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Feb 1, 2013 02:33 AM

Your Santa Maria Favorites?

My partner and I will soon be relocating to the southern end of Santa Maria from Atascadero. We're not at all familiar with the local food scene in SM, so we're looking for some guidance.

What are your favorite places in SM or the immediate area for:

Japanese? Not just good sushi, but good entrees as well.


Italian? Both your basic Americanized red- sauce places as well as more authentic cuisine (we love Buona Tavola in Paso Robles).

Pizza? Hard to find out here, but prefer something more like NY style pizzas. The best we've found on the coast is Guiseppe's E press in SLO.

BBQ? Especially really good brisket, pulled pork and babyback ribs. I love good tri-tip, my partner not so much.

Burgers? I've heard good things about Deckers. Any input?

Best of the rest? Anything I haven't listed that's a must? Anyplace that's comparable to Artisan or Bistro Laurent in Paso Robles?

Looking forward to hearing what's good!

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  1. Are you looking for everyday places to eat or once in while? I had dinner at Shaw's back in November and enjoyed a great Tri-tip and shrimp combo. Just about every weekend there numerous tri-tip cooking places on just about every corner on hiway 135.

    1. If you are looking for really good tri-tip, pulled pork and ribs, try Rancho Nipomo on Hwy101 where it meets Hwy 166.
      They also have really good Mexican food.
      I have had really good food at Tahlia's Cucino in Nipomo on Thompson but have recently heard the food and service is inconsistent. I am going there this week to celebrate my birthday and will update afterwards.
      Some people here in town like Pi Hole Pizza on Tefft Street in the Adobe Plaza.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Carol in California

        Once again tried Tahlia's Cucino and for the fourth time is six months, it was closed despite the hours posted indicated it should be open.
        I am done.
        We went up the street, across from Jocko's to Rosy's and had a nice dinner. I got scallops with angel hair pasta, fresh spinach and mushrooms and DH got meat loaf. Tasty and the service was great as was the price.

      2. For sushi, Atari-Ya Japanese Restaurant. It's in an old shopping center and isn't "fancy" inside but the sushi is fantastic-- it made me a fan. The sushi rolls are huge and they are not cheap, but ask for half a roll.

        This is important: It is Japanese owned and run.

        Yanagi is the "trendy" sushi place (bright, noisy, nicely decorated, popular with the young crowd) but the food can't touch Atari-Ya. It's Korean sushi. Yes, it's less expensive but the sushi rolls are tiny and covered in sesame oil with a fraction of the fish (and flavor!) you get at Atari-ya.

        I'd rather have good food than good ambiance any day.

        1. For Mexican sit down we really like La Mejor de Jalisco at the SE corner of Main and Blosser.