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jounipesonen Apr 19, 2012 11:50 PM

Good 'ordinary non-formal' non-chain restaurant - hopefully also seafood.

(Or nearby)


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  1. g
    goldangl95 Apr 20, 2012 09:44 AM

    This CHOW article has some good recs:

    Willow Wood was a great small place with comforting food the last time I went (but unfortunately that was two years ago).

    Zazu is a local favorite.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goldangl95
      IPAforBreakfast Apr 15, 2013 09:47 AM

      Just spent the weekend in West Sonoma county and while it wasn't our orignial intention, we basically followed the itinery in this article. Absolutely fantastic. Barley & Hops in Occidental was a perfect Friday night brew pub dinner....nothing crazy fancy but solid beer drinking food, good stuff on tap and friendly bar staff. The wineries (Merry Edwards, Lynmar, and Iron Horse) were relaxed and inviting. Dinner at Zazu was delicious....halibut cheeks over asparagus in a butter caper sauce, pork belly poutine that will surely raise my cholesterol for months, and peanut butter cookie ice cream sandwiches that you dip in hot fudge! Oh yes!! If you can, the cedar enzyme treatment at Osmosis is amazing.

    2. CarrieWas218 Apr 20, 2012 09:48 AM

      K&L Bistro has been my favorite in Sebastopol for years... Consistently good, great service, and exceptional food.

      2 Replies
      1. re: CarrieWas218
        wolfe Apr 20, 2012 10:14 AM

        It's a Hole in the Wall.

        1. re: wolfe
          Andrew H Apr 21, 2012 01:11 PM

          I definitely agree. The Hole is the place to eat. Fantastic place.

          But as far as seafood goes? I don't really know of many Sebastopol places that focus on seafood. If you are driving 116 to or from Seb., I recommend both Lynn's Thai and Mai Vietnamese in the little Apple Valley shopping center in Cotati. Both have great menus and are very good value.



      2. t
        tre2012 May 5, 2012 03:36 PM

        Willow Wood (in Graton) is superb, but it's their soft polenta with pork ragu that wins the most raves.

        Just west of Sebastopol's downtown is French Garden. Gorgeous, big converted house, not cheap, but their crabcakes made with a housemade Meyer lemon relish were the BEST crabcakes I and my spouse (with 45 yrs of countless gourmet delights, and we have the tummies to prove it, LOL) have ever had. Excellent service, lovely bar area too.

        We liked K&L Bistro, but French Garden had them beat. FG was second only to Bistro 29/Santa Rosa on our last Sonoma trip March 2012.

        1. k
          Kathleen M May 8, 2012 10:47 AM

          I don't know if Japanese qualifies as ordinary, but Hana Sushi is definitely not formal, and it's my favorite sushi place in the area (although recently a friend told me that Sushi Tozai, also in Sebastopol, is even better). They have special prices on Saturday, but it's not expensive even without the specials. I'm sure there could be endless controversy about which is the best sushi place, but Hana is my favorite because the fish is VERY fresh (they are busy and have rapid turnover) and the hotate gai and unagi are my favorites that I've had. Would raw seafood do? Also, don't miss Screamin' Mimi's ice cream, it's wonderful, especially if they have lavendar ice cream.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Kathleen M
            jounipesonen Jul 11, 2012 05:45 AM

            Had my week visit to Sebastopol - but actually the time primarily went with home cooking.

            Had one large pizza at Mombo's - decent - but ridiculously expensive ($25) - and was later outdone by far by the pizza stand at the Farmer's Market!

            They certainly know how to take a good price for raw materials - Whole Foods seems to have no shame no matter where they are located. I also noticed an awful lot of hype re Organic (IMO) - and prices for it to match.

            1. re: jounipesonen
              Andrew H Jul 11, 2012 09:51 AM

              The WF in Sebastopol is notorious. I'm a WF fan and I won't set foot in there. Mombos is good but it's still just a pizza.

              1. re: Andrew H
                Kathleen M Jul 11, 2012 10:45 AM

                A while back I stopped into the WF in Thousand Oaks, where my parents live. I was looking for cardamom seeds out of the pod, which the Sebastopol WF always carries in the bulk section. I asked about them in the TO store, they didn't have them, and they asked where I had been getting them. When I told them I usually shop in the Sebastopol store, they acted like it was the Taj Mahal. "Oh! the Sebastopol store! It's famous as being one of the very best ones!" I rarely shop there because there are so many better alternatives, though, except for the cardamom seeds. For home cooking in Sebastopol, Andy's Produce is GREAT shopping.

                1. re: Kathleen M
                  Melanie Wong Jul 15, 2012 04:26 PM

                  Andy's Produce and Fiesta market (aka Pacific market) are places to shop instead of WF in Sebastopol.

          2. j
            jounipesonen Jul 11, 2012 10:18 AM

            Took a drive over to Pt Reyes - it was on a Sunday - and the places saying they had oysters had mobs around them (for whatever reason) so was impossible to stop.

            Just curious what does it cost for the most informal eat-out oyster around there? Did later visit Pike Place Seattle and got a paper cup-type serving for street eating of 3 HUGE, tasty, tender oysters for $5. That i thought was a good deal (but not close to Havana where you get 6 for 20 cents :-) )

            2 Replies
            1. re: jounipesonen
              Cynsa Jul 15, 2012 05:15 PM

              did you stop at Hog Island? five of us did the Shuck Your Own Oysters -

              1. re: Cynsa
                jounipesonen Jul 17, 2012 01:40 AM

                no - am back in Europe now - but will tip off my Seb friends - tks

            2. d
              demitasse04 Jul 11, 2012 03:02 PM

              Underwood in Graton is lots of fun. K&L is expensive for quality/quantity

              1 Reply
              1. re: demitasse04
                Sarah Jul 11, 2012 05:17 PM

                Underwood is fun! Thought K&L was priced right for q/q, and very solid...

              2. boomer13 Nov 2, 2012 12:26 AM

                El Rinconcito Yucateco
                3935 Sebastopol Road (at N. Wright Road)
                Santa Rosa
                Tel. (707) 526-2720

                This place is easy to get to from Sebastopol. Great Yucatecan slow roasted pork.

                Also, Sazon in Santa Rosa is delish Peruvian food. Peruvian food is very hot now. I fell in love with the food after a trip to Peru.
                1129 Sebastopol Road (near Dutton Avenue)
                Santa Rosa
                Tel. (707) 523-4346

                Both subsequently have been listed in the Chronicle's bargain bites best of listing. Sazon is a little fancier (nice place for dinner). The other is great for a lunch outdoors.

                5 Replies
                1. re: boomer13
                  Malcolm Ruthven Nov 2, 2012 07:01 PM

                  El Rinconcito Yucateco is great. Down-home small Yucatecan cafe. However, my notes say it closed earlier this year. Did I get that wrong and it's still open?

                  1. re: Malcolm Ruthven
                    Melanie Wong Nov 2, 2012 08:48 PM

                    Andrew H gave us the sad news in August that it had closed.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      Malcolm Ruthven Nov 2, 2012 09:41 PM

                      There are Yelp reviews on El Rinconcito Yucateco after the date of Andrew H's posting. Of course, they could have referred to earlier visits. I couldn't find any mention of its closing anywhere on Google. I called their phone number this evening and got some restaurant judging from the way the phone was answered and the noise in the background, but I couldn't understand the person who answered. Are we sure it's closed?

                      1. re: Malcolm Ruthven
                        Melanie Wong Nov 3, 2012 10:24 PM

                        As I posted to the other thread, El Rinconcito Yucateco was closed briefly a couple months ago. But it is open and at lunch time on a Saturday, even looked busy. There's a tamale and taco cart parked in front for quick streetside service.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          Malcolm Ruthven Nov 3, 2012 10:43 PM

                          Great news!

                2. p
                  postali Dec 20, 2012 09:40 PM

                  for breakfast and lunch the Gypsy Cafe is great!. for Seafood you can always try GTO Seafood, also, you're close to Bodega and valley ford which have great seafood. Rocker oysterfeller in Valley ford

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: postali
                    jaiko Dec 21, 2012 03:06 PM

                    Wow, that's interesting that you like Gypsy for breakfast. We had a fairly mediocre meal from them in April. Spouse picked breakfast and I chose a lunch entree, and at best the food was adequate, with somewhat sloppy execution. The oj was fresh-squeezed but the coffee was barely adequate.

                    The hash browns were the mediocre frozen shredded kind. The English muffins were Thomas', which is good, but they were barely toasted, which wasn't. The chicken-fried steak and eggs were done nicely, but the gravy had way too much dried thyme in it for my taste (spouse was okay with it, though).

                    The Chipotle Chicken Wings were a small portion that took forever to receive, glopped up with an average BBQ sauce. The clam chowder was way inferior to Spud Pt/Bodega or Sea Salt/Berkeley.

                    What are the foods you like at Gypsy? Maybe we tried the wrong things.

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