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Dinner & A Movie

Kitchenette — Simple Name, 5-Star Delicious

We find some of the best culinary adventures in tiny little corners of this fantastic area. Five-star food in a small-sized open kitchen, worthy of a shirt and tie requirement, but next to a feed store.
This miracle with Templeton charm and gourmet comfort food is called simply, Kitchenette. The open kitchen, with smiley chefs, beckons you to order everything on a menu that seemed made just for me. Here were all my favorite things for lunch and dinner on one menu and they were all prepared perfectly.
You order from the chalkboard and grab a seat. I’ve been craving a Croque-monsieur since I returned from Paris and there it was. A croque-monsieur is a baked or fried boiled ham and cheese sandwich. The dish originated in French cafés and bars as a quick snack. A Croque Madame is a version of the dish topped with a fried egg.
“Cr’a Monsieur” is what Kitchenette called it, but this country bread, ham and Gruyere cheese with a perfectly cooked egg on top is my favorite sandwich in the world.
I had for my liquids, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a cup of coffee; both were the tops of the line. Gary started with a couple of pastries from the case, a cinnamon roll, and a muffin. His sugar happiness was off the charts.
Then we split a pile of the best pancakes anywhere in the known universe. Ricotta pancakes filled with Dragon Spring Farm blueberries and a hint of Meyer lemon smothered in grade A Maple syrup. It was hard not to order another stack to go.
We returned for lunch between wine tasting and shared three dishes with a bottle of JDusi Pinot Noir. The turkey Bánh Mì, with country pork pâté, pickled carrots, cucumber, and herbs, with a house Sriracha mayo, was my favorite.
Gary liked the pork short rib burrito — a huge flour tortilla stuffed with savory pork, accompanied by avocado, cabbage, cowboy pinquito beans, and a delectable fruit salsa.
But we both agreed the most memorable was the slow roasted lamb dip sandwich with pimiento goat cheese, and sweet caramelized onions. This sandwich was a classic French dip’s big American brother on flavor steroids.
Chris and Mike Kobayashi are the geniuses behind Kitchenette and Artisan in Paso Robles. Mike said they were interested in opening another restaurant along with Artisan.
“We love Templeton, and our farm is about a quarter-mile from here.” The brothers operate their organic farm for supplying both restaurants. “We wanted to provide the community with well-priced food from the best ingredients and counter-service does that,” said Mike. “When we reduce the overhead from table service, we can offer good quality food at reasonable prices.”
They aimed to bring the farm to table fresh dining to Templeton, and they have more than succeeded. I would eat here every day if I lived in Templeton.
We took two salads home for dinner, and that made a full day of eating only Kitchenette food, a goal succeeded. The raw kale Caesar salad with succulent roast chicken, big slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano, house-made breadcrumbs and a red onion made even kale taste good. I enjoyed the spicy Vietnamese salad with roasted turkey pieces, roasted peanuts, cucumber, and glass noodles all drizzled with chili vinaigrette. It was an impeccable culinary day.
The Kitchenette has an extensive menu. Breakfast and lunch cost from $6 to $12, with desserts, beverages, and extras even less. Kitchenette is open Mondays-Fridays from 7 a.m. to noon for breakfast and 11-2 for lunch. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kitchenette is located at 105 S. Main St., Templeton. You can call them at (805) 499­1006.

‘Justice League’ — An Incoherent, Incomplete, Unguided Mess

Like you, I am losing track of all the superhero/comic movies. I am dragged to each one by the husband who is an original comic book geek. I like half of them. But I long for some new storyline that doesn’t involve wearing tights.
Maybe now that Hollywood has started its shakedown, we will get some new celluloid that is not from the pulp pages but from a true storyteller. But I digress…
The Justice League is part of the DC Comics franchise that started with Batman and now produces a new movie every month. Ten-year-old boy inspired storylines from comic books come alive on the screen using mostly computer graphics. But this one had some help from my favorite writer, Joss Whedon.
The plot: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act (who is now dead), Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Godot), to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat.
Ezra Miller, playing the Flash as a kid working alongside veteran heroes (as Spiderman now is for the Avengers) does a good job but his origin story has a hole the size of Texas.
Cadot is perfect once again as Wonder Woman and her story as a reluctant hero gets adequately developed. Here, we understand Diana’s doubts, her motivations, and reactions thanks to the fact that we already know the character independently from the League.
Ben Affleck does an okay job with what he is given for Batman and proves a transitional leader, being forced into that position by the circumstances around him.
I didn’t care much for Aquaman and Cyborg, but they are good utility players. Justice League with no less than five latex clad superheroes is the finale to director Zack Snyder’s trilogy (following Man of Steel and Batman Versus Superman) but also distances itself from the previous two by trying to fix common complaints about those films being too dark.
Makers behind Justice League heard the protests and made this film as bright as day. There’s also some humor that will draw a genuine smirk from all but the sternest viewer. That’s it. Everything else is an incoherent, incomplete, unguided, unwanted mess.
Justice League is a pointless flail of expensive (yet somehow cheap-looking) CGI that no amount of tacked-on quips, or even Gadot’s luminescent star power, can rescue.

teri bayus
Teri Bayus

Teri Bayus can be reached at: livewell@teribayus.com or follow her writing and ramblings at: www.teribayus.com. Bayus also hosts Taste Buds, a moving picture rendition of her reviews shown on Charter Cable Ch. 10. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.

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