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Restaurants & Bars

Cambria Trip Report

alanstotle | Aug 8, 2007 11:27 PM

Day trip to Cambria led us to meals at Boni’s (Mexican food) & Wild Ginger (pan-Asian food).

Boni’s is the brick-&-mortar place in Tin City that corresponds to the taco truck (mentioned by other CHers) in the Bank of America parking lot at the intersection of Burton & Main streets.

Wife had the three taquito plate (that day’s special): one chicken taquito & two potato taquitos. When I asked her which one she liked more she couldn’t decide, saying they were both good in different ways. The chicken had some sort of green sauce on the inside. The potatoes were cooked well. All three taquitos were served with a green sauce & a fresh-tasting crumbled white cheese on top.

I had two tacos: one pastor & the other chili verde. The chili verde was not a very wet chili verde (which worked well for a taco); the sauce was present but it took a back seat to the up-front meat. The pastor, which is famous among CHers, was also not overly wet; it was well flavored but not too soupy or too saucy. Both tacos were not dripping with sauce which worked well for a taco. The meat of both was also chopped very fine. Both tacos were served on two manufactured corn tortillas. Of the two tacos, I enjoyed the pastor more than the chili verde.

Boni’s had two kinds of salsa: green & red. The green taco sauce was still warm in the squeeze bottle from being cooked; it was mild & tasty, though not as tasty as the red sauce (marked on the squeeze bottle as “fire”) which had a smoky chipotle taste. Unlike the taco truck which, evidently, has a limited menu, the actual take-out place has a more extensive menu: burritos, tortas, sopas, huarachas, tacos, taquitos, etc., all with about five different types of meat (previous CH reports say the truck has only two).

I have two overall judgments of Boni’s. As a (former) resident of San Luis Obispo, I would say that Boni’s has some of the best Mexican food in the county (likewise, it doesn’t hurt that a $3 taco is a good deal in Cambria). As a (current) resident of Fresno, I would say that Boni’s would rank as a pretty good taco truck in the area but perhaps not the best owing to some pretty stiff competition in this heavily Latino area (likewise, a $3 taco is on the more-expensive side compared to the $1-2 tacos at most places in the Fresno area).

I can't find an address for Boni's, but as I've mentioned, it's in Tin City, probably off of Village Lane, the second driveway to your left (the first driveway is an auto parts place). You'll see Boni's down two or three doors.

For dinner visited Wild Ginger in the east village & enjoyed our meal very much. Started with a curried chicken puff ($3.50) served with a red tamarind sauce & an Indian vegetable samosa ($3) with a green, slightly sweet & pickle-like sauce. Wife enjoyed the puff most, which ground chicken inside a philo-style pastry dough. I enjoyed the samosa most, with potatoes, peas, & carrots inside a patchwork of fried wonton-like dough pieces.

For the entrée I had the Szechuan tofu ($11) which was a mixture of very fresh & tasty vegetables (snow peas, green beans, broccoli, red & yellow bell pepper), tofu (soft but not mushy), & a light but slightly spicy sauce. Usually served with basmati rice on the side, they were kind enough to give me rice noodle instead. At first I was kind of put off by the lightness of the flavors; I typically enjoy hearty & robust flavors like my wife’s spicy crispy calamari. But the more I ate this, the more I enjoyed the fresh flavors of the vegetables. The lightness of the sauce, & the use of tofu instead of a hearty meat, meant that the freshness of the vegetables was the dominant set of flavors. By the end of our entrée, having alternated tasting my entrée & my wife’s, I decided I was glad I tried mine.

Nonetheless, my wife’s entrée was also delicious: spicy crispy calamari (deep fried) with steamed broccoli; carrots; yellow, red, & green bell pepper; & caramelized red onion; served in a thick & spicy red sauce. The calamari was not fishy. The sauce was hearty & quite spicy hot.

The presentation of both entrees was quite captivating: served on square plates with four different garnishes, one in each corner of the plate. This the first time I’ve seen the corners of a plate put to such good use. We've included two photos of our entrees (first photo is the spicy crispy calamari; second photo is the Szechuan tofu).

For dessert tried the macadamia nut pie, which was like a lighter pecan pie in a very sweet & buttery custard, served with a dollop of light ice cream on the side. Pecan pie is one of my favorite types of pie, so this pie didn’t quite measure up to pecan, but it was close & it was good enough to order again.

Our waitstaff (of one) was friendly & helpful. They were happy to let us sit outside on the patio with our little puppy. And the bill was reasonable: $45 for two appetizer pastries, two entrees, one dessert, & two glasses of tea.

Wild Ginger
2380 Main St Ste G, Cambria, CA 93428

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