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La Balena

Certificate of Excellence
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Junipero between 5th and 6th, West Side, Carmel, CA
831.250.6295
Website
Today
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Closed now
All hours
Hours:
Tue - Wed 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thu - Sun 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
More Info
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234 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 215: English reviews
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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 

Helpful?
1 Thank 32655Lisa
Menlo Park, CA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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.

Helpful?
1 Thank AuggiesMan
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars 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 

Helpful?
1 Thank heathweb78
Brasil
Level Contributor
62 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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

Helpful?
Thank Ricardone
San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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 

Helpful?
Thank jtreacy
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars 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 

Helpful?
Thank Astrid T
California
Level Contributor
75 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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.

Helpful?
Thank MdMontaigne
Monterey CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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 

Helpful?
Thank CharlieMontereyCA
Windsor, Colorado
Level Contributor
128 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2015

One of my friends read about this restaurant in Food & Wine magazine and was eager to try it. I was skeptical because Food & Wine is a little high brow for my personal tastes. But I went along. The menu changes daily, so that also made me a bit nervous. I like to peruse a menu ahead of time... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Marcia H
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
43 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2015

We always dine here when we visit Carmel. Food very authentic. Always love the polpo and the trippa. Pastas usually very good. Brussels sprouts were excellent. Service was fine.

Helpful?
Thank siptravels2015

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Cuisine
Italian
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Local cuisine, Families with children, Romantic
Open Hours
Sunday
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thursday
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday
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 Peninsula  >  Carmel
  • Phone Number: 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
11 months 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?