Santa Cruz Dreamin’

Got bored Sunday morning and packed a fast bag and threw it in the car. I know how sketch it can get on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day but decided to wing it North. This year’s Sunday-Monday-Tuesday situation meant NOTHING was going to happen work-wise so might as well be up the coast exploring. Contemplated Big Sur,…

Root 246–Seeing Pink

Sitting down with the new chef at Root 246 in Solvang, you notice her excitement is clearly difficult to contain. It takes well into a conversation about her food ideals and directional goals for the restaurant before it slips she has had her eye on this dream-position for some time. Right time/right place it turns…

Top-25 Wines of 2018

Good evening and welcome to Chez Soif. We hope you enjoy your dining experience. I will be taking your wine order. Here is my list carefully curated to reflect the best things I have tasted throughout 2018. Take all the time you need, and remember: these wines are available retail for a substantial discount. I…

Restaurant Gossip 10.21

Hotel Serra on Garden Street is going to happen faster than you expect, and BRASSERIE SLO has announced the chef: James Anderson formerly of Casanova, La Bicyclette, and Affina on the Peninsula. Saw some action inside the old Pluto’s location across from Black Sheep on Chorro the other day. What’s your favorite of the 4…

Restaurant Gossip 10.7

Remember when the excellent FIG GOOD FOOD in Atascadero closed and there were so many rumors about what she was doing… going to Templeton… things like homeless shelters or non-profits and such? Well it all pretty much dropped off my radar–forgotten–until something popped up this week and reminded me. Apparently: FIG AT COURTNEY’S HOUSE exists…

Restaurant Report 9.30

Not much going on this week. The furor over ALEX being demolished has almost faded. On to something else to be gratuitously infuriated about. Bunch of new spots in Guadalupe opening. Little one-holers. CHINO’S TACOS… GUADALUPE CAFE… LA PLASITIA OAXAQUENA… Speaking of Guadalupe, I want to re-cap Chef Maili taking the Halme (get it? Get…

Restaurant Gossip 9.25

SAIGON CUISINE in Orcutt is open. Probably will hit that up SOON. Heard another rumor of another Viet place up in Santa Maria proper, maybe even Town Center West. Finally got into LA ESQUINA TAQUERIA on San Luis Obispo. This is, of course, from the CIOPINOT people. Calling it a taqueria is kinda stretching it,…

Resty Gossip 9.9

Well, here’s one you’re gonna like. No conversation about dining on the Central Coast can get too far along without mention of at least one of the trifecta of steak and BBQ. I have seen week-long threads with thousands of comments–often going to near-fisticuffs–over which is better: Jocko’s, Hitching Post, or Far Western. Everyone has…

Taco Updates 7.7

Keep finding new places to taco, and I’ve been bad about updating THE TAQUERIA LIST. EL RINCON OAXAQUENO Santa Maria (S) lands on the list at ♦♦ It’s alright. TACO MAFIA San Miguel I ate at probably almost a year ago and somehow never included it. It’s *ok* they’re just really big and fairly boring….

Foremost BUBBLE BAR

I have a fascination with ceviche.  Almost any culture–with seafood nearby–has a version of fresh fish *cooked* in acid and served immediately.  And ceviche is the centerpiece of the new Bubble Bar at one of San Luis Obispo’s pillars: Foremost Wine Company.  And now, the lively conversation and kitchen-interaction at the lately-silent center bar is…