Gonna be rough & tumble this week folks. Read between the lines.
Kicker’s survives amid the out-pouring of triggered millennial, neighboring business owners and the Karenosphere. Listen: if you didn’t read my column last week, I’m not re-hashing it here. Everything I speculated about the marketing there turned out to be dead-on during my visit. The only thing I will add to the *ambience* discussion is: the place was FREEZING and ridiculously loud. With the exception of the rock walls, lots of hard, shiny surfaces and every tables’ conversations were literally our own. Easy to fix though. I even know a guy. Always hesitant to attend a resty the first week, but I’ve done this enough to know when something’s young and rough and when something is systemically flawed. Service was fine–except the clearly-programmed speech about oyster shooters was awkward–and food arrived on schedule and was well above my expectations. Scallops Rockefeller simmered in a piquantly cheesy sauce with red bell peppers and fat chunks of bacon. Bouillabaise chock-full of shrimp, clams and mussels with generous helpings of soft fish buried in an amazing broth. The bread was a little crusty, but properly sopping it in the bowl solved most of that. Since I immediately went for the 2 most *pinkies out* items on the menu, I had to go to the opposite end for balance: Fish & Chips were frankly amazing–oil *just* on the cusp of being too dark–and fries some of the best in town. Everything I said last week is still true, though, especially the “going for the Corcoran crowd with Galley prices” part. I think marketing and ambiance is flawed miserably, but the food I had was good. and I for one LIKE the clearly hand-formed, meatball-esque crab cakes because they ARE NOT those miserable brown crunchy hockey pucks everyone else serves. This place has received so much bad press I am certain I will be lambasted for these opinions but remember who you’re talking to here. I’m the most critical asshole in the dining room and THIS was MY experience.
Doc Bernsteins is the talk of the town and the most amazing piece of click-fodder for the Trib apparently they’ve ever had. I saw this happening in slow motion since about 2017.
Buttercup Bakery in SLO confirmed closed already. Ragged Point is back open, and the
Daou place in San Simeon formerly… OMG blanking out–and NOT the latest owners, the ones before that when it was a music place and actually interesting with the nursery… anyway: is not going to be a restaurant again. Ever. It’s not what the kings of adelaida mt have in the plans for it, despite your anticipation.
The Carrisa has been re-imagined again from Christmas at the Carrisa into Rod & Hammer’s Whiskey Lounge check hours though: I’m feeling Thursday thru Sunday but haven’t visited yet. They’ve cut the place up smaller and decorated it cozier and have a FULL bar–not just R&H. I love how fluid this giant old building is.
Hey so golfers: try keyword WOPN23 on checkout for greenfees at Sandpiper. Weekday and weekend discounts “for attending WOPN” but I’m guessing they don’t ask to see your World of Pinot tickets for the discount? I mean how could they? That’s not how promo codes work. One of the best public courses in California and I think it’s like 105/115 with cart.
Coco’s gone literally wtf cares. So fucking bored with everything *dining* right now I mean how many top-5 hot dog lists can you write before swinging from a shower rod. Speaking of hotdogs I was right: same dude makes Alehouse, Bedas and Three Stackstacks pretzels. It’s a long story from Breaking Bread to Backporch but there’s the simple version–and you can tell by the shape. EVERY PERSON’S PRETZEL IS DIFFERENT.
Something about a build your own hamburger in AG???
Baby Dudes has a huge menu now with dinner-like options on it like veal shank with polenta and pour-over coffee from nine different countries so random.
Pismo Bites hot dogs? Went to Nick the Greek finally and it’s not terrible. The gyro was really good and full of french fries which I have never experienced before but within seconds of posting started receiving DM’s and comments saying–for better or for worse–it is rather common in gyro. I have never seen this in my life and will gladly apologize for my ignorance. Hey: I never claimed to know everything about food! But I’ve given a lot of thought to these kinds of sandwiches and one thing popping up is I’ve had FARRRRR more shawarma than gyro. I’ve had shawarma at every middle-eastern joint in the region–hundreds of them–but only TWO which were allegedly Greek around here: Rock & Roll Diner/Pismo Coast RV Park Cafe (same owners) and Templeton Pizza. And what about Petra??? That’s a Greek name but they serve Shawarma, no? None of these places put french fries in their sandwiches. It was good: I liked it! Judged it at first but it works! Everything at Nick’s was quite good except the falafel. Those things were fried too hard and nearly inedible.
I keep threatening to abuse this column by writing a list of all the new (and old) plant shops. HOUSEPLANTS–not just nurseries. I’m a plant guy and we have SO many new little spots. HERE’S YOUR LIST:
>Pacific Plant Co in Pismo is a must-visit.
>GROW Nursery and Cambria Nursery Downtown I just can’t get enough of, plus Garden Shed for succulents. All in Cambria.
>Blackwater SLO is a plantshop now basically no clothing anymore.
>In Morro Bay there’s Gaia’s Apothecary ($$$$ though).
>There’s a black dude from the mesa who hits most of the markets with the most amazing–and cheap–succulents. I think it’s The Cactus Bros?
>Of course the pillar of the county: The Garden Gallery.
>Nico’s Cart Rental place on Embarcadero has become basically a showroom for Leaves Me Love: are they for sale though?
>Lazy Goods up in downtown is amazing.
>I’m pretty sure there’s one in Paso Market Walk with a small selection.
>Of course always Miner’s for the most beautiful Boston’s on the planet growing with no light or care and die the split second you bring them home.
>And another wonderful stalwart: Growing Grounds in that little alley on Chorro.
After years of buying houseplants at Home Depot, suddenly they are cool again!
The BBQ place next door to Lgends where Sabetta’s Pizza was is no more. It will not open. In the interim, Legends will let you have any food delivered and eat there. The Rock Tacos is opening upstairs at the old Milane’s spot. “Soft opening 2.23.23” on the door. Speaking of Mexican, need to check on the Maya old location and see if anything’s going in there. the most exciting thing on the planet is STILL Luna Llena on Main Street.
Been hearing a lot about some pizza joint in Tin City I need to go to: Lebbers or something. Also Etto Pastifica keeps getting rave reviews. Glad that spot finally is making a stand.
I’m going fishing. Stay calm.