Saturday, January 8, 2011

California (Day 6-continued)

After driving along the PCH for a few hours and witnessing some of California's most breathtaking views, we found ourselves in the town of Cambria. Not realizing this at the time, we were halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cambria is a quaint seaside village off the beaten path. Cambria is definitely a unique, little town where the pines meet the sea.

We found ourselves at Indigo Moon Cafe off the recommendation of a local storekeeper. In a town lacking chain restaurant, Cambria offers locals and tourist a handful of unique cafes and bistros. Indigo Moon Cafe is among the handful of roadside cafes offering quality meals.

Indigo Moon Cafe offers a nice variety locally sourced product, including over 50 cheeses and wine. The menu is rather gourmet fare for the price. Unique salads, soups, and sandwiches will get your mouth watering in this homey retreat. Indigo Moon Cafe creates a warm, country chic feel that works.

Unfortunately, I lost my notes on the restaurant; but I do remember having a great lunch. A fruit and cheese platter got our palates excited for our main course. I got the rib special and Nadine got a sandwich. I believe she got the smoked turkey, prosciutto, goat cheese, pesto, and roasted red bells on ciabatta. I remember both of our meals being awesome and well worth the price.

I would definite recommend Indigo if passing through the town of Cambria. Friendly service, warm atmosphere, and great food/wine gave us the nice break from the road.

Not really having a plan, we took on California with open arms. If we wanted to stop somewhere, we could. Booking only airfare, allowed us to be flexible in our travels. Granted not booking hotels in advance cost us a pretty penny, but that's the price we were willing to pay. Santa Barbara was our next stop. We both immediately fell in love with Santa Barbara as the town had tons of character. It was a mixture of beautiful beaches, great nightlife, and colorful culture. Santa Barbara made us feel like Southern California was close and we were loving it. Located about 2 hours North of Los Angeles, we figured Santa Barbara was our last stop before LA.

State Street offered a variety of options from fine dining establishments to late night college spots. Intrigued by the outside patio, we decided to check out Sandbar--State Street's Mexican joint. Sandbar turned out to be an awesome combination of great food, drinks, and entertainment.

We sat outside on the patio, which seemed the place to be. Bustling with a nice Wednesday night crowd, we sat and watched the Yankees game on one of the many flatscreens surrounding the patio. I couldn't help but notice the staff being mostly females...HOT FEMALES.

Our server didn't seem too knowledgeable on the menu, but I didn't mind as we were here more for the atmosphere than the food. Up to that point, we had some dynamite meals so I wasn't too concerned. We started off like you should at any mexican joint with margaritas. Our server brought us some chips and salsa while we looked over the menu.

I got the Burrito Mazaltan which blew my mind. This was one of the best meals of the vacation. The burrito was filled with fresh mahi fish sauteed in garlic, onions, pasilla chilies, then wrapped with pico, cheese, diced avocado, Mexican rice, and salsa blanca in a flour tortilla. The burrito was then topped with melted cheese to kick it up a notch. The burrito was so big, I couldn't even finish it. I found myself in a tough perdicament as I was so stuffed, yet wanted to finish because it was that damn good.

I ended up giving up with a few bites left, but I had no room for anything else whether it be another margarita or one of the many tequilas listed on the menu. After digesting for a half hour or so, we made our way inside to watch the local raggae band "One, Two, Tree".

Sandbar turned out to be the best of both worlds--a great dining spot with a good nightlife scene and that's hard to come by. I would definitely recommend checking out Sandbar whether it be for some authentic mexican cuisine, margaritas, or just to dance the night away.

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