Mediterranean Kitchen in Arroyo Grande
A couple of good friends that live in AG report that they really enjoyed the paella and other items they had just recently at this new place in town. Adding a link to a review in last week's issue of New Times.
816 E. Grand Ave. @ Halcyon Rd.
Tapas, paella, pasta, and more
We enjoyed the paella and a couple tapas. Choose to arrive early or they run out of the free tapas. Happy hour includes them. Nice wine selection and growing. Will go back for just the tapas for lunch.
I stopped in today to peruse the menu and have a look-- the kitchen was busy working on to-go orders and with two tables of customers.
There is a chalkboard listing the day's tapas offerings, another listing the soups of the day for the week, and the menu itself lists several items in each category of salads, sandwiches, paellas and pastas.
I chose the bean and tomato soup and salad in a combo to go; the server indicated I could have any of the salads in the case, so I chose a cold marinated veggie salad(eggplant, red bells, onions, yellow quash, mushrooms), about a pint. The large soup was topped with two cheese-dusted baguette slices, total $7.00. There was also asparagus, a potato (?) salad, mixed baby greens.
What struck me right away on tasting the soup and vegetables was the light hand on the seasonings. Well-roasted fresh vegetables marinated in a simple vinaigrette--there was no overpowering herb flavors or extra salt or black pepper to distract . Heaven for this eggplant lover. The same went for the soup--nice plump white beans in a thick clear broth with chunks of fresh tomato almost added as a garnish at the end, no stewed texture, so the tomato flavor came through as a nice accent to the smooth texture and meaty flavor of the beans.
My thought is if the Kitchen can do this with soup and plain vegetables, I can't wait to taste their more involved dishes. This was a sooothing and happy meal on a blustery day, most welcome! I'm hoping they can include some standard dining table height seating for us short-legged people (for whom the tall bar stools can be torture) in the future.
The proximity to Highway 101 make it a good choice for freeway travelers and it's centrally located for locals. Just be careful in the tight parking lot.