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Local young honey baron teams up with Beach House at Lovers Point

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By James Herrera, Monterey Herald

Pacific Grove >> Beehives from the Carmel Honey Co. will be arriving at a sister property of The Beach House at Lovers Point soon and the nectar from the apiary will be used in creative cocktails and menu items from Executive Chef Matthew Farmer.

The honey company’s owner and chief beekeeper is 14-year-old entrepreneur, Jake Reisdorf, a young man who has been in the news since winning the $10,000 grand prize in the CSU Monterey Bay Startup Challenge in May, as well as receiving national recognition by the Score Foundation, which named him Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Small Business.

Reisdorf has been in business since he was 11, after being inspired through a school project about bees.

“Business is doing good,” said Reisdorf on Tuesday. “We’re keeping the bees going through the winter … checking on them and making sure they’re doing OK.”

Reisdorf said the rains over the past few weeks are good and bad for the little honey producers. It brings a multitude of foraging opportunities come sunny weather, but in the meantime the bees just have “to hunker down and wait it out.”

He said he maintains the hives and makes sure the inhabitants are healthy, including supplementing them with bee pollen, vitamins and nutrients.

Reisdorf recently attended a conference of the American Beekeepers Federation, where a main topic was the more than 45 percent loss in bee population, the scientific race to pinpoint causes and find solutions to the crisis, including working with the agriculture industry on pesticide use.

The small businessman provides hives and their maintenance service for people interested in providing space on their property for honey production and its byproducts.

Reisdorf said his honey venture, which he runs with the help of his mother, father and sister, has been growing every year.

The hives that will be part of The Beach House’s honey production will be placed in April when the weather is better.

“The best location for the hives is on the roof at the Big Fish Grill at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf,” said Kevin Phillips, co-owner of The Beach House. “It’s a large, secure, flat roof there and the bees can forage up to five miles away.”

According to Reisdorf, the two businesses’ symbiotic relationship started when he made a cold call to The Beach House on a busy night, spoke with the chef and left his card. But Phillips was in the house that night too, saw the exchange and caught up with the young honey baron. After a short discussion, Phillips asked Reisdorf to return later to talk further.

“I came to know Jake and his company and use his products at our Lovers Point Beach Cafe,” said Phillips. “I really like what he’s doing … in helping bees, which are on the decline, and are so central to producing agriculture … I love the idea.”

The cafe, located below The Beach House restaurant with views of Lovers Point Beach, has been using and selling Carmel Honey Co. products since opening in November.

Phillips has put his honey were his mouth is by coming up with an event that will introduce Carmel honey-laden drinks and dishes to diners, as well as giving Reisdorf an opportunity to talk about and educate patrons about bees, honey and apiology.

The Beach House will hold its first Bee Education Dinner on March 16. Space is limited to 40 attendees and the cost is $69 inclusive, per person. RSVP to the Beach House at 831-375-2345.

Diners will be able to meet Reisdorf while sipping honey-infused Bee Sting Cocktails and nibbling on appetizers made with honey, and guests will also receive Carmel Honey Sticks, as well as a honey recipe from Reisdorf, to take home.

Phillips said after the Bee Education Dinner event in March, the menu will include the new, honey-themed items on an ongoing basis. Phillips’ son Jeremy, who is also general manager, has worked with chef Farmer to create the recipes and will help put together the March event.

“I’m excited about it,” said Reisdorf. The honey company owner said he can not wait to see the fabulous things Chef Matthew comes up with.

Carmel Honey Co. will supply and maintain the two hives for The Beach House, and the restaurant and cafe will use the honey and honeycomb in their offerings.

James Herrera can be reached at 831-726-4344.

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Pacific Grove: Lesser-known spot offers plenty to enjoy

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By Mark C. Anderson, SFGATE

The sunset bargains — from the sand dabs almondine to the bacon-wrapped meat loaf, at just $9.90 — pack the Beach House at Lovers Point as soon as it opens at 4 p.m. (deals stop after 5:30 p.m.). The idyllic and adjacent peninsular park boasts lawns, benches, a community pool, a snack bar and protected cove beaches that draw kids, surfers and scuba divers. But the actual sunset is foxier on the other side of Pacific Grove, back at Asilomar or, better yet, at neighboring Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, where the bagpiper plays at dusk, good snacks and drinks are standard, and large fire pits and big benches encourage lingering.

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Quick Bites

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The Monterey Herald

PACIFIC GROVE

MATTHEW FARMER NEW BEACH HOUSE CHEF

The Beach House Restaurant at Lovers Point has announced its new executive chef: Matthew Farmer.

Farmer has 20 years of experience in the local restaurant scene, including as executive chef and later owner of The Running Iron in Carmel Valley and manager and chef at Big Sur Coast Cafe.

In a news release, Farmer said his menu would focus on local ingredients.

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Beach House maintains its attractiveness and quality

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Joe Truskot, The Salinas Californian

The early evening weather on Lovers Point — a spot with a long history of happy times for many of us — was exceptionally clear and comfortable on Thursday. The location’s name, by the way, dates from Pacific Grove’s old Methodist retreat days when it was known by its longer name, “Lovers of Jesus Point.” The little sandy beach nestled below actually had three children in bathing suits playing in the water. Perched above the rocks, sand and waves is one of the Monterey Peninsula’s treasured spots — a classic restaurant that intermingles tourists and locals for a fun evening out. It’s The Beach House on Lovers Point.

On the site for many years was an old bath house — perfect for changing from one’s Victorian clothing into a nearly as extensive bathing suit. But that was many years ago. In 1975, the site became David Bindel’s The Bath House and sported a fantastic view across the Monterey Bay with Mount Toro in the distance. Many of us remember its creaking somewhat slanting floors, its bar, and the many delicious meals we ate there. History took its toll on the old restaurant and although sad, most folks understood the news when it closed in 2006.

Kevin Phillips and Jim Gilbert realized the uniqueness of its location, its history and its ability to draw visitors to the area and people from just up the street. This duo took on the task of modernizing it. It opened its doors 18 months ago and has continued to attract enthusiastic fans ever since. Many of whom were enjoying a cocktail in the bar area as their tables were readied.

The two-story Beach House sits about halfway out onto Lovers Point with ample street parking usually available. The restaurant occupies the top floor and contains a main dining room, a heated outdoor balcony, an extensive bar and a warm ambiance that makes the best of its location without ever sailing into cliche. Most seats, in fact, enjoy a view of Monterey Bay or Pacific Grove.

Chef Evan Lite has created a menu that emphasizes freshness, locally sourced items and perfect execution with fresh seafood, steak, chicken, pork and even meatloaf options. Sides are interesting and organic.

“The most popular appetizer on the menu are the FireCracker Shrimp,” Deborah, our waitress, noted as we examined the menu. She was knowledgeable about the food and always available and responsive to our requests. When you observe busy restaurant personnel with smiles on their faces, it usually points to a supportive, well organized environment. Busy doesn’t mean chaotic.

My dining companions and I politely examined the Scallop Pot Pie as it sailed past the table to a lucky diner. Ditto the Filet Mignon Stroganoff.

The entrees we selected were seafood: King Salmon and Ahi Tuna.

I started dinner with a Garden Salad that ranked as high in beauty and taste — every mouthful fresh and delicious with a subtle dressing that enhanced the tomatoes, cucumbers and baby lettuce — as the main courses. My salmon was cooked to perfection with a delicious herb sauce that joined the green watercress in shouting out its blended flavors. The sides were organic peas and carrots and smashed potatoes. The grilled Ahi Tuna from the special menu was a joy. Topped with two FireCracker Shrimp, the fish rested on a bed of rice surrounded with a sumptuous coconut/pineapple cream sauce and topped with sprouts. Truly a wonderful meal. Kudos to the Chef!

The dessert we shared was a house-made butter pecan ice cream cake — a perfect way to end a summer day.

The Beach House also sports a wonderfully easy on-line reservation system. No kidding, this really works and will assure you a place in the peak hours if you book ahead.

For those folks who love to eat an early supper, The Beach House continues to offer its Sunset Supper Menu — a special list of items between 4 and 5:30 p.m. including sand dabs, pasta primavera, salmon, chicken, and meatloaf all for $9.90. For a few dollars more, you can add soup and a salad.

One last thing to praise the restaurant, the majority of its wine selections are local!

Follow Joe Truskot on Twitter @truskot_salnews #salinas and like his Facebook.com/joetruskot page.

Beach House plays to packed houses nightly in Pacific Grove

Ricardo Diaz: PG’s Beach House has it all

Details

Place: The Beach House, 620 Ocean View Blvd, Pacific Grove, 831-375-2345, beachhousepg.com.

Hours: 4 to 5:30 p.m., Sunset Suppers; 5:30 to 9 p.m., daily

Cost: Sunset Suppers are $9.90; Entrees range $16.90 to $34

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Big change at Beach House at Lovers Point with debut of new chef Evan Lite.

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Mark C. Anderson, The Monterey County Weekly

No recent debut restaurant has enjoyed a bigger response than Beach House at Lovers Point, which opened summer 2013.

Now they’ve got their biggest change yet coming this Monday, Dec. 1.

New Executive Chef Evan Lite takes over for former co-exec chefs Brianna and Guillaume D’Angio, who have titillated visitors with their engagement and recent marriage.

Lite was most recently the executive chef at Johnny’s Harborside in Santa Cruz.

Across 20 years in the industry—and 13-plus as a chef—he has also trained at California Culinary Academy and directed the kitchen at Opah Restaurant and Bar in Tustin, Woody’s at the Beach in Laguna Beach.

“Over the years I’ve basically created my own style,” he told Great Taste Magazine a few years back. “It’s how you see things and how you do things.

“You create this definition of what you like to cook and what people are enjoying.”

Briana and Guillaume head north to Prunedale to join Guillaume’s brother Greg at their cult-hit pastry shop Provence Bakery.

“We are very excited for their new adventure,” says Beach House co-owner Kevin Phillips.

He’s more eager to build upon the Beach House’s 18 impressive first months, citing Lite’s penchant for coastal seafood, mindful sourcing and innovative plating.

“He’s got this great sensibility about food and seasoning, and balance in a dish,” Phillips says of Lite. “And he’s got terrific energy.”

•••

The Beach House team circulated some “Evan Lite trivia” with the announcement:

First cooking memory:

Baking and burning—mostly myself—giant chocolate chip cookies when I was in first grade.

First attraction to hospitality industry:

The art, the passion, yet the serenity of cooking.

First hospitality job:

Grill/pastry cook, at the Straits Cafe. It was crazy—I didn’t know Singaporean food, could barely cook and knew next to nothing about baking.

Biggest myth about work in the kitchen:

People believe being a chef is glamorous. Those not in the industry don’t understand the hours, the blood, sweat and tears it takes for us to make them an amazing meal.

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In Pacific Grove, diners await the opening of the Beach House Restaurant, where the Sunset Supper is popular with locals and out-of-towners alike.

Best New Restaurant 2013, Beach House at Lovers Point, is just the beginning of the intrigue for Gilbert et al.

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The Monterey County Weekly

When the dynasty gets this dynamic, there are constant updates. Whaling Station is running nicely. Bar menu has been enhanced with the addition of a killer open-faced barbecued beef (shaved prime rib) sandwich. More on the way.

New items at The Beach House at Lovers Point (375-2345) include imported truffled gnocchi ($18),  Italian sausage with cannellini beans and fresh basil ($11), steamed clams tarragon butter brodo ($13) and seared scallops with crisped prosciutto ($18). Their bid for a downstairs cafe continues to be contentious.

We have decided on a name change and re-launch concept for Rappa’s and are working with several sign companied to come up with the best new look. At the same time, we will dramatically change the look of the exterior and launch our new locals’ menu.

As for PG, we are headed to another public hearing on 9/18, having just prevailed over a concerned citizen’s appeal of the City’s approval. We expect to prevail (again) then get appealed to the City Council. Coastal Commission is also involved and recently sent us a 27-page appllcation. All this for an 816 square foot space!!

Bahama Grille (676-3568) on South Main in Salinas has new hours, 11am-9pm Tuesday through Sunday, with happy hour 3-6pm.

Sadly, patio improvements for Abalonetti (heaters, lights and a fire pit) are also mired in red tape. Coastal once again…

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Bathing beauties at Lover's Point in Pacific Grove, circa 1890. The popular beach area is now home to Beach House restaurant.

Sunset Supper is a big draw at Pacific Grove’s Beach House

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By Meredith May, SFGATE

Lovers Point in Pacific Grove is indeed a romantic spot for paramours, but the outcropping that juts into the Monterey Bay was originally named for a different kind of attraction – Lovers of Jesus Point.

Devout Chautauqua Methodists escaped the Central Valley heat for ocean fog in the late 1880s, where they built simple A-frame canvas tents on 25-foot lots and turned Pacific Grove into their annual summer retreat.

God was the main draw, but a close second was the beach, where they built a simple changing room called “the bathhouse.”

Lovers Point has been a happening spot ever since, but especially now with the June 2013 opening of the Beach House restaurant – a remodel of the iconic Bath House restaurant that occupied the same spot for three decades until 2005. Just a few days before the Beach House opened, so did the long-shuttered public pool next door, along with a new sand volleyball court.

There’s even talk of bringing back the Victorian-era glass-bottomed boats carved in the shape of swans that offered beachgoers a view of bay kelp and sea creatures until the mid-1970s.

“I’m a Pacific Grove High grad, so this is like my homecoming,” said Beach House owner Kevin Phillips, who owns two other seafood restaurants on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey.

“There’s a real renaissance here,” he said.

His latest restaurant is decorated with sepia-toned photos of Lovers Point’s first residents, culled from the more than 22,000 historical photos of Monterey Bay kept by local archivist Pat Hathaway.

The images show corseted beachgoers in wool dresses, gloves and hats, who came to the shore in the late 1800s for 25-cent hot saltwater baths.

By the early 20th century, a Japanese tea house was built, then an arcade with restaurants and parlor games. A steam engine locomotive that ran along what is today’s shoreline recreation trail carried lumber, along with sand that was sold to make CorningWare.

A public pool opened in the 1930s, and a host of eateries operated at Lovers Point until the iconic, upscale Bath House with a French-inspired menu opened in the mid-’70s, holding the spot until 2005.

For decades, the Bath House was the three-fork fine dining place where locals held weddings, impressed their prom dates, and celebrated Mom on Mother’s Day.

So in 2011 when Phillips and business partner Jim Gilbert began remodeling the venerable restaurant with an outdoor deck and wraparound windows along with a plan to stay open until midnight, Pacific Grove residents began expressing concern that their quiet town was going to be turned into a raucous Margaritaville.

Discussions were had at city council meetings, and a compromise was struck: The Sunset Supper.

Phillips offered an olive branch to the community: If they agreed to be seated by 5:30 p.m. and place their orders by 6 p.m., they could eat $9.90 entrees such as bacon-wrapped meat loaf, sole almondine and flame-broiled pork tenderloin, dishes that sell for nearly twice as much later in the evening. The deal included soup or salad for an additional $2.90, and a glass of house wine or beer also for $2.90 more.

Lines started forming by 4 p.m. Now it’s a mad rush, seven nights a week.

“It’s a big hit with my book club; when we do restaurant dinners we need to watch the cost,” said Linda Winchester of Seaside.

At their table, Winchester and her sister, Pat Burdullis of Folsom, watched the swimmers frolicking and traded memories of Monterey childhoods spent at the public pool and on the beach.

Although the Sunset Special is geared toward locals, tourists can also get the deal.

“We don’t check people’s IDs to see if they are Pacific Grove residents – as long as people get here in time for the Sunset Supper, they can have it,” Phillips said.

The bargain has done wonders to ease the worries over a late-night restaurant in Pacific Grove. The Beach House serves 350 dinners a night, seven days a week. By 5:30 p.m. one recent Wednesday night, all 132 tables were filled. Diners can watch sea otters, gray whales and dolphins from their tables.

When the early rush clears, a second wave of locals getting off work arrive, Phillips said.

“I like my Manhattan at the end of the day,” said Alex Lopukhin, who makes the eight-minute walk from his home to the Beach House five or six times a week, but he waits until the Sunset Supper crowd starts to thin out.

Toward 8 and 9 p.m., the restaurant is full again with a different clientele that likes multiple courses, bottles of wine, and long conversations that last until the midnight closing time. There have been no complaints of diners causing late-night disturbances in the streets.

Phillips’ son Jeremy, a sommelier-in-training, is the general manager. His wife, Julie, runs the office.

Co-executive chefs are Briana Sammut, trained at the Culinary Institute of America and a former sous chef at il vecchiorestaurant in Pacific Grove; and Guillame D’Angio from Marseille, France, who opened Provence Bakery in Prunedale and Monterey, and worked as a sous chef at Cantinetta Luca in Carmel.

The two met in the kitchen at Beach House. In less than a year, they fell in love and are now engaged.

Which is the point of Lovers Point, after all.

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P.G.’s Beach House offers great view

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Laura Ness, The Californian

Has it been a while since you’ve set foot inside The Beach House Restaurant in Pacific Grove? If so, you’re missing a view that’s worth buying a drink for, seriously. Sure you can sit in the park and admire all the going’s on, on the lawn, in the trees, on the water, on the sidewalk and on the beach. But you are missing a unique perspective. Things always look a bit more colorful when seen through the indelibly clear lens of a perfectly glassine, well-shaken martini.

Bartender Zachary Warner deftly delivers the perfect one, with a thin sheen of ice across the top, like a glacier on an Alaskan bay. Extra points for properly chilling the glass, and real olives, too. (Don’t get me started: that’s another whole rant.) Anyway, the new Beach House menu, prepared by co-Chefs, Briana Sammut and Guillaume D’Angio, is as tasty as the view, and you’ll find salt and pepper to be superfluous. Highly recommend are the seared scallops, fresh fish and the Lover’s Point chicken thighs, cooked sous vide, and delivered beautifully crisp and accompanied by scrumptious roasted ‘shrooms, spinach and very addictive mashed potatoes. As much as I think sous vide is a gimmick, it does have its place. Don’t expect a whole lot from the wine list, as this is a place more suited to cocktails and beer.

Get in by 5:30 p.m. and order by 6 p.m. to enjoy the Sunset Specials, with entrees including that awesome chicken, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, king salmon, rigatoni with basil cream, pork tenderloin and sole almondine, all under $10. It’s an unbelievably good deal. A few bucks more gets you soup or salad and a glass of house wine or Lover’s Point ale, on draft. Life is a beach, especially at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove.

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Beach House plays to packed houses nightly in Pacific Grove

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By Elaine Hesser, The Californian

The Beach House Restaurant at Lovers Point has been up and running for a little over 6 months now. To say it’s hit its stride would be an understatement. Kevin Phillips, who with partner Jim Gilbert completely gutted and renovated the property, said the staff privately refers to the hours of their reduced-price “sunset menu” as the “sunset slam.” But before rushing headlong into the — well, rush — let’s briefly review the saga that brought us here.

Way back in the Victorian era, there was a real bath house on the site where locals could indulge in an indoor hot salt water soak. It was eventually supplanted by Slats Rooftop Dining, a boxy structure that didn’t quite fit in with the older houses in the neighborhood. In 1975, entrepreneur David Bindel leased the property from the City of Pacific Grove, built a faux Victorian structure over Slats, and the Old Bath House was born. It became a model of elegance and fine dining. People came back year after year to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and graduations. In 2005, the lease was up for renewal and a bitter conflict arose between Bindel and the City over who would pay for renovations to make the building accessible to guests with disabilities. Ultimately, the Bath House closed and the building lay empty for six years.

Enter Gilbert and Phillips, who negotiated a new lease with Pacific Grove and began renovating the property. As any homeowner who’s set out to do a simple renovation knows, there is no such thing as a “simple” renovation. There are always more problems than you expect. Still, the process plowed on. In 2012, they hung a banner on the side of the building that said the restaurant was “coming soon (we promise).”

Meanwhile, Gilbert and Phillips donated $10,000 to help rehabilitate the community swimming pool just outside the restaurant, and added new public restrooms, working with Pacific Grove to revitalize the Lovers Point area. And at the tail end of June this year, the restaurant’s doors opened. Over 100 seats were quickly filled — and filled again, and again, night after night. The kitchen is led by the dynamic duo of Brianna Sammut and Guillaume D’Angio — co-executive chefs and happy couple both in and out of the kitchen. Phillips’ son, Jeremy, is the General Manager.

What keeps the crowds coming? First, there’s the Sunset Supper menu. For $9.90, diners can choose from among a half-dozen entrees, like bacon-wrapped meat loaf and sole almondine. For just $2.90 more, diners can add soup, house salad or Caesar. A glass of house wine or Lovers Point Ale on tap? Also $2.90. You have to be seated by 5:30 p.m. and order by 6 p.m. to enjoy this offer.

If the panoramic views of Monterey Bay are a feast for the eyes, the food is a feast for body and soul. Firecracker Shrimp, the restaurant’s signature appetizer, was named in a nod to the Feast of Lanterns. Small shrimp coated in a sweet, ruby-red sauce are warmed by just a touch of chile. Black and white sesame seeds are sprinkled on top, and the shrimp rest on a crisp shredded salad with a sesame oil dressing. Oysters come either on the half-shell or oven roasted. Pan-seared scallops are smoky and sweet — and cooked so they’re perfectly tender. There’s a selection of salads, which can be made into meals with the addition of chicken, salmon or shrimp. If you like mushrooms, you should try the mushroom ravioli in Parmesan walnut cream sauce. The crunch of the walnuts really brings the dish together and accents the earthy, sherry-accented mushroom filling. There are ample choices from land and sea, ranging from a burger with Parmesan fries for $12.90 to a filet mignon and lobster tail combo for $54. On the dessert menu, the lemon tart with meringue combines the citrusy sourness of the lemon filling with a thin layer of sweet meringue on a crumbly graham cracker crust, while the rich chocolate pot de crème is accented with raspberries. There’s a full bar with specialty cocktails like the Chatauquatini and PG 77 (a riff on the French 75). Service is efficient but not rushed.

Oh, and those crowds? Make reservations — although if you just decide to drop in, it’ll be worth the wait.

Elaine Hesser is a food/freelance writer who lives in Salinas. Contact her at:emgiuliano@gmail.com.

Details

Beach House Restaurant at Lovers Point, 620 Ocean View Blvd., Pacific Grove. Phone: 831-375-2345, info@beachhousepg.com, www.beachhousepg.com.

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Pacific Grove: Gorgeous retreat for butterflies, visitors

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Richard Scheinin, Mercury News

I walked into Back Porch Fabrics (157 Grand Ave.), a destination for quilters, and felt like I was inside a kaleidoscope; floor-to-ceiling, the place dazzles with color. I also discovered that there are good eats for reasonable money in this high-end town: $10.95 for real-deal shrimp fajitas at Peppers Mexicali Cafe (170 Forest Ave., a popular spot with locals); $20 for shrimp in black pepper rum sauce, on the dinner menu at Passionfish (701 Lighthouse Ave.); or $9.95 for bacon-wrapped meat loaf (come, O ye carnivores) on the early-bird menu at the Beach House Restaurant (620 Ocean View Blvd.), overlooking Lover’s Point, where the town celebrates its birthday every July with the Feast of Lanterns.

WHERE TO EAT

Beach House Restaurant, 620 Ocean View Blvd., 831-375-2345
Fandango Restaurant, 223 17th St., 831-372-3456
Jeninni Kitchen and Wine Bar, 542 Lighthouse Ave., 831-920-2662
Passionfish, 701 Lighthouse Ave., 831-655-3311
Pepper’s Mexicali Cafe, 170 Forest Ave., 831-373-6892

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