Robert Anthony is a Yachats-based fisherman. He owns the F/V Liberty II and uses it to fish for halibut, crab, salmon, and albacore. You can eat the creatures he catches at his tiny restaurant on Highway 101 in Yachats, across the street from the Green Salmon coffee house, or stop by to pick up the raw ingredients if you prefer to do the cooking yourself.
There’s more on the menu than what he catches himself, but none of it is farmed, and all of it was recently swimming. An order of mixed fish and chips showcases the distinct differences between the big three of Oregon: halibut is snowy white, mild, and sweet; albacore is meaty and juicy; and wild king salmon, the star of the show, is rich with fish oils and fills the mouth with flavor.
Order a crab cocktail and you get a cup of nothing but large, pristine chunks of fresh Dungeness, cocktail sauce and lemon on the side. There is none better on the coast. Like all seafood restaurants in these parts, you can get chowder or slumgullion, but here the slumgullion is fortified with “white cheeses,” and the chowder, idiosyncratically for these parts, comes in what they call Manhattan or New England style.
Luna Sea is open for breakfast. Eggs are organic, and we’d love to return and sample salmon hash or a Luna Sea omelet stuffed with halibut, scallops, and bay shrimp, along with cheese, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and topped with cheese sauce. Whew!
We don’t know if this is Luna Sea’s usual crowd, but the evening we were there the place had a definite ’60s unreconstructed aging counterculture clientele. In fact, we got that sense elsewhere in the town of Yachats. Is this where they all went, or were they just in town the same time we were? They sure did seem like locals. It was odd and a little reassuring: So they didn’t all become hedge fund managers and corporate attorneys!
Anyway, back to Luna Sea: It cans its wild Chinook salmon and tuna, and has its fish smoked; and you can purchase these products at the restaurant or by mail. If you decide to eat in, be prepared to wait for a table. Luna Sea is very popular and it has limited seating. Prices are reasonable, as are portion sizes. Service is casual. Quality is supreme.