I remember when Thomas Hill Organics (THO) in Paso Robles first opened. We were so excited to have a new “farm to table” restaurant in the area that we made sure to be one of their first customers. Debbie Thomas, the owner, was the quintessential host and made us feel at home right away. Her sales and marketing background gave her the savvy to know that one of the best ways to achieve success in a restaurant was to offer great service and a fresh and innovative menu. She certainly stumbled upon brilliance when she hired the amazing Julie Simon as the chef to run her kitchen. Time has passed and Julie has moved out on her own, but THO has not skipped a beat, with executive chef Justin Casey now at the helm.
So when I heard that THO was expanding with a new location in San Luis Obispo, I was thrilled. And of course, I wanted to be one of the first customers to check it out! I made an afternoon of it and joined them for a late lunch on a weekday. Due to the lateness of the hour, it was a bit quiet in the restaurant. I enjoyed the space they created which is open, airy and light. The table settings are incredibly charming with the use of vintage china and delicate crystal. The adjacent bar area is reminiscent of their layout in Paso; a great addition to their original design.
The menu has something for everyone and is not overwhelming. There were three of us dining and we each chose something different. The service was as expected, friendly and attentive. We all loved our food selections and I was pleased to see the creativity of flavor combinations and the success at execution on each dish. I selected their Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna which was served on a soba noodle salad with carrot, radish, scallion, toasted nori and miso vinaigrette. The plate was also adorned with edamame puree. The dish was absolutely delicious! Perfect lunch fare and for a lighter meal, it was well appointed and packed with flavor.
Another dish at our table was their Wood Fired Cauliflower with Romanesco sauce, golden raisins, capers, almonds and truffle oil. Although it was a starter, it was a generous portion and truly delightful. Our third dish was their Painted Hills Steak Salad with roasted winter vegetables, arugula, Italian salsa verde and Pt Reyes bleu cheese. Painted Hills sells pasture raised cattle without the use of added hormones and their cattle is never given antibiotics. Another winner, beautifully plated and delish although it could have had a titch more of the luscious bleu cheese.
So delighted to have a new spot to enjoy on my jaunts to SLO. And happy to see success come to those who are well deserved!