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“Can't wait to return”
5 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
Monterey, California
1 review
“Can't wait to return”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

My first time at Lokal. Great time, amazing food. I went with two others who had been there before so, I got some direction on the menu and the concept of the place. If you don’t know, smaller type plates are served that are meant to be shared by all at the table. It’s a nifty idea and seems to be perfect for any number of diners: you get to try everything that comes to the table without having to peck at your friend's plate. The dishes come out staggered and the pacing gave us time to enjoy each plate fully on its own. And the food was unassumingly fabulous. I’m so glad we went hungry on a Friday night: we ordered seven different dishes!! There were a few new creations on the menu and my friends were excited to try those. I loved everything that came to the table: macaroni with lobster, calamari, crab hotdog, baby potatoes, asparagus topped with a smoked egged that was poached, pork sliders, and steak. Without trying to find adjectives for each plates, all had a unique and very distinctive flavor—the smoked-poached eggs on the asparagus were incredible and the pork sliders tender and so yummy. And the crab hot dog, hmmm. I’m a steak eater and the steak was, simply put, perfect in every way. I would return for that alone and look forward to seeing what might be on the menu.
We finished with a thick chocolate mousse type dessert—you place a small dollop of the mousse on your spoon and then lightly dab it to the olive oil, white salt, and black salt that ring the dessert on the plate. I’m not much of a dessert eater anymore, but that was soooo good. I will have that again too.
All in all a great first time for me. Our table was comfortable and the was staff attentive without being intrusive. We had two different white wines that complemented our entrees perfectly. Nice space, the walls are a chalk board—that’s all the walls are a chalk board. I heard the bar was made from wood from the Monterey Fair Ground stage that Hendrix played on. That’s coolness you can’t contrive. Maybe that’s what the place is all about in the end.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank pazmonterey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
177 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Creative fresh food and great atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

Found Lokal for breakfast during a weekend in Carmel Valley. It's tucked away in a mid-century mall, but what a find! The room is nice, weathered wood, chalkboards, the atmosphere is casual, food is amazing! We liked it so much that we came back for dinner the same day. All dishes were impressive, from the "Shrooms and Egg" (trumpet mushrooms with poached egg) to the California Halibut Hamachi, which brings in flavors of coffee, fennel and habanero. Ended up chatting with the chef and owner, who spent 10 years living and training all over Europe, only to come back and open Lokal right where he grew up.
This place is not for you if you are in a rush or look for generic food like you know it. But if you bring a little time, accept that dishes come out as the are ready and prefer creative fare from local ingredients, you found your place.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Malte S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Delicious Food and a Fun Atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

I stopped at Lokal for breakfast. What a treat! It was early on a weekday and I had excellent service. The menu is intriguing and inviting. After struggling to choose between the appealing offerings, I settled on the eggs benedict - it's a "build your own" from an appetizing selection of ingredients to go with the eggs & English muffin. Delicious doesn't begin to describe it! Some of the best Hollandaise I have ever tasted. The hash browns were crispy and perfect. The coffee was fresh and rich. Cost was very reasonable. I looked at the dinner menu, too, and will definitely return. Lokal offers "local ingredients, always fresh, never frozen" and it shows. The dinner menu is enticing - one would definitely struggle to choose among the offerings. Dinner is served "tapas" style, where each entree is meant to be shared among those at the table - what a great concept. The wine selection is clearly focused on quality not quantity, as are the offered beers on tap. It's a relaxed atmosphere. Clearly a gem in the heart of Carmel Valley Village.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Rude is rude”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

We wanted to get away from the Monterey fog for a few hours so went out to Carmel Valley to have lunch and do some wine tasting. We have enjoyed several excellent restaurant choices out there previously, including Rustica, Vineyard Bistro, Plaza Linda and Toast but wanted to try something different this time. Well it was different, but it was definitely not excellent. In fact we think it was one of the more disagreeable and rude experiences at a restaurant that we have had in a long time, maybe ever. We just sort of wandered into it on the lower cross street which we hadn't been to before, having no previous information and just taking a chance, which often works out well. It looked ok from the outside, and the physical inside looked ok as well, with a long bar and newish, casual look to it. The problem isn't with the physical plant. After standing around for about five minutes, a waitress finally appeared and we got a table. There was plenty of vacant space We asked for some water while we studied the menu. The waitress then disappeared somewhere and didn't come back for a long time. She finally reappeared, although without the water, and took our orders, and we asked for the water again. She muttered something and went off to put in the orders, also mentioning that the orders would come out sort of randomly when cooked. My BF ordered a Kobe Beef burger and I had poached eggs over vegetables. We thought we had been already waiting for a while, but didn't realize the real wait had just started.

After waiting for almost half an hour, we began to suspect that the cook had expired or something, certainly he or she couldn't be cooking because only a few tables were occupied, and the other customers seemed to also be also looking around to find out what could be happening. (or not). When the orders appeared, first the beef burger came out and then after a long period of watching my BF eat (he did offer me some but said he couldn't exactly recommend it), my eggs appeared. Of course they had been plopped on the vegetables for so long that the veggies were kind of limp. Certainly nothing to get excited about. Mom who isn't the worlds best cook, even made better. At least with Mom, you get a smile. By the way, we never did get the water, even though we asked three times. It wasn't as if the waitress had much else to do. We quickly finished up the meal, but had to wait for another long time to get the bill and get it paid. The last insult was the size of the bill-high priced for what we got, even without the rudeness. We should of got a discount for the rudeness, but it was not a good time at any price.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
8 Thank jennie d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carmel, California
Level Contributor
382 reviews
256 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Revising my earlier opinion”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

Went there again last night with our friends visiting from out of town... The food continues to be excellent. Since the last time we were there, they hired a very competent young lady to serve the guests. Made a big difference in attentiveness and the service to guests. Thanks for paying attention to this...

There is still a delay in getting some dishes. They don't all come at the same time. But, that's just part of the deal here. We shared a lot of the dishes. This made the delivery of each course a pleasant time for everyone. I only wish we could try ALL the wonderful choices.

They are getting their act together! I was very pleased with the results this visit.... Plan to return!

Helpful?
Thank rthau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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