Bishop-born brothers Michael Kobayashi and chef Chris Kobayashi opened Artisan in Paso Robles, setting the bar for seasonal comfort food in the then-sleepy Central Coast town. In the past decade-plus, the area’s shown a far deeper culinary commitment level. Competition has grown, but Artisan continues to thrive. The brothers moved Artisan to Paso’s main square in 2013 and extended south in 2015, opening a cafe-bakery called Kitchenette in neighboring Templeton.
Kitchenette limits their menu to breakfast and lunch. From 8 a.m. to noon, the Kobayashi brothers serve great versions of American classics like ricotta pancakes and corned beef hash, plus several Mexican dishes. I enjoyed their play on pork posole verde, a hearty Mexican hominy stew. They favor a thicker broth with a moderate amount of spice and tang. They pile on juicy seared pork chunks, quarter-sized cuts of linguica, creamy avocado, crunchy cabbage, savory crumbled feta, punchy jalapeño, and clipped chives. A crispy fried soft-boiled egg is sliced in half and sports gooey a yolk that draws the eye. Not all ingredients are Mexican, but it’s clear the Kobayashi brothers are familiar with the dish, and represent it well.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.