What a view! – After a scenic Big Sur drive, it was nice to continue the views during our meal. We enjoyed the famous ambrosia burger (yum!) along with a nice glass of California wine. The place was packed so we did have to wait for a table to open, but it was worth the wait. It's definitely a must to sit outside (weather permitting).
AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL! – I've been to Nepenthe once before & should have listened to my gut instinct & never visited this sham of an establishment again. Instead, I decided to stop here for dinner on my way down to the Lucia Lodge w/ my boyfriend. I would've been better off stopping by the side of the road with a cooler of sandwiches.
#1 - we went to the bar to get a drink as the result of our hour wait (expected). The bartenders were rude & genuinely disinterested in serving anyone who wasn't at the bar ordering food. You'd think that for an establishment that always has a long wait they would have better bar tenders who help pass the time. But no, they were rude & unhelpful. I waited about 40 minutes to even get their attention. Unacceptable.
#2 - we were finally seated at a table inside the restaurant. The restaurant was extremely hot & unairconditioned. I know that restaurants in this area are not air-conditioned at all, but...DON'T SEAT PEOPLE THERE! Incredibly inconsiderate. We thought about leaving at that point but didn't because it was already late.
#3 - The food: horrible quality and ridiculously overpriced. Meal came to $100 (including tip) for dried out Tuna and paper thin swordfish each with a meager salad and an apple pie a la mode. The fish seemed to come out of a frozen package. Awful food, terribly overpriced. The only plus of this part of the evening was the service by our lovely waitress and the Apple Pie which was delicious.
All in all - a terrible experience, this restaurant should be ashamed of themselves. Atrocious.
I should add - we're not picky eaters and we're certainly not gourmet snobs. We're just people w/ appreciation for quality food and service - we got neither on this evening.
Will never return to this establishment, as I said...they should be ashamed of themselves.
Good View....that's about it. – This place definitely had an awesome view, but the food was not all that great and was very over priced! But there's not too much to choose from in Big Sur, so I guess it's worth a try.
You can't get much more beautiful than this – When we go camping in Big Sur, we normally take one day to cleanup and head over to Nepenth for lunch! What a fantastic place....
Fantastic View, Overpriced and so-so food – Designed by a former Frank Lloyd Wright student, the building is amazing and fits really well in its environment with sweeping views of the Big Sur coastline. We sat outside, on the entranceway patio, but we should have sat on the patio on the other side of the dining room. I point this out, because you come here for the view. My boyfriend and I ordered the veggie-burger, which had the consistency and taste of an overcooked omelette, and the house smoked salmon appetizer (very, very good, though not enough salmon and too many crostinis for the $$$). We stayed away from the fries ($7.50/basket!). Good wine selection.
A Big Sur mainstay since 1949, still justly famous for its Ambrosiaburger and sweeping views. – The Scene
Relaxed yet boisterous, this hearty lunch and dinner spot still lives by its 1949 motto: "Forget your worldly cares at Nepenthe's gay pavilion, where the Phoenix bird repairs and is feeling like a million." A statue of the big bird is prominently placed in the entrance, but far more eye-catching is the endless view of the ocean just below the expansive outdoor patio. If the day is brisk, take an indoor seat at one of the comfy window benches and marvel at the driftwood candlestick sculptures.
Fit for the gods (as long as they don't mind alfalfa sprouts), the famous Ambrosiaburger drips with Swiss or cheddar cheese and copious amounts of secret sauce. Mere mortals can opt for grilled fish, roast chicken or a selection of steaks. Vegetarian options include meatless lasagna, grilled tofu burger, or an heirloom tomato or a mozzarella salad with sweet corn and basil vinaigrette.
Overpriced view – Good place for cocktails and a view. Skip the meal it is overpriced and not good.
View is the only saving grace – The service was slow, and when it finally did come it was wrong. There is a good view but it is not worth eating there for it. Grab a cocktail and watch the sun set and leave.
Who said the sixties is over? – Climb the stairs to Nepenthe, and you've entered a time warp. Other than a few concessions to today's diets, there is something still comfortingly retro about their menu.
But do we really come to Nepenthe because of the food? Not really. We come because of the view. We come because of the ambience. We come because some of us miss an era when restaurants yearned to be what Nepenthe has automatically always been-- a rustic, laid-back haven for pleasant food and good company.
You will likely have to wait for a table, but the wait is fine. Enjoy Big Sur. Have a drink. Groovy.
the view – Nepenthe isn't the best restaurant in Big Sur by a long shot, but it still serves a delicious if somewhat overpriced meal. Regardless, Nepenthe is the social hub of Big Sur for locals and travellers alike. Grab a pot of chammomile tea and soak up the rays on their patio while you take in the (literally) jaw-dropping view, or come late at night and stretch out next to the roaring outdoor fireplace and enjoy a drink. If you're new to Big Sur this is the place to start learning your way around.
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