123 Bolinas

By Megan Gordon

Fairfax seemed to have fallen asleep back when it was the playground for Van Morrison, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. Happily it seems to be waking up, at least at 123 Bolinas. Here everything from the food to the furnishings reflects the modern mantra: local and sustainable. The tables and chairs are made from reclaimed oak trusses, beams, and barn siding and give the space a simple yet warm and inviting feel. The open seating arrangement—low stools gathered around very short tables—is perfect for gathering with friends, enjoying a glass of wine, and gawking at the übercool hanging and rotating fireplace and funky pendant lighting. The low tables make it easier to socialize than to dig into a fork-and-knife entrée, so consider 123 Bolinas a wine bar with food, rather than a sit-down restaurant. Reinforcing this concept is an easy-to-navigate wine menu split into categories like floral whites and zesty and spicy reds, and a menu of seasonal food designed with sharing in mind. While the menu is ever changing, one constant is the popular soft and billowy housemade ricotta gnocchi. Some may still find Fairfax a bit sleepy, but it now offers up the perfect pillows, at least on your plate.

menu musts*

Mixed green salad with house-made vinegar
Housemade ricotta gnocchi with broccoli rabe flowers, pork and grated cheese
Charcuterie plate with house-made pickles
Seared polenta cakes, wild mushroom ragout, pea shoots and balsamic reduction
*menu changes daily
view full menu here

sweet seats

Low stools and tables are great for chatting with friends, but if you want to hunker down and really get to know someone, the table in the back by the fireplace is your best bet—quiet and cozy.

chew on this

A very likable wine list is focused on local California wines, from Paso Robles to Anderson Valley. You’ll find the opportunity to create your own flight by ordering a “smidge”—a 2 ounce pour—of any wine on the menu. It’s a perfect way to try something new or something different with each plate.


Tues.–Thurs. 4 PM–10 PM; Fri.–Sat. 4 PM–12 midnight;
Sun. 4 PM–9 PM

price range

$6 (celery root salad) to $10.95 (braised short ribs)