Morro Bay/Los Osos

Not a lot of info on Central Coast stuff, so I thought I might contribute.

Partner and I spent a night in Morro Bay. Airbnb host recommended Libertine (brew pub). Very casual, no mixed drinks, and there was live music on Fri. Bartender was very capable. Food was… okay. The to-chos were a take on nachos, but with tater tots as the starch (instead of chips). It’s hard to go wrong with tater tots, but the dish wasn’t quite decadent enough to be a guilty pleasure. BTW, the half portion was ENORMOUS. The fish and chips were just kind of sad. @spockspork commented that the fish deserved a better end. Indeed. The fish was nicely cooked, but the crust was both overcooked and a bit soggy, and even the fries were limp. Shrimp tacos (not pictured) were fine

Partner found Pagnol Bakery (Log into Facebook | Facebook), I have no idea how. The place literally seems to be a house located between to other houses in the middle of nowhere. We had the brioche, croissant, and olive and rosemary pain levain. This place is offbeat and quirky, and I mean that as a compliment. Croissant was too bready, but the thin/long squirt of chocolate was tasty and done “correctly.”. The brioche was supposed to have apricot and lemon (I think). I detected only vague fruity-ness. The brioche was also more like a corn muffin than a brioche. Having said that, I actually enjoyed it; I just don’t think that they should call in a brioche. Pain levain had a lot of olives and was tasty and a bit addictive. Would go far out of my way for this, but it’s def worth a visit if you’re nearby. Only the pain levain is pictured.

Hit Ruddell’s on the way to Monterey. The seafood is still a smokey delight, but it didn’t send me the same way it did when I first had it 2 yrs ago. The slaw was a bit overwhelming (to the point where it masked a bit of the flavor from protein), and I think the marlin taco from Coni’ Seafood has ruined me a bit (with its deep smokiness). Still enjoyable, though.

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We did a quick trip to Morro Bay this last February. A lot was forgettable but I did enjoy Tognazzini’s Dockside Too.

Nothing special, we just got clam strips, a fried fish sandwich and clam chowder. That being said, the fish was really fresh and well fried, good produce on the sandwich, fries were real crisp and clam chowder was on the right side of thick/gloopy.

On the way back to LA we hit up Old San Luis Obispo BBQ Co for Santa Maria style tri-tip (sorry, no pictures). The ordering/pick-up was a bit of a cluster but man, that was a good sandwich. I was worried the beef would be dry and oversmoked but it was incredibly tender and just the right amount of flavor from the fire. Also, not sure what pinquito beans are typically like as a traditional Santa Maria BBQ side but the ones served here were particularly meaty with a good gravy.

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Dockside 2 is where we always eat in Morro Bay. We were just there for Labor Day on the way back from Cambria.

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Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up with it but I realized I really like a basic fish sandwich and chowda. The dockside view of otters is a nice bonus, too.

If you have any other recommendations in that area I’d certainly welcome it!

Great croissants and baked goods at La Parisienne in Morro Bay.
More in link:

Blue Heron in Los Osos is very good, local farm produce etc. Good burger, fresh scallops in brown butter and a delicious pear tarte tatin. Simple menu but every item we tasted well prepared and nicely plated. Peaceful location by the bay.

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Was up there a couple weeks ago and picked up a few dozen fantastic locally farmed oysters at Grassy Bar Oyster Co. Price was better than the nearby competition and you could buy a half dozen shucked to sample first. Had some fried clams and picked up some delicious angel shark at Tognazzini’s Dockside while we were in town but glad we brought our own shucking gear and could enjoy dinner with a view.



Looks heavenly. :slight_smile:

Here now. Too lazy to post pics, although I did take some.


  • Blue Heron no longer has a public website and, back in late 2020, was doing to-go only on Fri–Mon. You e-mail for a menu. Didn’t try it to see if they’re still serving b/c (1.) there’s a possible downhill alert on Yelp (that might be more politically motivated than anything else); (2.) Had plans for Sat and then Sun (yesterday) there was a massive power outage that still hasn’t been fully resolved. And why not tonight? Partner brought steak from TJ’s back home and feels like cooking. :slight_smile:

  • As far as I can tell, Brickhouse BBQ is permanently closed (per Yelp).

  • Dorn’s has pretty good pancakes. Nicely light and fluffy and only short of perfection b/c they are a touch dry. The fish and chips are most curious; the batter is very thin and has a mini-pebbly texture (so it’s not like King’s head), and the fillets were quite small and seemed to include portions close to the tail. Having said that, it was still pretty tasty. Cole slaw was halfway to a braised red cabbage and was quite good, actually.

On an non-food related note, some of their staff are wearing masks… that are pulled below their nose and their mouth. That was… odd.

  • Tried La Parisienne (thank, @Starchtrade). They had run out of plain croissants (of course) by the late morning/early afternoon. Pan et chocoloate was very good (light, airy) but a bit sweet. The cookies (almond chocolate chip, chocolate chip, butter w/ no sanding sugar) are… curious. The pastries (and decor), IMHO, have a distinctly 1980s vibe. The CCC, in style, is a lot like one you’d find next a cashier at any numerous fast casual places but done to a high standard. Relatively flat, somewhat cakey, but w/ a chewy interior (fully baked through) and a bit of crispiness around the edges. You will not find any dark chocolate or fleur de sel here. Almond CCC had something that tasted like marzipan. The butter cookie had good flavor but was pretty hard; I had been hoping for something short and crumbly.

  • If there’s a power outage, Pizza Port has a generator and seemed to literally be the only place in town serving food last night. We had the “pesto special,” which had artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and tomatoes. There was actually pesto buried down there, but it was pretty faint. Not going to criticize too much under the circumstances, though.

  • Bill and Carol’s Sea Shanty in somewhat nearby Cayucos is a perfectly decent greasy spoon. Be prepared for a wait b/c they seemed very understaffed. Patio gets a A+ for deflecting today’s rain, even if you were sitting a foot or so beyond the roof.

  • Also in Cayucos… Only too late did we notice a Luna Coffee Bar. We didn’t get food from there, but partner is picky about his coffee and enjoyed the coffee he had there.

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Glad to hear you stopped by La Parisienne. It’s a cute little family operation. We have been back a couple of times since that post. I think we have tried almost all of their offerings. Only the items made with croissant dough have been very good, though. Oh yeah, the macaroons were good too!

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The huge power outage was not fully corrected by the following evening, and Grape Leaf was one of the few places open. They themselves apparently hadn’t expected to come in that day but ended up being busy from morning to night. The best part of the meal (aside from interacting w/ the amiably cranky owner’s wife) was the manakish. Baklava could’ve been crisped a bit more, but I appreciated that it wasn’t dripping w/ honey.

No pics, but partner really likes the coffee at Top Dog, and they have a pleasant patio out back.

Even the patio seating at Dockside Too looked uncomfortably crowded, so we ate the nearby Lil Hut for lunch. After ordering the fried clams, I can see why clam bellies are a thing:

I think there was as much batter as clam flesh. The fish for my fish n chips was quite good, and the fries were tasty.

Port House for dinner our last night there. No outdoor seating. The place was not crowded, but they didn’t check vacc status for dinner. Parties were seated every other booth, but, once we arrived, we had to be seated right next to a very loud group. I could easily imagine omicron particles being spewed everywhere, so I kept my mask on except when eating. Fingers crossed I didn’t catch anything.

The food was… fine. The burrata had little discernible flavor (fresh dairy or otherwise). The server steered me away from the lobster pasta and said her suggestion was actually the ahi bowl. It was actually quite tasty, if a bit “Disney-ified” (esp the overly perky crust… and is ahi normally that intensely red?). The salad portion (quinoa aside) of the ahi bowl had the same dressing as the salad accompanying the burrata. Lobster in partner’s lobster roll was well cooked (not overdone at all), but the sauces and the roll had no business being in a lobster roll. Partner said, “This would’ve been better called a lobster sandwich.”

Tried Old Slo BBQ b/c of @WireMonkey’s rec. I did take photos, but the food doesn’t photograph well. Agree that it looks dry but is super tasty. We had the tri-tip, pulled pork, linguica sandwiches and the corn pie. Tri tip and linguica were my favs, but I would happily order all of them again. The BBQ sauce is tangy and dynamite; the cilantro lime crema didn’t have much cilantro or lime flavor (so that’s a skip, IMHO). The sandwiches, IMHO, didn’t need any of the sauces, and I think this place is well worth a detour, if you’re in the area. Ordered through their website (which uses ChowNow) and had no issues.

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Did my occasionally-annual morro bay oyster party and thought I’d share a couple notes from the trip. Hit the Ballard Bob’s Well Bread - nice that it’s there but for $12 the pain levain should be a lot better. Did a nice tasting at Presquile a mile or so east of Orcutt. Friendly staff, beautiful spot, tasty wines. Worth the detour.

As noted by paranoidgarliclover above there’s a major downhill alert on the fried clams at Tognazinni’s. Got some with no clam at all and others with a hair-thin strip of clam in them. Very sad, but my friend had angel shark fish and chips which were perfectly done so I’ll just make that my go-to order. All about the view there anyways.

Went in to Grassy Bar Oyster Co. and noticed the prices were a bit higher than last time. Apparently the big rains this year put a lot of sediment in the bay and they lost 70% of the crop. The few dozen we got were still very tasty. Don’t see the point of their jalapeno/citrus mignonette though. Doesn’t compliment the oysters at all. Worked out alright though, we came to the party stacked with sauces and lemons.

Slightly out of the topic area but on the way home we stopped to catch a game a Roundin’ Third in Goleta. Excellent sports bar and next door to a nice diner called Home Plate where we ordered more than serviceable burgers and burritos right at the bar.

Was kinda hoping the game would be a blowout so we could leave early and try the new Santa Barbara Fish Market resto in Goleta. Anyone eat there yet? The menu manages to be both simple and innovative and I’m gonna have to find a way to eat there next time I’m up the coast.