Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

TRAVEL: San Luis Obispo

I spent this past weekend in San Luis Obispo having an early Christmas, as my parents have decided to spend their Christmas in New Zealand this year. I don't blame them one bit. I would too if I had the time and money. Since I am unable to provide and exotic travel guides to New Zealand, I will instead provide an overview on where I stuffed my face in SLO-town this weekend:

Big Sky: Saturday morning breakfast was at my breakfast mainstay, Big Sky Cafe. It's been voted best San Luis Obispo restaurant for 8 out of the last 10 years and when it doesn't win, it still wins alternate awards for things like breakfast and healthy food. My eye was caught by a tantalilzing special of potato pancakes with sour cream and home made apple sauce, but since I was on my last weekend of detoxing, it was a big fruit bowl topped with dried fruits and nuts and honey-orange yogurt. For a fruit bowl it was pretty delicious although a little melon heavy, which is a pet peeve of mine, but the pecans and honey made it something more special than your garden variety fruit salad.

Novo: One of our dinners was at Novo, which has been newly reopened after earthquake retrofitting. During the remodel, a smaller restaurant in another part of town, called Chow Novo was being operated. When Novo reopened, a little bit of that place came with it so that Asian flavors have been added to the already eclectic Brazilian/Mediterranean mix. As per my diet, I stuck with the "Mexican" vegetable soup, and a salad of mixed baby greens, nuts, goat cheese and dried cranberries and orange vinaigrette. I was cold so I ordered a chai to drink.

My chai was WAY sweet. It tasted like mostly sugar or cane juice and the other spices were overwhelmed. Instead of ordering another one, I went the opposite direction with a chrysanthemum pu-erh for my other tea. When I ordered a Mexican soup, I thought it would be spicy or flavorful, but it was actually very bland. I had to salt and pepper it up but it still was just kind of bland and mushy. The salad was very good except there was a bit too much dressing. Towards the end my little greens were soggy and sad. The service was really good, though. Our waitress was really nice and spot on with her wine knowledge and suggestions and the hostess helped out bussing our table which I thought was nice.

Mission Grill: Our Sunday lunch destination was Mission Grill. I hadn't eaten here until now, knowing this place best as a frat boy bar that I tried one just for experience's sake and also as the scene of Alexis Arquette's gay-bashing from the Surreal Life (What? I only watched the San Luis Obispo episodes. I SWEAR!) Not a shining moment. The lunch, however, was actually quite pleasant. The weather was nice, there was some inoffensive music and I had an actually very good Caesar salad. The lettuce was chopped into manageable pieces so I could eat it like a classy lady, the dressing to lettuce ratio was good, and importantly, the crouton to lettuce ration was also good. I was a little curious about the "American Kobe" burger that cost $9. I realize that American Kobe is much cheaper than Japanese, but still ... $9? I guess that's the perks of a small town. My mom didn't have any complaints so I suppose it was good.

So that was that. Nothing earth shattering, but a fun time was had by all.


what, no Tortilla Flats?

said by Vaguely Urban at 1:37 PM Delete

My god, you have an amazing memory! Alas, I am far too old for Tortilla Flats now. If I went there now, I would become the second generation version of the woman who used to go there that we called "the scary spider lady."

I don't want to be the new scary spider lady.

said by KT at 1:45 PM Delete

Why not? It sounds like a cool superhero name. Scary Spiderlady! Scary Spiderlady Returns! Revenge of the Scary Spiderlady! Oh wait...

- Chubbypanda

said by Anonymous at 5:07 PM Delete

Yeah, exactly. Plus, if you could have borne witness to the scary spider lady, you would know that wildly gyrating in the middle of a dance floor of young people at least one or two decades your junior is SO NOT COOL OR SUPER.

Definitely not something I aspire to, although I admired her seeming lack of all sense of embarassment.

said by KT at 5:12 PM Delete

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