Located at the former Corbin & Reynolds , Monterey opened their doors last Friday. My dad always told me never go to a restaurant the day it opens; that’s when they clean the dust off the pans. So I waited a few days and ended up going last night.
My wife and I were immediately greeted by the owner/manager. He seemed like a really nice guy and asked us for feedback since they’re still trying out the menu. Fair Enough. He also said how they’re focusing on healthy food and that Long Beach is the “test market” for what will be a local franchise.
The decor was very nice; not hip or trendy. It was cute and unique to the area. You can tell they spent a boat load of money on this place. The decor reminded me of a modern version of Coastal Grill – lots of blues, whites and wood.
On with the food:
So the waiter came and said they don’t have specials yet because they’re currently promoting the new menu. I thought that was a good idea. They have a lot to deal with getting the place going. The first thing they need to do is make sure the menu works before they go with the bells and whistles.
First came bread, butter and homemade hummus which was pretty good. The hummus was made with sundried tomatoes, oil and garlic. A good bread dip. It tasted healthy – no sugar or overuse of salt.
We weren’t in the mood for salad, so we decided to split an appetizer. Now since I don’t eat seafood (what kind of Italian am I?) my appetizer choices were limited. All but two of the appetizers were seafood based. We went with the Southern Asian Fusion which is a fancy way of saying “BBQ Chicken Spring Rolls”. They were good, but they took forever to come out of the kitchen. As soon as they did I didn’t even think about taste. They were a little greasy and deep fried – not the healthiest thing in the world for a place chanting “health”. They came with a cilantro sauce which was light and seemed tasty as I shoved the rolls down my throat.
For the main course I got a the filet mignon with spinach and mushrooms. Now there are two ways you can go about this dish: It was either healthy or bland. Since Monterey is a “healthy restaurant” I am leaning towards the healthy side, but I am sure most people will go with the later. The meat was cooked very well and was top notch. The spinach and mushrooms were healthy, but a little bland.. May I suggest a little garlic? I did like how everything tasted together and all the food seemed fresh and good quality.
My wife ordered the Sea Bass with brown rice. She said the fish was cooked to perfection, but it was too sweet as if they cooked it with sugar. She felt like she was eating dessert. She also said the brown rice was a little too bland. We eat brown rice all the time so she was hoping it would have been better since she had better.
Speaking of dessert, we didn’t order any. While waiting so long for our BBQ Chicken Spring Roll appetizer we ate too much bread.
So would I go back? Sure, why not. My wife and I generally eat healthy, so it was nice to go to a local place a few blocks away from our house where every item isn’t breaded. We are going to wait awhile for the food to be adjusted and time tested. Some of our meal was bland and there are ways to make healthy food taste great; we do it all the time at home. Monterey is a new place and they spent so much time & money getting it going, so it’s only fair to give them a chance. We didn’t see the manager/owner on our way out, so maybe he will read this and take my review as feedback.
– Anthony, seabythecity.com
My restaurant Reviews:
Please read this Monterey review and other restaurant reviews at LBfoodie.com! You can also find the menu for Monterey at the LBfoodie.com as well.