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“Over rated in Carmel Valley”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Lokal Restaurant

Lokal Restaurant
Ranked #11 of 30 Restaurants in Carmel Valley
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Lincoln, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Over rated in Carmel Valley”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

Carmel Valley has some really good restaurants so we were pretty excited to hear about the new "must-go" restaurant. What a letdown! The food was ordinary, the service slow (they forgot what we ordered) and the atmosphere antiseptic. I guess I forgot to put on my cool sunglasses? If the portions in "foody" restaurants are often small, then this one is a must for foodies. Oh, and it was really expensive.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
10 Thank FSB018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    40
    20
    7
    4
    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Carmel, California
Level Contributor
382 reviews
256 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Great food - serious growing pains in the service department”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2012

We have eaten there a few times and loved the food... Tonight we took friends there and we're embarrassed by the experience. Food was great as usual! Service and noise level were intolerable. Crowd was boisterous, and amazingly loud. Service took two hours to get a couple of dishes to the table. Delays in ordering caused us to not get desired main course - out of the fish. Painfully asking and re-asking for coffe and not getting timely response.

Too bad, great concept and food. Fix the service and it will be worthwhile again

Helpful?
5 Thank rthau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
Level Contributor
49 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A great new destination for true foodies”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

Lokal should be a new must-go destination for anyone interested in what the next generation of top California chefs are dreaming up to delight our palates. The setting is lively, friendly and informal, while the kitchen offers unique culinary combinations and sophisticated dishes you just won't find at any other local restaurant. Chef Brendan Jones delivered combinations like short ribs and octopus, that I'd never seen, but was melt-in-your-mouth delicious, rich and wonderful. The tiny, grilled Padron peppers were light, smokey and surprising. Co-owner Mathew Zolan, who once owned a bar in Prague, has chosen a selection of reasonably priced wines and unusual beers that perfectly complement the creative kitchen. For desert, the berries and creme anglais was abundant and entirely yummy, a slightly lighter and more vanilla-flavored version of the traditional creme. I watched my companion, who intended to eat just one of the donuts served in a paper bag with a cup of chocolate, devour both of them -- and then I drank the chocolate.

There were some complaints about service at this restaurant when it first opened, but everyone who waited on us was friendly, helpful and attentive -- and we were there on a busy Saturday night. Anyone visiting Northern California should make the drive up Carmel Valley for an experience I doubt they'll duplicate anywhere else -- at least not until other restaurants start copying this one.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Truthtraveler58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
“Worth the trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

It's a schlep to get here from Carmel or Monterey, but it's worth it. Creative dishes served in a Carmel Valley country-style cafe with chalkboards on the walls filled with scribbles from the patrons. The service was friendly and attentive, the wine list interesting and local, the menu varied and intriguing. The Padron peppers were yummy. The short ribs with squid sounded like an odd mix, but somehow it worked. The donuts on the desert menu were a trip, served fresh and hot in a brown paper bag with a side of hot chocolate for dipping.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Irwin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Best meal I've had in a long time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2012

I'm reading others' reviews of this restaurant and wondering if they went to the same place I went to. What a nice change of pace to see a menu that offers dishes featuring local products that are presented so artistically. Our salads were HUGE, incredibly fresh and tasty, the entrees were all obviously made with the care and love of a true food aficionado. I tasted marrow for the first time in my life tonight- wow!! The food was delicious and the pace of the meal was leisurely, creating an atmosphere of comfort and hominess that had us ready to spend the night. Dessert was equally good, donuts in a thick hot chocolate sauce that immediately made me think of the chocolate served with churros in Madrid after a long night of dancing. Kudos to this new restaurant- I sincerely hope they make it in the mean and ugly world of national chain crap...

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

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