After spending the weekend in LA, we had the pleasure of driving up I-5 through the San Joaquin Valley to Monterey.
We stayed at the Marina Dunes Resort, a beautiful property just north of Monterey. The rooms are spacious, have gas fireplaces, and open right onto the beach.
On the recommendation of a friend who lives in the area, we had dinner at Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room. The place is decorated in an over-the-top Hawaiian theme, complete with Christmas lights and surfer videos playing behind the bar and seems to be a favorite with the local population. We had the Seared Ahi Wontons on wonton chips with a wasabi-ginger cream sauce ($8.50) followed by Ono - Pan-Fried with shitake mushrooms and our miso soy glaze ($19.95) andMahi Mahi - blackened, with wasabi mashed potatoes, wasabi cream sauce ($20.95). The wines are all reasonably priced from $20 - $50.
The next night we ate at the considerably more ambitious Stokes Restaurant and Bar. Make sure to have the Duck Flatbread and the Carmelized Onion Tarte.