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“Nice restaurant”

Monterey's Fish House
Ranked #11 of 312 Restaurants in Monterey
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed January 9, 2014

We went on a week night, and sat right down, no wait. Appetizers were great. Steaks were on display, aging. I had a ribeye, medium rare, and it was good, but to be honest wasn't as good as I thought that a dry aged steak would be; not sure how they were cooked, I think they were put on a gas grill, my steak didn't have the flavor I expected. It was good but not oh my gosh good, which is the impression you get when you enter the restaurant. Everything else was excellent.

Thank centralcaltraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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947 - 951 of 1,536 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2014

Well-prepared and very delicious fish dishes served to our party of 4. The calamari appetizer was delicious--good sized chunks, not 'rings'. This is a smallish restaurant, but parking is a bit difficult--you must park on the busy street. Parking for the restaurant is NOT allowed in the adjacent hotel parking lot. This was a bit difficult for us as one in our party uses a wheelchair. There is no handicapped parking in front of restaurant. While there was easy access finally getting into the door of the restaurant and seating, using theTINY bathrooms with a wheelchair was not possible. The back of the restaurant was clearly visible and should be 'tidied up'.

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Thank leggere65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Seafood is not so good when it's over-cooked, and this is especially true for octopus. My wife had the baby octopus, and it was so tough it was inedible. We've cooked this ourselves, so we know what's involved, and it's not over-cooking it. I had the fried oysters, and although there were acceptable, they weren't all that great - overcooked also. So there's the pattern.

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Thank jjbong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

This is one of my favorite Monterey restaurants, and I've never had a bad meal here. We always make a reservation (otherwise you could wait as long as 2 hours), so we have never waited more than about 10-15 minutes to be seated.

This time I had a special of the homemade pasta with a whole dungeness sautéed crab sautéed in butter, broth, and green onion set on top. The broth was so very good. The crab was smallish and a little mushy (not perfect this time) yet it was still fantastically delicious from start to finish, and a bargain at $22. We also shared a crab cake and an order of the oak-grilled oysters. The crab cake was chock full of yummy crab, and the oysters were FANTASTIC and not to be missed. My husband had the Holiday Pasta, as he often does. This was so packed with seafood that it was almost funny--shrimp, two kinds of fish, calamari, baby octopus, mussels, and clams. All in a bowl with homemade pasta on the bottom.

Service is always prompt and efficient. You don't come here to be fawned on, you come to eat fantastically fresh seafood that is well-prepared, in generous portions, at fair prices.

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Thank Jill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

It grieves me to assign such a low rating to a restaurant that we've been going to for more than 10 years, a restaurant that we've recommended to numerous friends. But we finally have to accept the simple fact that things ain't what they used to be.

We can start with its extreme popularity, due in no small part to social media sites such as this one. If you want a table for 5 pm (opening time) on Sunday afternoon you better have a reservation, otherwise, you'll be turned away. We DID have a reservation, arrived at precisely at 5 pm, got into line with the other reservation people and waited about 10 minutes to be seated. We then waited another 20 minutes at our table before our waiter showed up. He recited a long list of specials--about 10 items, many with multiple preparations. If the specials had been inserted into the menu, or written on a board for all to see, we could have been considering them during our 20 minute wait. But we had to now spend another 10 minutes thinking about the new choices, and trying to remember what they were. My suggestion to waiter that they provide a written menu of specials was met with a frosty reception. What do restaurants have against a written menu to assist the customers in making their choices? This is supposed to be a meal to be enjoyed, not a memorization test.

There were three of us and we all ordered different entrees: bouillabaisse, calamari steak, and fried sand dabs. All three of us had Caesar salad for a starter. The smallish salads had a few croutons (2 or 3), a small sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, and a dressing with no distinctive flavor. The salad wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. Just passable.

The calamari steak was good and tender, if a little greasy. The sand dabs, 3 small fish) were also good, but a lighter bread coating would have made them even better. The accompanying cooked vegetables were ordinary at best.

The bouillabaisse was a disaster. Ground pepper, lots of it, was the only discernible flavor in the broth. Half of the seafood in the bowl was squid. There was one very small piece of fish with a big bone in the middle, some mussels, 2 prawns, and 3 clams, 2 of which were tightly closed and therefore not edible. This was possibly the worst fish soup I have ever had. We had to drive back to San Francisco, so there was no time to complain or send the dish back to the kitchen. After taking our order, the waiter never returned to check up on us.

If you must go, stick with fresh catch-of-the-day and simple preparations. And do order the Joullian Vineyard Carmel Valley Sauvignon Blanc for $30, an excellent wine at a small markup.

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1  Thank Roger F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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