Restaurant: CJ’s Grill
Location:343 Old Mammoth Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. (760) 934-3077
Date: December 29, 2015
Rating: classic American menu, middling execution
Mammoth Lakes California isn’t exactly known for its fine dining, and CJ’s grill isn’t exactly the best there is to offer — however, they did manage to squeeze 6 of us in at the last minute on a mad busy holiday week on one of the nights where we didn’t have a preplanned reservation (bad idea during the holidays).
Even when the restaurant is fairly plebeian, I travel with the good stuff.
From my cellar: 2006 Château Rayas Côtes du Rhône Château de Fonsalette Reserve. JR 92. Cinsault component: Wild, gamey and expressive, with fresh raspberry and cherry aromas and flavors. Quite elegant, with good juicy length. “This always gives finesse to the blend,” Reynaud told me. Grenache component: Very pale red. Explosive strawberry and raspberry scents, with spicy red fruit preserve flavors, silky tannins and excellent persistence. Proves that weight isn’t necessary for flavor impact-much less deep color.
The water came in cute mason jars.
Coconut Shrimp. Probably 8/10 on the Coconut Shrimp scale. Lots of coconut, very sweet, heavily fried.
Tomato basil soup.Caesar salad with chicken.
Regular Caesar salad. A little plain for my taste. No zing.
Mac & Cheese (side of fries). Not much to look at, and hint of Velveeta, but tasty enough.
Cheese Burger (no bun).
Chicken Pot Pie.
Look at those fancy veggies!
Inside of the pie was okay. But I prefer the stretched pie crust type.
BBQ platter. Mac was solid enough, if nothing fancy. BBQ pork was okay. Chicken just was. Like a grilled chicken breast with BBQ sauce. Oh wait, thats what it was.
CJ’s reminded me of meals of yesterday — well yester decade. The service, however, was super friendly and nice. And the place was bustling. And they had room. So all and all it was what it was.
Time evidently moves slower in the mountains.