1) Jocko's: Today SIV treks north to Nipomo where she files her report on 84-year old Jocko’s steakhouse. A small-town steakhouse with “good food and a respect for value,” Jocko’s signage invites visitors to “come in and monkey around” – good warning, since the wait, even with reservations, can be quite long. However, despite the bare-bones décor and over-crowded waiting area, the old-timey restaurant is worth the wait, with not quite prime, but expertly cooked meat that nearly always supplies left-overs. Order the “Spencer,” their special, at $27 is two inches thick, “cooked by expert grill men who know their meet through and through”—and it’s just one of their meaty masterpieces. "Jocko's is the hands-down favorite for locals who want some of that famous Santa Maria-style 'cue" worthy of one and a half stars. [LAT]
2) Test Kitchen: What is Test Kitchen? To The Goldster it's “less a restaurant than it is a club that happens to feature food instead of music; a venue where every night is opening night, the name chef is always behind the range, adrenaline is the drug of choice and cooking is performance art...Test Kitchen is a physical space without a restaurant...Whole restaurant teams, including waiters and runners, may be booked into Test Kitchen for rehearsal runs before their own places open...Is Test Kitchen a good restaurant? That depends on the chef...Still, if you're more interested in the creative chaos of a restaurant's first days than you are in the polished product of a kitchen that has worked together for years, Test Kitchen was designed for you." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: The Find tries Mottainai Ramen in Gardena, Diana Takes a Bite at Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya, Exile Kiss opts for Bludso's BBQ, Eating LA recap the eats from Priyani Dissanayake at Angeli Caffe, Quarry Girl visits Hummus King, and Rants & Craves choses No. 1 Noodle House.