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“Family owned delight!”

Monterey's Fish House
Ranked #21 of 317 Restaurants in Monterey
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Every time my wife and I go to Monterey, we have to stop here. This was the starting point for our 32nd wedding anniversary getaway. The food is divine and the service great. They are always busy. Small tables have you rubbing elbows with the couple sitting next to you, but the food is well worth it. I live close to San Francisco, but my wife and I make it a point to get down to Monterey at least twice a year. We are members of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and use that as an excuse to come here for dinner. Fresh seafood is one of my passions and this place does not disappoint. From the crab cakes to the cioppino, everything on the menu is very fresh and very tasty. They are family owned and you can see the pride and love that they put into every meal, to show you how much they appreciate your business. I hope that they never change. Reservations are recommended, they fill up fast.

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Thank Allan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,129 - 1,133 of 1,611 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

My traveling companion and I chose this as a result of TripAdvisor reviews and we got exactly what we expected, a local-looking restaurant with great fish, and a clear need for reservations.

The first night we came without reservations and since it was getting late (after 8) and there were only 2 of us, we only had to wait about 10 minutes. Our server started us with some wonderful french bread and gave us the rundown on the menu. I chose the Calamari Parmesan which was absolutely wonderful. The calamari was cooked perfectly, astonishing my friend who had never tasted calamari prepared as a steak. She had the Cioppinno which was prepared in a wonderful tomato broth in a bowl amply filled with seafood. We tried each other's dishes and prepared to return to swap.

However, on our return (for which we wisely made a reservation) we were enticed by the Holiday Seafood Bowl, a medley of seafood in a light tomato sauce served over homemade linguini. It was delicious and so generous that neither of us could finish our bowls, much to our dismay.

The service was very good on both occasions. Water glasses were kept full. Wine was reasonably priced and served with panache. The host the first night told us the recipes come from the original owner, now gone, but still having that simple and satisfying historical flavor.

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1  Thank diinslc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

This restaurant is spoken about in hushed, revered tones. Very difficult to get in without a reservation. I don't know why. We were given a table with the understanding that it was reserved for 6 and we'd have to be done in an hour.

The crab pasta was excellent and the pasta with our fish dinners was also very good. But the mahi-mahi and the snapper had too much smoke. My veggies also were smoked to the extent that I couldn't eat them. Had to cover the fish with lemon to kill the smoke flavor. We never saw the waiter until we got the check, and we were trying to finish within an hour, so we couldn't comment until we were done. The manager came over and apologized and offered to replace the meal, but it was too late. It would have been nice if he had at least given me a discount on that $27 mostly inedible meal. There are other great restaurants in this area so I won't try this one again.

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Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

I visited the restaurant because of the variety of fish on the menu at a reasonable price, Upon entering the converted house of two rooms was completely packed full. After enjoying a meal I can truly understand why. It is not a fancy place where you would enjoy a romantic dinner, and it is quite loud inside, but if you are looking for fresh fish cooked exceptionally well this is your place. The waiters were kind, knowledgeable, and knew what to suggest on the menu. I had the encrusted swordfish suggested by the waiter and I can say it is the best fish I have ever eaten. The olive oil, balsamic, pesto bread dip amazing. Desserts were also good. Perfect hole in the wall with exceptional food.

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Thank AnnaW_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

After reading reviews on here and Yelp (multi-source family), we decided to give this restaurant a try. We were going to try and get in on the same day, but quickly found out they were packed. So we made a reservation for the following day. We arrived a bit early and were seated right away. Even for a Sunday, this place started getting packed...and we would quickly realize why. My wife ordered one of the specials (mahi mahi - wood fire grilled with a baked potatoe) as well as I (blacked Tuna seared with pasta). For our youngest (almost 3 yrs old) we ordered a grilled cheese (huge) w/fries and our other two (5 and 8 yrs of age) decided to share a caesar salad with their New England clam chowder. All the kids loved it! Our 5 year old even ate half of the Mahi Mahi!
I highly recommend this place...great food...but recommend making reservations as soon as you can. The manager/owner was very accommodating and tried his hardest to sit those without reservations, but I have to tell you...it is a small restaurant...estimating around 15 -20 tables.
If you enjoy seafood...this is a must!

Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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