My Trip to Central Coast, California!

I recently took a trip to the Central Coast of California.  It was an amazing adventure filled with delicious food and wine.  Below is my itinerary for the trip, along with some recommendations for the best places to eat and what to order!  Enjoy!

Day 1:

  • Arrive at LAX: After renting a car I headed north to Santa Barbara where I checked into the Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara Ocean Front Resort
  • Had lunch at an incredible fresh, Mexican restaurant, Romanti Ezer.  Definitely try the chips and guacamole!
  • After lunch, we took an incredible scenic bike ride around town (many rental locations are available)
  • Dinner at The Hungry Cat.  This place had the most amazing seafood/raw bar and not to mention great cocktails.  You have to try the sea urchin, locally raised abalone, and one of their many unique cocktails.

Day 2:

  • Lunch, poolside, at the Bacara Resort.  This place had an amazing view overlooking the Pacific and also a very creative menu.
  • Next on the agenda for today, kayaking in the Pacific at sunset with the Santa Barbara Adventure Company.  This is a must do when you visit Santa Barbara!  I saw sea lions, dolphins, and not to mention an amazing sunset; it was terrific!
  • Late dinner at Blue Agave.  They had great tapas and an astonishing tequila selection.

Day 3:

  • Arrive in Paso Robles just in time for lunch at Thomas Hill Organics.  I had the tasty roasted beet with a Humboldt cheese “salad”.  This establishment also had a vast wood oven pizza and wine selection.
  • Next was a private tour of Clayhouse Vineyards followed by a delightful tasting in their new tasting room on the square in Paso.
  • Checked into the Hotel Cheval, a boutique in the hear of downtown Paso.  The accommodations were superb and included a relaxing courtyard, fire pits, and a neighborhood pub.
  • Dinner was at Artisan.  I highly recommend the Cayucos Red Abalone “BLTA” – it is an absolute must have!  Don’t forget to save room for the Veal Strip loin, it’s delish!

Day 4:

  • Picked up a picnic basket at 15 Degrees C, a great little wine shop that has a very creative sandwich and charcuterie selection.
  • Dinner at Villa Creek.  All local and all organic, they also produce wines under the same name.  Make sure to try the charcuterie plate!
  • Booked a room for the night at the new SLS Hotel Beverly Hills before departing from LAX.  This place is very, very cool!

Day 5:

  • While you’re at the SLS, treat yourself to lunch at Spago; request a table on the patio and definitely order the lobster club on walnut bread!
  • Another great place to indulge is at Jose Andres’ new restaurant The Bazaar.  Remember to book early though because it is located in the SLS.  It is one of the most uniquely designed restaurants I have ever visited.  Request a seat at one of the “Food Bars” and enjoy an evening of Tapas with a new twist.  My favorites include the Japanese Taco, the organized Caesar, the California Cone, the Philly Cheesecake, and the classical Bunuelos.

A Few Great Wineries

  • Tablas Creek: really great folks at this beautiful estate.  They do an amazing job with Rhone varietals.  Definitely grab a couple bottles of Roussane Red Soles Vineyard.  It’s a fun find, and they produce a wonderful Petite Sirah.
  • Denner Vineyards: wait until you see this beautiful estate!  A great picnic spot.  Make sure to pick up a couple bottles of their Viognier and Mourvedre.

Check out pictures from my trip by clicking here!