You can’t leave the Central California Coast without filling up on Santa Maria barbecue. This regional style of barbecue dates back to the 19th century, when ranchers held Spanish-style cookouts, grilling simply seasoned top-block sirloin and tri-tip over a native local oak species to add a smoky flavor to the meat. That deep fragrance of red oak hangs in the air as you enter the Buellton Hitching Post II. Opened in 1986, the restaurant has roots in a sister restaurant, Casmalia Hitching Post, which opened in 1952. While the menu is varied, it’s the authentic Santa Maria barbecue, especially tri-tip, that draws crowds. Black-and-white images of generations of horsemen hang on the walls in the simply decorated room that may look a little familiar if you’ve watched the film Sideways, which included many scenes shot inside the restaurant. But the best action is behind the window to the kitchen, where owner Frank Ostini and chef de cuisine Bradley Lettau collaborate at the indoor barbecue. Pro tip: Pair your barbecue with Hartley Ostini Hitching Post wines, crafted by Ostini and friend Gray Hartley.