We love love love this restaurant. You'd probably never even see it there, and being in the tiny town of Santa Margarita (just a quick 10-minute drive from San Luis Obispo), you'd probably never stumble upon it on your own. That's another great thing about this restaurant, it is really only heard of word-of-mouth, and the place stays full to capacity this way every time I've been there. They don't take reservations or credit cards (or at least not up until the last time we went), but who cares! It's worth hitting the ATM before you go (or they will take a check, though not sure if they take them from out of town?), and worth the wait if there is one, maybe on the patio with a glass of wine if Central Coast weather is behaving as it usually does: meaning tolerable temperatures even in non-summer months. All that said, this restaurant has the nicest people working there, the best casual atmosphere for a more upscale quality cuisine, and the food is always incredible. I have yet to try something I didn't love, and have to admit I tend to slightly overeat because you just have to try this appetizer, that salad, plus your dinner, and then who can resist those desserts? Although the menu is a more "comfort-food" in taste, it fits with the atmosphere of Margarita, and the general taste in the North County where people still want their red meat, even if dining higher-end. At the same time they have apps like escargot and crawfish. One time we happened to be there just after the local ranch had castration day, so they had very fresh "Rocky Mountain Oysters" fresh off the cow from just down the road. While I don't eat them, I thought if you did, how much more fresh can you get?
Whether from the Central Coast or wanting to truly experience the Central Coast atmosphere and local lifestyle, The Range will not disappoint. They are a refreshing perfect balance of local taste and atmostphere with metropolitan quality, all at the right price.
You may want to call ahead, just to see if there is a wait. If they know you are on your way, sometimes they will sort of keep a table in mind for you. During warm months, I'd definitely recommend sitting out on the patio to enjoy the warm North County evenings.
Here's a review I also found in the LA Times:
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.