A few good finds in the San Luis Obispo area...
In Pismo Beach (south about 10 miles):
- Guiseppe's (italian) is solid, with brick oven offereings, locally courced ingredients. Interesting specials and menu, not just a 'red sauce and garlic bread" place. Definitely NOT a beach town-feeling joint, which is nice. Great little bar, and open later than ANYTHING else in town for food.
- Longboards is a burger / fries / shakes place in Pismo with good quality and indoor / outdoor seating with a wind break. It's right off the 101, and worth a stop if you're driving by (MUCH beter food than the chains
- Way hip little Asian market (no food, just ingredients, but rare / hard to find stuff) also in Pismo right on Price street by the 101.
- Sea Venture hotel has a very good tapas bar and restaurant on the 3d floor, with views of the sea. Probably the best food in town. They do close early-ish (9:00) so be warned.
SLO (san luis) itself has tons of great restaurants, but the Mission Grill (right by the Mission, duh) was *Terrible* on last visit. Miscooked fish, slow service, expensive, overhyped menu that did not deliver. Avoid.
- Tserugi's (sp?) is a good sushi restaurant in the old Creamery building (near Tortilla Flats). Quite good. They also have a sister restaurant in Paso Robles, and one in LA.
- Grapalo (more Italian) is quite good in S.L.O. with terrace dining by the creek, and a pretty hip little bar downstairs, with loungy / electronic music and good drinks. A rarity in a college bar kind of town, and easy to miss if you just pop in to the restaurant.