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“Surprisingly great meal!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gardens of Avila

Gardens of Avila
1215 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 595-7365
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Ranked #23 of 257 Restaurants in San Luis Obispo
Price range: $30 - $35
Cuisines: Contemporary, Californian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Outdoor seating, Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Hwy 101
Transit: Avila Beach Pismo Beach
Arroyo Grande, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Surprisingly great meal!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We had not been to this restaurant for years, and decided to take advantage of the specially-priced Restaurant Month menu, since it includes short-ribs, one of my husband's favorites. I decided to go with the chef's choice tasting menu, since it was so reasonable, and I'm awfully glad I did. I didn't know what I would get, but each course was not only surprising, but beautifully prepared with outstanding quality, from the apple fennel soup to the crab ravioli to scallops to perfectly grilled sirloin. My only disappointment was the lemon creme, which was a bit anemic for my taste. By the way, my husband was very happy with his choice, though he couldn't resist sampling mine, naturally.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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68 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    37
    12
    13
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sherman Oaks, CA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Some of the best food we've ever had”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed at the hotel over Christmas, and ate at the restaurant every night. Every single item we ate was not just good, but outstanding. They have a relatively new chef who likes locally sourced, freshly cooked ingredients. The downside of this is that the wait can be a little longer than some places, but it is 100% worth it. The duck breast is the best tasting duck dish either of us have ever tried, anywhere in the world. Yes, it really was that good. Other honorable mentions - the crab ravioli starter and the butternut squash gnocchi. I should also add that the service is very friendly (some may say a little too much) and efficient.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“New Years Eve Dinner, Would Pass Next Time”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We booked a New Years Eve dinner for 8:00 pm, We were expecting them to have a nice set up
for New Years Eve, and would be a bit festive. However we were seated at a table at the far end of the bar area, away from the main dining room. The service was slow, and they seemed to not
have enough staff to handle the crowd. The food was average, but nothing extra ordinary or special, felt the cost was absorbent for the quality, quantity, service, and ambiance of what was
provided. Have not eaten there prior to New Years Eve, but based on our experience, we would not be going back soon, we were overall disappointed, left after dinner, instead of staying for the arrival of New Years.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Avila Beach, Ca.
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Long Wait for Dinner”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

We live locally and have never tried the Gardens of Avila restaurant. We made 6 p.m. reservations and arrived approx. 15 minutes early. There were not many customers in the restaurant at that time. We placed our order within 10 minutes. The arugula salad arrived promptly and was very good. Our entrees took almost an hour and were mediocre at best. The waitstaff was good.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“An excellent Christmas dinner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

Holiday dining isn't always a good way to judge a restaurant - the last time we ate at the Gardens was several years ago at Thanksgiving - they served sliced turkey roll and charged an outrageous amount for an awful dinner. But times and owners and chefs have changed. My husband and I went for an early Christmas dinner and were blown away by the great food and excellent service. We opted for the fixed price menu - a very good salad, gnocchi that was to die for, excellent short ribs of beef, and a yummy dessert- some sort of cake and ice cream. They have a nice selection of craft beers, and unlike many restaurants, the server knew the difference between hoppy and malty beers when she made suggestions about what to have. Everyone on the wait staff was friendly and professional. We'll definitely go back there for special occasions!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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