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“Simply, one of the finest food experiences one could ever hope for!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Flying Fish Grill

Flying Fish Grill
Mission Street, Carmel, CA 93921
831 625 1962
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Ranked #3 of 156 Restaurants in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood, Asian, Gluten Free, Japanese, Pacific Rim
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Kritou Tera, Cyprus
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Simply, one of the finest food experiences one could ever hope for!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

I use the word "simply" here cautiously, but deliberately. Simple, yes....simplistic, emphatically no! The ingredients ARE simply pure and fresh, fresh, fresh. But the levels of flavor and texture are anything but simplistic. There is a complexity achieved here with the fewest ingredients that defies logic. An example is the almond encrusted sea bass, where I tend to gravitate to when not hunkering down with a partner over the shabu-shabu. The cloak of organic shaved almonds keeps the fish's natural moisture internal, at the same time creating a lightly toasted exterior that accentuates not masks, the natural piscatorial sweetness. I emphasize that all the preparations are designed to bring the natural key flavors to the fore. If you are going to pay $29 for a piece of fresh sea bass, then let it sing on the plate--and indeed, here it does, sing. The same can be said for the unctuously flavorsome tuna tartare, a preparation now regularly found on many menus, but usually so overlain with spices, oils and other ingredients, all seemingly designed to hide the tuna!--not here, the beautifully fresh and light tuna, is the star, as well it should be. I have a particular nostalgia for their shabu-shabu, as this was a favorite from more than 35 years ago, when my parents and family would come here and revel in this marvelous one pot ambrosia which at the time was very new to US diners. If anything, over the decades, chef Kenny Fukumoto has perfected this Japanese classic to even greater heights. The beef is superlative, so rich with beef flavor as to bring tears to your eyes, and the dipping sauces are simply classic, or classically simple, as you prefer.

No pretenses, no hype, no contrived "atmosphere"....just beautifully prepared pure ingredients at their very finest! the subterranean Japanese inn-like warm wooden interiors and booths, which remain in tact from the early days, seem so natural and unaffected. I cannot think of another restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula that pays such homage to its customers by the respectful way they treat their ingredients. Worthy of 5 Stars! No, if I could, I would give them 10 stars. Brava a tutti !!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank RJCardinalli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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639 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    454
    118
    45
    13
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
La Habra, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Personal touch / Chef owner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

Had New Year eve dinner at this quaint restaurant in Carmel.

We had reservations and were seated promptly upon arrival. We were seated in a semi private alcove with 2 tables. Our server immediately greeted us and asked for our drink requests. My daughter asked for apple juice ( which they did not have ) and my wife asked for ginger ale ( which they did not have ). Our server then went out to purchase these 2 items at a local store... I have not ever had this happen in Los Angeles where I live. I was impressed!

Unfortunately, we were seated next to a very loud table ( some might call obnoxious ). Normally, this would affect my enjoyment of the meal and evening. However, the owned made the situation very acceptable. He made regular visits to our table to lighten up the mood. Also, our server was great... food and beverage service was impeccable. We ordered 3 different fish dishes ( sea bass, salmon, and ahi). Each was superbly prepared.

I enjoy dinners at restaurants where the owner is committed to excellence. Flying Fish fits into this category!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Brad L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
71 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Only a dedicated owner can insure this kind of quality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

Small, subdued elegance, privacy, cozy with the owner and his wife over seeing everything make for great service and a wonderful place to eat. All this sets the stage for a great eating experience.
We had the Carmel Valley mixed greens salad, fresh& delicious and the California tower, great Dungess crab entre. Followed by the black bean halibut, very juicy, with great flavor. Also the Alasken black cod, oh so tender and we'll prepared.
All this with great service under the watchful eye of the owners, Tina & Carrie. Can't go wrong with a restaurant that has been in business for over 30 years and the owner there everyday!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank famhand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“still great duck”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

My husband had the duck and a vegetable soup both of which he swears were wonderful. I was not so lucky. I had the portabella fritters which were heavily battered slices of portabella mushroom.
I had to peel off the crust to eat. The troutI had was stuffed with basil and not very tasty, just a lot of basil. Both of my dishes were very heavy handed. To my waitresses credit she saw how unappetizing the fritters were and took it off the bill without my complaining. If you pick up a brochure on the place and bring it in you get a free appetizer. My husbands soup qualified.
I would go back again, just be more careful in my ordering.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Batyah65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upland, California
Level Contributor
498 reviews
310 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Delish”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

Great food, creatively prepared, well-presented.

Good, friendly service. Quaint atmosphere.

Nicely private booths.

Not an extensive, but a wide-ranging wine list.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank William D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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