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“Best view, bar and food in a stunning setting”

Marisol at the Cliffs
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Ranked #22 of 103 Restaurants in Pismo Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $40
Cuisines: American, Bar, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Scenic view, Families with children, Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Brunch, Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Spy Glass
Transit: The bus stops right in front of the cliffs or down the street at spy glass.
Description: "Marisol" translates to "The Sun and the Sea" and no where is this more evident than through the flavors of the food. The menu at "Marisol" has been developed as New American Cuisine. As the premier choice of Pismo Beach restaurants, all of the dishes at "Marisol" are prepared with a soulful touch by Chef de Cuisine Victor Flores, featuring produce from fields of local farmers, seafood fresh off the boats of local fishermen, and naturally raised meats and poultry. The wine list for "Marisol" is awarded by Wine Spectator and has an amazing wines by the glass page with many local wines from Monterey to Santa Barbara County. For the finest oceanfront dining experience, try our award-winning Pismo Beach California restaurant "Marisol at the Cliffs".
Pismo Beach, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best view, bar and food in a stunning setting”
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Located in posh Shell Beach, this stunning restaurant not only features incredible ocean views, fun happy hours, but also an extraordinary restaurant. Chef de Cuisine, Gregg Wangard, has created a tremendous menu with original offerings using the area’s freshest and preeminent produce and proteins.

I was told that I would be getting a special treat prepared by Chef Wangard, by manager David Kline, and I was excited to try everything. Our waitress, Spring was a joy, pairing each course with a fantastic wine (and I am not ashamed to say that is was pretty cool that the Chef delivered our remarkable selections and explain each ingredient). The strolling songbird (Carole McNeil) was a fantastic addition and her playlist was prodigious. We started with a bit of Leticia XD bubbly, an exclusive sparkling wine only offered at the Cliff’s.

The triumph of any feast is the quality of food served, this meal exceeded in every approach. I started with the Sweet Potato Soup, a triumph in a bowl with a tad of surprises. Sweet and hardy with a bit of pecans and maple bacon bits floating made this bisque sublime. Gary started with Willie’s Chocolate Dream Stout Cake a daring combination of Napa Smith Oatmeal Stout beer and cocoa. It was served with a tangy mango sorbet that rested on a bed of graham crackers so it wouldn’t melt as fast (brilliant). Gary declared this the best chocolate cake ever and proved that declaration by coming back two times the next week for another slice.

Chef told us the menu is new each Friday, focusing on seasonal items. We each had the Big Eye Tuna Sashimi that was thinly sliced and resting on even thinner carved cucumber curls. Small sections of pink grapefruit adorned the corners with a jalapeno juice drizzling throughout with fiery surprises. Simply delicious paired with the Still Water Pinto Grigio. Our next delight was the best darn spinach salad this girl has ever had. The spinach was so fresh; you could tell they were straight from the fields of Windrose Farms. Chef explained this as a combination of Old and New world with the croutons fried in bacon grease. These were so good, I made the waitress try them and then run to the kitchen and tell Greg, my mouth just had a religious experience. The salad had shredded boiled eggs, Italian chesses, and onions throughout. If this is diet food, I am officially going on one.

Our main course was a petite filet from 43 Ranch and was cooked to perfection, sitting on a bed of purple potatoes. Topped with sautéed onions, mushrooms, and a blue cheese sauce that reminded me why I love this chef so much and feel that he has not gotten his due respect of coverage. Brilliant, inspired and delicious with a 2008 Chehalem Pinot to wash each delectable bite down.

Greg is originally from Wisconsin and shared with us his pick for the “Best Cheese in America” a triple cream raw milk delight called Rush Creek Reserve made by Upland Cheese Company. Rush Creek Reserve is inspired by the French Vacherin Mont d'Or, and is bound in spruce bark, which gives shape to the soft round and imparts a sweet, woodsy flavor to the cheese. This is the Cristal of cheeses and Greg served it with drunken cherries and an inimitable biscotti. An outstanding performance by both food and staff by the Marisol, I am their new regular.

This meal was so noble; we brought friends back on Wednesday to try the bistro menu (the full dinner menu like we tried is available Friday thru Sunday). We all ordered different entrees and shared each dish. We tried the Caramelized Onion Soup with Grand Cru Gruyere cheese and thyme croutons, the Coconut Fried Shrimp with a pineapple guacamole and sweet chile sauce, and the Beef Sliders with a pesto aioli, farmhouse cheddar all topped with a giant onion ring and accompanied with outstanding truffle-parmesan fries. All were excellently cooked, a unique blending of flavors and masterly presented. Gary had more of Willies Chocolate cake and the See Canyon Apple Fritters.

The service was impeccable, the food outstanding and we all vowed this would be our regular hang out each weekend. Marisol has it all, a lively bar, beautiful views of the ocean and a five star dining experience that rivals big city restaurants.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank teribayus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cliffs_resort, Manager at Marisol at the Cliffs, responded to this review, December 1, 2013
Teri, what an absolutely beautiful review! I am so proud that Chef Gregg's menu, our Manager David, and all our service staff could inspire such a poetic recap. It is such a source of pride to us that all our local producers have a chance to shine on the menu, and we try to change up some items to showcase the seasonal bounty we are blessed with locally. But rest assured, I don't see that chocolate cake getting replaced any time soon! Thank you again for writing such a wonderful recommendation and bringing your friends to become regulars. We love our locals!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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262 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    38
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Ignored”
Reviewed September 26, 2013

Would like to have tried the food, but was ignored. Ended up going to the bar for my own drink, which when it came was incorrect. Got very bored so left without eating - there are loads of good places to eat in town. Location is great, food does look good and as per reviews does get busy, which meant that I cannot comment on the quality of food!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Timothy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cliffs_resort, Manager at Marisol at the Cliffs, responded to this review, December 1, 2013
I am sorry to hear that our staff was not attentive enough to have the opportunity to serve you during your visit! It is so important, no matter how busy the bar, that our waiters make that initial contact to make sure you are taken care of during your time at Marisol. I'm sorry that this is the impression we left during your trip to the Central Coast, and I hope that someday we have the chance to impress you with our service and food.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redwood City, California
Level Contributor
112 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“"Great Eats"”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

Stayed at the "Cliffs" had a breakfast voucher...Breakfast was great! Breakfast choices great! Service was great! View was great! All in All ...Hotel and Breakfast were perfect!
Will stay again!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank LMD331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cliffs_resort, Manager at Marisol at the Cliffs, responded to this review, December 1, 2013
Glad to hear you enjoyed the breakfast buffet! We are really proud of some of the improvements we have made to the offerings (in-house smoked salmon, ever-changing baked goods, eggs to order) and the hotel "Beach Bed & Breakfast" package ensures an amazing deal. Thanks for joining us at The Cliffs and Marisol!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great happy hour!”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

Beautiful location, good food and friendly staff. Can get pretty crowded so grab a table on the deck fast!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank 10sProWife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cliffs_resort, Manager at Marisol at the Cliffs, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
Glad to hear you got to enjoy our famous happy hour at Marisol! We have a great reputation with locals but it is so important to us to get new customers in to experience the drinks, the food, and the view. Make sure you make it back to visit us this fall, when the weather (amazingly enough!) is even better, and we have some specially themed menus for the football season coming up in the bar.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“So fresh!”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

A little pricey but great food made it totally worth it. The beets were amazing and the marinated pears were to die for.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Maggie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cliffs_resort, Manager at Marisol at the Cliffs, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
We are so lucky to be here on the Central Coast, where some of the most amazing ingredients have been cultivated! Chef Gregg is a discerning Farmer's Market shopper, where he supports many local producers when choosing just the right ingredients to include in his menu. I know those beautiful beets are coming from nearby, and I am glad you could taste the freshness in the dishes!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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