Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist. | Maggie Kaiserman/Mustang News

Mustang News File Photo

I dipped one end of the samosa into some green chutney, and the other end into the mint yogurt dip. After taking a bite, the creamy potato oozed into my mouth and left a smear of oil on my fingertips.

Kristine Xu

[follow id = “kristiners”]

Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist.

On a quiet Monday night, most stores were closed and downtown San Luis Obispo was deserted. However, my roommate and I were on the prowl for food and decided to have dinner after being attracted to the soft lights and welcoming company of Novo Restaurant and Lounge.

Located on Higuera Street, Novo offers iconic dining with Mediterranean and American fusion cuisine. With different menus for lunch and dinner as well as three different kinds of seating throughout the restaurant, Novo guarantees a unique dining experience at any time of day.

Despite my desperation to escape from the cold, my roommate insisted on sitting outside on the patio behind the restaurant. Admittedly, after a while the soft breeze, twinkling lights and warm patio heater were too much to resist. I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere and classy feel of the restaurant, relishing this rare treat.

Though Novo seems like a fancier restaurant for the more permanent residents of the community, it is still a nice place to bring visiting parents for dinner or to treat yourself. We were excited to see what was on the dinner menu.

After looking at the menu and nervously realizing nothing was in our price range, my roommate and I decided to split an appetizer and an entrée. This would later prove to be a good decision, because of how impeccably full we were.

The waitress dashed off to the kitchen with our orders of potato samosas and Moroccan fried chicken, leaving us to bask in the warmth of the outdoor heater and enjoy the creekside ambiance.

The potato samosas were placed side by side on a bed of diced bell peppers, and more resembled the purse-like shape of deep-fried dumplings than the familiar triangular shape of the Indian pastry. I dipped one end of the samosa into some green chutney, and the other end into the mint yogurt dip. After taking a bite, the creamy potato oozed into my mouth and left a smear of oil on my fingertips.

Photo by Kristine Xu

We unapologetically polished them off in a matter of minutes, dousing our mouths with cold water in between bites to satiate the spicy flavors of the bite-sized pastries.

Not too long after, the waitress exchanged our plates and left us to start on our mountainous entrée. This dish was like any other fried chicken, except with more spices to dress it up.

The four pieces of fried chicken split between my roommate and I were tough, dry and hard to eat. The spices left a sour aftertaste, and turned the chicken an angry red hue. After picking apart the ribcage, I decided I preferred eating the drumstick.


Photo by Kristine Xu

One of the more enjoyable aspects of the meal was the fluffy quinoa topped with fresh feta cheese and chopped steamed carrots. Even the buttery flatbread was good on its own, but tasted even better dipped into the spiced yogurt dip.

Overall, it was too spicy for me to fully enjoy. I prefer milder foods that complement each other, just because it makes for a more enjoyable dining experience. With the murmur of the bustling kitchen and soft conversations of the diners around us, we finished our meal and took the leftovers home.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *