Reviewed by Dom on Nov 06, 2009
I recently made my way to Pismo's Grill for dinner and... I guess the best way to put it is that I was underwhelmed and disappointed. However, this may just be due to the "newness" factor.
Staff: I also encountered the same type of confusion that is to be expected with the opening of any new restaurant, but I found the hostess and the wait staff to be friendly and courteous despite how busy it was in the dining room.
Ambiance: When I was seated and was able to take in the interior, I got the impression that the restaurant itself didn't have a clear idea of where the direction it wanted to go. On one hand you have the coastal open air window dining and the fish market nestled within a nice sandy wood interior, but the number of HD Televisions around the entire dining room gave it a feel similar to that of a Sports Bar & Grill. It kind of gives the feeling it would be a lively and fun casual dining experience (if the price were to fall in line with that philosophy) or a nice lunch.
Food: This is the area where I began to feel the initial pangs of disappointment. I chose to pass on the appetizers and went straight for an entree selection. (I will most likely return for lunch to sample some of the apps they offer.)I selected the wild Alaskan halibut with braised kale w/bacon and rice pilaf. (Roughly $25) When my entree arrived the 1st think I noticed was how bare the plate appeared. I think this was because the plate used for the entree seemed 2x the size of what was needed for plating so there was a lot of empty space to be seen in the presentation. The pilaf was cold and the halibut and kale were both at temperature, but overcooked. This may be because it was extremely busy and they are still working out the logistics of operating at full capacity so early and I am willing and planning on going back to test this theory, but will most likely order a more casual item such as one of their sandwiches, the fish and chips or clam chowder.
Price: Unfortunately, my experience with the food certainly did not justify the price at all. I expect a much higher level of attentiveness during the preparation of the components in the dish for the prices advertised.
Overall, I feel that if Pismo's presented itself as a casual dining experience with prices more in line with that philosophy I would have enjoyed my time there a little bit more as I could properly align my expectations. Despite this, I do plan on going back to see if the experience is the same as it was for this particular dinner service.