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Nov 11, 2009 04:04 PM

Pismo's Coastal Cuisine of Fresno

Stopped by for lunch yesterday and tried the fish 'n chips, quite tasty not over battered or too greasy. Three generous size pieces of white fish (cod, iirc), great thin french fries, and a nice unsweet cole slaw. Tartar sauce had a nice touch of dill to it. Believe the price was 9.99 pre t/t.
Couple next to me at the bar raved about her crusted calamari steak and his broiled salmon.

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  1. Saw it was open the other night (Tues) and almost went in but it was packed so I decided I'd wait until the Fresno 6 month "love at first sight" attack has passed.

    4 Replies
    1. re: tavmark

      They were slammed at lunch also but the staff were well trained and efficient, kept things moving with a minimum of glitches from what I could see.

      1. re: tavmark

        I'm with you TM!! I think I'm going to wait awhile so that everything can be ironed out.

        1. re: cocktailqueen77

          Appears I may have dodged a few bullets sitting at the bar and ordering without any request for input about the menu. Will definitely give them some time before trying it out for dinner.

          1. re: PolarBear

            I tend to think that sitting at the bar is the best way to go - more attentive service, plus bartenders typically are the more "seasoned" staff then the rest of the FOH.

            The gal who cuts my hair works in the same center as Pismo's and she was able to go to the soft opening. She raved about the cioppino, oysters and garlic bread. She said that they get the bread from SF and lather it with butter and garlic!! I would love to have a great oyster right about now - this rainy weather is reminiscent of the coast...

      2. For some alternative viewpoints, here are a couple reports from

        The tastefresno site can be a bit difficult to navigate, so bear that in mind & don't get too frustrated if you decide to explore some of its other features.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alanstotle

          A quick review because it's getting late....

          Decor: Creatively put together. Lots of weathered wood in the interior to give it a seaside feel. The windows were open all the way to the ceiling, giving a nice pseudo-"open air" feel to the place.

          Service: Excellent. The waitress seemed to hover around our table in a casual way (as opposed to a deliberate way, as can sometimes happen). She promptly brought any additional requests (more water, more salad dressing, etc.) to our table. Other wait staff seemed to also be on their game.

          Food: Needs some work. The items we ordered were:

          - Cup of Clam Chowder: Nice thick clam chowder, with more than hint of thyme and just a hint of cayenne pepper. It's not the best clam chowder we've had, but it's good.

          - Caesar Salad with Pistachio Crusted Calamari Steak: The mistake was made when the Caesar Salad dressing was poured over the calamari steak. Eventually, the liquid turned the steak's crust into mush, making the dish almost inedible. Also adding to the poor quality of the dish was the toughness of the calamari. It wasn't completely leather-like, which under-tenderized calamari will turn out to be after it is fried. But, it was just tough enough to make one realize that the chef hadn't tenderized it enough.

          Clams & Linguini in a White Wine Sauce: The most clams (in the shell) that we've ever seen in a clam & pasta dish. The clams were perfectly cooked, and the linguini was just the right tenderness. The problem with this dish...way too much sauce. The clams in our bowl must've felt right at home, because they were under liquid during most of the meal. The excess sauce made the dish a messy experience.

          Wedge Salad with Sirloin Strip: The best dish of the three. The meat was perfectly tenderized and cooked. Then again, that's no surprise, given that Pismo's owner (Dave Fansler) also ran Tahoe Joe's and now runs Yosemite Ranch. Still, the fish should be the focus at Pismo's and not the meat.

          Overall: We're not ready to toss Pismo's into the "over-rated" bin quite yet. They are new, and are probably still working out the bugs. So, we're willing to give them another try in the next few months. Still, the food missteps we saw aren't a promising start. We hope that they can fine-tune the menu a bit before their appeal goes out like the tide.

          Pismo's of Fresno
          7937 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA 93720

        2. In reply to PolarBear..5 of us stopped in Pismo's for lunch yesterday. Everyone was happy.
          We had a scrumptious and huge (5 giant prawns) shrimp cocktail...yummy, a bowl of smooth crab bisque, a 5 star cioppino, my calamari was excellent AND the veggies were steamed al dente, one had a fish similar to Mahi-Mahi, one had fish and chips (garlic fries) and one (out numbered non fish eater) had the tri-tip sand. The server was fairly new but very eager to please and pleasant. They were busy but we got seated in 5-10 minutes. Very clean and pleasant. Highly recommended. Are they a stand alone or affiliated with other restaurants? I haven't been up here in awhile.

          1 Reply
          1. re: P Macias

            Welcome back to town, Patricia, good to hear you had a pleasant experience, we need a decent seafood place here, really hoping they make it.

            IIRC, Dave Fansler used to own the Tahoe Joe's at Shaw and Marks, but sold it and has branched out opening Yosemite Ranch (a similar venue, only been once but the skirt steak was stellar) and now Pismo's.