On a recent trip to the North Coast, we didn't expect to find very good food, but we were surprised. Here are some of the places we enjoyed.
Arcata: Jambalaya - An American bistro with a fine wine list, I had a great NY steak and my husband had a wonderful maple smoked pork chop. Very nice ambience. Right on the plaza at 915 "H" Street.
Eureka: Although we didn't go to them, there are a couple of Wine Spectator restaurant winners here. One is the Rib Room (a beautiful, clubby space circa 1920) at the historic Eureka Inn and the other is Carson House in another beautiful old building. We did make it to a pleasant bistro called Hurricane Kate's (511 Second Street in Old Town) for lunch, which boasted fresh food (pizza, pasta, salads, etc.) and another good wine list.
Trinidad: This tiny town about 20 miles(?) north of Eureka is in a beautiful setting. Its harbor with hundreds of fishing boats and beautiful, jutting rocks looked like somewhere in Japan to us. We ate at the local "fish shack" -- a place called Sea Scape that is right on the pier so the breathtaking view can be had from almost every table. A very casual, family place, it is extremely popular and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fish is plentiful and fresh and you choose the way you want it prepared (eg - broiled, breaded, sauteed, poached, etc.)