My sister and I started on Sunday Ubering over to The Kraken to see a friend’s band play. The only other time I have been there was to blog it last July, and I was ready to go back. Plus I thought we should have a drink before heading over to Culture Brewery to prime the pump. Here’s a link to that review if you are so inclined: The Kraken
Raymond, our Uber driver, asked us our plans and I mentioned my blog. He proceeded to tell us his opinion about the problems with all of the restaurants on the 101, and boy did he have one!
“Inconsistency” he said. “If you are only going to each place one time, it will be a totally different experience the next. None of these places have any motivation for producing consistently good dishes.” I pondered this and found that it’s probably true. Many people have disagreed with my opinion on certain dishes or restaurants that I have reviewed. Knowing that I can’t possibly be wrong, this must be due to the inconsistency of the establishment.
I asked Raymond how he knew so much about restaurants. He told me that he has his masters degree in the culinary arts in Classic French Country and owned a restaurant in The Napa Valley. I asked in awe, “Have you been to The French Laundry”? For those who don’t know, The French Laundry is one of California’s finest restaurants located in the wine country. The Chef and owner is The One, The ONLY, Thomas Keller. My idol. Although I have never been, it is on my bucket list.
“Sure, it’s right down the street from my restaurant. Sometimes when it’s busy, Tommy will call me to help out in his kitchen.” TOMMY!!!
“I don’t mean to sound rude” I said. “But how….why…..HOW are you driving UBER??”
“I sold everything and am saving to open up a new restaurant in Costa Rico. ” Best of luck to Raymond, our ridiculously over qualified Uber driver.
When we arrived at The Kraken, I went out back to visit The Tip Of Cardiff food trailer. BC, a tattooed, bald, handle-barred mustache, large, bouncer type of guy was working. He scared me. I asked if he had a chance to read the blog I wrote about them.
“I only get on the internet for two things” he said unsmiling. “Auto parts and porn.” Sooo, no then. I told him about the blog and he told me the problem with all of these fancy restaurants on the 101 is that they are not held accountable for their INCONSISTENCY. I am not kidding, those were his exact words!
“Wait, do you know Raymond, the Uber driver?? Never mind.”
He told us that he has worked at 7 different upscale restaurants in the area and the food was so inconsistent depending on who was in the kitchen, he got frustrated and opened up Tip. “I’ll take this f-ing dive bar any f-ing day of the f-ing week over working those places again. Look at this f-ing view!” Pure ocean, not bad. But again, a ridiculously over qualified food-trailer guy!
We finally found our way up the coast to Culture Brewery. It’s in a great location with tons of foot traffic and has a nice open-air feel. On the other hand, the inside is pretty sparse with some basic barrels and uncomfortable chairs to sit in. It’s mostly just a big open box with beer. Since we are only blogging establishments with food, they do in fact qualify.
Culture has some unusual beers to choose from and will gladly give you a taster or two if you can’t decide. Getting a flight is also a good way to go. I tried the Ginger Snap Red and was surprised at the true ginger snap taste. It was delicious and I ordered a glass.
As more of our people arrived, we put three beers on the barrel for them to try. They loved the Vanilla Cream Ale. They thought the Brown was really good, but when they tasted my Ginger Snap, every single person thought it was the worst beer they have ever tried. Amatures!
The culture at Culture is “anything goes.” You can bring your pets, your own food, whatever. There were lots of dogs and babies tonight. Since dogs are cool, and babies are just babies, I focused on the canines. As does Culture.
Brindy, a recently rescued Pitty was happy to be in pictures. Be very careful of the ferociously mean Pit Bulls hanging out here.
Brindy has taught her parents tricks. She will take a pretzel right out of their mouth whilst leaving their face in tact.
Her owner didn’t look at all stupid doing this trick over and over either.
Nor did her other owner.
Culture Brewery is a fine place to have a beer with friends and dogs. It’s a bit stark and not cozy, but serves its purpose. I may be alone in liking the Ginger Snap Red, but I’m sure there are others out there who enjoy good beer. They just weren’t in my group.
Napizza is conveniently located two doors down from Culture. Although you can bring food into Culture, we decided to get the full Napizza experience by dining there. Plus there were too many of us to crowd around a barrel. Napizza is small, but there were real tables for all of us.
The wall decor tells you all the good stuff about them. “Cage free, wild caught, locally sourced” all of the trendy catch phrases you want to hear in eating out these days. But the best part was that they CARE. And I really believe they do!
I like their arty box display.
It’s an order-by-the-slice kinda thing, and you get to look at all of the lovely creations in the display case before you order. The “Bapo” had Tracy at “potato”.
We shared some slices including the Truffle Porcini Mushroom, which was heavenly. Napizza has a focaccia bread style crust that sets them apart from the others. It’s fluffy, but not too bready. The squares are cut into triangles for easy sharing which is nice. (Please ignore the large head shadow in the picture below. Remember, there were beers involved tonight!)
The BBQ Chicken pizza is rarely my thing, but this one was actually very good. The Margarita had huge chunks of tomatoes which made it hard to eat, but was still delicious.
We shared a Thai Crunch Chicken half salad. At $10, this was a disappointment. Although it was filled with some interesting things, the chicken was dry, tasteless and hacked thoughtlessly into giant hunks. The tomatoes were slightly wrinkled, not as perky as they should be. Much like me. Thumbs down on a small, over priced salad.
But we came here for pizza and the La Lasagna was memory-making good! Fantastico!
Sis said the beer here was better than at The Kraken or at Culture. I asked what she liked about this one. “It’s served in a mason jar, and it tastes yummier this way.” She’s actually a wine connoisseur.
Napizza’s pizza rocks! What I love most is the focaccia crust that is a nice change from all of the other’s crust around town. They offer unique creations, all of them good. Eating local and green is always a plus. If you haven’t been yet, GO!
**Props to both Culture Brewery and Napizza! Wednesday, January 16 – They are collaborating to donate a portion of their proceeds to SDA Theatre. We love places that support our community!
**For a wonderful and very easy recipe, try Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken, I make it for my family all the time. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/my-favorite-simple-roast-chicken-231348
**Shout out to our new blog joiners Ron, Loretta and family! They found Dining on The 101 on “Nextdoor” and joined us. We hope they will come again soon! We love making new friends along our journey!
Our next blog is happening TONIGHT!! Join us in a few hours, 6pm at