be inconsistent with regard to the food (but hey what restaurant isn't?). The service has always been good but ambiance can be lacking if you are seated on the side facing the gas station, it's either looking at that or the wall.

        If you are looking for something a little different let me recommend Hula's Island Grill on Lighthouse. They have a diverse menu with flavors focusing on a caribbean/asian fusion of flavors and the fish has always been consistently good when I've dined there. Good drink selection and very local-feel even though it is on Lighthouse Ave. Definitely something you most likely don't have in NYC.

        1. It' been a couple of years since I was in the area, but if you like wine, Passionfish is a great choice. Focus on seafood dishes. The biggest shortcoming is noise (not clatter noise, but people talking noise), so I would request a table on the east side of the restaurant which is quieter. If you are looking for a nice and unique view and don't care so much about wine list, the Sand Bar and Grill on the commercial pier (just east of Fisherman's Wharf) can be good. Both of those places are less expensive (and less fancy) than a lot other spots in the area.

          1. I totaly agree about The Fly Fish Grill ... 4 of us went a few years ago and we were completely underwhelmed. Too dark and dingy in there for one thing ... but the food was truly nothing to go back for. Passion Fish in Pacific Grove is in a whole other league ... enjoyed it very much.

            1. We were in Carmel last week for the first time in 15 years. Both Mundaka & Passionfish were really good-- service, ambiance, & especially the food. Tasty, well-prepared & well-served (not fussy or pretentious), & interesting combinations of flavors & textures at both places.

              Cheers!

              1 Reply
              1. re: FishTales

                Thanks for all the great recs! Yeah, the combinations and the food flavors in general at Flying Fish didn't do it for me... I guess I was expecting more. I'm glad the difference between Passionfish and Flying Fish was defined. I wasn't looking at the wine price points (I just spent 4 days in Napa) but more at the entree prices. They seemed similar to Flying Fish and I was really underwhelmed at FF. Just didn't want to drop $36 for another bad fish entree I guess... But thanks for all these recs!