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Mar 9, 2011 11:30 PM

(Not sure where to post this...) Any recommendations for Cambria/San Simeon?

I'm not sure if this should be on the L.A. board as I feel like San Simeon is equidistant? Also, truthfully, I am more familiar with SF Chowhounders' opinions because I am on this board so much.... but if the mods need to move this, so be it.

BF's family doing a 50th anniversary weekend in San Simeon in June. There's 14 of us, including children. We have tentative reservations at a group rate at Manta Ray, a seafood place attached to Quality Inn Lodge (whose big draw for me and the BF is the Elvis impersonator/Karaoke kitsch-factor entertainment, not to mention proximity to viewing elephant seals.) Anyway, have done searches elsewhere and find very, very mixed reviews about that place, but i find very mixed reviews about EVERY place in the San Simeon/Cambria area. Plus Manta Ray is not cheap. My take is we don't want to pay top dollar for mediocre food, even if that means a not as "fancy" place for dinner. but, the lower end places don't seem to get any more love either. There's a Mexican place nearby which gets as varied reviews as Manta Ray does, but it's presumably cheaper. I understand a food Mecca this is not. And truthfully, I don't think most people in my BF's family will care too much about the food - they're mostly not super adventurous - but no one wants really bad food at high prices. Mediocre-to-decent food in a decent setting at lower prices is probably all we can expect.

Anyone, anything? Thanks!

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    1. Lucky for you the mods moved this to the correct board where you'll get more attention from people that frequent the area, are locals, and have the most current information. Roll the dice on San Simeon if you like, but general consensus here is make the short drive down to Cambria.

      The Sow's Ear, east village, for best "fine" dining, kind of old school approach

      Wild Ginger - small, pan-asian, Deborah Moh puts out some interesting dishes

      Black Cat Bistro - very nice place with a pretty good wine list

      Sea Chest - best seafood, no reservations, maybe cash or check only, iirc, on Moonstone Drive

      you can always put your name in at the Sea Chest and go up the street to the Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill for drinks and the spicy shrimp & scallop appetizer on the patio with a great ocean view while you wait, weather cooperating of course.

      Main Street Grill in west village for BBQ

      Depending on your safe travel situation, you couldn't go wrong by continuing another 15 min south to Cayucos

      Hoppe's Bistro and Wine Bar - great food, best wine list

      Cass House - haven't been yet, but reviews have been quite good

      Wild Ginger
      2380 Main St Ste G, Cambria, CA 93428

      Hoppe's Garden Bistro & Wine Bar
      78 N Ocean Ave, Cayucos, CA 93430

      Black Cat Bistro
      1602 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

      Cass House
      222 N Ocean Ave, Cayucos, CA

      Main Street Grill
      603 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

      Sow's Ear
      2248 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

      3 Replies
      1. re: PolarBear

        Wow. THANKS, Polar Bear!!! and thanks, Mods! I'll take a look at all these a little later today. Much obliged!

        1. re: mariacarmen

          Robin's in Cambria is a favorite of ours. We have also had some good meals at Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill, you will have oceanviews from the outdoor patio here. :)

          1. re: syrahgirl

            Thanks syrahgirl! those will definitely be up for consideration.

            PolarBear, I forwarded your recs to my "sister-in-law". I'm actually intrigued with the "early diners" menu at Sow's Ear - sounds like a sort of senior citizen deal, but, after all, my BF's parents ARE seniors, and there were good options at very reasonable prices. Also loved the Hoppes Garden Bistro menu but i'm afraid that's going to be too far to drive.

            Sow's Ear
            2248 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

      2. WIth your party size of 14 you'll want a restaurant that takes reservations and has a dining area that is large enough to accommodate a large table for you, especially on a June weekend.

        Your best bets in Cambria that have a nice celebratory feel would be Black Cat Bistro, Indigo Moon, and Sow's Ear. Robin's is in a cozy building, but they probably would be able to set up a large table with enough advanced notice.