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Pismo for first timers- please give us your recommendations!

Hmm, to each his or her own. IMO, the steaks are better at Jocko's. The place is old and nothing to look at, but it is clean.

May 19, 2011
PattyOh in California

Pismo for first timers- please give us your recommendations!

I have to add Ventana Grill. I was wary going there on a friend's recommendation since it seemed like one of the usual ocean view locations with mediocre food. But after having been there twice now for lunch and one happy hour, this has become our new Pismo Beach/South County favorite. The space is sleek with stunning panoramic views, but still casual.

The menu has a Latin twist. We've enjoyed the Mahi Mahi sandwich, poblano steamed clams, the burger with a bit of chorizo mixed in and cotija cheese on top, and a nice ceviche.

http://ventanagrill.com/menu/

Definitely go to Jocko's, nothing fancy, but a great Spencer steak cooked on their red oak grill. I love to get Spumoni ice cream (if they have it that night) for dessert. Even with a reservation, you'll have to wait for your table, but make it fun by going into the bar and getting a beer while you wait.

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Ventana Grill
2575 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

May 19, 2011
PattyOh in California

Coastal Road Trip...San Diego up to Portland..

We did a similar coastal Hwy 1 and 101 road trip last fall. Yes, it is slow going in some spots, but so worth it if you have the time.

A little gem that we stumbled upon was the Old Abalone Pub located in the Westport Hotel in Wesport, CA. It is 17 miles north of Fort Bragg. The hotel has been lovingly restored and is a wonderful place to spend the night. We had one dinner and the Sunday brunch there, both excellent.

http://www.westporthotel.us/dining.html

May 11, 2011
PattyOh in California

Local/organic on Central Coast?

Thomas Hill Organics Bistro in Paso Robles would be a good choice. The produce served comes from their own organic farm. The food is quite good while being more casual and reasonably priced than Cass.

http://thomashillorganics.com/home.html

May 11, 2011
PattyOh in California

New food truck in Central Coast - Kun Fusion

I just heard about a new food truck that began operating in SLO County this week called Kun Fusion, an interesting combination of Korean BBQ and Portuguese offerings. Daily updates on location are posted to Facebook and Twitter, and there is a website with menu and background at:

http://www.kunfusiontruck.com/index.html

I haven't had a chance to track it down to get it a try. Would love to hear some feedback on it. It seems the food truck trend is officially upon the Central Coast.

Apr 15, 2011
PattyOh in California

Sunday Brunch/Lunch between Cambria & Montecito? And eek, it's Easter Sunday.

On your way, about 40 miles south of Cambria on Hwy 101 is the Lido Restaurant in Shell Beach. It is located in the Dolphin Bay Resort with spectacular views. They are offering an Easter prix fixe or al a carte brunch and they take reservations. I've never been for brunch, but have enjoyed wonderful dinners and happy hours there.

http://www.thedolphinbay.com/dining/l...

Apr 08, 2011
PattyOh in California

Help! Looking for "Ranch Style" steakhouse anywhere from Oxnard to Modesto for Birthday...

The Loading Chute in Creston should fit the bill. This is about as rustic and unpretentious as you can get. The steaks are great & there is a nice outdoor patio & lawn area. There isn't much of a view from the patio, but it is right on Webster road in Creston & is surrounded by spectacular ranch and winery roads all around for a great drive before or after.

The Loading Chute, 6350 Webster Rd, Creston, CA (805) 237-1259

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Loading Chute
6350 Webster Rd, Creston, CA 93432

Apr 04, 2011
PattyOh in California

Coastal Road Trip: Carmel, Cambria & Santa Barbara. Need restaurant suggestions!

In Cambria, IME the Black Cat Bistro is the "best of the best" all around for food, wine, service and atmosphere. You could walk it from the Fog Catcher Inn, but it would probably be better to drive since it is across Highway 1 in the village of Cambria.

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Black Cat Bistro
1602 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

Mar 17, 2011
PattyOh in California

(Not sure where to post this...) Any recommendations for Cambria/San Simeon?

WIth your party size of 14 you'll want a restaurant that takes reservations and has a dining area that is large enough to accommodate a large table for you, especially on a June weekend.

Your best bets in Cambria that have a nice celebratory feel would be Black Cat Bistro, Indigo Moon, and Sow's Ear. Robin's is in a cozy building, but they probably would be able to set up a large table with enough advanced notice.

Mar 10, 2011
PattyOh in California

Recommend me a cleaver

Cooks Illustrated has a dated (2004), but probably still reliable, review of cleavers. There top pick was the Global 6-inch, but of course expensive. Their next highest rated cleaver was also their Best Buy, the LamsonSharp 7-inch cleaver that they reported held a sharp edge and was lightweight. Amazon has it listed for $43.89 at the moment: http://www.amazon.com/Walnut-Kitchen-...

Mar 08, 2011
PattyOh in Cookware

Ordering Tasso/Cajun ingredients online

I haven't tried the Comeaux brand, but regularly order tasso and andouille from Poche's Market and find it very good quality. You can get Poche's products at Cajun Grocer, but I've found shipping costs are better ordering directly from them at:
www.pochesmarket.com

Feb 28, 2011
PattyOh in General Topics

Poll: Thinking of moving

I've lived in Denver & Colorado Springs and frequent Albuquerque, Sante Fe and Flagstaff often for family & friends. Also have vacationed to Austin and Portland. Hands down, purely from a dining and food options perspective, Portland wins.
There is incredible access to seasonal, sustainable produce, meats, fish, dairy as well as the local microbrews and wineries. There are an amazing variety of restaurants from food carts of every cuisine at just about every intersection to casual cafes to fine dining. The variety and quality make Portland the stand out among your options. Good luck!

Feb 25, 2011
PattyOh in General Topics

Food Truck sighting in SLO/ new ordinance?

Yes, this is a new food truck named Porter's. I saw it parked in front of the Grange Hall on Broad Street, but unfortunately had no time to stop and give it a try. Here is the link I found:

http://porterstruck.com/about

Jan 26, 2011
PattyOh in California

LOOKING FOR FOOD TRUCKS IN SLO/ MORRO BAY/ LOS OSOS area

I hope you do start a truck. I just returned from Portland and absolutely loved the amazing food truck scene, we could use that kind of energy here. In Los Osos, another option that is kind of food truckish in vibe is Noi's Little Thai Takeout - small, one dish cooked at a time, fresh limited menu of rice, noodle & curry dishes. Good luck!

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Noi's Little Thai Takeout
1288 2nd St, Los Osos, CA 93402

Aug 31, 2010
PattyOh in California

LOOKING FOR FOOD TRUCKS IN SLO/ MORRO BAY/ LOS OSOS area

Unfortunately there aren't much in the way of food trucks here. There was a decent taco truck in Los Osos for a short time, but closed over a year ago. I'm not aware of any in Morro Bay. The best bet is al pastor at Boni's Taco's truck in Cambria, located in the BofA parking lot at Main & Burton on weekends, 11:00 until they sell out.

Aug 30, 2010
PattyOh in California

Maegan Loring opens "Neon Carrot" in SLO

Just had lunch at Neon Carrot today. We had the specials of cauliflower soup with truffle oil and three flat iron steak tacos with a salsa rojo. Both choices were fresh and delicious. The specials do round out the menu nicely. No room for dessert unfortunately. At 2:30 the little place was still hopping, Maegan truly has a loyal following. They have added a Friday Night Happy Hour from 4-8p.m. with a different theme each week.

Jun 18, 2010
PattyOh in California

Anything new in Cambria dining?

Have you tried Indigo Moon? Far and away our favorite lunch spot for cheese plates, awesome soups, creative sandwiches and salads. Also a reasonable and good wine list. I've never been for dinner but have heard mostly good things about the evening menu.

Jun 18, 2010
PattyOh in California

Best of Morro Bay?

I second Giovanni's, especially their fresh crab quesadilla. This is a very casual fish market with some outdoor seating, order at the window type of place.

For finer dining:
- Shawn's on Main. This is a little gem, regional wine country small plates divided into first, second and third courses. Open just for dinner, closed Tuesday and Wednesdays. Our favorite restaurant in the area, small, intimate and unique.
- Giancarlo's on Morro Bay Blvd for italian. Very nice to sit in the bar and enjoy the show.
- Window's on the Water on the Embarcadero. Unbeatable views. Their entrees can be hit or miss, but generally the seafood is quite good.

Enjoy your trip.

Mar 03, 2010
PattyOh in California

Best Burger Spots on the Central Coast

I go to Duckie's in Cayucos for a great burger. The Duckie burger is simple but well done. It has well seasoned and nicely cooked beef on ciabatta with leaf lettuce, sliced onion and tomato. Jack or cheddar cheese is extra and all the condiments are on the side. Great flavor and texture.

As far as downtown SLO, the ABC burger at Firestone Grill is good - but it is usually packed and a popular Cal Poly hangout.

Jan 24, 2010
PattyOh in California

Best Burger Spots on the Central Coast

I agree that Sylvester's isn't the best burger spot. I live in Los Osos and when I want a burger I go elsewhere. They are big and sloppy, but not particularly tasty.

Jan 24, 2010
PattyOh in California

Pismo Beach Area

In the historic village of Arroyo Grande on Grand Ave (not too far from Pismo) is a newish wine bar called "Gather", nice for a change of pace from the Pismo scene.

www.gatherwinebar.com

Oct 16, 2009
PattyOh in California

La Familia Farm Los Osos, is it still there

Yes, La Familia is still on Los Osos Valley Road and open for business. They currently have pumpkins and sunflowers. Enjoy!

Oct 16, 2009
PattyOh in California

Dinner and lunch in Pismo Beach

Some great SLO lunch options:

- Cafe Roma by the train station. There is a nice little outdoor patio. Wonderful food at a fraction of the cost of dinner. www.caferomaslo.com
- Buona Tavola in downtown. Another good italian, there handmade pasta is fantastic. www.btslo.com
- Novo in downtown, seating on the creekside patio for more casual but very good sandwiches, salads, soups and small plates. novorestaurant.com

Jul 25, 2009
PattyOh in California

Pismo/SLO recommendation

NOVO is probably the lovliest creekside setting in downtown SLO. I prefer NOVO for lunch on the patio, for a nice sandwich or salad. The evening menu is mostly small plates that are good to share with friends over drinks. But lately my husband and I haven't been too impressed with their big plates, especially for the price, and feel there are better choices for dinner if you're looking for a more upscale dining experience.

The big buzz in SLO lately is the new Ciopinot Seafood Grille, http://www.ciopinotrestaurant.com/
I haven't had the chance to try it yet, but have heard from several people that the seafood is great.

Jul 25, 2009
PattyOh in California

Pismo Beach / San Luis Obispo - what's best?

In Avila Beach (near Pismo), try McPhee's Grill. This is the second location of McPhee's that recently opened at the Avila Golf Resort. It has an almost identical, and equally terrific, menu as the original location in Templeton.

In SLO, Buona Tavola for excellent house made pasta dishes and The Park near the Amtrak train station for wine country cuisine. Both have very nice wine lists as well.

Apr 30, 2009
PattyOh in California

Good Eats in Monterey

Schooner's Bistro in the Monterey Plaza Hotel. It has amazing views and fresh, nicely prepared seafood.

Apr 27, 2009
PattyOh in California

Downey or Bouchon in Santa Barbara

You really have to experiment at SR, some items are plain and boring, others are amazing. Besides the #15 Tocino already mentioned, the #16 La Super Rica Special is the best - marinated pork, grilled pasilla peppers and melted cheese, all gooey and chopped up together on top of fresh corn tortillas.

Apr 16, 2009
PattyOh in California

Birthday Dinner in Paso Robles, Morro Bay, or Cambria

I'd also vote for either Black Cat Bistro or Hoppe's, you can't really go wrong with either. Maybe just look over the menus on-line ahead of time and see what appeals to you more.

I'm not crazy about Windows on the Water, not consistent and you're paying a lot for the view. I've eaten at Cass House once with the 4-course pre-fixe. I really wanted to like it based on the description of each course on the menu, but our party of 7 all agreed the dishes were a bit underwhelming.

Apr 02, 2009
PattyOh in California

Cambria

I second Black Cat Bistro, wonderful food and ambiance. But the prices are in the same range of Artisan. For something different and less expensive, try Wild Ginger Cafe, reasonable and very well done pacific rim fusion.

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Wild Ginger
2380 Main St Ste G, Cambria, CA 93428

Mar 23, 2009
PattyOh in California

Morro Bay Restaurants

Shawn's on Main is a little gem in Morro Bay. All small plates that are divided into starters, first and second courses. The menu changes constantly but there are always seafood selections. The wine list is very nice.

Shawn's is at 912 Main St. (805) 772-1059. They are open for dinner only, and I believe they are closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Feb 27, 2009
PattyOh in California