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La Balena

Certificate of Excellence
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Junipero between 5th and 6th, West Side, Carmel, CA
+1 831-250-6295
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
All hours
Tue - Wed 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thu - Sun 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
More Info
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238 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
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Showing 217: English reviews
Blenheim, New Zealand
Level Contributor
135 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2016

Went with my friends who had been before. I thought it was awkward to get seated and felt bad having to linger right next to people sitting at tables until we were seated. They need to make a spot outside or something to be a little more professional when greeting patrons. First impression was that it was a very small... More 

Thank hotrodgurl
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2016

had the pleasure of eating at La Balena last week. the chef has a genuine touch and the wines they keep are superb. Highly recommended for anyone who appreciates fine cuisine.

1 Thank waveee
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2016

Went here with my dog on a cold January evening, and found the heated, covered patio to be a very pleasant place to enjoy a delicious meal. The arugula and citrus salad was quite good, while the bistecca was fabulous. There are nice half-bottle wine choices, and after an initial slow start, the service was quite good. Would definitely eat... More 

1 Thank 32655Lisa
Menlo Park, CA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2016

Ever since discovering La Balena we've returned at every visit. The food is outstanding, creative, and the service matches the food. Go. Enjoy. Just don't take our seats or could get ugly.

1 Thank AuggiesMan
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2016

Went here on a Sat night with 4 people. I'd been here once before and remembered it was quaint with great food. Arrived here for the 2nd time and right away observed it was really bright (not in a good way); there were lots of unused tables and chairs in the front patio (it was about 40 degrees outside so... More 

1 Thank heathweb78
Level Contributor
69 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2016 via mobile

This cozy restaurant located in the heart of the charming Village of Carmel is ideal for enjoying the pleasure of a longer meal while talking to friends and/or family without worrying about time. Creative menu accompanied by a varied wine list

Thank Ricardone
San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2016

this little place has the most incredible gnocchi, meatballs, and staff. everything we ordered was absolutely fantastic - even the finishing desert with home made spumoni ice cream covered in a chocolate shell...we were impressed. the owner was a charming italian man who was very sweet, and the staff was excellent; pet friendly, our two shelties sat under our table... More 

Thank jtreacy
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2015

Very cozy hidden spot! I felt like we had a private restaurant all for us! The food was good, freshly made and interesting every bite was a new discovery. We want to go back to explore more the manu'... we couldn't try all in one sitting :-P.... and don't forget the dessert the almond cake is excellent.... it was a... More 

Thank Astrid T
Level Contributor
75 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2015

The owner/chef is one of the very few in Carmel who would carefully source his produce. The cuisine is authentic which means different than what most people have seen being offered in an Italian Restaurant.

Thank MdMontaigne
Monterey CA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2015

We live on Monterey Peninsula so are fortunate to have many excellent restaurants in town. La Balena is top notch. The food is so flavorful and beautifully prepared. We particularly enjoyed the bruschetta, cauliflower appetizer, steak with aioli, and tagliatelli with mushrooms. Great service and the owner couldn't be more accommodating. Plan ahead with reservations as this restaurant is quite... More 

Thank CharlieMontereyCA

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Italian, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Local cuisine, Special occasions, Families with children, Romantic
Open Hours
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Junipero between 5th and 6th, West Side, Carmel, CA
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Monterey County  >  Carmel
  • Phone Number: +1 831-250-6295

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of La Balena and other visitors
3 questions
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Saratoga, California
over a year ago
Pacifica, California
over a year ago
South Lake Tahoe, Ca
over a year ago

See all questions (3)

Questions? Get answers from La Balena staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?