By its own admission and design, Jimmy Bump’s Pasta House isn’t the place you’d go to discover the latest culinary tastes and trends.
“‘Old school’ is a term we use and like to hear,” said Jim Delmore, who opened the quaint Los Osos eatery in March 2003. It’s one of some 18 restaurants he’s opened over the years on the Central Coast.
One of those was Angelo’s in downtown San Luis Obispo, which Delmore operated from 1985 to 1995. (It was officially shuttered in 2000.)
Fans of that Italian eatery will feel right at home at Jimmy Bump’s – a red-checkered tablecloth kind of place with a casual, family-friendly atmosphere, just like Angelo’s offered.
“That’s exactly what we were shooting for,” said Delmore, noting that the restaurant even sports a painting of Angelo’s done by local artist John Landon, known for his colorful depictions of Central Coast landmarks.
The Jimmy Bump’s menu offers a wide array of down-to-earth, traditional Italian items such as Caprese salad, chicken Marsala, eggplant parmigiana or minestrone soup. Other options include calzones and individual-size pizzas.
As the restaurant’s name indicates, pastas are definitely the most popular dishes at Jimmy Bump’s. While some have specific platings, such as the cheese-stuffed manicotti, in most cases you get to choose your pasta and your from-scratch sauce. Opt for any one of the standard pastas — spaghetti, fettuccini, angel hair, linguine and penne — or pay about a dollar more for ravioli and tortellini.
Straightforward sauce choices include marinara, pesto or olive oil and garlic. For a little more decadent plate, go for a rich carbonara or Alfredo, white or red clam sauce — or the alla vodka, a marinara cream sauce with just a touch of vodka.
Another favorite sauce option is the puttanesca with tomatoes, capers and Kalamata olives, “which I often eat twice a week,” Diana Zaffina said. A longtime server at Jimmy Bump’s before becoming a business partner three years ago, she handles the front-of-the-house duties while Delmore holds down the kitchen.
Other pasta-centric specialties at Jimmy Bump’s are shrimp primavera over linguine, butternut squash ravioli with a basil cream sauce and a housemade lasagna with a long-simmered Sunday gravy meat sauce.
Delmore also does nightly specials. On Fridays you can count on him offering shrimp and scallops in a white wine cream sauce served over linguine.
In addition, though Jimmy Bump’s is by no means a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, gluten-free pastas and pizza dough are available upon request.
“We’ve been doing that for about two years now,” Delmore explained. “We use a corn/rice pasta, and since we make small individual pizzas, the gluten-free option is easy to accommodate.”
Other than the gluten-free choice, not much has changed on the menu since the restaurant opened more than a dozen years ago. Jimmy Bump’s takes a decided “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach based on affordability and consistency.
Value is important to Delmore and Zaffina, especially because much of their clientele is retirees and young families. The restaurant’s slogan is “deliciously affordable,” and the most expensive regular menu item will only set you back about $15.
As for keeping the same menu items throughout the years, “We’re definitely that kind of place and people come here because of that,” Delmore said. “We have a lot of regulars. Many of them come here at least once a week, and they know they’re going to find that favorite dish that they had last time.”
Jimmy Bump's Pasta House
1019 Santa Ynez Ave., Los Osos | 528-4898 | jimmybumpspastahouse.com
Hours: Nightly for dinner 4-9 p.m.
The scene: A casual, neighborhood Italian eatery with red checkered tablecloths, but takeout is also a popular option.
The cuisine: Old-school dishes with from-scratch sauces, beer and wine available; on- and off-site catering options, including pastas for pick-up. Gluten-free pastas and pizzas are available, but this is not a dedicated gluten-free facility.
Expect to spend: Appetizers under $10, regular entrées under $15.