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“Better than expected”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Passionfish

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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Congress Ave
Description: Doing what we know, to save what we love! A sustainable seafood restaurant focused on saving our oceans. Awards: - Zagat rated #2 Best Seafood in Bay Area 2012 - Repeatedly named "Best Restaurant in Monterey County" by Monterey County Weekly readers. In 2012, Passionfish was voted Best Selection of Wines by the Glass, Best Restaurant in Monterey County, Best Restaurant in Pacific Grove, Best Seafood Restaurant, and Best Sustainable Restaurant (a record-breaker for the Weekly's 22nd annual Best of Monterey County poll). - Participant in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. - Selected in April 2012 to be on the Ameriorganic list. - Certified green by the Monterey Bay Green Business Program. As the first officially green restaurant in Monterey County, Passionfish sets an example with a strict policy of sustainable and environmentally friendly purchasing.Passionfish is owned and operated by Chef Ted Walter and his wife, Cindy Walter. With an ever changing menu that features the freshest sustainable seafood, slow cooked meats, farm fresh organic greens and delectable house-made desserts, your experience is guaranteed to be unique EVERY time you dine with us. The chef’s simply inspired dishes reflect his philosophy of serving healthy, flavorful, and ecologically sound meal choices. All are complimented with a Wine Spectator award winning wine list, priced well below what you might expect.Over the past eight years, Passionfish has earned a noteworthy reputation for Chef Walter’s unique California cuisine. His simple, inspired recipes have been published in:- Bon Appetit magazine - Ocean Friendly Cuisine: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the World's Finest Chef's - The Food of Fisherman's Wharf: Cooking and Eating from San Francisco to Monterey Passionfish has also been featured on KRON TV's "Bay Cafe", Rachel Ray's "Tasty Travels" and the Discovery Channel's new healthy lifestyles program.Join us for dinner and experience the NEW good life!Our Passion - Be sure to check out these organizations and to support our ocean friends:Monterey Bay Aquarium Tag-A-GiantSeafood Watch Eco TrustFish WiseLeatherback Turtle TrustLiving Oceans Marine Fish Conservation Network Marine Stewardship Council NOAAOceana Oceans Alive Plastic Pollution CoalitionSea Turtle Restoration Project Sea Web Seafood Choices Tagging of Pacific Predators The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform The Institute for Fisheries Resources
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
100 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Better than expected”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2009

Given the scorching reviews, I wasn't sure what to expect. I dined here with a large group during the same week as the ill-fated birthday reviewer below here and had a more positive experience. I will say that the tables are a little too cramped for comfort so our group of 8 was really jammed in, but the room is warm, the service was good and not overdone. We all had a full range of starters and entrees, everyone was really pleased, so not sure if others have experienced off-nights. I had crab cakes which were not overmixed, full of fresh meat, and since I'm not as big on seafood, actually ordered a steak special which had really creative seasoning and was perfectly grilled. I'd go back, but would keep it down to four or fewer in a party.

1 Thank CalUrsus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“WAS a favorite”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2009

I wrote a review a while back giving this place 5 stars and raving about the food, but I have changed my tune.

We live in the area and I look forward to going to Passionfish for my birthday and anniversary every year. Last night was my birthday and my mouth had been watering all day thinking about the dinner that was to come.

I had the same thing I always get, the Mahi with black pepper rum sauce and I was SOOOO disappointed!!! First of all, our waitress seemed to act like she was too good for us (maybe because we are in our 20's?) but was gladly chatting away with the older group next to us. I've had it with waitresses acting like they are too good to serve you because you're young. Obviously if we are there we are going to PAY for the food we are ordering, just like the people next to us.

When our food arrived it looked very different from all the previous times I've had it. The piece of fish was large, but it was a bad piece of fish that was overcooked in general except for some thicker places that were undercooked. I think it was a tail piece and the meat was tough. The green onion rice was awful and I usually love it. The only thing that wasn't messed up was the cucumber salad which you can't really mess up. My fiance also had the same thing he always gets which is the tilapia. He said the mashed potatoes weren't cooked all the way and the fish was much smaller than usual. We have always cleaned our plates, but I left half my fish untouched.

What the heck Passionfish?!?! We're never going back!!! For $25 you'd think you'd give us a good piece of fish and cook it right, since you are a fish restaurant! We can't afford to come to places like this on a regular basis, so spending that much on dinner is only for special occasions.

I always told everyone I know to go here and since I work at a hotel in Carmel, I tell many guests to go there, but no more!

A completely ruined birthday dinner. We would've been better off going to the wharf, and that doesn't say much.

4 Thank AmberRiot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Completely underwhelming”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2009

We went here on a recent trip to Monterey based on great reviews we had seen. While the wine list is great, the food was completely underwhelming. Our table had field green and goat cheese salads to start. The field green was fine - nothing special. Our friends hated the goat cheese salad - said it was weird. Then, we had Tilapia (flavorless - especially the potatoes - and cold) Sablefish (also cold) and chicken (only main dish that was enjoyed). It took forever for our main courses to come out - perhaps that is why they were cold. Lastly, we had the torte (ok - nothing great) and the mudpie (also ok). All in all we were kind of bummed that it wasn't more spectacular.

Oh - be aware - they open for dinner at 5pm and close at 9pm. By about 845pm, we were one of the only tables in there....

2 Thank AmFl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
290 reviews
182 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“One of Our Favorites”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2009

We have been coming to Monterey for the last 10 years for a conference, and we always make it a point to visit Passionfish. Despite all the negative reviews, we have always enjoyed it very much. Yes, the tables are closely spaced, but this is not a problem if you go early, which we do. And we especially like their "enlightened" pricing on the winelist--way below what most other restaurants charge!

Since we have not had a bad experience, this restaurant will remain on our Favorites list.

1 Thank DonH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marin County
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Overdone and overpriced”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2008

My wife stuck to the seafood, which was good, not great. I made the mistake of wanting a seafood first course, salad, and fowl. The seafood was oysters drowned in some sort of inedible grease. I cannot imagine that Denny's could do this worse if they were to attempt oysters. The staff was very understanding about taking them back. Attempts to wash away the taste with the bread were unsuccessful, as it too was a bit heavy.

The green salad was drenched in an oily morasse that was advertised as a vinagrette dressing. It may once have been that before being diluted with the lard-like goo that it swam in. Last for my meal was the chicken, covered in a vulgar white sauce. The bird was edible after scraping away this unpleasant coating.

I haven't been so disappointed in a restaurant in a long time. If you must go there, stick to the fish and to the simplest possible dishes, lest you encourage their tendency to add everything in the kitchen to each of their hideous sauces.

Wishing we had dined elsewhere.

3 Thank DoctorShock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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