Pismo Beach, CA

Finally, homemade Italian food in Pismo Beach at Pizmo Cafe

Mark-John Clifford

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Pizmo CafeMark-John Clifford-Author

This past weekend Patti and I made it back to Pismo Beach along with our son Andrew and his girlfriend Dusti. We wanted to get back there to try the Italian food at Pizmo Cage other than their pizza which we love.

In prior posts, I wrote about our experience with Pizmo Cafe, and we have always loved their pizza and dough. To me, it's the best dough I have had since moving to Fresno 15 years ago. I have Patti as my witness. She also agreed with me about the crust and the pizza itself.

This time though, we wanted to try the other Italian dishes on the menu, and try we did.

When we arrived, I asked for Nathan, the owner, and he was on the floor working on getting utensils wrapped in napkins for dinner. As he was working, I introduced myself and Patti, then the rest of the family.

We talked a little, and then he had Rachel, one of the servers, take

us to our table so we could get down to eating.

The Food

I ordered the penne pasta with sausage and red peppers. It was served with a spicy red sauce with just the right amount of heat to not get your stomach all up in a flux.

The sauce was not too acidic or sweet like many of the other Italian restaurants I have tried in Fresno, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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Penne with SausageMark-John Clifford-Author

The flavors just exploded in my mouth. Everything came together perfectly with each bite.

The sausage was sweet, a perfect complement to the spicy sauce, and sliced in a horizontal shape into bite-sized pieces.

The pasta was cooked to perfection, Al dente, which is the way I enjoy my pasta.

The dish came with two slices of thick garlic bread that seemed to be made from the same dough as the pizza.

Patti chose the stuffed meat ravioli in a spice meat read sauce. The only difference between mine and her was she had the sweet onions with it, and it was a meat sauce, whereas mine was just a spicy tomato sauce.

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Ravioli in Meat SauceMark-John Clifford-Author

Her ravioli was cooked perfectly like my pasta, and she loved the spices of the sauce.

Along with her dish came the same garlic bread. What a meal

I almost forgot we all ordered salads. Each salad was fresh and a meal in itself. Andrew, Dusti, and I had the garden salad, while Patti had the blue cheese walnut salad, minus the blue cheese, with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing that she said was perfect. The rest of us ordered the balsamic vinaigrette, which was great also.

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Patti’s Blue Cheese Walnut SaladAndrew Torres-Our Son

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Our Salads-Garden SaladAndrew Torres-Our Son

The salads were so fresh I couldn't believe it. Usually, you get something a little off in salads but not on this day. The lettuce was crispy, as were all the veggies in each of our salads—perfect appetizer/meal to begin.

Our son Andrew ordered the fettuccine alfredo with chicken, and Dusti ordered a calzone.

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Fettuccine AlfredoAndrew Torres-Our Son

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CalzoneAndrew Torres-Our Son

They shared, and they both raved about their dishes. Even the Alfredo got a high score from Andrew, who loves my homemade Alfredo.

That Sunday night was all about great good, meeting new friends, and finding what I had been looking for since I moved here 15 years ago, a fantastic Italian restaurant that is as close to homemade as possible.

About Nathan, the Owner

After dinner, Nathan came over to ask us how we liked the food, and I was honest with him in telling him it was the best I've had since moving here. He smiled and thanked me and all of us.

While I didn't do a formal interview which I plan to do soon, we talked a little about how he came to own the Pizmo Cafe.

He's from LA, where he worked at a local piazza parlor. He moved to Pismo, where his Mom owns a Thai restaurant in town, and told him about Pizmo Cafe and that it was for sale.

That's all he needed. At the time, Pizmo cafe was making pizzas in a small oven, and Nathan right away imported the kitchen to install a larger pizza oven to make the pizzas as he did in LA, except he tweaked the dough recipe.

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Pizmo CafeMark-John Clifford-Author

He added Italian dishes and asked chef friends for recipes that would be different and exciting for the location. I can tell you that they did give him some great recipes that make Pizmo Cafe a definite stop in Pismo when there.

So if it's pizza, or maybe a panini, salad, or a great-tasting Italian dish, you need to check out Pizmo Cafe now and ask for Nathan. Let him know you read this post and we, Patti, and I sent you.

Pizmo CafeMark-John Clifford-Author

Buon Appetito

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Patti, my wife, and I write about life here in Fresno, California, and the Central Valley. We especially enjoy writing reviews about restaurants we've dined at, along with the food that is served. From time to time, we also write about and share recipes that we are fond of and hope you'll try them and let us know your thoughts. We are not traditional food critics. We don't have to worry about restaurants making unique dishes for us. We're just the average customer going in to dine, and then we write reviews.

Fresno, CA
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