Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

SF to Monterey to San Luis Obispo


The Cynical Chef
 Share

Recommended Posts

Spent several days in CA last week and in spite of the rotten weather we had a great time. The food highlight is a toss up between noshing at the Ferry Market and In & Out Burger. We had lunch on Monday at the Ferry Market and we were in heaven! Wine, Oysters, Tacos, Chocolate, Rabbit Rillettes, Cheese, Fruit and Sandwiches like one can only get in California. We spent the better part of 3 hours indulging ourselves at the Market. Dinner that night was at the Argonaut Hotel because one of our little ones was under the weather. Since the Argonaut is a Kimpton Hotel, the food was splendid and the service above average.

Next day we headed south. We stopped for lunch at Viognier in San Mateo. Scott Giambastiani is very talented. Our 2 hour lunch was resplendent! Charcuterie plate, handmade noodles, lobster cocktail, artisan cheese, wonderful sourdough and beautiful wines.

We then spent 2 nights in Monterey and managed to find the worst restaurant in California: The International House in Pacific Grove. Imagine lasagna and pizza so bad that the cooks at Olive Garden would frown upon it. We meant to eat at Passion Fish but how were we supposed to know that the sidewalks get rolled up at 9:00 PM in PG? The worst part about the I H was their wine list. They only carried the Salmon Creek Collection of wines yet the interior was decorated with perhaps 100 bottles of California wine. Isn't Salmon Creek a third label of Boone's Farm?

The next night we managed to find a place only slightly better than the International: Fish Wife. Frozen pre-breaded clams, canned lobster bisque, gloppy chowder and gloomy service. Here's a place that supposed features local seafood and even looks the part. Small & funky with whimsical interior colors but this place was serving crap you would find at a Morrison's Cafeteria.

When we walked into the International House we knew we had walked into a dump but walking into Fish Wife we thought we were in for a treat. Those criminals....

In San Luis Obispo we had an amazing breakfast of Pozole over Corn bread, coffee cakes, tender buttermilk pancakes with apple jam and smoked salmon omelettes at Big Sky Cafe, very good sushi at Kimiguri (spelling?), interesting Asian fusion at Chow Nova and had a burger from In & Out. Hot Damn! A fast food restaurant that makes their own fries and idividually toasts each bun. How come I can't get a burger this good from Ruby Tuesday?

Before we flew out of SF we had a lovely (and expensive) meal at Boulevard. By then the time change weighed on me like a 50 pound weight and we had been up late the night before. We enjoyed Boulevard but were so darn exhausted.

The day of our event in San Luis we went to a farmer's market in the parking lot of an Embassy Suites Hotel and in spite of all the rain we found some gorgeous produce. Artichokes, citrus, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant & herbs and everything came in many shapes and sizes. If walk-in closets weren't going for 500K I would be packing up the family and moving west.

Ya'll come see me!

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice report. too bad about the Pacific Grove lowlights. There is too much great food at all price ranges to have to suffer through meals like those.

Did you have any happy hour 1$ oysters at Hog Island in the Ferry Market?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice report. too bad about the Pacific Grove lowlights. There is too much great food at all price ranges to have to suffer through meals like those.

Did you have any happy hour 1$ oysters at Hog Island in the Ferry Market?

Yes we did!

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

had a burger from In & Out.  Hot Damn!  A fast food restaurant that makes their own fries and idividually toasts each bun. 

And bakes those buns themselves after hand-leafing the lettuce. Haute eats get lots of justifiable respect but the fact I can get a burger so consistently well-made and delicious for $1.59 practically makes me cry with gratitude. Well, that and the non-rehydrated onions.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

had a burger from In & Out.  Hot Damn!  A fast food restaurant that makes their own fries and idividually toasts each bun. 

Must be why the late Julia Child waxed so rhapsodic over her first brush with In& Out burgers when she retired to California ...

Glad you were able to enjoy some of the better parts of your California trip, John .. and yeah, the housing is always the big drawback to California living ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice report. too bad about the Pacific Grove lowlights. There is too much great food at all price ranges to have to suffer through meals like those.

Did you have any happy hour 1$ oysters at Hog Island in the Ferry Market?

Yes we did!

One of the best deals in San Francisco!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...