KITCHENETTE in Templeton added at ♦ Emphasis on the ‘ette’. Curt menu, and small items. Fun little Ladies-Who-Lunch items delicate-sized and beautiful. Winelist not published, you point at a regional map on the wall and receive something from their extremely limited grouping of forgettable Paso super-market wines. People rant and rave about this place–I’m kinda missin the point, somehow.
BBQ LAND in Santa Maria added at ◊ Talked into a business-lunch. Just don’t. Really. This isn’t food any human with taste buds should be consuming. WHO eats this bullshit?!? Oh yeah: white people in Santa Maria.
UPPER CRUST TRATTORIA in San Luis Obispo added at ♦♦ Now HERE is a surprising discovery. Somehow I have NEVER eaten here although I drive by it practically daily. Service impeccable. Manager roving the room. Client read correctly and staff not cloying. All food above expectation. A bare-bones carpaccio not weighted down with unnecessary accouterments. Gnocchi perfectly prepared and cooked. Meat FAR above expectation. On-point desserts and a wine-list comfortable in its regulars and gleeful in its surprises. Besides the exemplary non-bugging service, the other big notable was the PRICE. Everything is so cheap! Entrees under 20$! I think the carpaccio was 9 dollars! Wine was NOT a typical restaurant markup, and I enjoyed a world-class Santa Barbara Pinot Noir for 15$ over retail. This restaurant can easily get lost in the miasma of SLO Italian spots and the location keeps it out-of-mind but I HIGHLY recommend it.
BUDGET CAFE in San Luis Obispo added at ♦ Finally made it in to this little gem people been telling me about for decades. Your classic no-frills diner. I was far-and-away the youngest person in the room, and it was obvious the staff knew each and every one of them by name and menu preferences. I watched in awe the (only) waitress spend 5 minutes helping a solo older gentleman from his table to his car without one OUNCE of hurriedness. There is a level of personal service here hard to find anymore. Food as expected, hearty and safe. Eat here.