Restaurant P30: Chic, cheap comfort food

CLOSED: P30 is chic, cheap comfort food in Sebastopol with a familiar roadhouse vibe. Chicken and waffles? Please.

It takes a village to open a restaurant.

Since last summer, legions of Facebook friends have watched the daily highs and lows as Patrick and Christine Tafoya open their first restaurant, P30 in Sebastopol. Some days were clearly rough going (“Opening night and no babysitter (flu). This is fun”) while others ecstatic (“The restaurant is totally packed on a Sunday night….we are just so flippin’ happy”).
But through six months of choppy waters they found instant commiseration from a choir of 140-character cheers.
Now that the restaurant has officially opened, their virtual village are clamoring for a tableside-seat to the restaurant drama they’ve watched unfold online. With snap-happy opening in late January (Christine was rarely without her iPhone during the opening week, posing friends both real and virtual) the restaurant is already doing a brisk business even in the doldrums of the SoCo tourist season.
tafoya.jpgThe “Why You’re Here Dish” is Tafoya’s signature Gleason fried chicken
with brown butter waffles and homemade strawberry jam ($14)
. There’s
nothin’ like it in the North Bay and likely won’t be. Tafoya has long
been a devotee of the ranch (see why) and cuts into his own margins to
get this dish right.
The Rest of The Menu:  “Chic + Cheap Comfort Food” (nothing on the menu
is over $15).  Grassfed beef hamburgers with house made salted brioche buns,
made pickles and catsup ($11); grilled flatbread with St. Jorge cheese
and truffled arugula
($8); biscuit-topped chicken pot pie ($12); mac
& cheese ($7); hand-cut Kennebec sea-salt fries ($6); foraged
mushroom and walnut ravioli; s’mores for two (served in a glass jar
with melted chocolate ganache, brownies, marshmallow fluff and grahams,
$10); root beer floats with homemade root beer and ice cream ($7).
First-week-eaters take heart: Tafoya has reworked the fries, dialed in
the s’mores and added a Meyer lemon meringue custard to weep for.
p30burger.jpgWhy they already have so many fans: The former Duck Club chef is
bringing is haute sensibilities to affordable, everyday eats
. Along with an unswaying in his devotion to small,
local purveyors (like Gleason Ranch), which for a deep-pocketed resort is one thing…but for a chef/owner an especially dedicated proposition. Says the couple: “(P/30 is)…unfussy and honest. We are serving
the kind of food we like to eat, in a setting that we want to be in.”
The Vibe: Inside, the restaurant has undergone a nip/tuck. The
roadhouse spirit is intact, with a hip cut and color that’s less East
Village walk-up and more Brooklyn loft
. It’s also more kid-friendly,
with crayons and butcher paper on the tables begging for scribbles and
a “wee ones” menu of their own. Mindful of dietary restrictions,
Tafoya’s kitchen “happily” accommodates vegan requests.
And means it. Beer on tap and
wine available.
Join the village.
lemon.jpgRestaurant P30, 9890 Bodega Hwy, Sebastopol, 707.861.9030. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 5pm to 9pm.

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22 thoughts on “Restaurant P30: Chic, cheap comfort food

  1. I just posted on yelp, i ll do it here also.
    You might enjoy this restaurant if you weigh 80lb, and eat like a tiny bird. Portions are rediculous, highly priced. Feels like a rip off. I frequent restaurants all over the world, especially in Europe, which have smaller portions than american restaurant, but this one makes no sense to the point that its unappropriate. After a 100$ bill with only 2 glasses of wine and 3 entrees, noone should stay hungry, and go look for another place to eat.
    I will never come back, wouldnt advice anyone to go there for any kind of meal.

  2. Went to P/30 after so much hype for months on FB… I was supportive and excited,but unfortunately let down completely. This place has not a dogs chance unless some fundamental things change and quickly.
    Ambiance is weird and not kid friendly. I did not feel terribly welcomed upon entering. It is so crammed that it is either sit or get out of the way if there are no seats.
    We tried several things on the menu. Salad, Pizza Salad with Cheese, Halibut ( dry and succotash was full of bits of cob)gross,,, ribs,,, so sweet almost not edible… 2 of us were so hungry after 2 appetizers and 2 dishes,,, we forgo desert (on my birthday no less) to go some place else to get more to eat. I am not sure how much it was with drinks,,but I think my gf who took me felt ripped off… sad really sad.
    Few suggestions would be to change the menu and make the dishes more normal sized…if you must raise the prices a bit do so. But to have people complaining about being hungry after spending 80 bucks for 2.. is totally ridiculous. Broaden the menu a bit. Vegetarian/Vegan options… Basket of some nice baked bread would go a long way. Veggies with every meal.. People are wanting to eat healthy, feel satisfied and have great value. Even in high end eateries. Times are tough all over.
    And most importantly,, customer service… Need wonderful front end people. Everyone.. and don’t talk back online to customers even if they are out of line. Looks bad and weak.
    I want you to succeed and really hope you do. Good Luck.

    1. Great feedback. Hopefully they took it into account. I stopped going after being snapped at online for making a comment that they didn’t like (even though it was completely true.) You just can’t treat your customers like that – particularly in this age of instant feedback via Yelp, Chowhound and the like.

  3. After waiting a good length of time to try out P30, four of us went for dinner recently to experience what we had heard was a mixed bag of reviews. What a disappointment — nothing cheap or chic about this place — be prepared to leave hungry. The motto ” Eat Your Dinner” should be “Eat your Wallet”. The P30 lettuces was so meager, we thought they had split the salad — with all the local available greens, $9 seemed like a rip-off. The $10 “pizza” was even more laughable. three slices of pita bread does not a pizza make. The scrawny little $17 chicken (where’s the breast??) consisted of a thigh and leg the size of a squab sitting on a tired salad of panzanella with the strangest croutons the four of us had ever tasted. With all the really talented restaurants in the immediate neighborhood (K&L Bistro, Underwood, Peter Lowell’s), P30 left us feeling hungry and ripped off.

    1. My wife and I had a wonderful meal at P30. The Mac & Cheese was to die for. The cheese was rich and the bacon added a different but good taste. The hamburg with blue cheese is a must—yum!!!!! The portions are not lage but we found that it was enough. The glass of wine was not skimmpy and was very good. Best of all was the desert–s’mores.
      We will be back!

  4. My wife and I have visited P30 4 times since they opened. The derogatory remarks here about the food, portion sizes and prices are way out of line.
    The portion sizes are obvious to anyone who’s read the reviews and took a moment to check the pictures. I would call them “medium” when compared to any other upper end restaurant in the area. But I would admit that the Duck Confit broke my heart when I finished it but that was a reflection of how good it was and not how much of it there was.
    The fried chicken was plenty enough and incredibly juicy (of course it was brined; how else you get that much moisture into a piece of meat?).
    I can’t say anything about their pasta dishes because my wife got the only 1 of those we’ve had a shot at during any of our visits. Maybe next time.
    The menu is pretty short but the great thing is that it had changed between each of our visits.
    We’ve tried the Meyer Lemon Custard and it had perfect texture. We’ve tried a bit more than just the custard and were pleased each time.
    The wine list is a great value. We’ve enjoyed $20 bottle of wines and splurged on a $35 bottle of nice champagne. It DEFINITELY makes more sense financially to go with the bottle rather than the glass.

  5. Very disappointed with our meal here. The Fried chicken was over cooked, bordering on burned. The macaroni and cheese was served almost cold, room temp at best and the pasta was overcooked to the point of being mushy. The french fries were cold and limp. The only good thing we shared at the table was the pot pie with biscuit topping. I certainly won’t be returning here again.

  6. Recently ate at P30. The service was very good. The flatbread with arugula was exquisite; the chicken pie okay. However, when I ordered iced tea, the server said, “Oh…I can make you iced tea.” She then brought a 4 oz glass of iced tea to the table (about two swallows). When I asked for sweetener I was told they only have sugar or honey. Note to owners: Not everyone can/wants to drink alcohol or sparkling water. Also diabetics cannot eat sugar. I will think twice about returning. Too bad, because it’s a very nice space in a very nice setting.

  7. Went to P30 the friday of Valentines weekend. We shared the endive salad,I had the chicken pot pie and my husband had the burger.Both were very good but the burger needed fat or mayo. My suggestion is order the fries on the side that comes with the aioli. The pot pie was very good and savory. Didn’t look like much to eat but we were satisfied enough not to have dessert. Ordered the Moshin Pinot and they were out so the server recommended the Buena Vista that was only $25 and very good.Our tab was $60 before tip which I thought was great for a night out.

  8. Tried p/30 first weekend…loved it so much went back the following weekend. Delicious, great vibe, great service, warm atmosphere, AMAZING desserts!

  9. Make reservations! Drive out out on a stormy THursday night for dinner earlier than 6p.m. – no parking and a 45 minutes wait. Didn’t stay! With the above reviews, we’re considering not trying again. WHo know though! Will keep an eye on comments

  10. Tried P30 for the first time tonight, and we had a wonderful time! The staff is wonderful, the decor is warm and inviting, and the food was excellent. A new favorite on our very short list! Thanks P30!

  11. Our Visit to P 30, or how to nearly petrify free range chicken:
    It was with some hope that we went to P30 the other evening. Been watching it change once again. The Review made it seem promising. Most in that location have become miserable.
    The place has been redecorated and it looked far improved and clean inside. The wait staffs were cheerful and we were ready for a great meal from a chef given high praise, ready too for the “Cheap, Comfort Food” as the owners claim they like.
    Sebastopol had a KFC franchise and they delivered on the promise of finger licking good! It was probably unhealthy food prepared by minimum wage help. Any culinary experts KFC had were working at getting a less unhealthy fat or a new recipe for the broiled version. Still, with a side of coleslaw it was ‘comfort’ food, cheap.
    P30 delivered a tiny dry and stringy, salted for an ocean voyage on the Minnow, chicken for the cost of bucket of KFC. A waffle was broken in half on the diagonal next to the tiny leg portion connected to what seemed a torn out segment of lower breast. The meat was salty as if soaked in brine, and very tough. The fried bits were not appealing ether. Some rock hard and some with skin still on. I presume whatever the Bite Club reviewer was served (no pancake either) was not this.
    My companion had the Chicken Pot Pie and some pieces appeared to be an unknown pink muscle which required serious attention with knife and then serious chewing. Her mere 5 oz. of wine at $8.00, served in a 12 oz. glass was not helpful. Backed up to cold, damp windows was hardly appropriate. Single pane is very 1950’s. Tables are rather close for such a ‘loud’ room and she had to cup her ear to hear over the noise.
    KFC have long departed Sebastopol, and too bad as they have improved on their chicken offerings and the slaw is good.
    The dried out waffle was not helped much by watery strawberry jam. I found evidence of a single eighth bit of strawberry to flavor that dry waffle.
    If you want a veggie, the choice was Broccoli. It was a sprig in a weak sauce, and $6.00.
    The dessert proved to be a runny custard with just a hint of lemon for $7.00.
    Thus a tiny meal of chicken, a bloom of broccoli and a runny near tasteless custard and two rather soggy shortbread ‘cookies’ with a third of a glass of wine, plus tax and tip ($80 for two).
    I’m glad someone found this better, but on 2/4 it was lacking. Water was free, bread and butter, or oil were optional too. Crayons were on the table. If there is any comfort here, it will be profits.
    In the event you want some great Fried Chicken, or a good value when eating out, by all means visit Stormy’s Bloomfield (also reviewed by posting folks to Bite Club in response to suggestions. Think we will keep to answered questions as the reviews praising P30 just did not fit).
    At Stormy’s six of us were pleased and it was what posting readers said. I’m looking forward to taking friends again soon. Meanwhile a serious reviewer should take a second look at P30.

  12. Hi Jerry,
    Just wanted to see if you’d mind mentioning what you ordered for 80.00? Was this for 2 people? Was that just for food? Did you have any wine? Just trying to get a clear picture of why you were still hungry when you left.
    Feedback is appreciated.

  13. I heard from a few people, and agree after going there last Sunday. Nice vibe, decent food, but SMALL portions. The joke I heard was ” yeah, just make sure Mambo’s is open after you have dinner at P30″. And they went a bit overboard on the FB opening-day bad iPhone pix.

  14. Come hungry, leave hungry…Food is good, but to call it cheap is off base. The servings are very small. We spent $80, not including tip and were hungry when we left. When I hear the term “comfort food” I think of large portions that you can dig into….this is not the case. It felt more like tappas. Even the waitress opened up with a clarification of the servings being small and meant for sharing…Essentially you needed to double the portions to get to the normal of most other restaurants. The ravioli’s were good, but 6 small ravioli’s for $12 is not cheap at all.

  15. I am so excited to try P30. I was thinking of taking my boyfried for his birthday…he loves fried chicken and waffles and hasn’t found a North Bay location that satisfies. Are reservations recommended?

  16. Went there last week. Quite good!
    We had the chicken & the pot-pie….w/ the s’mores & banana tarte for desert.
    But a request? Could you find a way to add some vegies? I found myself craving some. Whether a side dish or ??

  17. P/30 is awesome! The food is delicious! We had a party of three and ordered four different dishes, (Lamb Stew, Hamburger, BLT and the Fried Chicken)all dishes were superb! “Meyer lemon meringue custard to weep for” I have been craving this dreamy dessert even since I had it! Looking forward to many more dining experiences at P/30! Great job Patrick & Christine.

  18. P/30 is awesome! The food is delicious! We had a party of three and ordered four different dishes, (Lamb Stew, Hamburger, BLT and the Fried Chicken)all dishes were superb! “Meyer lemon meringue custard to weep for” I have been craving this dreamy dessert even since I had it! Looking forward to many more dining experiences at P/30! Great job Patrick and Christine.

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