Well, the big news everyone’s being assaulted with this week is of course several local restaurants being identified by the Michelin people. “Did you hear Hatch got a Michelin star???” I have heard enough times this week to be nauseous. Let’s get something clear right off the bat: Nate’s, Hatch, In Bloom, LPC, Ember etc. did NOT GET MICHELIN STARS. Not even one (sadly for Ember). See, Michelin has had to manipulate their marketing the past decade to embrace millennial: their view of elegant, formal dining–which of course is what made Michelin’s NAME–their averse definition of ‘snobby’, their fascination with delivery, take-out and taco-trucks, their flash-bang granting of social-media super-stardom, their watering-down of classical standards in a non-critical universe, and their penchant for waiting in line, eating with their hands, standing up, at un-traditional hours of the day and night in tights, hoodies and flip-flops, often for food which would dangerously abrade their stance on cultural misappropriation. Therefore–in a move to make us all wish they had stuck to bias-ply’s and treadwear ratings–the good tire folks created the *participation trophy* of Michelin recognition. The: “This is a really cool restaurant we want to recognize to squelch the complaints and it’s really really good and we like it a lot and it’s quite popular and we’re going to put it on a list of interesting places in your area where you *might* see people who enjoy white tablecloths and know how to dress for dinner but you can sit in the loud bar with your smoky cocktail and ignore them” award. THIS is how you get a restaurant with no wine list, an absolutely mediocre Italian spot, a restaurant SO NEW the rugs haven’t even been shook but which I feel possibly will be starred someday, a French resty making food NOT French, and someone who should have had an actual star LONG ago. EVERYONE’S A WINNER!!!!! YAY
Couple additional items of news regarding Hatch: They have a strange chef-structure, but Corey Bidwell is no longer working there, also, they just announced a cut in opening hours.
Fossil Wine Bar closed this week. That’s really sad, as the other three in A-town are a joke.
A few construction notes… Work continues on Lure Fish House and the “arcade brewpub” at opposite ends of downtown SLO, with Nick The Greek’s troubling re-working of a historic facade going full-blast dead-center. None of Morro Bay’s 14 new Mexican restaurants are open yet but both Slappy’s Cajun Fishboil and Scout Coffee undergoing full renovation for the former and complete exterior remodel for the latter. The Scout-going-into-the-old-BofA-thing will be interesting. It’s surrounded by tiny, cozy, mom & pop coffee shops and hang-outs, and will be downtown’s–or the WHOLE town for that matter–first foray into big, clean corporate coffee. Wait: is there a Starbucks in Morro Bay? I can’t remember but it doesn’t matter because only losers go to Starbucks. That’s not actual coffee. Oh, and there’s the trailer house people who were somehow allowed to install their caravan drive-thru downtown. But Scout in that huge–and no doubt (when they’re done) beautiful–building smack-dab downtown will be interesting. How it affects places like Top Dog, Buttercup, The Rock, Sunshine Cafe, and even Sun & Buns. The demographic of downtown is CHANGING. I’m tellin ya. I’ve told this to a bunch of people and no one believes me. But you go over there and sit downtown and watch the foot-traffic. It’s young. It’s stylish. It’s got money to spend on new, fresh, bright trendy businesses. The Embarcadero crowd never goes up that far and the Sunshine Cafe crowd is becoming thin. It’s a glorious thing to watch.
Oki Momo Asian Grill closed, but the FAR BETTER dining experience at their dim-sum and coffee shop across the street continues.
My BEST RESTAURANT IN SLO COUNTY has finally closed their Paso Robles second location… a move I feel is a long time coming. Weird, unpredictable hours, never seen a soul there, I’ve never been there–no one I KNOW has ever been there–not even sure the menu was the same as the incredible flagship spot in Cambria.
Shai Town–no web site, no instagram, no nothing–opened recently in the former Blue Mango Group’s Mint+Craft. It is biscuits! Didn’t see that one coming didja??? They’re fairly amazing. Check it out.
The Carrisa is skipping brunch today as preparations for Christmas at The Carrisa continue. YOU SHOULD SEE THIS PLACE!!! Local event superstars Karson Butler are transforming the already-beautiful old building into the perfect Christmas wonderland for food, drinks, games for the kids, just hanging out, or bookings of the entire building or sections for private events. It’s a fairly amazing concept and absolute HEAVEN for anyone with a little-too-much Christmas spirit. OPENS WEDNESDAY and yes, you can have a hot toddy in a Santa Claus mug by the fire while your ski boots dry.
Short and sweet. You like that? Just like me. If you want stuff like this all week instead of waiting til Sunday, may I suggest @eatdrink101 for your listening pleasure. We’ll be right back. Don’t flip around.