It's my birthday weekend, and I'm looking for some advice. My husband and I are chowhounds, so we'd like to avoid the touristy poser places. The restaurant doesn't have to be upscale -- for us, reliably excellent food trumps "atmosphere."
We live near SF, so we have pretty high standards for Italian and "Californian" food. We are staying in downtown Carmel, so walking distance is would be great, but we're willing to drive a few miles for a memorable meal.
Some places I've seen mentioned are:
Passionfish (Pacific Grove)
I have been to the Flying Fish a number of times and have had consistently great food there, but it would be good to try somewhere different.
Thanks in advance for your help.