Restaurant Review – Monterey Bay Canners

What the heck – people have suggested I do this so why not…

Monterey Bay Canners

So last night Michelle (need a chiropractor in Kailua?) and I were going to go to Bravo but unfortunately they don’t take reservations for parties under 10 people and when we got there the parking lot (and foyer) were packed.  So rather than scrounge for parking and then wait 45 minutes to get seated we decided to go to Monterey Bay Canners instead – it was just around the corner and neither of us had been there in quite a while. 

When we got there the parking was easy – we got a space right in front – and the hostess was able to seat us immediately.

The restaurant itself is nicely decorated – looks sort of like Disney’s idea of what a New England seafood restaurant might look like (lobster cages hanging from the ceiling, nets on the wall, etc.) – and comfortable.

The menu, as you might expect, is seafood-heavy but I found a steak that looked appetizing and after a few moments of wondering what "parsley boiled" was (it’s actually a potato thing) we ordered.  She had the grilled King Salmon with vegetables and fries; I had the Pulelu Steak (a Hawaii specialty apparently)  with garlic mashed potatoes.


Honestly the food was a little underwhelming.  The steak was sort of thin, a little dry (I ordered it "slightly past medium") even though it didn’t seem to be overcooked and didn’t seem to be a great cut of meat.  The potatoes were good and the vegetables were fine.  Michelle’s salmon got a similar lukewarm review.

We skipped dessert.


The service was friendly and enthusiastic but a little awkward.  The waitress was appropriately attentive and got the dinner order right, but the guy in charge of the bread never brought any (until Michelle asked much later in the meal).  When Michelle ordered wine she brought the wrong wine (but quickly and apologetically corrected it).  She was definitely making the effort (and I tipped appropriately) but I suspect she wasn’t very experienced.  Maybe quiet Sunday nights are when they schedule the new people?


Under the circumstances the price seemed a little high ~$60 for two (plus tip).  Maybe if the food at been a little more impressive it would have seemed a bargain.  I couldn’t help but think we’d have had better food at a similar or lower price at someplace like Outback Steakhouse.


Under the circumstances I’m going to give it a 4 out of 10.  The food wasn’t bad but wasn’t that good either, and the price was a little high for what you got.  The service was generally good if a little awkward and the location was very good.  Parking was easy and the place was easy to get into.  Can’t speak to the ladies room but the men’s room was pretty much what you’d expect (in terms of cleanliness, etc.).  The restaurant was not especially noisy or otherwise unpleasant – there were one or two kids in the room but they were well-behaved – of course the place was also at least half-empty and we didn’t have anybody right next to us.

I hadn’t been there in a year or so and, honestly, I’m not in a rush to go back.


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