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“new life for a hard to find restaurant space......”
Review of La Balena

La Balena
Ranked #37 of 156 Restaurants in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Carmel, California
Level Contributor
85 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“new life for a hard to find restaurant space......”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Hidden in a little cul-de-sac like space in Carmel-by-the-Sea, La Balena has filled the space with delicious food and wonderful service.....redecorated simply, utilizing a small square footage to the maximum, it is comfortable and you are made to feel a part of the family that operates the restaurant....we have frequented it regularly and will be making it one of our favorite restaurants...

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Anne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    157
    57
    17
    13
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Pacific Grove, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Pretty good!”
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Everything we has was delicious w/the exception of the octopus-a bit chewy, but they happily replaced it w/a lovely tuna appetizer. Service a little confused as our food was served before our wine was brought to the table, but all in all it was a pleasant repast and on our "we will return" list!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FrequentTraveler789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful Italian”
Reviewed December 25, 2012

This is a small, cozy restaurant with great food and service, although a little crowded when we were there. We both had a deliceous seabass. But what stood out most was the homemade lime sorbet that we were served complimentary after we had the coconut sorbet. Very nice experience

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Anton T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pebble Beach, California
Level Contributor
131 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Great new restaurant in Carmel”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

We went to this new restaurant 2 weeks ago. We expected the usual service gaps during the shakedown cruise. None. Very attentive staff. Food was great. I had the meatball appetizer, which I loved. The owner says they will have a seasonal rotating menu. We will definitely be back.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PebbleBCritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carmel, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“New and already a keeper!”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

Tried at La Balena last night, a new Tuscan-style trattoria in Carmel. Tucked in behind Pepe's well-known Vesuvio restaurant, it has not yet been discovered by most locals. Our first experience convinced us to come back often: despite a dreary rainy evening, we experienced a warm welcome. Owners Emanuele and Anna's experience shows with the exceptionally tasty Tuscan comfort food (both the enormous pork chop and the lamb ragu papardelle, preceded by an insalata invernale were a delight. The menu will change frequently depending on fresh local ingredients, so we'll never get bored. Emanuele explained how he assembled a balanced wine list and we complimented him on including a number of Italian value wines - a nice change from sometimes overpriced local wines. It is also apparent that the staff is knowledgeable and well-trained - everybody takes care of every table without being intrusive. Lunch service and happy hour will be offered next month and patio seating will be most enjoyable during mild weather. This will definitely become one of our favorites!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FleurDeVille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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