Our trip to Death Valley took us on a circuitous route that brought us down coast to the Santa Maria Valley before we headed East. After reading many old posts about tri-tip and other beefiness we settled on lunch at the Far Western Tavern. What a great choice it was ..... the only downside was that most of our other meals had a hard time living up to the standards set by this lunch. We were one of the first diners into the dining room - it was a Tuesday and never got jammed. Definitely old school atmosphere (charm? - depending on your age) ....... dimly lit and fully enrobed in western gear on the walls. Our waiter was impressive in his knowledge of the menu, food details and local history. I had to have a bullseye steak (ribeye) - but I did compromise and went for the smaller 10 oz portion which our waiter pointed out is thinner than the larger alternative ( 16-18oz IIRC ) which would be nice and thick. My SO had the steak sandwich, a 6oz top sirloin, similar to tri-tip.....described as beefier in taste but with more chew. Both beef orders were expertly cooked .... a nice sear on the outside but juicy inside. My ribeye was tender and had some fat which I think is a good thing. The sirloin was very tasty and the "chew" was not unpleasant. They also have a filet for those who like the more tender cuts of beef. The salad was relatively straight forward but done just right ..... cold iceberg chopped up with a bit of beet and not overdressed. Plus a cool plate with western motif on the rim....... The entrees came with fries or onion rings or a 50/50 mix. The pinquinto beans were smoky and savory.
My steak was absolutely perfect - a crispy sear with a juicy, tender interior. Well seasoned with S&P. Steak the way it should be.
The curtains in the dining room are huge cowhides and the door that leads out to the parking lot is lined on the inside with more cowhide. The front door of the bar has a nice piece of stained glass in a steer design. It's all in the details ....... I have never been to Jocko's or the Hitchin' Post but I'm glad I finally got started in exploring this area's offerings.