I had a lovely short visit to the central coast last week (stayed in Avila Beach) and was impressed by the way the food and wine culture is taking hold in the region.
I attended a benefit winemaker dinner at Mare Blu in the Baywood Park district of Los Osos, and although I won't comment on specific dishes because I don't believe any of them were on the regular menu, the quality of the ingredients and food preparation was high, and I'd certainly go back to try the regular offerings.
I visited a handful of wineries, of which Claiborne and Churchill and Tally in Edna Valley were my favorites.
And I had fun at the SLO farmers' market. The quality of the produce was very high, and although the selection was good for this time of year, I can imagine it is spectacular in the high growing season. I had a combo plate from the McClintock's stand that was not only good, but I thought very reasonably priced (a full skewer of tri-tip, a beef rib and a juicy pork rib for $6.50).
Really, I can hardly wait for my next chance to sneak away from the Bay Area and spend more time exploring what the area has to offer.