Four of us from the Bay Area were in Pacific Grove over the weekend, and were really looking forward to our Saturday night dinner at Passionfish. It was a case of the good, the bad, and the ugly:
The good: The wine, an Australian cabernet for $20, was an amazing value for the price. Our waiter described it as oaky, but it worked for us. The appetizers were great; two of us had the crab cakes, served with a wonderfully spicy relish, one raved about her fried oyster salad and wouldn't share it with the rest of the table, and the fourth had the salad with gorgonzola, which she said was fabulous. The ravioli served as a main dish filled with asparagus was superb, and really was a taste of spring.
The bad: The grilled yellowtail, which was one of the specials, was served over a relish similar to the one that came with the crabcakes. The yellowtail was beautifully grilled, but the vegetables were too strong, and fought the fish. The salmon was undercooked; my friend likes sashimi, but this was raw in the middle. She sent it back, and it was fine on the second try.
The ugly: The noise level was unbelievably bad! We had been there twice before, and never found this to be a problem. We were seated in the front room next to the window, and could not hear each other's conversation. I don't know if we just hadn't noticed the din before, or if it was that night's crowd, but it was painful. The table next to us was pretty loud to begin with, and people kept stopping by to say hello to one of the men at the table. They would insert themselves between their table and ours, and the person at our table next to this guy had to look at a number of rear ends during the course of the meal. I understand that this is a neighborhood place, but this was beyond rude. We skipped coffee and dessert so that we could get out of the din. Too bad, not sure if this was a one-time experience, or if the front room should be off limits if you want to have a conversation.