Dinner and a Movie

A Hidden Treasure, ¡Viva! La Costa Grill
By Teri Bayus

Sometimes the best restaurants are in the hardest to find places. That is usually because the family started with the food, and not the location.
When a restaurant is off the beaten path, tucked into a gully and between a post office and a hardware store, my interested is peaked. Then add in the fact that they have survived and thrived even though you can’t see them from the road, the parking is convoluted and the neighborhood filled with firemen.
Why? Because it is a family-owned and operated restaurant called, “La Costa Grill “ and it is my new favorite.
You walk in and are greeted by Mama; her son serves you, as Papa (Francisco) cooks in the back. The interior is small, but the flavors large and delicious. My first visit I had the Albondigas soup and was blown away by the flavor, authenticity and delicious subsistence that comprises my favorite Mexican food soup.
I judge a Mexican restaurant on its chips and salsa and La Costa Grill blew me away. The chips are house made and warm. They are crisp and not greasy. The salsa has some heat, but will not shear your taste buds off, and there’s a hint of garlic.
The combination was addictive. I asked for a Michelada to drink and they did not know what that was. I explained the recipe and sent them a link, and by the next visit, it was added to their menu.
Next visit I had my Michelada first. Some of you do not know of this tasty beverage, and you should. The Michelada is a popular beer cocktail from Latin America.
As often happens with regional cuisine, it will vary slightly from one area to the next. I would argue this Michelada recipe is an authentic Mexican Michelada. Clamato Juice added to a Modelo, Magi sauce, lime, hot sauce, a salted and peppered rim with a touch of tamarind and red pepper. If you like Mexican cuisine, this is a must try!
I had it with the chile rellenos, which were the best I have had in the U.S. The chilies were roasted to perfection giving a savory and hot zesty taste. The cheese inside and the egg batter outside balanced flavor and texture. The rice and beans were a flavorsome combination of authenticity and care.
I called my husband to meet me and ordered the Albondigas soup to go for dinner.
I returned again with a gaggle of children, and we sat on the sunny patio overlooking the creek. I love the back patio and now take my grands their often. This time I ordered the tamale special. The tamales were correctly done, topped with enchilada sauce and fresh rice and beans.
The kids ordered simple bean burritos, American hamburgers, and tamales. The service (as always) was exceptional. Anthony is extraordinarily attentive and polite. His thoughtfulness adds to the enjoyment of the meal. I can honestly say that every person devoured the food.
La Costa Grill is a quiet little restaurant tucked away in the trees with a fantastic Mexican food menu. We have gone to dinner there many times already, and our meals are always top notch with a reasonable price. I will continue to frequent this treasure.
La Costa Grill is open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m, and located at 168 Station Way, Arroyo Grande, at California (between Miner’s Hardware and the Arroyo Grande Post Office. You can phone in orders to (805) 474-8797.

‘Solo’ A Fantastic Star Wars Story
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is a side-step, origins story from the Star Wars franchise telling the back story of the most enigmatic player, Han Solo.
We also learn for the first time in 40 years about his fluffy sidekick, the wookie, Chewbacca. And it is fantastic.
This is probably because master storyteller Ron Howard is at the helm, but there is finally a bit of back-story about the characters we have loved for a very long time.
As I scribe, I was intoxicated that a made up phrase from the first Star Wars became the main plot point. Most will think me crazy, but I am sure when the line was written, “Aren’t you the pilot that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs?” it was completely fictional.
Then George Lucas claimed it for himself and offered that the Kessel Run was one of the most heavily used smuggling routes in the Galactic Empire. Han Solo claimed that his Millennium Falcon, could do it faster than any ship.
Ships in the Star Wars universe can’t travel in straight lines while in hyperspace due to collisions with celestial objects. Thus, length is an essential factor in how quickly a ship can get from point A to point B. Making a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. The Millennium Falcon’s superior navigation computer allowed it to travel shorter distances between points and arrive faster.
And there you have the main plot point. Though we do get a look at Han’s first love and betrayal, and understand his rouge behavior even better. With the emerging demand of hyperfuel and other resources, Solo finds himself in the middle of a heist alongside other criminals, where they meet the likes of Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian in an adventurous situation exposing the criminal underworld of the Star Wars saga.
Alden Ehrenreich was fantastic as the young Solo, and I (a devoted Star Wars fan since 1980) found it easy to get into the groove that he was a younger version of the character I grew up with.
Thankfully, he didn’t try to fully emulate Ford, but has presented a solid and believable version of what a young Solo could have been like. Donald Glover surpasses Billy Dee Williams as the best actor for Lando. Paul Bettany did an excellent job as the villain, and Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke were fantastic.
We sat spellbound for 135 minutes with huge grins on our faces and left the theatre feeling immensely happy and thoroughly entertained.
True, the movie isn’t packed with surprises, we all know Han and Chewie survive, so the stakes aren’t high, but it’s a real blast seeing Han’s backstory unfold before us in a loud and bright film.

<img src=”×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-452″ /><em>Teri Bayus is the Host of Taste Buds, shown on KSBY and the CW, Charter 2 and on You Tube on the Taste Buds Channel. Teri’s Culinary Erotic Book, Consumed is available on Amazon and IBOOKS. Dinner and a Movie is a regular Feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.</em>

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