Chef Matt Toomey opened his Mammoth restaurant in 2012, but he had 16 years of cooking a legendary menu under his belt at the Mobil Mart, just outside of Yosemite, before he took the leap and opened his own restaurant. Toomey rolled up on a motorcycle outside the Mobil when they opened 26 years ago, asked if they needed a cook, and the rest was history—Gourmet Magazine called the Mobil “one of the most interesting restaurants in the world” while Toomey was at the helm of the kitchen, and it was also featured on the food network with Al Roker.
Toomey parlayed that fame into his own establishment, expanded his menu, and he’s almost as popular as he was at the gas station (with a convenient location in The Village at Mammoth).
He’s got gourmet breakfast, now, too—the coconut mascarpone pancakes are a fluffy slice of heaven, and the breakfast burrito is great for a grab ’n go option if you’re heading out for an adventure.
The popular Baja-style fish tacos which made the Mobil famous are also on Toomey’s menu in Mammoth, but he’s added items like Maryland Blue Crab cakes, a seafood jambalaya that’s “as southern as you can get in Mammoth,” and fish ’n chips.
Their desserts are out of sight, and enough of a reason to stop in. I often just get the “killer carrot cake” to go.
Toomey is most certainly a sports and memorabilia nut, and you can see gear from his favorite teams displayed all over the adjoining rooms of the restaurant. There’s also a great covered outdoor dining area for those who have their furry friends in tow or just want to enjoy dining al fresco on a summer evening in Mammoth.
Due to its location in The Village, the place can get super packed on busy weekends, especially due to its casual ambiance. It can also be swamped with families with young kids looking for a fun, easy place to feed the whole crew, which is great if you’re into that kind of thing. Prices are also a little bit high ($8 beers, $13 hummus plate), but that’s a pretty standard complaint in Mammoth in general. Parking can also be a pain anywhere in The Village.
Sarah Rea is a freelance dirtbag-turned-journalist who has been living in the Sierra on and off for twenty years, with eight spent in Yosemite National Park and five in Mammoth Lakes. She likes dogs, rocks, good food and jumping into cold water.