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Aug 12, 2008 02:43 PM

LA to Cambria, advice please?

We usually stop at Chef Rick in Orcutt--should we try Wine Cottage Bistro or 3rd Coast Cafe?

Best bet for a lunch in Santa Barbara area? (Hungry Cat)?

What is the best clam chowder on this trip? Good bakeries for whole grain breads, good cheese shops? Best Mexican--La Super Rica, Taco Temple--what else?

Will definitely stop at Hoppe's in Cayucos, a favorite spot.

It has been nearly 2 years since our last trip. What's new in Cambria? Last time we enjoyed Wild Ginger. What is the status of Sow's Ear? Haven't been there in many years. How is Robin's these days?

TIA for any input.

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  1. Update on the Sow's Ear, still very good and popular on weekends, make a reservation.
    Robin's was covered in the Tribune this week, reliable, but not exciting. Check out Sea Chest for seafood, but bring cash, no cards.
    Hoppe's is still outstanding!

    1. yes and yes on CR & WC. We need more reports! (Everything so far is encouraging)

      Utopia bakery in SLO on Broad St makes a good whole grain loaf. Dutch-owned and --operated.

      Haven't tried the breads at French Corner Bakery at Burton & Main in Cambria, but their pastries show a deft hand with baked goods.

      Frankly the best Mexican food is availble south of SLO county in Santa Maria. Most of the best is from the taco trucks, and at the deli counters in the Mexican markets. All else is just too Americanized with the ubiquitous oozing cheddar/jack cheese and flat tasting rice and beans.

      here's a recent Cambria post which may help you:

      please report back!

      8 Replies
      1. re: toodie jane

        Thanks for the link.

        We had planned to go to the Cambria farmers' market remembering it as being on Thursday--unfortunately we will be driving home on Friday so will miss it since it's on Friday afternoon. We've enjoyed it in the past. Is there another on Friday further down the coast?

        I will report back. I'm curious about El Chorlita in San Simeon. We'll check it out.

        1. re: Babette

          The Cayucos Farmers Market is at the Pier from 9:30 am to noon on Fridays.
          Check out the local oranges.

          1. re: Bruce in SLO

            You people are all so great. Thanks!! One of these farmers markets will work. Will try the oranges.

            Still wondering, if you had to choose in Orcutt: We love Chef Rick but haven't tried Wine Cottage Bistro or 3rd Coast Cafe. Stick with the tried & true?

            Also is Splash the best bet for chowder? Never been to Jocko either.
            Thanks again for the help. There are so many great choices & we want to choose wisely.

            1. re: Babette

              Lady PB and I've had a couple of nice lunches at the WCB, still waiting to hear something about 3rd CC. I think I posted about at least one of our WCB visits, too busy to do a search right now.

          2. re: Babette

            Avila Beach Sea Food and Farmer's Market on Friday's from 4PM to around 8PM.
            Lots of food booths, fresh produce, crafts, etc. Live music, too.

            1. re: Babette

              In SB county, Montecito CFM at 1200 Coast Village Rd Fri 8to 11:15 a.m.

              In Ventura Co., Simi Vlly CFM at the SV Town Ctr Mall 3 to 7:30 p.m.

              You can opick up some of those wonderful Cayucos (Valencia) Oranges at any Spencer's Mkt. There's one on N. Main in Morro Bay next to Taco Temple.

              1. re: Babette

                I second the rec for El Chorlita in San Simeon, do check it out.

            2. LA to Cambria trip report (August)

              Sorry to be late on my report, but life has intervened. I had made some notes, though, so here goes.

              We timed it too late for lunch in Santa Barbara on the way up (we did stop at Brophy Brothers but the wait was daunting), so we stopped for hors d'oeurves at the bar at The Hitching Post. The grilled artichokes were very tasty with a spicy smoked tomato mayo dipping sauce, and the grilled shrimp were plump and delicious, with a simple butter dipping sauce.

              Later we stopped at Chef Rick's in Orcutt. (We called about the Wine Cottage Bistro & were told it had closed). My husband & I split the burger--still very good, but the broccoli slaw was replaced by an ordinary cole slaw (I neglected to mention it at the time, but I see the broccoli slaw is still on the menu, so don't know the story on that). Our son loved the burger with Caesar dressing, bacon, lettuce & tomato.

              We also tried El Chorlito in San Simeon. It was pretty good. The breading on the chile relleno was too thick for my preference, but I like that they use fresh, healthy ingredients, such as a whole wheat tortilla option for the tostada.

              We had takeout desserts from Robin's--cheesecake, creme brulee, & wild berry tart. Quite good. Next time we might give them another try for a meal, as we used to in the good old days. We missed out on Sow's Ear & Wild Ginger. Next time...

              Our favorite in the area is still Hoppe's Bistro. I had a wild mushroom soup, a little too earthy for me, so my husband finished it. I also ordered the mozzarella & tomato pizza, delicious, to share with my husband, with My Mother's butter lettuce salad, champagne vinaigrette, very fresh and satisfying. Our son devoured his Cayucos Kobe beef burger with Gorgonzola cheese and Caesar salad. We shared the Chocolate Oblivion Torte with praline ice cream and the organic cheesecake with raspberry coulis, both top notch. How I wish this place was in our neighborhood.

              We tried Brophy Brothers in Ventura on the way home; no wait, a nice spot on the patio outdoors overlooking the boats. We enjoyed the freshness of the food. The fish & chips had a perfect batter, the chowder is a respectable version. The calimari was crispy fried & fresh tasting. The house dressing, though, was bland. This is a nice spot which we will try again.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Babette

                <<<We called about the Wine Cottage Bistro & were told it had closed>>>

                please tell me it was a time of day thing rather than they're no longer in business!!!

                1. re: PolarBear


                  I've asked a hound who reviewed WCB in July to respond if they have info on a "closing". Hope to read here.

                  1. re: toodie jane

                    I have tried to respond responsibly , here. I don't know the status of WCB but that was what we were told on the trip. Thanks to you all.

                    1. re: toodie jane

                      I posted this separately under the WCB thread:

                      Googled it and it seems it has become Trattoria Uliveto. Here is a link to a blog describing it: