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“Wow and Wow - rustic gem overlooking history”
Review of The Mono Inn

The Mono Inn
Ranked #9 of 13 Restaurants in Lee Vining
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Located on Mono Lake. For miles north of Lee Vining on Highway 395
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Wow and Wow - rustic gem overlooking history”
Reviewed January 31, 2012

Have been a dozen or so times over the years - seen it change hands, etc. - menu changes, etc. Has reopened a while back - stopped by and had a killer dinner. Perfection. Not a thing on the menu not to like. Wine list was great - desserts were killer too. Only kink - lady server was the pits - too preoccupied with the cute guy at another table. Could have died of thirst at our table. When able to get her attention - was clearly a bother. Missed one salad. That said - won't stop us from returning - shall just avoid her area. Inside is incredible - stepping back in the rustic time of Ansel Adams.

Visited September 2011
2 Thank PowerbaitPatti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Unique vista, gracious dining, Mission-style decor, and live music”
Reviewed October 3, 2011

Don't miss a trip to see unusual Mono Lake with its strange formations, pale blue and lavender landscape, set next to the magnificent Eastern Sierras. Plan so that you find yourself at the Mono Inn for sunset dinner. All tables have a lovely view of the lake and it's wonderful sitting watching the colors, eating a delicious dinner (lavender chicken) sipping a thoughtfully selected Pinot. The owner, Jim, when it's not busy, plays interesting piano selections that make the evening even more special.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank patriciaroseogden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“A beautiful and delicious way to see the sunset over Mono Lake”
Reviewed September 16, 2011

We were so happy to see the Mono Inn open again-- and well done! It's a place to go for a comfortable and special dinner-- excellent menu (our friends had different entrees-- all delicious), an unusually good--and not too expensive-- wine list, a piano player in the background, a patio for drinks and coffee, and lovely Mono Lake stretched out before us.
Friends of ours returned a couple of weeks after we were there and were also delighted. The ambiance is at once lively and aesthetic.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Joanwilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Diamond Bar, California
Level 6 Contributor
378 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Fantastic views!”
Reviewed September 12, 2011

We have eaten here twice--once for lunch and once for an anniversary dinner--driving all the way from Mammoth Lakes. The food is wonderful and reasonable; the wine list is very good. But what elevates this place are the views from the restaurant and from the rooms. Mono Lake is a treasure and absolutely magical when viewed by moonlight.

    • Value
    • Service
Thank Tenighir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Glad to see it open again.”
Reviewed August 18, 2011

We frequently travel down 395 for outdoor activities and always loved the option of dining at Mono Inn.
It was owned by Ansel Adams family and upstairs had a wonderful gallery of his photos.
This no longer is the case and it appears to be used for banquets or overflow.
The food was very nicely done and the dining room has beautiful lake views from both indoor and outdoor facilities.
For several years it has been closed and just this summer has reopened. We were so excited!
We stopped to inquire about lunch and what new owner's policy was regarding dogs on patio. As there is no shade in parking area and summer weather is too hot for furry friends.
Dogs are welcome but only on leashed to nearby tree, which was fine.
However, it was 11:24AM when we made the inquiry and we were told lunch wasn't until 11:30AM and the door was shut in our faces.
We left without lunch and eat at the old standby gas station on Tioga Pass. I planned to not go back.
However, this weekend we gave it another try because we want so badly for this to succeed and had missed it so much.
This time they were short staffed and only waiter was rushed and initially unfriendly despite serving only 4 tables, but
he improved over time. The food was very nice and setting can't be beat.
I hope everyone will try it and I hope they succeed. They should up their customer service otherwise it can't be beat as Mono Lake/Lee Vining dining option totally in its own upscale category. Enjoy a glass of wine and dine away from traffic and crowds of 395.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank mistravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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