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The Mono Inn at Mono Lake is a small restaurant over looking Mono Lake. While most would overlook this small set of buildings on their travels along highway 395 (5 miles north of Lee Vining, CA; just before the road which leads to the county park) it houses a superb restaurant with a rich history and has one of the most enchanting views of Mono Lake.

The Mono Inn itself is owned by the Adams Family - no, not the Addams Family, but rather the Adams Family as in Ansel Adams. Sarah Adams is the proprietor of the inn (eldest daughter of the son of Ansel Adams). Throughout the inn photographs of Ansel Adams can be seen including a reasonable sized gallery known as The Lake Room.

The ambiance of the restaurant itself is rustic and a renovation in 1997 returned it to its original 1920's character. Large windows are the standard and a superb view is visible even from the back of the dining area (where I sat).

The menu is primarily composed of European style dishes with a distinct southwestern twist to some of them. The price range for the main course is $17 to $26. The chef for The Mono Inn is Fernando Madrigal who previously was in Fresno and ran "Don Fernandos".

The inn is open year round though the season will change the schedule. May through October the restaurant is open from 5pm to 10pm and is closed on Tuesdays. While a walk-in is possible (I was fortunate enough to be able to do so as was another party), the restaurant is very small (about 12 tables and seating about 40 people) and reservations are recommended (see the web site below for phone number).


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