MERSEA’S Avila Beach added at ♦ Highly anticipated new restaurant on the Harford Pier in Avila Beach owned by Dorn’s and a sister-resty to Duckies in Cayucos. Beautiful new building, nicely appointed, lovely spot. The food leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s be honest, this is a tourist spot and whatever location the Dorn family opens a restaurant, they know EXACTLY what to serve. That’s their job, and they do it well.
This is no exception and falls perfectly and classically in the ♦ category described in my Guide to Ratings. It will no doubt show up on many ‘Favorites’ lists and receive many cheers from people who pay little attention to their food. Hey, if you’re just touristing around down there and want filling, low-brow fried food and safe standards in the sunshine, knock yourself out. There are far worse choices. Unfortunately, there are also far better choices nearby. Salads miserably over-dressed and slimy. Homogeneous breaded and fried seafood morsels lacking much taste difference between species. Inexpressive fries. Generic winelist. And what is with paying for food and drinks separately?!!?!? Second restaurant in the area to open recently with this format and stupidly annoying and an automatic point off. Stop it!
BAYSIDE CAFE Morro Bay revisited and maintains ♦♦♦ See, now here’s a juxtaposition to the dreadful type of resty mentioned above. Here is a restaurant serving a menu with SO MANY similarities to the menu above–I mean: it’s fried seafood tourist food and safe standards, BUT!!! Bayside does it RIGHT. Nothing is EVER boring. Everything has SOMETHING involved on the dish to excite and entice. THOUGHT has gone into everything and it is obvious. Service is never awkward and one of my favorite settings for dining. Winelist always interesting, and even as a wine-snob, there are several selections I WANT to order. Somebody THOUGHT about the list. People ask how I can give a resty like this ♦♦♦ when places 5X the price with renowned chefs in world-class destinations also have ♦♦♦ and the answer is easy: Everything works.
REVOLUTION WINE Sacramento added at ♦♦ Impressive new place in Midtown with a stunning menu. And the best part: It not only read and looked impressive, when he food arrived everything went way beyond expectation. Charcuterie and cheese boards far above the call of duty and warm dishes equally well-prepared. Of course, a list of in-house wines (the restaurant is IN a winery) all made in the hipster/IPOB-ish style with careful consideration to terroir and varietal originality.