Park 1039 – A Mandatory Visit When in San Luis Obispo


Folks understandably think of SLO as a college town, which is logical. Some folks may therefore eschew the town when seeking culinary excellence in the Central Coast, which would be a shame. It is filled with myriad surprises, but easily our favorite dining venue is now Park 1039.

The erudite folks at Park 1039 have accomplished the nearly perfect balance of delightful cuisine, locally sourced and at reasonable prices.

We spent a lingering lunch one sunny afternoon savoring several dishes and wine pairings.

The salmon sandwich was the hidden highlight, and is not to be missed. I would have not paired the smoked fish with kimchi aioli, but with pickled green tomato on the locally sourced sourdough bread the combination was magnificent.

Tomatoes grown nearby make the BLTA another standout, bookended by the same sourdough bread. The firm crust and the tender center of the bread add to the multiple textures of the crisp lettuce, buttery smooth avocado, aioli and the hand cut Nueske bacon.

The local stoneware was regional. The wine was presented in imported glassware; Park 1039 has the only full set in America. We partook of tastes from a few of the 2000 bottles in the wine cellar, from 26 countries.

The team of Sarah Carlisle, Jenna Isaacs, Brendan Collins and owner Steve Goodale take incredible pride in their creations, and they were happy to field our seemingly endless curiosity about Park 1039. Each evinced the venue’s mission statement: “Kindness, Curiosity, Passion, and Truth.”

Since salumi cannot be displayed en plein air in United States, Steve cleverly leveraged and imported glass fronted coolers instead. The hanging cured meats in open air are normal sights in Europe.

It used to be that food fresh off the vine was the standard, then with the seeming efficiency the “Big Food” industry, true freshness became rare for many people, which in turn now drives us back towards the appreciation of eating local.

The name Park denotes a place filled with foliage and a place to relax. In other words, the venue is well named.

We will want to return to Park 1039 to see what delights the team will build on a custom cheese board, and there is plenty more to explore on the evolving menu.

Drawing from their 10 foot cheese counter, the selections are seemingly endless. Indeed, this was the exact opposite of the wonderful Monty Python sketch; at Park 1039 nothing was missing.


More information about Park 1039 here.

The Monty Python cheese shop sketch here.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.