When a new team took over the Beach House at Lovers Point a couple years ago, this was deemed the most improved spot in the area. The site has some of the best views on Monterey Bay but the food had lagged behind. Last month we had a chance to try the Sunset Supper deals, a discounted menu for $9.90, and got a great table with a panoramic vista.
We started with the additional appetizer, the signature dish here, Firecracker shrimp, discounted to $5 for the early birds. It's basically a riff on the mayonnaise-coated walnut prawns at Chinese restaurants. The shrimp had a thin crisp coating on them, then tossed with a what's described as "spicy, sweet Thai aioli" and sprinkled with black sesame seed. If asked to reverse engineer this dish, I'd say that it was a blend of Thai sweet chile sauce, mayo, and a little sriracha. Not bad, and the best bite of the meal.
We also split a Caesar salad, discounted to $3.90. So soggy, perhaps from being tossed too far in advance. But to its credit, there were two white anchovy filets draped over top.
My companion had the panko-crusted sand dabs almondine, $9.90. No panko in evidence. The sand dabs were a bit overcooked, almost saved by the beurre blanc. Water-logged wild rice pilaf was seriously underseasoned.
For me, cider-brined pork chop, $9.90. The chop was okay, tasting like it had been cooked in advance and reheated. The apple-cranberry sauce was more like a rustic compote with huge chunks of oversweetened fruit. Yukon gold mashed potatoes had a hard, gritty texture and little flavor, rather stunning to come across such poor mash. And the overdone green beans on both plates were verging on gray in color.
The food prices are indeed low for the Sunset Supper, but so is the quality. With tax and tip, we spent $38 for two people without beverages. I'll note that the check calculates the sample gratuity on the food+tax, whereas most other restaurants that do this base it on the food alone.
This tasted like pre-cooked banquet food for a Rotary meeting. Maybe it would be good for a large group (parties up to 10 can order this menu). The opening chef team is long gone. So come here for a drink and the views, then eat somewhere else. No need to waste a meal on the Peninsula.
Beach House at Lovers Point
620 Ocean View Boulevard
Pacific Grove, California
More photos at the Beach House: