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Oct 2, 2011 10:57 AM

REVIEW w/ pics: Road Trip from LA to SF with Food Stops Along the Way

A couple of months ago, a friend and I took a road trip from LA to SF to meet up with some friends and of course, we decided to make some food stops along the way. Our first official road trip stop was at D'Angelo Pastry and Bread Shop in Santa Barbara.

This is actually my second visit with to D'Angelo and just like before, we went there for a specific dish. Awhile back, my friend saw a dish called "Eggs" Rose featured on a Food Network Show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and knew she had to try it.

An "Eggs" Rose is made up of two poached eggs on Kalamata olive toast with Mediterranean artichoke spread. With my first bite, I knew that the "Eggs" Rose was definitely one of the best things I ever ate and the same was true for the second time around. The richness of the yolk cuts into the slight saltiness from the olive bread while the warm artichoke spread was like a warm hug on bread.

For good measure, we also shared a Cafe Mocha and an Almond Croissant sprinkled with Powdered Sugar. The croissant, by the way, was nice and flaky and I loved how they didn't skimp on the almonds.

An hour and half later, we went from breakfast to dessert as we made our second stop at Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab in Arroyo Grande. It's an ice cream shop where all the ice cream is made in-house for both humans AND even canines. They refer to themselves as the only nostalgic ice cream parlor in the Central Coast and I like that they present their ice cream in old-fashioned glassware plus an extra bonus is that they make all their own waffle cones.

Around the perimeter of the two rooms in the ice cream parlor, there's also a model train that makes it way through tunnels and bridges. While we were there we also got a mini tour to check out their ice cream making machine and refrigerator. Finally, we sat down to enjoy a Mud Pie on a Stick and a Merlot Raspberry Trufflce Ice Cream Sundae with Caramel. Note to self, wine ice cream and caramel aren't a good match, but separately, they put a smile on my face.

So what should come after ice cream? Well, our vote was for clam chowder and not just any clam chowder, but the best I've ever had. Off we went to Pismo Beach to the Splash Cafe. This was actually my second time experiencing Splash Cafe's clam chowder. Since that first time which was a few years ago, I hadn't found a clam chowder even close to being as good. That day, it was even better since it was topped with fresh crab. I just loved the creaminess and richness of this soup. It was also chock full of clams and potatoes and the crusty bread bowl was the cherry on the sundae.

By the way, during our stop at Pismo Beach, there was actually a strange round light emanating from the sky. It felt very "War of the Worlds". You can see what I mean if you click my blog post below.

From clam chowder and strange lights, we walked next door to Hot Lix for a type of food that many may consider a "Bizarre Foods" show topic. At Hot Lix, it's all about the bugs. How about a snack of scorpions, grubs and grasshoppers? Maybe, you're more into chocolate covered bugs? What about bug lollipops? I personally went for the chocolate covered grasshoppers and while not my normal choice for a sweet treat, it wasn't too bad.

Believe it or not, we actually made one more stop before arriving in San Francisco and it was in King City at Tacos La Potranca de Jalisco. There my friend and I shared an Al Pastor Sope. I found it a tad greasy, but the meat had a good flavor and it was a nice way to end our road trip.

Overall, this was a great way to start our trip and there's definitely more foodie adventures I'll be sharing with you, so stay tuned

D'Angelo's Bakery
5 W Gutierrez St
Santa Barbara, CA 93190
(805) 962-5466

Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab
114 W Branch St
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
(805) 474-4068

Splash Cafe
197 Pomeroy Ave
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
(805) 773-4653

Hot Lix
179 Pomeroy St
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
(805) 773-1942

Tacos La Potranca de Jalisco
201 Broadway St
King City, CA 93930
(831) 385-7500

To see blog post complete with photos, go to:

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  1. Great report, this is a keeper and I know others will love using it for road trip reference - sounds like you had a lot of fun and put a lot of unique dining choices on the Central Coast map. Much better than driving Highway Five up north, eh where the best you can do is a bag of Doritos in Kettleman City. (!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: glbtrtr

      Thanks. It was definitely a fun trip. :)

    2. Nice job. Linking you up:

      Splash Cafe
      197 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

      Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab
      114 W Branch St, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

      D'Angelo Bread
      25 W Gutierrez St, Santa Barbara, CA

      Tacos La Potranca De Jalisco
      201 Broadway St, King City, CA 93930

      Hot Lix
      179 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

      1. How many days was this, and the ice cream place seems way out of the way, in Nevada?

        2 Replies
        1. re: paprkutr

          No Dr Burnstein is not in Nevada on this trip, it is right off Highway 101 in Arroyo Grande, and they also sell it on the main street in Pismo Beach where Splash and HotLix are also located.

          Though I might add a stop at McConnells Ice Cream a few blocks off the Mission St offramp at West Mission and DelaVina in Santa Barbara is a very worthy detour as well - though it would be too soon after d'Angelo's Rose Eggs for this timing combo to work.

          And can't help myself, when in Pismo on this same block the Philty Phil ribs at Mo's BBQ are worth a drive in their own right or if the line at Splash is too long. Following up with coffee flavored salt water taffy at HotLix is our idea of a local road trip we are always happy to make.

          1. re: paprkutr

            This was actually a one day trip. We left around 9 from Marina del Rey and got into SF around 5:30-6.

          2. if you're on that route again in the future, and feel like a 30 min diversion for a very good coffee/espresso drink with a great ocean view, head to Avila Beach, Joe Momma's Coffee on Front St. [Intelligentsia and Ritual Roasters]. competent barristas, and a Clover single cup maker for 'regular' brew.

            Joe Momma's Coffee
            310 Front St, Grover Beach, CA 93433

            1 Reply
            1. There's a great pizza place called giant manhattan pizza in pismo beach. Excellent, closest to NY style you can get in central coast. There's also Jocko's for excellent steak. that's in Nipomo, about 15 minutes before you get up to Pismo Beach.

              1 Reply
              1. re: david t.

                I've actually been to Jocko's on a previous trip and loved the food there. :)