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“Quaint atmosphere of Mendocino” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Mendocino Cafe

Mendocino Cafe
10451 Lansing St, Mendocino, CA 95460
707-937-6141
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Ranked #9 of 22 Restaurants in Mendocino
Certificate of Excellence 2014
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Dessert, Lunch, Late Night, Takeout
milpitasca
Top Contributor
253 reviews 253 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 112 cities Reviews in 112 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
“Quaint atmosphere of Mendocino”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

Like most of Mendocino, this restaurant is quaint with pretty plants around the deck. We were there on a wonderfully sunny day, but still decided to eat inside due to the breeze. Since it was a Monday, the #1 restaurant in town was closed. Thus, we came here. Their clam chowder was hearty, but I thought it needed more cream and fewer onions. My husband ordered a bowl of soup and it was huge. I had the cup of soup and it was the perfect size for me. Next up was the Big River salad with blue cheese dressing for my husband, which he really enjoyed. I ordered the crab cake sandwich with spicy aioli accompanied by cabbage and beautiful, fresh, ripe tomatoes. The toasted buttered roll was nice, but it was too much to eat. So, I mainly had the crab cake and the "salad" with aioli dressing. Very tasty! Service was straight forward - bring menu and water, take order, bring food, bring check - nothing more! Dining room was a bit threadbare and needed some updating and color.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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464 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    194
    71
    18
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Charleston, South Carolina
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Total Letdown”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

This place was our second choice, and I wish we had stayed with our first.
When we walked in, we were greeted by delicious smells of Thai cooking. We were seated by our server, who brought us waters and menus. The menu seemed a little sparse for vegetarians (but that's common, so no big deal), but my boyfriend and I both spotted the "healing bowl," which was soba noodles, kale, mushrooms, and tofu (my boyfriend got shrimp in his) in a miso broth. It may have been one of the most bland things I have ever eaten. It was like the miso paste had been omitted. We ended up having to add salt and Siracha just to give it someting of a flavor. We even went up to the bar (we had little attention from our server) and asked for a side of miso paste, but we were told we couldn't have any paste because the packet already came mixed? The noodles were mealy, and the tofu was squishy and flavorless.
The service was also very poor. Our water glasses were only refilled once (after we asked a few times) and the server never really checked on us. I was thankful I had enough cash on hand to pay for the meal and walk out without having to wait for my credit card to be run. Who knows how long that would have taken.
This cafe seems like a local haunt, so we must have looked like the tourists that we were. We also didn't order any wine or salads, so maybe that dropped us down a peg on the priority level. I'm not sure.
We had visited the Russian Gulch State Park that afternoon, and the park ranger told us that the water in Mendocino was the best-tasting water in the world. She was right, but unfortunately, the water was also the highlight of our entire meal.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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Berkeley, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A favorite, but...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

Our party of four had mixed reviews depending on what they ordered. Generally very good, but seems better in years past. And the famed bread pudding just wasn't up to par.

Visited September 2013
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Dover, New Jersey
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“not bad! our second choice but it worked”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

We went here last Monday evening after 8pm. The place where we were staying recommended another place, but they were full (and noisy) so we stumbled into this one. Service reliable, food good. Choices a little on the precious side, but the town is that was anyway, so there you go.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento area
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Very solid but not perfect”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

This is a laid back little place (as you might expect in Mendocino). The only real complaint we (4) had was that the waiting area/bar area was slightly too low key for us--we had to prompt the waitstaff to get a drink (but they were busy).

This is more a personal preference, but we were expecting perfect bread pudding and it was just very good.

Good fish; good Thai influence; good presentation.

Try it, you'll like it. Just don't expect perfect.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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