Cambria - Central Coast

After 4 visits we are getting close to narrowing down our favorites.

Seafood is definitely best at Sea Chest. You’ll have to line up for over an hour on a weekend but it’s fun and everyone is drinking bottles of wine in the line or walking around the boardwalk.

Clams casino !!!

Sea bass

Alaskan halibut

Clam pasta

Boston chowder

Sick Txakolina we brought

More on others later


Fun place. Devils on Horseback!

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Did you go to the car show?

No but it was slowing us down :). Were you up there ?

Robin’s is the best non seafood spot around. Went back for second day because how nice the first was. Stunning garden seating


Stolo is worth a visit. We’ve been members for a while now. Their grape grows just 3 miles from the coast so it’s got a very nice brightness and acidity. Whites are great and reserve Syrah is getting tons of accolades. Lovely setting as well


Thinking of heading out this way if weather permits in the next couple of weeks.

  • Sea Chest opens at 5:30PM. When should we get in line for a table for 2? Also, are they selling drinks to folks in line? Sounds like my kind of line.

  • Stolo looks lovely…do I need to make tasting reservations? Any other wineries you enjoy in the area? We might only have time for 1-3 while we’re up there.


Weekend: Queue up by 4:30pm, weekdays maybe 5pm. Many people (locals and regulars alike) bring their own liquid refreshments (and folding chairs) to makes the best of the wait. Environmental sitch: Expect full exposure to ocean winds (can get blustery), as this place is right off the beach.

About town in Cambria, we also liked Linn’s Restaurant (ollalieberry mecca) and The Sow’s Ear very much.


On the weekend the line will start forming by 4 i think. Up to you really but for a 2 top you’re probably fine at 4:30. also second seating is of course easier but you miss sunset. you bring your own to the line… bottles

stolo is now necessary to reserve, they became so annoying with that that we canceled our membership. there aren’t any other good wineries around to my liking unless you’re ready to drive 30 minutes to templeton/paso. it’s so coastal that people dont dare… might want to check if the fancy Daou location is operating there yet, i doubt it.

do make time to hang out in Harmony. The short drive to Rugged point is always worth it for us.

edit: oops, J2theL covered it

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Also we enjoy SY Kitchen even more than Bell’s but we don’t chance fine dining. Demetria is one winery we almost never miss. Both En route.

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Can’t get a table at Bell’s inside. Outside is available late on Sunday evenings, but we need to be back by then.

Thanks for the tips, @Nemroz and @J_L !

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A quick weekend adventure took us out to new (to us) pastures.

The drive to Los Alamos was a trek on Chumash Highway after hopping off at State Street in SB. I highly recommend leaving early as there are less cars traversing Padres National Forest. The scenic views of Lake Chumash made me wish I had been the passenger.

We arrived at Demetria well ahead of our reservation. If you get there before 10:45AM, no one is at the winery to answer the phone. Also, if you are on Foxen Canyon Road and you think it might be taking you to a remote winery in the middle of nowhere, you’re going the right way.

Thanks to @Nemroz and the journey, we were rewarded with a leisurely mid-morning tasting with a spectacular view of the vineyard. The team was happy to offer us a red-centric tasting, so we skipped most of their white offerings. We weren’t wild about their Wabi Sabi Pinot and their GSM had a nice hit of smoke. They were nice enough to throw in their 2019 Malti because we opted for reds. I was a little sad the Syrah they are known for wasn’t available for tasting.
But we left with a 2020 Syrah, 2019 Tempernillo, and a 2013 North Slope Syrah. We are particularly excited about the 2013.

After a leisurely tasting, we ended up at Bob’s Well Bread in Los Alamos to soak up wine tasting on an empty stomach. The bread here is delicious!

I opted for the egg in a jar where purple mashed potatoes are topped with healthy lardon chunks, crème fraiche, a poached egg and chives. You get some lovely house levain toast soldiers to dip and top with the mix. It was pretty tasty. We also got the house avocado toast that I didn’t try because…well, I can make avocado toast at home. Their cracked black pepper biscuits are delicious and I took some English muffins home for later this week.

Did a stroll through town before making our way to Cambria.

Not all accommodations on Moonstoon Beach are created equal but the views from Moonstone Beach Drive are spectacular.

A sunset walk on the beach led us to Moonstone Bar & Grill where the cocktails are stiff and their claims that their ApplePay works are sketch. We had cards and cash on us, so crisis averted. I was a fan of their house margarita and Moscow mule. If you’re in the area and in need of cocktails, do come here.

A quick jaunt down the street and we caught second seating at Sea Chest. A short wait at the fire pit and we were seated. I think we might be in the minority about this establishment. My Delaware oysters were tasty, but they weren’t shucked properly. They hadn’t been loosened from the shell and were still stuck via muscle. The clam chowder had plenty of clam, but lacked a seafood-y, shellfish-y punch that I usually expect. The soy ginger shrimp were large and cooked well, but the shrimp themselves lacked seasoning and soy ginger flavor. The sea bass plate was hammered as was all the seafood in the chioppino (but I will say the broth was damned delicious and served boiling hot in the enameled cast iron pot). The highlights of the meal were the insanely good garlic bread and dessert. A very fine lemon tart and a solid chocolate lava cake.

We putzed around town the next day and found Moose Cookie Company treats to bring home. Tiny shop, but plenty of cookies and brownies…and they have samples. There’s an interesting Root Beer Float cookie that is more root beer than float, and I’d actually be more okay if it was just root beer and skipped the float entirely.

Brunch at Robin’s was delightful and the best meal of the trip. The yogurt accompanying the beets is so good! My only complaint about my shakshuka was that the eggs were poached and placed on top of the sauce rather than cooked in the sauce. Loved the spiced sausage in it, too!

Someone made me have an al pastor “mini” taco at Boni’s down the street. It’s a truck tucked in on Main Street. Their “mini” tacos are served on regular-sized doubled up flour tortillas that you can get from the grocery store. They are loaded with your choice of protein and a sprinkle of onions and cilantro and then garnished with a lime wedge and a container of salsa for $2.50 each. It’s serviceable but doesn’t hold a candle to my local taco place where the tortillas are made fresh for my order.

We made our way home and stopped in Harmony. The ice cream is quite good, but we found that the cows and cream used in Harmony come from Chino.

It was a good weekend of casual adventure. We’ll have to make our way up, again, soon.

Thanks, again, @Nemroz and @J_L for the tips. The line at Sea Chest is no joke and people really bring their own chairs. There was already a line of about 10 people forming at 4:15PM.


It’s absolutely a difficult area to find food that’s FTC worthy. Those sadly are likely the best options lol. Glad you got to see Demetria, that drive-up from the gate is so special. Next time find the scenic stops for chumash, it’s a lovely lake now that there’s water! And I should have mentioned Cold Spring Tavern just before it.