We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Skip this one” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Em Le's

Em Le's
Dolores St., Between 5th & 6th, Carmel, CA 93921
(831) 625-6780
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #80 of 126 Restaurants in Carmel
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Dessert, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout
Carmel
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Skip this one”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Our lunch date was very disappointing! We should have read other reviews but we're pretty used to eating well in Carmel. We concur completely with pah8 who remarked that the place is very dirty, with the fabric on the chairs sporting a slick patina of grease around the edges where obviously thousands of hands have touched them. Orders for our drinks were taken and received quickly. My husband ordered calamari with lemon caper sauce and mashed potatoes; I ordered a Reuben sandwich. We waited a very long time and finally my husband's order arrived. To his dismay, his plate contained a very flattened, dry, breaded piece of calamari with an odd pilaf, covered with green onions and peanuts. No hint of lemon-caper sauce. Server took the plate back to the kitchen then returned it, intact, with a small bowl of mashed potatoes on the side, and told my husband could have both the pilaf and potatoes! Eventually, after finishing half his calamari, our server returned with the missing lemon sauce. Meanwhile, I waited and waited for my Reuben which came about 5 minutes after my husband's order was returned to him. It certainly was a small portion of admirably lean meat on very thick marbled rye, with a reasonable amount of cheese but no sauerkraut. The server took my meal back to the kitchen where they added a couple of tablespoons of kraut to the sandwich. I got it back a few minutes later. The restaurant was not crowded but the kitchen couldn't seem to produce meals for all people at a table at the same time. We watched the scene play out at another table. We also observed a couple come in, seat themselves, peruse the menu and finally give up on getting any attention only to leave. After they left, the bus person did not remove the silverware settings, just rearranged everything on the table. Yuck!!! As locals, we typically dine out once a week and are used to far better options than this! Kudos to our server, however, for trying to make this a better experience for us. He was quick with the check, pleasant and courteous. I think this place needs a makeover and some kind of organization in the kitchen. Skip this place in favor of the many, many other good ones on the Monterey Peninsula.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

143 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    46
    46
    25
    13
    13
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Palm Harbor, Florida
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Signature French Toast - YUM!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

I walked by this place while shopping and stopped and asked if I could have their card so I'd remember the name and could return for breakfast. The owner took a mug off the shelf and gave it to me! We returned for breakfast and were SO glad we did. I ordered the signature French toast and am still thinking about it a week later. I can only describe it as the result of what would happen if French toast and elephant ears had children. I got the full order and was glad I did. It was delicious. Special caramel sauce also. My husband got a seafood egg dish and also enjoyed it. The service was very attentive and friendly. If I'm ever back in town, I'll definitely eat here again. OH - and sorry Em Lee - I forgot to bring back the mug, but I think of you ever morning while I drink my coffee!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san Diego
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Not good!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

I had a discount at this restaurant and figured it would be good since it was in Carmel...right in the downtown shopping area. We were not only disappointed..we were afraid that we might even get sick after eating there.,
The place was just plain dirty. I can't say it any other way. After walking in, the host, a man, was friendly. He welcomed us in...and as we sat down, both my husband and I noticed that the fabric on the chairs and booths was filthy! Not just a little ...a lot! We wanted to turn around and walk out...but it was uncomfortable . as the host was nice and friendly. There was only one other occupied table. CLUE!
When the main room of the restaurant is dirty...how might it be in the kitchen??
We did eat there and because we were upset that we hadn't walked out...it was hard to enjoy the food.
I ordered a half a sandwich and a cup of soup. The soup was good...but too salty. The sandwich was very disappointing. It was a BLT and it looked like a poor example of one you might make in a home kitchen in a hurry! Very very small and unappetizing.
I'm sorry to say such awful things about this restaurant...but maybe it will force the proprieters to do something about it!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carmel, CA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Chinese Restaurant flavors”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We went for breakfast, and everything we each ordered tasted the same, and that was like greasy Chinese cooking. We're locals, and we won't be going back. There are much better choices. Bicyclette makes a wonderful breakfast.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livermore, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Nice place for breakfast and coffee”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

This is a cute little cafe recommended by a friend. The portions were good size and the food was good...and my latte too. Seems like a good place to go if you like to talk golf too.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Em Le's also viewed

Carmel, Monterey Peninsula
Carmel, Monterey Peninsula
 

Been to Em Le's? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Em Le's, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.