Thanks everyone for their suggestions on places to eat and drink in Santa Barbara and surrounding areas, here is what we did:
Drove down from SF Bay Area to San Luis Obispo Thurs 7/3 2pm. Made it to SLO by 6pm. There was a festival (Mozart Festival?) so we couldn't park right away.
It's "new American" cuisine, w/ international influence. Pretty good food w/ decent prices. I had seafood tacos-juicy and nice flavor. Ben had roasted chicken w/ potato croquet, veggies, black-eyed peas. Each got a soup:tomato gazpacho-creamy, rich. Tortilla lime soup-lots of flavor. Total for both of us w/ tip: $29.63
Stayed at Sandman Inn-nice place, on State St. but not walkable to the tourist area. Had a car. Breakfast-complimentary continental breakfast.
Recommended, just don't go during 4th of July weekend-felt very pricey for what it was
Fri 7/4 lunch:
La Super Rica, 622 N. Milpas St (cross Alphonse St)
not near the tourist area, need to drive.
We had tamale de veduras, pechuga suizo, and dish similar to pechuga suizo made w/ pork instead. Two horchatas.
Tamale de veduras-good, but there were not many veduras(veggies) I was expecting more than some potatoes and bell peppers.
pechuga suizo-chicken was ok, not dry. Very heavy w/ lots of cheese.
pork thing-pork was little dry. Both items felt like we were eating pupusas cuz of the heavy cheese.
Horchatas-good. Price for 2 of us w/ drinks: $12
Overall: Not recommended
Fri 7/4 dinner:
had combination platter and one oyster shooter. Both were very good. Combo platter had 3 oysters, 3-5 shrimp, ceviche, crab. Very tasty. Oyster shooter-full of horseradish and one oyster.
Comes w/ bread/butter.
Cup of clam chowder-very, very good. We think better than Swans Oyster Depot in SF! Creamy, rich, full of clams, chunky. Loved it!
Dinner plates:local yellowfish w/ pineapple/onion topping and salad. I didn't like the salad much. Yellowfish was tasty but too full to appreciate it. Topping could have done without.
Ben had seabass-he loved it. One of the best dinner he's ever had.
Overall: Highly recommended. Total price $60 for two before tax/tip, no drinks.
Sat 7/5 last day:
snack after breakfast and sightseeing-
Via Maestra 42, 3343 State St, SB.
tried half chocolate chip, half pistachio gelato. Chocolate chip was good, pistachio was not very crunchy, tasted off. Should have tried them before ordering. $2.50 for a single cup (smallest size)
Sat 7/5 lunch:
Taco Temple, 2680 N. Main St, Morro Bay. Had the worst time finding this place-it's on Main St not where all the stores are, alongside Hwy 1 in a Mexican grocery store shopping center. It's California Fusion--basically Americanized Mexican food.
Had a chile verde taco-1 taco for $3.50!!
Ben had shoestring fries w/ garlic fried calamari-
he says the best shoestring fries he's tried--very light, airy and flaky. Calamari-also light, crispy, and not chewy at all. A very good platter. $8.50
Total $12.33 not including tax. we only had tap water.
Overall: Not Recommended for Mexican food, but for other food ok.
Then we went up the street to find the hidden jem Tamales.
Chapala Market, 2816 Main St, Morro Bay. 805-772-4492.
Next to a gas station. You look at the menu, but pay at the Cashier..then after pay. Take your order to the counter to have it filled.
We got 6 tamales to take home for dinner. At $1.50 this was the best bargain on the whole trip!
Very good chicken tamales-chicken was not dry, tasty and tender. a little salty. Masa dry-could have used some pico de gallo if they had any.
Pork tamale-kinda dry but good.
Drive home: around 5 hrs. No wine trips this time, maybe in another trip.