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“Don't miss out when in Point Arena”
Review of Uneda Eat

Uneda Eat
Ranked #4 of 14 Restaurants in Point Arena
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Don't miss out when in Point Arena”
Reviewed April 30, 2014

This place is open Wednesdays to Sundays. It is without a doubt the best place to eat in Point Arena. Menu is simple but good. We split the clams and the fried chicken. Both were excellent. The host Jill, is very accommodating and welcoming. Don't miss out when in Point Arena.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank 000MikeXXX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    36
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
California
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“A big disappointment”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

When we learned that the chefs of the legendary Mendocino coast restaurant Pangea had resurfaced in a new popup in Point Arena, where they originally started, we were thrilled. For years, Pangea was the best restaurant for miles around, and it remained remarkably consistent over the years, both in its Point Arena and Gualala incarnations. However, this isn't a review of Pangea, and since the new restaurant makes no effort to compare themselves to their past glories (the website makes no mention of Pangea by name, even in the history section), I won't either.

Uneda Eat occupies a small space next door to the movie theater. Decor is spartan, and some of the tables are family style. We were seated at a table with a family whose style was loud and drunken, but thankfully they left after 30 noisy minutes of snapping pictures of each other and laughing hysterically. They had a heated debate over the check, and warned us to look ours over carefully as they claimed the restaurant had tried to overcharge them. Our seats faced a large screen that looped through a Richard Attenborough nature documentary, projected off kilter and in the wrong resolution. I'm not sure if it was meant to be hip or ironic, but watching an endless scurrying parade of oversize ants, flies, bats, and stop-motion slime mold blossoming was not exactly appetizing.

Like the decor, the dinner menu reflects a simple approach: just a few salads and main courses, most entrees priced in the $25 range. Their speciality is meats, to the point where they posted a notice at the entrance reassuring vegetarians that they are welcome too, though any vegetarians would have had to do with salad. The wine list is also basic, with flat pricing for bottles, full carafe, or half carafe.

Service would best be described as indifferent. Not rude, not slow, not inefficient, just…indifferent. Tableware was handed to us to arrange and the plates slammed down on the bare table. Dirty appetizer dishes remained on the table throughout the meal. No one bothered to ask if we liked the food or needed anything else.

The food itself ranged from good to really disappointing. An appetizer of fried onion slices with aioli was quite tasty. My entree of duck on a bed of polenta and vegetables was decent but nothing special. My companion's entree of hanger steak ($25) sank into the polenta, and was rare at one end, tough and overcooked on the other. A huge mound of wet kale surrounded it. Actually, our two entrees were essentially the same dish, with different meat over polenta and kale; I got some extra veggies. We split a dessert of flourless chocolate cake, which arrived literally drowning under whipped cream, perhaps to conceal the fact that the cake itself wasn't very interesting – heavy and dry.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank ArtAndFood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco Bay Area
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Wow! Totally awesome food!”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

After several nights of mediocre food in the north coast, our innkeepers told us about this gem in downtown Pt. Arena! Wow, is all I can say! The food here is better than most good restaurants in the Bay Area! The menu changes daily and is based on what is sourced fresh and locally. I had the salmon and my son had the hanger steak. Both were exceptional! The place is small - only 7 tables - and the vibe is very casual but don't let that put you off. You will have a memorable meal here!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank fosmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caspar, California
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Superb Food in a Quirky Place”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Wonderful flavors and highest quality ingredients are the baseline here, but don't come for a conventional experience. Point Arena is a tiny city hunkered down in a gulch along a tempestuous bit of northern California coast, and Uneda Eat occupies what was once the Uneda Meat Company butcher shop. You've got to be tough to live here, and as a recovering restaurateur I can't *imagine* what it takes to run a restaurant here ... nevermind one of such superlative quality.
Four of us made the 75 mile round trip just for the food -- we'd been before -- and we were NOT disappointed. There were enough of us to order a round of all the small plates, and each one -- awesome corn soup, delicious charcuterie platter, baby salad greens with superb local goat cheese, unexpected pakora with aioli -- better than the last.
"Well, that was enough for dinner," said my table-mate. "Worth the trip."
Then came the hanger steak over baby arugula and black rice. Holy Cow -- what flavors! This "butcher's cut" is possibly the tastiest bit of the beast, but cooked just right, sliced just right, sauced just right, and platyed with the right ensemble of flavors, this is a dish to make you celebrate being a carnivore!
After, a flourless chocolate cake with chantilly, as if we needed it. All in all, a memorable meal ...and we'll soon be finding a reason to trek back to Point Arena again.
A word about sustainability -- and not just the "sustainable harvest" that the chef here takes pride in serving. Restauranting is a contact sport that takes it out of a body. Easy to grumble that Uneda Eat is only open three days a week, but think about this: if we want a great restaurant to last, it has got to be operated sustainably. We don't want to burn the chef out. Opening three days a week sometimes means running out of salmon on Saturday night (or serving week-old salmon next Thursday -- you make the call.) This little (20 seats is crowded) restaurant in a barely-on-the-map burg is a phenomenon, and I'd like to see it stay around for a decade or more.
Saying this is the fifth best restaurant in Point Arena reveals the weakness in the rankings. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, this place would shine in San Francisco, and be mobbed. Plan your timing around your dining.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sunhawk95420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vallejo, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent dinner”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We went on day number one of our nine day trip. We were a little apprehensive when we stepped into this little place, but it far surpassed any other meal we had on the NorCal coast, the Oregon coast, Portland or Ashland.
My wife had fresh local salmon and I had the duck breast. The quality, creativity and preparation of the food was outstanding. And even though the one waitress was busy, she was great. This restaurant is quaint, just one person working the dining room and two in the kitchen, but they make it happen. I suggest reservations, there are only seven tables and their only open for dinner.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ron K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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