Last Friday was a glorious blue sky warm day in Monterey. After a meeting nearby, my colleague and I walked over to the Old Fisherman's Wharf to grab a bite with a view. Gradually I've been trying each of these touristy places on the wharf to see whether a local might enjoy them too.
This was a first time for both of us to The Grotto Fish Market, formerly known as Kocomo's. It's under the same ownership as the Old Fisherman's Grotto across the way.
The market is mostly known as a seafood bar with sports on the big screen. But if you walk to the back, there are a couple tables with a harbor view. Look closely and you can see the sea lions sunbathing in this shot.
My friend had the smoked salmon sandwich on sourdough, $10.95. This came with the house slaw that was a delectable blend of Napa cabbage, ripe avocado, and chunks of mango. A little heavy on the onion, but delicious enough that I'd come back for more of just the slaw. She was happy with her sandwich, big enough to save half for dinner.
For me, the spicy Dungeness crab and avocado cocktail, $14.95. This was as picante as promised and loaded with crab. This tasted more ketchup-y than of fresh tomato water but it was good enough. No crackers or tostadas were provided but some sourdough bread was served when I asked.
This pelican watched us eat our lunch just a few feet away on the other side of the glass.
The place was pretty empty when other restaurants looked crowded with tourists. But the people who were in there seemed to be regulars, known by name to the friendly staff. We met someone who works at Roy's at Spanish Bay but he comes here to eat with his pals. I think we managed to find the moderately priced locals hangout among the throngs of tourists. I'd go back.
The Grotto Fish Market
42 Old Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, California 93940
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Locals Days at Old Fisherman's Grotto