After reading all of the good reviews, we were really looking forward to dining at Panolivo. We made reservations and arrived early on a Friday evening. There were several tables seated and the restaurant was not crowded.
We started with appetizers. The crab cake puffs were crab cakes on a puff pastry with an aioli on the side. The puff pastry did not add anything to the crab cakes. All three of us found them somewhat bland and blah. My wife had the tomato fennel soup and I had the french onion. Our friend ordered the baked brie.
The tomato soup was more like a gruel - you could eat it with a fork. It might have been OK over pasta or in lasagna, but as a soup it was inedible. The french onion soup was average (I order it a lot at restaurants). It didn't really have much flavor. Our friend like the baked brie.
When my wife mentioned that the soup was much too thick to our waitress, she did offer to take it off the bill.
Our waitress was polite, but disconnected and distant. She may have checked with us once during the meal. We chatted for a while after finishing, but she never checked back to see if we wanted coffee or anything else.
As we left, the restaurant was still largely empty - it definitely does not draw a crowd on a Friday night which might be a sign that it is not popular among the locals. With so many other dining options in Paso Robles, I don't think we will be back.