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Artisan: A crisp urban look of a contemporary bistro

Artisan is a short walk north of Paso Robles’ downtown square in the Central Coast’s wine country. The restaurant, in an Art Deco building, has a contemporary bistro style. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Executive chef Chris Kobayashi, standing, and his brother Michael Kobayashi, general manager, are co-owners of Artisan. Michael’s wife, Shandi, is the wine director. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Tourists, locals and area winemakers mingle in Artisan’s contemporary dining room, with its light walls, dark wood and black accents. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Artisan has a full bar, including several craft beers on tap and in bottles. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
The wine list covers a wide array of Central Coast and other California labels. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Chris Kobayashi, a.k.a. chef Koby, uses organic and sustainably raised ingredients. He finishes a plate with a serving of sauce. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Eggplant and heirloom tomato lasagna is served in an individual casserole, a richly layered blend of tomatoes, roasted Italian peppers, bufala mozzarella and sweet basil leaves. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Herb-marinated flatiron steak comes on a bed of leaf spinach with a dollop of Cabernet butter and a side of shoestring potatoes. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Desserts include warm peach and blackberry crumble with pecan streusel and vanilla ice cream. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
A starter of Gouda and Porter fondue is enough to share or have as a main course. Garlic toast, broccolini and andouille sausage are served for dipping. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Pan-roasted “day boat” scallops nestle on a bed of Yukon potato risotto with main lobster, topped with purslane, also known as miner’s lettuce. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Crisp-coated Dungeness crab cakes rise from an aioli of capers and thyme. The lettuce is dressed with a Tabasco vinaigrette. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)