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La Balena or Cantinetta Luca in Carmel

The food at La Balena is a notch above Luca IMO though we still enjoy going to Luca. Desserts are better at Luca. La Balena doesn't make theirs in house and that is their weak point. The indoor seating area at La Balena is small. Much of their seating is on their back or front patios both of which are heated. Reservations are necessary at La Balena on almost any night.

about 2 hours ago
PattyC in California

Cayucos, Avila Bay

Ruddell's Smokehouse

Sidecar in SLO

Sep 28, 2014
PattyC in California

Carmel Rec's

Glad you enjoyed lunch at Barmel. They have a good happy hour and are one of the few places in town with live music.

We went to Bouchee for the first time for lunch a few weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised after having read some of the negative feedback here.

Sep 12, 2014
PattyC in California

Carmel Rec's

Also new, on the other side of Mundaka, is Monterey Bagel Company open 8am-2pm. Their chorizo and egg sandwich is good.

Sep 07, 2014
PattyC in California

Carmel Rec's

La Balena!

For a budget friendly lunch, try Barmel.

I also went to the soft opening of Affina last week and was impressed with what they were doing after being open for only 3 days. Some pics from our dinner.

Sep 06, 2014
PattyC in California

Carmel by the Sea Thursday farmer's market update

Pics from this past Thursday. I went early and saw 3 produce vendors, one berry vendor, an egg vendor, a cheese/pork/lamb vendor and 3 flower vendors. The atmosphere was somber.

Jul 19, 2014
PattyC in California

Carmel by the Sea Thursday farmer's market update

I had forgotten to add that the market manager's contract has only been extended for 120 days. I remember how contentious selecting the manager was.

There were already fewer vendors today. Basil is gone. Neither of the stone fruit vendors is from one of the three counties. Not sure what we'll have left by next week!

Jul 10, 2014
PattyC in California

Carmel by the Sea Thursday farmer's market update

Decisions from the recent city council meeting that ran til almost midnight :)

- Market can stay at Devendorf park but must be within the park, not on adjacent Mission St

- Vendors from Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties only

- Mostly organic produce

- Prepared food must be from Carmel businesses

- Hours changed to 8:30am-12:30pm

- No more crafts and merchandise

This is all going into effect July 17th. This means no more Tricycle Pizza and I'm assuming Sweet Elena's as well. I don't mind the new hours (easier to find parking) and the lack of merchandise as I only go there to buy food but that leaves only La Balena and Basil, I think, selling prepared food and I'm not even sure Basil is staying. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It would be nice to continue to have a year round market in Carmel.

Most of all, I can't believe we moved to a town where the most controversial subject this week is a farmer's market!

Jul 04, 2014
PattyC in California

Zen Dumpling in Watsonville (Harbin Chinese!)

I hadn't either when we were only vacationing here. Thanks for the suggestions. I got spoiled living in the SGV for so long that I never learned to cook Chinese. Maybe it's time to start.

Jun 30, 2014
PattyC in California

Zen Dumpling in Watsonville (Harbin Chinese!)

I met a guy last week who lives in Watsonville and is from Shenyang so I told him about this place. He got all excited til I looked it up on Yelp and found out it's closed :(

Anything authentic on/near the peninsula or should I just have my parents bring me food when they visit? We may have to invest in a chest freezer for dumplings ;)

Jun 30, 2014
PattyC in California

Dinner tonight in Monterey

Let me know how it is. They just changed chefs http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/b...

Jun 30, 2014
PattyC in California

Driving from San Francisco to Big Sur: where to stop for lunch?

The Carmel By The Sea farmer's market is currently on a 6 week trial run at Devendorf Park and Mission between Ocean and 6th. The idea stemmed from having to move it the week of GourmetFest. If all goes well, it will stay there. It's doing much better there than at Sunset Center where it was dying a slow death. However the downtown merchants aren't happy with the new location. There's a meeting at city hall today to determine its fate.

Good to know about Pezzini. I was not impressed with the Giant Artichoke.

Jun 30, 2014
PattyC in California

Mundaka in Carmel

We've been back to Barmel twice now. The sauce on the mussels caused us to dump all of our fries in to sop up every little bit. The noodles in today's ramen were slightly overcooked but it was otherwise delicious. Better and cheaper than ramen night at Crema. Between Mundaka Cafe, Barmel and Mundaka, we may just start living in this little courtyard ;)

Jun 16, 2014
PattyC in California

Good food in Kapolei?

I would put Roy's at dinner a bit above the rest.

Jun 09, 2014
PattyC in Hawaii

Good food in Kapolei?

http://www.shinsatofarm.com/ (they're grain fed though)

Jun 09, 2014
PattyC in Hawaii

Mundaka in Carmel

Barmel is located where the former Ody's Tavern used to be. It's also been around for a few months under various names (the sign by the sidewalk still says High Tide) and recently started serving lunch and dinner. Our first attempt to eat there resulted in them bringing over Mundaka food as the kitchen was closed due to some permitting issue. Today's lunch attempt was more successful and we were treated to some upscale comfort food which until now I hadn't realized was missing in Carmel though some good competition may be coming when Carmel Belle starts serving dinner. My husband and I shared the shrimp bisque, pork sandwich and fried confit chicken. We enjoyed it so much we plan to go back and try everything on the menu which is the same for lunch and dinner. Portions were generously sized too.

Jun 07, 2014
PattyC in California
1

Mundaka in Carmel

I think Mundaka continues to be one of the best price to quality values in Carmel.

Recently I was able to try the latest incarnations of their two offshoots, Barmel and Mundaka Cafe. Mundaka Cafe has been around in some form or another for more than a year but kept tweaking their format and never really seemed to hit its stride. A few weeks ago Monterey Bagel Company started up in there selling bagels, cream cheeses and a few bagel sandwiches. We tried a deliciously oozy chorizo/egg sandwich for breakfast and you can't beat the price of $5. Currently only open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch til they can find more help.

Jun 07, 2014
PattyC in California

top fine dining restaurant in entire Hawaiian islands

In my neck of the woods, it would be Aubergine http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/969105

Not sure you would like it though. Strong emphasis on seafood, unfortunately no foie as it's banned in CA http://auberginecarmel.com/menu.html

No dress code :)

Jun 03, 2014
PattyC in Hawaii

top fine dining restaurant on Oahu as of May 2014

That's how tasting menus are typically listed. I've only seen references to a $295 menu so was surprised by your mention of $195. Thanks for your review.

Jun 03, 2014
PattyC in Hawaii

Your suggestion for one special dinner

Just FYI VC's chef is leaving http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/br...

The seared foie at AW was more memorable than La Mer for us.

Jun 03, 2014
PattyC in Hawaii

Monday Night l'Avventura in Cocina at Il Vecchio (Pacific Grove)

I never made it for L'Avventura but did go for Piatti last night which is their new Monday night format as of two weeks ago http://ilvecchiorestaurant.com/piatti... 3 smaller portions of some items on their regular menu for $15 with additional ones at $5 each. The dishes are definitely small so those with bigger appetites may want more than 3 a piece. My husband and I shared 6 plates of insalata capricciosa, polenta, penne con fontina, pork shoulder, mussels and one of the specials of the evening, sausage stuffed zucchini. Our favorites were the zucchini and mussels. The pork shoulder could've cooked longer. We shared a torta al cioccolato for dessert which was very dry. The place was packed and the service a bit chaotic. We've previously been for their weekday lunch and the quality was on par with that. I had hoped that they would've step it up a notch for dinner.

Jun 03, 2014
PattyC in California

Local salmon at Monterey Fish Company

Picked up some local salmon at Monterey Fish Company at the municipal wharf today. Whole salmon is $13/lb (same as last year) and can be cut to your specifications. $16/lb for pre-cut steaks and $22/lb for filet. I got 2 extra heads too for $2.50/lb. I forgot to take a pic of the other fresh case with halibut, swordfish, ahi and shellfish. One of these days I need to go next door and get some abalone.

May 14, 2014
PattyC in California
1

Paris Bakery [Seaside and Monterey]

I went back today to see if I could get a gateau basque and found out they only make those and the tarte tatin on Friday, Saturday and Sunday though they can make one any day with advance notice.

Apr 21, 2014
PattyC in California

Paris Bakery [Seaside and Monterey]

I did like Lafayette's tarte tatin. Here's what's left of it. Still not crazy about any of their viennoiserie I've tried.

Apr 19, 2014
PattyC in California

Last minute overnight stay in Carmel

Their desserts are somewhat weak except for Anna's trifle.

Apr 18, 2014
PattyC in California

Last minute overnight stay in Carmel

La Bicyclette for breakfast since my usual go to, Carmel Belle, was still closed for renovation when I stopped by yesterday (the latest sign says re-opening 4/18).

Apr 16, 2014
PattyC in California

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival

Oh, I'm definitely planning on going to that one! We're hoping for a lull in visitors next month so we can actually get to renovating the guest bath ;)

Apr 14, 2014
PattyC in California

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival

No, I didn't. My in laws are visiting and they weren't interested in going.

Apr 14, 2014
PattyC in California

Santa Barbara

The couple of times we've been to SB Shellfish, we've been much, much more successful ordering off the specials board than the regular menu.

Apr 03, 2014
PattyC in California

Great dining in Carmel/Monterey/Pacific Grove?

Don't know when you're planning to go but I just read that they're closed for renovations until April 14th.

Apr 01, 2014
PattyC in California