I'd seriously eat here every week if I could.
Wait! What's stopping me??
After a fun day @ the Salinas Air Show (omg-Blue-Angels-are-so-l33t-omg), the beau and I stopped here for dinner. They added a bar and we were super lucky to snag the last two seats. This place was busy before but now it's CRAZY BUSY because Phil's delicious cioppino was featured on Bobby Flay's Throwdown. Moss Landing used to be MY secret (!!!) but I'm glad Phil's getting the business he deserves.
The bartenders, John and Bernardo, were, hands-down, awesome guys. They were super friendly, laid-back, and oh-so-sweet. Fantastic service. Right when they heard that I was ordering the cioppino, they recommended a syrah to go with it. Recommended as in: they poured me half a glass to try. Then ... they put the entire, freshly-opened bottle down and left it there. When I told them that they were right (the syrah was dry with a mildly sweet, berry finish that complimented the zesty, seafood-Heaven cioppino), they kept re-filling my glass all night long and only charged me for one glass in the end! They sure make you feel welcome.
The cioppino was magical as always. They aren't skimpy on the seafood and I seriously could just drink the broth and be blissed out.
Other pluses: the creamy Italian salad dressing, the garlic bread (to soak up the tomato-y goodness), and the fire-roasted artichoke (looove the aioli)!
After 4+ years, Phil's still rocks ... even with the extra crowd.
FOOD: fried oysters are the yum. sooo sweet! and I especially like how their fried seafood isn't more batter and oil than seafood. I ordered the mussels this time, swimming in a broth of white wine, lots of garlic, and tomatoes - for only half an order ($9.95), I was fed like a princess. That's what's greatastic about Phil's - reasonably priced, FRESH FRESH FRESH seafood.
their cioppino is pure crab, mussels, clams, scallops, squid, tomato-ey heaven. best in the west coast (possibly, IMHO, the world). I even bought half a gallon of this joy home for my mom. cioppino in a bucket! I was sooo happy!
ATMOSPHERE: crowded, loud, no frill's, family, seafood shack
IN A MOUTHFUL: Take a detour on your way to Monterey (ie. expensive tourist trap) and make a cioppino stop in Moss Landing. I promise it'll be worth it. This "doesn't look like much" tiny fishing town gots a big seafood heart and they know how to serve it right.