Food & Drink | Bon Appétit

Kitchenette

By Nancy Ransohoff | Photos by Chuck Place

Brothers Chris and Mike Kobayashi have a soft spot for small towns on the Central Coast. Their restaurant Artisan has been a hit in Paso Robles since opening in 2006; now they’ve launched Kitchenette, a breakfast-and-lunch-only 
sister restaurant, in tiny Templeton. Located down the street from the town’s landmark feed and grain store, this is no hayseed 
operation—Kitchenette bursts with small-town friendliness while serving some 
deliciously uptown dishes.

Grab a spot in line (there may indeed be a line on the weekends at peak times, but don’t despair—it moves quickly) and order at the counter next to the open kitchen. Breakfast items from eggs to pancakes and lunch offerings from sandwiches to salads have chef Chris’s sophisticated spin (kimchi pickles and Kitchenette hot sauce on your brown rice hash? Why, yes!).

The design is a sort of city-meets-country combo of gleaming white subway tiles, natural woods, concrete floors, and chicken-wire glass panes that give a nod to Templeton’s agricultural heritage. Take a seat at an inside table or the small dining counter, or on the outside patio among outdoorsy-looking local families and couples coming from the farmers market or their kids’ soccer games, and wine tasters fortifying themselves before setting out for Paso Robles Wine Country. 

At breakfast, you need an eye-opening cup of coffee from Templeton’s Dark Nectar Roasters. Local is key here, with some of the organic produce coming from the brothers’ Kobayashi farm less than a quarter mile away. Then get going with flavor-packed beer-braised corned beef hash with potato chunks, red cabbage, whole grain mustard, and a fried egg. Pancakes never tasted so good as the fluffy ricotta cakes with Dragon Spring Farm blueberries, Vermont maple syrup, and salted butter. 

For lunch, try the hits-the-spot cheeseburger with spicy pickles and 
special sauce or hearty Grinder Sammy with mortadella, salami, capocollo, pepperoncini, provolone, and vinaigrette. The spicy Vietnamese salad with turkey, roasted peanuts, cucumber, glass noodles, and chile vinaigrette is excellent. Wash it all down with a local tap wine or draft beer. As for dessert, go for any of the house-baked goods from the case. If the ice cream sandwiches are available, get one.

Kitchenette

Location: 105 S. Main Street, Templeton

Info: 1-805-400-10061-805-400-1006

Setting: Casual yet sophisticated breakfast and lunch; outdoor tree-shaded patio

Service: Order at the counter; friendly, helpful servers

Best dishes: Ricotta pancakes, beer-braised corned beef hash, brown rice hash, Kitchenette cheeseburger, Grinder Sammy, spicy Vietnamese salad, ice cream sandwich

Dinner prices: Breakfast, $6–$12; lunch, $6–$12; dessert, $3–$5

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