2420 Highway 1, Moss Landing, CA 95039 | 831.633.8300 | map
We stopped here on our drive back along Highway 1 from Monterey because we were craving seafood. We had this spot in mind because they are known for their delicious but simple preparations of fresh fish and the unbeatable view. Moss Landing is a small working harbor tucked into the curve of Monterey Bay with an incongruous backdrop of a pair of power plant steam stacks… Sea Harvest is run by three Deyerle brothers who each run their own location, one in Monterey that I wrote about here, one in Carmel and one in Moss Landing which has the best views. The family has fished out of Monterey Bay for 32 years, their operation includes fishing boats, a modern processing plant and 5,000 square feet of dock. There is a fish market inside of each location, where you can buy freshly caught, local seafood.
The restaurant is located near the mouth of the harbor and has an outside dining area looking out over the water where you can watch boats sailing by, kayakers paddling, otters and seals frolicking and the sun reflecting brilliantly against the water. We enjoyed the patio area which is semi-enclosed with gorgeous views all around amidst the sounds of seals barking in the background and seagulls crying overhead.
Mr. K had to have the Fire roasted Artichoke ($7.95), which was a fresh local Castroville artichoke drizzled with chili vinaigrette, served with a side of sun-dried tomato remoulade. I felt that I had never had a properly prepared artichoke before this! It was so tender that it melted in my mouth. Normally you have to scrape the flesh from the outer leaves, but you could bite through the soft fleshy bottom part of the leaf, it practically fell apart.
The heart was so tender that I scooped up this bite with my fork, and didn’t even need the knife. The flavors of the chili vinaigrette were greatly augmented by the rich creamy remoulade sauce. We were so mesmerized by this dish and have been looking to reproduce this particular preparation, anyone have ideas or advice?
The menu features fresh seafood which can be ordered in a variety of manner and sauces, mostly under $15. There are also soups, salads, appetizers and of course the fried options with various breading styles such as Southern corn and cracker meal, and panko coconut. The menu describes the seafood with localities and grades and we asked our server to recommend which were the freshest. Mr. K was steered towards Snapper, which came with steamed vegetables and a green salad ($14.95), and was served over perfectly cooked jasmine rice which was especially fragrant and flavorful.
His fish however did not come with a particular sauce, so he asked for some tartar and horseradish, which combined to form a delectable accompaniment to the mild but succulent flesh.
I ordered Grilled Sablefish, which is a local black cod that was topped with a zesty ginger lime sauce. The presentation was not very appetizing, but the ginger proved to be the pickled variety that is normally served with sushi which added a lively kick to rich juicy fish.
The flesh was succulent and juicy and the grill gave it an aromatic smoky flavor with an irresistibly crisped crust. We both cleaned our plates of the fish, although I just couldn’t finish all of the roasted rosemary potatoes. It was all so very lovely - the view, the artichoke and the simple preparation of the fish… If you are driving by on Highway 1 and see those smokestacks, this is a very nice spot for lunch or to catch the sunset.
Afterwards, we drove over to the beach and drank in the sun, watching surfers and children frolicking in the waves. We drove back to the Bay Area, which was chilly with gray, overcast skies…