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Los Alamos: Full of Life Flatbread225 West Bell Street , Phone: (805) 344-4400
Closing day: Monday - Thursday
Reviewed by: Shannon from CA, review #3469
Delicious flatbread pizzas and other dishes, all made with local ingredients
Directions: Los Alamos is a small town on the central coast between Buellton and Santa Maria. The restaurant is on the main road in town.
My friend Krista, who is the publisher of Edible Santa Barbara and also a member of slowtrav, told me this is her favorite restaurant before we went there the first time. Now, after three trips to this restaurant it is also MY favorite restaurant. The food here is unbelievably good and also, extremely reasonably priced for what you get.
Monday through Thursday, the restaurant is a bakery making hundreds of delicious pizzas using all organic ingredients. (You can buy their frozen pizzas in Whole Foods, among other places.) Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the bakery becomes a restaurant. They serve many pizzas (called flatbread, here) on the regular menu and a couple of special pizzas each weekend. They also serve appetizers and salads on Friday and Saturday and "suppers" on Sunday with a main course or two. All the specials incorporate ingredients locally sourced; maybe the standard pizzas are too.
Last time we were in, we went on Sunday because I wanted to try the Sunday "supper." But I could not stop there, I had to also have the special pizza. We started with a truly incredible starter of abalone and chanterelle mushrooms. I seriously do not know how a chanterelle mushroom could have such a rich, deep flavor as these mushrooms did. We also had some fresh sardines on toast, because the pizza chef told us we had to try them. They were served on toast and wow! I never knew a sardine could be so good.
The three of us then split a pizza and the main course of halibut with peas and meyer lemon butter. The pizza had asparagus, green garlic, goat cheese and a fresh farm egg on it and was delicious. But the evening's showstopper was the halibut - an incredible piece of fresh fish, with tiny peas that had been cut in half, and a delicate sauce that I won't soon forget the taste of.
On other nights, I've had lots of the different pizzas and many of the starters - all delicious. Desserts are also excellent.
All the beers and wines are from local breweries and wineries and are extremely reasonably priced.
All this in a place that is not stuffy at all - it's warm and comforting. Many families eat there with kids and there usually seems to be an (adult's) birthday party when I am there. The pizza oven is in the dining room, and you can also eat in the bar area.
They don't take reservations, so you may have to wait a while for a table, but with local pinot noir for only $8 a glass or so, this is not much of a biggie. It's worth the wait, believe me.
For those traveling on the California coast, who want to make this a destination there is a cute motel in Los Alamos, called the Skyview Motel.
I can't imagine a trip through this area without a stop at Full of Life Flatbread. It is That Good.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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