First off, I want to thank all the regulars on this board for so many varied and informative posts! I am planning a trip up the coast in Oct and spent hours searching and reading this board. Very helpful for an east coaster (NYC).
I have finally settled on our "meals itinerary," which I'll list below. What I'd love to get feedback on, would be any "don't miss this dish" or "most known for" items. In general or specific; for the restaurant or the area. For example, I've heard that calamari is a must have in the Monterey area, sourdough is great in Santa Cruz--that sort of thing. Obviously, we'll wind up ordering what sounds best to us at the time, but we love being armed with recommendations.
We start in LA, Little Next Door for lunch and Chaya for dinner.
Through Santa Barbara for lunch. Most likely Brophy Bros or SB Shellfish. (I actually considered changing our whole schedule so that we could have dinner here at Jade--it sounds like the kind of place we would love. Several of our runner up options weren't open for Monday lunch. If there's something I've missed, please let me know!)
Dinner in SLO at Koberl on Blue. (Most likely grab breakfast the next morn at Big Sky Cafe)
Lunch: Nepenthe in Big Sur.
Dinner: Pacific Edge in Carmel.
Lunch: Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove
Dinner: Soif in Santa Cruz
Then in SF, we're having dinners at Coi and the Dining Room at the Ritz and plan on hitting Zuni for lunch.
It's going to be a whirlwind trip and while it may seem like we're basically driving from meal to meal, that won't prevent us from stopping along the way if we pass a stand or shack that looks inviting!
Big Sky Cafe
1121 Broad St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Red House Cafe
662 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Breakwatr, Santa Barbara, CA 93101