Cowboy Fishing a friendly spot for bites and brews 

click to enlarge The menu at Cowboy Fishing Co. spotlights crab – in dishes such as crab cakes (pictured), crab ravioli, and fresh in buckets. - COURTESY  PHOTO
  • The menu at Cowboy Fishing Co. spotlights crab – in dishes such as crab cakes (pictured), crab ravioli, and fresh in buckets.
Half Moon Bay’s fishing and horse ranches come together at Cowboy Fishing Co., a gastropub established by local fisherman who work together as a commercial crab fishing enterprise. Their debut restaurant blends sustainable seafood and the “cowboy code” in a family-friendly environment with plenty of natural light, high tables and a bar overlooking the kitchen. The menu of “brews and bites” is heavy on crab, from a bucket of fresh crab with butter and sourdough to crab cakes and crab ravioli. Beef sliders, kale salad and hummus also are served. Beers on tap often include selections from Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and Hop Dogma in El Granada. (Meanwhile, Cowboy Fishing Co. owners say their “code” describes the ideal way cowboys conduct themselves personally and professionally.) The restaurant, open Thursdays through Sundays only, plans to add fresh-caught fish to the menu soon.

730 Main St., Half Moon Bay; (650) 704-7512.

Pizzeria West also is new in Half Moon Bay. Creative pies, boasting superior ingredients such as organic Bianco DiNapoli tomato sauce and local produce, range from $25.50 to $29.50. The “Porkatarian” has three kinds of pork, and the “Lord of the Pies” has ricotta, housemade pork fennel sausage and is dusted with fennel pollen. The “Queen Bee” balances sweet and spicy with soppresatta, honey and chili flakes. Pizzas, available whole made-to-order or by the slice, are the sole item on the menu. The casual room has bare white walls and, not surprisingly, a prominent pizza oven.

20 Stone Pine Road, Suite D, Half Moon Bay; (650) 726-9378


On the outskirts of downtown San Mateo, Charm Thai Eatery is now in a former barber shop on a block known for fast food. The menu is extensive, balancing between creative dishes and Thai standards. Crispy spring rolls and chicken satay are familiar starters. Prawns in a blanket (deep-fried and marinated prawns wrapped in egg roll skins) are more unusual. Salads and the classic hot and sour soup tom yum are popular, as are curries, noodles and wok stir-fries. Do explore the “chef’s favorite” for surprises, such as a version of pad thai with crab. Mango with coconut sticky rice is for dessert. Charm’s warm, softly lit dining room is indeed charming, with wood, Thai art and room for about 40 diners.

1428 S El Camino Real, San Mateo; (650) 212-3444.

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