The first time I ever went to Pismo Beach, I was informed that “you can’t come here without having the clam chowder at Splash Cafe.” Every time I’ve been back, I’ve followed that bit of advice, and passed it along to everyone I’ve taken there with me. At this point, it wouldn’t feel right to spend even an afternoon in Pismo Beach without having one of these sourdough bread bowls full of clam chowder that comes very close to living up to its reputation.
If you’ve read many of my other articles over at Seen World, you’ve likely realized by now that I’m pretty passionate when it comes to food. Half the time, conversations about places I’ve traveled end up shifting to the restaurants I ate at, and usually reveal that I remember fairly precisely what I ate, regardless of how long ago it was.
With that said, there are few places where I had something as simple yet earth-shattering as one particular restaurant in Pismo Beach. The mixture of crushed garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and herbs and spices at Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano was so memorable that I had to try to create it myself as soon as I got home, but even now—years later—I haven’t quite gotten it right.