Dining Along California’s Central Coast

by | Oct 15, 2010 | Family Traditions, Restaurant Overviews, Travel

On a recent trip, my husband Troy and I had the opportunity to visit several different areas along the central coast of California. We started the trip on Thursday night in San Luis Obispo. The hotel, San Luis Creek Lodge, was within walking distance of the renowned San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market.

Potpourri of Peppers at the San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market

We cruised the market and stopped at Creekside Brewery for a brew and bite. Many items on the menu were made with the beer. I ordered the beer sampler which featured a beer brewed by the Cal Poly brew crew. The house salad was ample and the brisket sliders were filling.

Beer Sampler at Creekside Brewery in San Luis Obispo

Friday and Saturday were spent in Pismo Beach at the Kon Tiki. The hotel has a view of the ocean from every room. Next door is Steamers, a restaurant that is part of the McClintock group in the SLO area. The Bowers family gathered at Steamers for dinner on Saturday night. We filled the Captain’s Room and ordered from the banquet menu.

Our dinner at Steamers included, bruschetta, house salad, garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. Entrees were halibut and filet mignon. All food arrived as ordered and was very tasty. Our server, Jared, was very accommodating – especially for the group of 10 unruly pirates he had to wait on. To add to the festivities, I ordered a German Chocolate “pirate” cake that creatively decorated from the Arroyo Grande Bakery.

Pirate Cake from the Arroyo Grande Bakery

Our final leg of the trip was up the coast to Monterey for two nights at Casa Munras. The quaint room with a fireplace was perfect for the overcast weather. Esteban’s Restaurant on the premises had a happy hour all day Sunday featuring Tapas at half price. Troy and I shared dates wrapped in bacon, stuffed with blue cheese. I can still taste them! Also delicious was the beet salad, but best of all; the fresh, warm pitas served with olive tapenade, olive oil and humus.

The grand finale meal was at The Portola located inside the Monterey Bay Aquarium. With breath taking views of the Monterey Bay, the sustainable food on their menu was creatively presented.

The Portola Restuarant Inside the Monterey Bay Aquarium

I chose the Monterey Bay Farm Raised Abalone, panko crusted, accompanied with Swank Farm Fresh Puree, Watsonville strawberry jam and a shaved fennel, cucumber, radish salad. My choice of beer was Anchor Steam – a beer l enjoy with seafood. Wanting more fresh fruit; I also ordered the Summer Fruit Salad with thinly sliced peaches, black berries, raspberries, house dried apricots, Point Reyes blue cheese, baby lettuce and dressed with Marshall Farm Honey Vinaigrette. Troy chose the sea bass with house made herb pasta, roasted baby beets, English peas, heirloom cherry tomatoes, pea tendrils, mustard, sabayon, buerre blanc and herb oil. He accompanied the meal with a Big Sur Golden.

Panko Crusted Abalone and a Shaved fennel, Cucumber, and Radish salad

Sea Bass with House Made Herb Pasta

Sea Otter in Monterey Bay

~Susie Calhoun