Pismo, and SIDECARSLO re-visits + TAPROOM

SEA VENTURE Pismo Beach continues to barely scrape by at ♦♦  Keep wanting to really love this restaurant and while things are rarely *dreadful*, it just never pleases at the level many in the area expect it to.  Re-visited recently and as usual, a few things were stunning (abalone app) and several other items continued on the un-inspired theme this resty has carried for some time.  Wine list is embarrassing for a resty of this alleged caliber.  I highly recommend bringing your own and paying corkage.  Fabulous views, of course, great service and ambiance.  The bar-kitchen is one of my favorite parts of the room.

SANTA MARIA BREWING COMPANY Nipomo Tap Room added at ♦♦   Really impressed with this place.  Obviously– being a wine-person–I rarely have reason to dine at a brew-pub or tap-room.  First of all, I don’t drink beer.  Secondly, I find the smells bothersome.  Number three: winelists are always embarrassingly slight and finally, the food typically ranges from ‘coarse’ to ‘coarser’.  But Santa Maria Brewing Company impressed me enough to garner ♦♦ and a Highly Recommended status.  Weird Location in Nipomo, but bright lovely restaurant with an incredible group of staff which feel like family.  Winelist is slight, indeed, but it is not two or three bullshit wines like some local brewrestaurants I could name.  It is actual, real, live, viable, local wine.  Fried food and sliders all near-top-notch.  I will return.

SIDECAR San Luis Obispo moved to ◊   Oh my, what a sad situation.  One of my favorite restaurants in downtown San Luis Obispo with great food and reasonable service and a beacon in the beverage industry with an emphasis on craft cocktails but always proffering a well-curated list of beer and wine.  Not any more.  The winelist has been gutted to appeal to an audience of unintelligent palates.  Several wines on tap from ONE producer, several wines in CANS from one producer and a single bottle of trendy, highly-marketable local plonk.  The principle of this direction bothers more than anything else, and wine is such an important part of the dining experience I can not continue to give this restaurant high praise.

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