Besides a large number of chain and fast food joints, Salinas is lacking in what it offers for eateries. For dinner, we had a choice between two of the main restaurants in the area: Monterey Coast Brewing and Salinas Valley Fish House, located right across the street from each other in Old Town.
We opted for casual fare over a second night of seafood. Booths lined the wooden walls. The pub atmosphere was expected, as was the pub style food. I decided to be brave and try out some Salinas-pub-style seafood after all.
Once again we started out with an appetizer of Calamari. I enjoyed their version much more than that of Neptune's Palace (see my first post). The batter was crunchy, and the meat inside tender. It was served with a delicious garlic aioli, which complemented the fried calamari well.
For my entree I chose a Sea Bass served with a Risotto. I never have had sea bass before but was motivated by the hope that I would finally get the good risotto I had been craving. The sea bass was tough and there were no redeeming qualities in its flavor. However, the risotto was great! It was surprisingly creamy, smooth, and well seasoned. I ate around the fish, sticking to the rice.
It is a brewery, but I unfortunately am not a big fan of brews. Brendan told me that he enjoyed them. They also served local wines in addition to their beers. I got a nice glass of Pinot Noir from Paraiso Vineyards.
Overall, it was a decent meal. Don't expect fine dining and you'll find it a pleasant pub experience.