California’s Central Coast continues to burst with culinary vitality, whether from its longstanding regional barbecue scene or the staggering bounty of local farms and vineyards nearby. Now a newcomer operating under the name The Bear and Star is hoping to capitalize on all that goodness with a far-reaching restaurant that will seek to source much of its entire menu from a nearby ranch.
The Bear and Star is the work of owners Eli and Ashley Parker, longtime Central Coast staples behind the famed Fess Parker Winery. They’ve brought on chef John Cox as a partner, who previously manned the stoves at Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, along with general manager Rachel Vander Veer.
The plan is to offer a more upscaled modern ranch dining experience, something akin to what you’ll find at Sausal in the South Bay. That means farm-raised cattle from the nearby Fess Parker Home Ranch, which sits seven miles away, as well as pigs, chickens, rabbits, organic produce, and a number of heirloom fruit trees. There will be wine as well of course, plus a full bar, private dining area, and plenty of room off the kitchen for wood-fired meat smoking and pizza-making from a custom trailer rig Cox made himself. The plan is to serve a full slate of meals from breakfast through dinner from the 50-seat restaurant, which comes complete with rustic decor infused with tons of marble.
In a sense, The Bear and Star is out to take some of the Central Coast’s best qualities and put them all under one roof. Local beef and lots of grilling are the purview of popular places like Jocko’s in Nipomo, while the wood-fired pizza is a staple at Full of Life Flatbread in nearby Los Alamos. Of course these are well-tread ideas already, but the notion that the ingredients will be sourced so locally from just one ranch if possible is something not often seen outside of Northern California mega-hit Single Thread, or New York’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Not that The Bear and Star is set to be quite that ambitious, but the seeds are definitely still there.
The Bear and Star is set to open this month, keeping hours from breakfast through dinner daily, as well as brunch on weekends.
The Bear and Star
2860 Grand Ave.
Los Olivos, CA