SANTA YNEZ KITCHEN in Santa Ynez added at ♦♦♦ for so many reasons. Incredible winelist, perfect, calm, confident, un-hurried service, and ingredients and dishes top-quality.
KUNFUSION in Pismo Beach re-visited. It always feels so *healthy* dining here. Maybe it is just the over-complicated menu. I think this restaurant would easily win any sort of award for complying with dietary needs most flexibly. Everything always explained well and presented beautifully. And it tastes good! ♦♦ CLOSED PERMANENTLY
CA’DEL GREVINO in Orcutt added at ♦. A nice place and a lovely spot for lunch in Orcutt. Great international wine-list. Interesting items on menu, portioned somewhat small/$$$. Try it for yourself.
ALPHY’S BROILER in Arroyo Grande added at ◊. Wine is “red or white”. Pulled-pork was this soggy affair completely obliterated in sicky-sweet BBQ sauce and on a horrible bun. Fish tacos had no imagination whatsoever involved. This is tourist-food. Nothing horrible, just safe calories for people who do not want to be challenged.
LIDO in Shell Beach re-visited after a half-decade. I think we are a couple chefs in and not much has changed. A VERY nice dining experience but boring menu–everything extremely safe. Tried-and-true re-dredgings presented beautifully. Sauces lacking intrigue. Meat not cooked to spec. And I’m going to look a gift horse in the mouth here, but: THE MOST embarrassing amuse-bouche I have ever been served. I actually LOL’d. The Scallop Appetizer was the highlight of the meal. Not much else memorable. In true Lido fashion, IMPECCABLE, perfect service from every member of the staff–from valet to somm–and I certainly feel this is the true pull of the restaurant. ♦♦
TASTE SLO in San Luis Obispo re-visited (again!) and this one continues to charm. Very well thought out, and presentation, integration, wine-selection and service top-notch. ♦♦♦
TAO in Pismo Beach–my 3rd or 4th visit since opening. A completely hidden gem–food well constructed, service enthusiastic and remodel lovely–EVERYONE should try but I worry their location will doom them to a short run. A little pricey, too. Everything fresh and wonderfully-presented, just seems a bit high for their walk-up traffic. ♦
MOOSE DELI & BREW in Pismo Beach added at ♦♦ I had no idea this place was even here. Nice, not-overly-complicated selection of ‘stock’ sandwiches or build-your own. All ingredients fresh and generous. Everything available hot or cold. The ‘Italiano’ easily wins an award for *Most Roof-of-Mouth Friendly Sandwich* in the world. Interesting beers and sodas–NO WINE.