A Weekend in Los Alamos CA
Matt and have a explored almost every inch of the Santa Ynez Valley, but we’ve never taken the time to explore the little town of Los Alamos. Los Alamos is known for its instagramability, fantastic food, and of course, wine! The zero stop light town is located 57 miles north of Santa Barbara and only 15 miles south of Santa Maria. We’ve driven through countless times, and I always admire the rolling vineyards out the window.
With all of Matt’s travel, we decided we needed a weekend getaway and chose Los Alamos. There is a little motel there I’d been wanted to stay in, and it was available! In this post, I’ll recap our itinerary (eat-tineray?) and tag my favorites. I have to say, MOST places we went were amazing, which as most of you know, I’m a harsh critic.
This was the motel I’d been wanting to stay in. It’s SUPER cute. It looks like something you’d see at Disneyland (it may have just reminded me from the motel in Cars, I can’t decide). The property was recently renovated and they did a fantastic job of keeping the quaint motel feel but more upscale charm.
The problem with this place is it’s still a motel. We had bugs in the bathroom, paper thin walls, rude front desk and a party animal who stayed up and trashed his room until 5 AM the one night. This frustrated me for two reasons; 1) You can tell a lot of love and care went into the renovation and I hate to see it treated poorly, and 2) the $200/night price tag didn’t reflect the level of service and overall experience we had.
To their credit, after I sent a whiny email they were apologetic and sent us a gift card for a free night. So we’re going to go back and see if it’s any better. But for now, I’d recommend staying in Buellton and taking advantage of Uber to get out there.
Drinks at the Union Hotel Saloon
Once we checked into the Alamo Motel, we walked over to the historic Union Hotel for some pre-dinner cocktails. This structure is super cool. It was built in the 1880’s only to burn to the ground. It was rebuilt in 1915 and has remained intact since. It has the ol town watering hole feel. We both got a craft cocktail from their menu and it was really enjoyable. Their motto is “be nice or go home” which I just love.
Dinner at Full of Life Flatbread- FAVORITE
From the Union Hotel we walked to Full of Life Flatbread. We got a table right away and Matt noticed on the menu that their corkage was only $12, so he literally ran back to the Alamo to grab a bottle of wine we brought with us. Once he got back, we started with the Hope Ranch mussels (seriously my favorite mussels ever, even better than Washington mussels). For our main, we split the special, which was a squash and chard flatbread (amazing) and the fennel sausage. Dessert was a Los Alamos S’more, a brownie topped with a marshmallow cooked over the fire, yummy. The service was great, food was better and we had a wonderful dinner. All in all, we got out the door for $60 with a tip!
Breakfast at Plenty on Bell- FAVORITE
The next morning we went over to Bob’s Well Bread for breakfast. We walked past the cute little spot but it was fairly empty. Once we got to Bob’s it was packed and we ended up going back to the cute little spot, Plenty on Bell. I had the BEST breakfast sandwich I’ve EVER had. It had a thick fennel sausage patty, fried egg, tomato and onion, maple mayo on a brioche bun. My mouth is watering just writing this. It was amazing. And again, fairly priced! I get so tired of going to breakfast in SB and paying $20 a person. This was $10 and I really wasn’t hungry the rest of the day.
This was great for an afternoon snack. Matt got a couple of the shrimp and spinach tacos. They were really fresh and the presentation was beautiful. Casa Dumetz Wine was really enjoyable and features a female winemaker, Sonja Magdevski. In doing some research for this post, I figured out the Sonja is married to Emilio Estevez ha! Her story makes so much more sense now. We were told she immigrated from Micronesia to Point Dume in Malibu, which frankly, isn’t a typical immigrant story. But it all makes more sense now. Despite her Hollywood ties, the tasting room was very down to earth, friendly, and welcoming. I actually bought a bottle of Syrah, which I usually don’t care for.
Charcuterie at Pico- FAVORITE
I really wanted to go to Pico because they feature Lumen Wines made by Lane Tanner. Lane was the first female winemaker in Santa Barbara County and one of my heroes. She stopped making wine a few years ago until she met Will Henry, who encouraged her to get back into it. He handles the business side and lets her do what she does best.
Pico and Lumen Wines are all in the Los Alamos General Store. Our bartender, Jay, was great and we had a really fun time. We supplemented our wine flight with an awesome Charcuterie board with homemade bread. It was really enjoyable and great for a late afternoon treat.
Sunday Breakdast at Bob’s Well Bread
Bob’s Well Bread was at the top of my list for our visit. Matt told me that he doesn’t think he’s ever met anyone who loves bread as much as me. I got the egg in a jar with purple potatoes, bacon and toast. It was very good, but I actually liked our meal at Plenty on Bell better. We had some issues here with our coffee coming out really late, and it was really pricey. Worth a stop, but only once!
Needless to say, we indulged all weekend long. I really enjoyed our weekend and love having some new favorite places! Have you been to Los Alamos? What were your favorites?