Three recommendations for you when you’re in Monterey – Max’s Grill, Vivolo's Chowder House (both in the Pacific Grove Area), and Tarpy’s Roadhouse (near the Monterey Airport). If I had to only pick one, I’d visit Tarpy’s.
I recently had lunch at Tarpy’s and ordered the Braised Pork Shank. It had the flavors of BBQ sauce infused within the meat. I was more impressed by how succulent and tender it was. Also, the restaurant setting is in an old ranch house which adds to the “old American” atmosphere. It might be worth checking out.