Little River Inn Dining Room Restaurant Review:
You may forego the extra two miles drive into Mendocino when this landmark inn and restaurant comes into view along twisty Highway 1. The mood feels weightless in Ole’s Whale Watching bar with a beer and views of a serene slice of sea. Walk through to the adjoining restaurant, boasting picture windows of well-groomed flowers, bringing the garden inside. The menu’s mainstream appeal makes sense for the location and keeps townies hooked. To start, basil oil beads add dimension to steamers in white wine broth, and light crab cakes please. Fine entrée choices include smoky grilled steak with red jacket potato mash, and local sole, pan-seared and simply dressed with lemon. It’s the type of place where you get the same steamed vegetable medley as your neighbor—but the typical carrots and broccoli get glam with Brussels sprouts and asparagus. For dessert, don’t overlook indigenous olallieberries, baked inside a butter crust. In all, it’s a comfortable place for anyone, with an inherent specialness thanks to the ocean, six generations of heritage and homey service. A savvy sommelier stocks treats from nearby Andersen Valley and inland.