Thomas Hill Organics has put down roots in downtown San Luis Obispo.
The second location of the popular Paso Robles eatery opened in November as part of Copeland Properties’ Chinatown project. Perched above Williams-Sonoma on Monterey Street, it’s at street level on Palm Street, past the construction site of a new boutique hotel.
Thomas Hill Organics’ second-floor setting affords an expansive 4,000-square-foot layout featuring a bar, main dining room and patio. High ceilings, hardwood floors and a predominantly white color scheme impart a gracious garden ambiance, especially when tall glass doors are opened to the outside.
“We’re known for our patio in Paso, so I really wanted it to be even more open here,” Thomas Hill Organics owner Debbie Thomas said.
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Beverage possibilities are expanded here as well. While the Paso Robles restaurant serves just beer and wine, a full bar in San Luis Obispo allows bartender Zack Santy to bring his expertise to classic cocktails and his creativity to seasonal creations.
Both Thomas Hill Organics locations serve farm-to-table cuisine, as the Paso restaurant has done since it opened in January 2009. At the time, Thomas co-owned a farm with a CSA (community supported agriculture) program; but now the kitchens source from a variety of local purveyors for produce, olive oil, freshly baked bread and ice cream.
Many of the proteins are local as well, and there is a premium placed on sustainably caught seafood and land animals that have been grass-fed and humanely raised.
Executive chef Kurt Metzger was recently brought on to oversee both kitchens, a move “that will give us more consistency with the brand,” Thomas said.
Metzger brings with him many years of fine dining experience in Los Angeles and San Diego. Most recently, he helmed his own acclaimed Kitchen 4140 restaurant in San Diego – which also had a dedicated farm-to-table concept.
Because of Thomas Hill Organics’ commitment to farm-fresh ingredients, many items on the menus change seasonally.
Summer dinner entrées in San Luis Obispo include a soy-ginger marinated rib eye steak with wasabi mashed potatoes, seared day boat scallops with cauliflower puree and a red Thai curry bowl with rainbow chard and jasmine rice.
For Sunday brunch, opt for a croque monsieur with prosciutto and Manchego cheese, sourdough French toast or ribeye steak salad. There’s also live music during brunch service, and on Saturday evenings.
The San Luis Obispo location has recently re-opened for lunch as well. Look for market fresh salads and grilled vegetable options, plus tried-and-true favorites such as the THO burger with Cambozola cheese and the smoked salmon BLTA on wheat.
"I really love being in San Luis Obispo. The vibrancy of downtown is contagious,” Thomas said. “It is great to be able to bring (Thomas Hill Organics) to a new spot and have a new customer base discover and enjoy our amazing food!"
Katy Budge is a freelance writer from Atascadero. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas Hill Organics