RAKU RAMEN San Luis Obispo. Was not terribly impressed when first opened. But a re-visit after almost 5 years of still being there (there’s a feat in itself!) told me I had been a little too hard on them. Ordering logistics are still awkward and lines can be long. Not much room to move about but the food has found its groove and is top-notch. Tasted a variety of menu items and several Ramen-bowls. If in doubt, start with the Raku Bowl and branch out from there. It is very close to a perfect noodle bowl. The various preparations of pork in several dishes stood out. Upgraded to ♦♦
CUSTOM HOUSE Avila Beach. I owe Custom House an apology. I have been very hard on them over the years and quit eating there long ago because of a double-whammy of lackadaisical food preparation and service combined with an absolute overload of tourists. Returned recently on a whim and have returned several times since. I am wholly changed! Service is considerate and suited to the client. All dishes have been prepared completely above average. Calamari is outstanding! Steaks are perfect. Sandwiches thoroughly engineered. Side-dishes almost a highlight, and the desserts!! Did you know they have Prime Rib on Friday and Saturday?!? Understanding most dishes will err on the side of *safe*, there is always something about each item which stands out. A restaurant balancing the best of all sides and recommended. Upgraded to ♦♦
ROUTE 1 CALIFORNIA GRILL Cambria West Village. Highly anticipated the opening of this completely–and wonderfully–remodeled prime location in Cambria and paid a visit two weeks after opening. Cash only. Beer but no wine. Awkward, corn-fed vibe. Menu appears to be all Barbecue. Good luck if you’re into that sort of thing. There are too many great restaurants in Cambria to waste time on places like this. Will try again later. Maybe. Honestly probably never. Will be curious to hear the experiences of others. Not added to list.