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“Not Enjoyable Enough to Stay”

Evergreen Steak & Seafood Restaurant
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Ranked #81 of 122 Restaurants in Big Bear Region
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups, Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
108 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Not Enjoyable Enough to Stay”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2013

We were recommended this restaurant by the captain of a tour boat we had just de-boarded. In particular, the great view of the lake was mentioned. Of course, when we got up there, the sun had set, and nothing was visible outside. Inside was a different story. It was a sight to see, the ambience was, in a word, "memorable." But before I get to that, I should describe our reception.
I called the restaurant from the marina, and was told that we could be seated so long as we were able to get to the restaurant soon. The marina was just across the street, so I told them it would not be a problem. When my husband and I arrived, we were greeted by a seemingly annoyed host, who, when asked if there was a table with a view, huffed, and brought us to a table by the window which was mostly obscured by what appeared to be a wedding arch from the 1980's, complete with silk flowers, dust and cobwebs.
Which brings us to the decor. The whole restaurant had a swiss chalet a la 1980's look. It was large, and there was an outside patio. The decor seemed very outdated, a fact that was reinforced by the lack of attention to the dust and cobwebs. Very quiet classical music was playing over an old speaker system with booming, and disjointed bass. It was the very music you would imagine had someone asked you to picture a stuffy fine dining restaurant. You are probably humming the very song to yourself in your head right now, with the light-hearted violin line leading the rest of the string quartet? Yes, that is the one. My husband remarked that he felt like he was in a haunted house.
However, all of this is really secondary to the food. Unless, for example, no one comes to your table to serve you, which is how we spent a good 20 minutes before leaving politely, having never received so much as a glass of water and a "How do you do?". The place was fairly empty, but the table next to us appeared to have finished their meals quite some time beforehand (possibly decades?), and it was when my husband overheard the woman next to us announce that she was going to try to find someone to give them the check that we decided to call it quits. It was a memorable night, indeed.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sionnan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    51
    15
    9
    5
    16
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
72 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Good food, quirky and a bit odd, and pricey”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

I will start by saying that the food really is excellent--some of the best venison (served over white beans, spinach and mashed potatoes) I've ever had; my husband had chicken Marsala, which was also fantastic. However, I caution you about the quirkiness of the place. The staff is very nice, but perhaps a bit surly (though the guy behind the bar who I'm guessing is the manager/owner is extremely nice). The decor is odd--not particularly clean with a lot of 'stuff' here and there (a Chinese phone book and a calculator with other crap on one of the tables). I'd suggest they clear things out a bit so it's not so cluttered and you don't feel like you're at your eccentric aunt's house who's a bit of a hoarder but is a lovely person and an excellent cook.

The wine selection is decent, with reasonably priced options. However, please keep in mind that the storage of the wine is questionable and I probably wouldn't order an expensive bottle here only to find it's faded. They really should invest in a decent cellar, particularly for the Caymus, Silver Oak and other high-end labels.

The other recommendation is that you ask about the prices of the specials. They all sound amazing--and the venison truly, truly is--but my entree ended up being $49; my fault for not asking, but I didn't think it'd be quite that pricey (in Big Bear, really?). It was flawlessly prepared I must say, but for that price I'd expect a lobster tail as a garnish rather than a carnation and two potato chips :o)

The other thing I'd recommend is eating on the patio, which is lovely at sunset. The restaurant would be much improved if they put nice tablecloths on the outdoor tables to make it less beach casual and more elegant. The inside is what I think they consider to be the desirable tables, but they're really not with the dark, cluttered and sort of dusty-feeling atmosphere. If they upgraded the outdoor tables with tablecloths (and heaters for winter) and candles, they'd really have a great place.

This dinner was definitely entertaining. However, my advice to the owners is clean out the dining room, spruce up the tables with lighter linens, better lighting and less clutter, and upgrade table settings/linens outside so it's nicer (and can still accommodate casual diners). Also, for God's sake, you really should tell people the prices on the specials just in case they don't ask--you really wouldn't think you'd pay $50 for an entree in Big Bear (Vail, Breck and Aspen--sure, but Big Bear?).

But hats off to them for the best venison ever.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank CritiquerCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Ever-great!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

We have been going to the Evergreen for years. The food is ALWAYS delicious!!! And good quality. The service is impicable! The view delightful... We always sit outside with our pup Zoe. Both Jerry and Emilee go out of their way to be kind to Zoe and give us the best service! This is a hidden gem in big bear... It's it flashy urban... No... It's it classy lovely good quality food and service yes!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank winebarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Pricey!!!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2013

Were planning B--day dinner out, but, it got late so we decided to stop here just for a cocktail. It was just past sunset and the view from the outside patio is nice.
I ordered well vodka with club soda, hubby had scotch and water.
Both drinks came in about a 6 oz glass and were average. Pricey is an understatement, when our bill came, each 6oz basic drink cost $10 for a total of $20+tax, OUCH!!!! This is not a cruise ship people. Very average and outdated décor. The place was nearly empty, you'd think they would charge less and get repeat customers. NOT ME, WE WILL NOT BE BACK...

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank socalgirlSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Temecula, California
Level Contributor
45 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Lovely View, Kid-Friendly, and Tasty Sea Bass!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2013

We stopped by Evergreen while In Big Bear for the 4th of July, as my husband kept admiring their patio every time we drove by. As soon as we arrived, we were quickly greeted by a gentleman, whom I believe is the owner. He filled us in on their nightly specials, and was pleasant to our young children (ages 3 & 6). Thankfully, they have a kid's menu and our boys loved the fresh bread and butter (they churn their own here) while we waited for our meals! I should also mention that Evergreen has an AMAZING view of the lake and dining at sunset just cannot be beat!

We ordered a filet and sea bass, and were both very pleased. Quite simply, my sea bass was one of the best I've ever had! Another reviewer noted that they were charged a few dollars more for sauce, and I must admit, when the waiter asked if I wanted to add sauce for an extra charge I was a bit taken aback. I mean, this place is not cheap! I decided to pass on the sauce (my fish was great anyway), but I was told there was a $1 upcharge for my French Onion Soup?? I obliged, and the soup was also amazing!

All in all, we had a great dinner at Evergreen and would definitely go back. It was a nice, family dinner, but on the "pricey" side. My husband said he couldn't look at the bill, for his filet was so much!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank missamiann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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