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Feb 8, 2010 11:46 AM

Bachelor's party roadtrip from LA to SF--food suggestions please!

Hi all.

A group of us (6-8) will be roadtripping w/ the soon-to-be-groom from LA up to SF. The bachelor is a true foodie, especially appreciating hole-in-the-wall type of finds w/ extraordinary food. Ethnic foods preferred, but all suggestions appreciated! We'd also be interested in a semi high-end place for dinner on one of the nights. Where the best food is will definitely guide the direction of the trip w/ a few stops for gambling, manly pursuits and debauchery thrown in.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!


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    1. re: givemegood food

      if you tell me to go that way, then I will!

      1. re: swang77

        It's a WAY nicer drive but at least +5 hours vs taking 5n...

        that said, I rather enjoyed my pitstop at the falafel drive in

        falafel's not as good as falafel arax, but a ridiculous falafel sandwich due to the sauce

        1. re: ns1

          The 5 has almost nothing on it food wise and is a bore. Go 101 if you can. It is about 45 minutes more without traffic.

          1. re: SIMIHOUND

            "45 minutes more w/o traffic"


        2. re: swang77

          Well, there's nothing much on the 5 north, mostly desert. The 101 it takes a little longer but it's a beautiful drive along the ocean at many points and through the mountains and more places to stop. Definitely worth the few extra minutes.

          I don't know your schedule, and I only know places through the central area, so I'll give those to you and you can decide for yourself.

          Lunch in Santa Barbara: La Super Rica (Mexican of course). It's just a stand but great food, sometimes long lines (eg., lunchtime). Their specials are the way to go. Not to far off the 101.

          Breakfast in Buelton: Two places, both right off the fwy and both excellent. Ellen Danish Pancake House 272 Ave of the Flags and Mother Hubbards 373 Ave of the Flags. I guess you could stop lunch time at either place and still have breakfast!! Never had it but lunch at Mohter Hubbard's would probably be good.

          Lunch Nipomo: Jocko's 125 No Thompson. A little farther off the highway, but worth it. Not good for dinner due to the long wait, but lunch is manageable. Large portions mostly known for meat (hamburgers, steaks), but the BBQ isn't until after 3 so if you can stop for an early diner that would be fabulous. Last time I had the Jocko Burger and could not finish it!!

          You'll have to Mapquest these places, all are easy to find. Sorry, but I'm so full after stopping for breakast in Buelton and lunch we're good all the rest of the way to SF!!

      2. Restaurant in Paso Robles that we ALWAYS stop at called Villa Creek. It is owned by a winery and they have a fantastic menu. They only offer a limited menu in the bar during a slow time of year, so check with the restaurant. But it is really really worth it. I had THE MOST delicious quinoa chili relleno there and I am not even a vegetarian.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tenafish

          Thanks everyone!! Any more tips? Side trips/excursions?

          1. re: swang77

            If you go up the 101 take Hwy 46 West and stop at some of the fabulous wineries up there. Do a google search and you'll find a wealth of information on them. You could try eating at Villa Creek which was recommended earlier. Remember to keep a designated driver, we don't want you on the highway after tasting many wines!

        2. how many hours are you dedicating to the trip? If less than 8, take 5, and check the posts for that highway for the eating experiences (some casino restaurant dining avilable at Tachi) Vast expanses of ag fields and not many towns.

          If you have more than one day, take 101 all the way up. Too beautiful this time of year to miss, and will create some great memories.

          Stop in Avila Beach for some great beach views, get your feet wet, all sorts of casual dining there. Good set of links there with a great restaurant at the 19th hole.
          If you can stay overnight and have the budget to support it, nearby Sycamore Mineral Springs has rooms with mineral hottubs and a great restaurant.

          SLO has a great Farmer's Market scene going on Thurs night with good eats , and the downtown boasts many pubs. Again, the entreaty for a designated driver.

          Paso Robles 20 minutes north of SLO has many hotels and a nice downtown (you could walk from the hotels) with clubs and great wine country dining. There are scads of wineries if the groom has any favorite wines, the vintner's ass'n in Paso could guide you.
 Some of the wineries have small but pricey dining rooms.

          North of Paso there is good wine tasting (Pinot & Syrah) in the King City to Soledad area, To the west of the highway, on east facing slopes of the mountains is the designation Santa Lucia Highlands. Some legendary reds come out of that area.

          If the groom is a totally food-obsessed fellow, you could detour over the Mtns at Greenfield to Carmel Valley for a Monday night meal (two seatings only) at the Chatagua Store. Out in the boonies--again, designated driver required. You could then overnight at any Monterey hotel and continue up Highway 1 to SF going through Santa Cruz. Awesome coastal views and Good Surf.

          Be on your best behavior so you will remember the trip. You can get polluted at the wedding.

          1 Reply
          1. Jocko's in Nipomo is the authority on Santa Maria style BBQ. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it is definitely a local favorite.

            1. Looks like your planning on stopping in Santa Barbara? You asked for possible side trips/places of interest for foodies. You've got to do an olive oil tasting at il Fustino. The place is full of these huge stainless tanks filled with olive oils and vinegars. It looks old world and edgy all at the same time. The people that work there are really knowledgeable and fun. If you're not guided through the tasting experience by one of the owners you'll be helped by one of their trained Chefs. Il Fustino also imports unique products from all over the world, try the Dukkah from South Africa. Il Fustino is located at 3401 State Street - enjoy.