805 Kabob Mediterranean Bakery & Cafe has opened at 6578 Trigo Road in Isla Vista, the former home of Lovin Oven, Cafe International and Fresh Wok. The menu includes Kabobs (chicken kabob, chicken kafta, beef kabob, beef kafta, lamb kabob, lamb kafta, combo plate and Mediterranean plate), Mini Plates, Pita Wraps (chicken pita, lamb kafta pita, beef kafta pita, gyros, chicken shawarma, beef shawarma), and more. Owner Matt Maida tells me that the pita bread is baked fresh daily at the restaurant and that the lamb shawarma, which I am told can be hard to find locally, is the most popular item. Hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. – midnight. Call 770-7737 or visit 805kabob.com.
Mediterranean restaurant 805 Kabaob opened in March in Isla Vista
Lucky Penny at 137 Anacapa Street will offer a special pizza initiative to support Youth Interactive, Santa Barbara’s innovative program helping teens explore and discover their creative and entrepreneurial talents. For five days, ending July 1, pizza lovers of any age can design their own off-the-menu “Pizza Interactive,” choosing up to three toppings from a menu of ingredients. Lucky Penny will donate 10% of the “Pizza Interactive” sales proceeds to Youth Interactive. Founded in 2012, Youth Interactive Santa Barbara is a grassroots after-school Entrepreneurial Arts Academy that bridges opportunity and social divisions by providing creative young adults from all walks of life with the keys to self-sufficiency. Lucky Penny serves breakfast through dinner every day with pizza available after 11:00 a.m.
The Montecito Firefighter’s Association will be holding their 21st Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast at 595 San Ysidro Road. Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the door. Pancakes, eggs, sausage and Green Star Coffee will be prepared and served by Montecito firefighters from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Fire District Headquarters. There is no parking available on site, however a drop off location will be available at the base of the Fire District’s driveway. All proceeds from the breakfast go to the Montecito Firefighter’s Benevolent Fund.
Island Brewing Company at 5049 6th Street in Carpinteria is celebrating their 15th anniversary July 8-10. They will have our Anniversary beer release and some fun entertainment including Togen Daiko Taiko Drummers and Tina’s Ports of Paradise Polynesian Dancers. Visit islandbrewingcompany.com.
Fortunately there was no internal damage, and they are open for business as usual, but Mesa Verde restaurant at 1919 Cliff Drive experienced a fire around 11 p.m. on June 23rd, causing $20,000 in damage. Firefighters found flames and smoke coming from the rear of the building and quickly brought it under control.
Angel Oak has opened at the Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Avenue in Goleta in the former home of Miro restaurant. The high-end eatery offers steak and seafood restaurant among many other items on the menu. Angel Oak executive chef is Vincent Lesage.
The Santa Barbara Elks Lodge #613 will host their annual 4th of July Family Fun Fair Celebration at 150 Kellogg Street in Goleta on July 4, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. The patriotic event is open to the public; entrance is free, and over 5,000 local residents are expected to attend. This year’s 4th of July celebration is held in conjunction with hundred’s of Elk’s Lodges around the United States. Baked goods, hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbecued chicken dinners will be sold for a nominal fee between 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 pm. The celebration offers something for everyone. Face painting and numerous games will be offered for the children, along with Bingo games offered for adults. Plenty of prizes await the lucky winners. A silent and live auction, with a large variety of items will be offered throughout the day, and a raffle drawing will be held at 4:30 p.m., with payouts totaling $3000.00. Boys Scouts Troops 4 and 37, chartered by the SB Elks Lodge, will also be earning hours towards their merit badges by volunteering at the Family Fun Fair, assisting in the children’s games and helping maintain the SB Elks Lodge grounds throughout the day.
A new French restaurant named Le Petit Bistrot opened in early May at 532 State Street, the former home of Verde and Zia Cafe. Owner Salvatore Italiano tells me that the eatery will be having a grand opening and ribbon cutting with officials from the city and from the Chamber of Commerce. There will also be a free buffet. The event takes place on Tuesday, June 28th at 4:30 p.m.
The Santa Barbara Independent’s 7th Annual Sizzling Summer BBQ Contest Winner Showcase is tomorrow, June 23rd at The Brewhouse 229 W. Montecito Street 5:30pm – 8pm. Tickets ($16.92) to the event, which includes a logo glass, a beer, and a sampler plate can be purchased at tinyurl.com/indybbq2016.
This just in from reader Mike: “I tried a new item at The Habit in Goleta today. You can now order your burger Santa Barbara-style. Basically it is a double char with cheese but on toasted sourdough and has avocado. I went ahead and got one with the addition of bacon and enjoyed it. It’s listed on their website so I’m expecting it’s at all locations.”
A new late-night restaurant named Little Kitchen, part owned by, and next door to Wildcat bar & club, opened on May at 17 West Ortega Street, the former home of Nardonnes La Famiglia Pizzeria. The menu, originally only available late an night Friday – Sunday includes Southwest Chicken Tikka Masala, Loaded Pub Fries, Bangkok Street Fries, Philly Cheese Steak, Banh Mi Sliders, Fench Toast Bites, Brioche Breakfast Sandwich and Cheeseburger Egg Rolls. I am now told that Little Kitchen offers lunch: “I just wanted to let you know we are officially open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., in addition to our late night hours, Friday, -Sunday 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m,” says owner/manager Grace Austin.
Ken Boxer, owner of Palazzio restaurant at 1026 State Street that closed for renovations last October (and unexpectedly discovered many issues that have kept it closed ever since), asked me to share this update with you:
Just wanted to give to you an update with Palazzio. The blueprints for the kitchen remodel has finally been submitted to City officials. I should be hearing from the Building Department within the next few weeks. If there are no changes to our plans, then we should be ready to begin our kitchen remodel shortly.
Palazzio has been closed almost 9 months now and we are so ready to reopen. We are thinking that December we should be reopening. Of course, if we can get finished sooner, this would be ideal.
We will be having a lot of great things happening at Palazzio. Our menu will be expanded with lots of new ideas. I’ll keep your readers posted when we have our Grand ReOpening.
Reader Annie drove past Nimita’s Cuisine at 508 East Haley Street, which opened in February in the former home of Muddy Waters, and saw that it is now empty. I asked Nimita about this and here is her response:
Thank you for reaching out. I have been flooded with calls on a daily basis regarding our pop up at 508 East Haley. A lot of our community members are wondering why we closed.
The Bike Coalition (the landlords of this venue) had offered us a 3-month pop-up situation for us to open a restaurant with the option to extend the lease, once we had upgraded the place after Muddy Waters closed.
Even though it was a great opportunity to sample our offerings to the community from a brick and mortar venue, it became very challenging for us to offer food at a venue with no kitchen. Nevertheless, we are very pleased to see how positively the community responded to our offerings as well as to all the different events that took place during our time there.
Unfortunately, our community is new to the notion of pop-up restaurants and it is misleading some to think that our business failed or that we are not operating. Quite the contrary, we continue offering our delivery services as well as our catering services. We will continue to have booths at our local festivals, and we are looking for a more adequate venue, with a full kitchen to base ourselves from.
I will certainly keep you posted.
Reader Primetime let me know that the new Rusty’s Pizza has opened at 111 State Street, the former home of Be Bop Burger. “We are thrilled to call this our new home!” says owner Tyler Duncan. This new location replaces Lighthouse Rusty’s Pizza at 15 E. Cabrillo Boulevard that closed due to bridge replacement work that consumed some of the property. Amenities at the new Rusty’s Pizza includes a fresh salad bar, party rooms (not yet available) with big screen TVs, and classic arcade games. Complementing the dining experience is a wall-to-wall nautical museum including a genuine, restored, rotating lighthouse lamp. Rusty’s Pizza is open daily 11 a.m. – midnight. Friday and Saturday deliveries continue until 1 a.m. Call 564-1111 or visit rustyspizza.com.
Reader Paul tells me that a coming-soon sign has appeared at 205 Santa Barbara Street for Laplace Wine Bar & Shop. A message on their Facebook page offers a description of the business: “The vision of Laplace Wine Bar & Shop is to offer both the novice and impassioned wine lover a chance to relax in an old world setting with a glass of wine in hand…perhaps to inhale the teasing aromas of Herbs de Provence or to taste something that beckons a sense of place. Henceforth, the twofold meaning behind the name Laplace…pronounced as La-plӓs but feel free to say it anyway you want!” Call 358-9670.
Photo by reader Paul
Reader Ted tells me that a sign has been posted at Sams 2 U at 5979 Hollister Avenue in Goleta stating that they are closing. I am told that Sam has been there for almost eleven years. A message to patrons reads:
“To our dear customers: It has been a pleasure knowing and serving all of you special customers for many years. Due to the economy we are closing on June 24th. We regret ending your long-standing support and friendship with us at Sam’s 2 U. We appreciate your patronage and it was fun getting to know you over the years. We wish you all the best and will always remember these good years. Thank you, Sam’s Family”
Photo by reader Ted
While visiting my Montecito childhood friend who now lives in Texas, I had the opportunity to try some amazing homemade salsa called “Watermelon Fire & Ice.” Juicy watermelon replaces tomatoes in this salsa that’s simultaneously cool and spicy hot. Flip likes to modify the recipe a bit by using habañero peppers with the jalapeños (and he suggests using gloves when chopping jalapeños or your hands will burn all night). To not have the salsa become too watery, let the chopped watermelon drain in a colander for a while. Mix everything together in a large bowl and you will end up with four cups of delicious, Restaurant Guy-approved salsa. If you want to really go all out, use a hollowed-out watermelon halve as a serving bowl. Here’s the official recipe:
- 3 cups chopped watermelon
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt.
Restaurateur Larry Mindel and Chef Peter McNee will be opening Convivo restaurant and bar at the newly remodeled Santa Barbara Inn, 901 East Cabrillo Boulevard. Convivo, whose name means ‘to come together’ and is the root word for the Latin term for ‘feast.’ Convivo recently announced that Larry Nobles will be the General Manager. “Larry’s experience in the hospitality industry makes him the ideal choice for Convivo,” said Mindel. “Beyond his proven ability to successfully manage some of the finest restaurants, his thorough knowledge of Santa Barbara position him to be a strategic force behind the opening of Convivo, and we’re delighted to have him join our team.” Most recently, Nobles served as Restaurant Manager for the San Ysidro Ranch, ranked the #1 Hotel in America by Forbes and winner of Wine Spectator’s 2014 and 2015 “Grand Award.” At San Ysidro Ranch, he was responsible for overseeing its two restaurants (Stonehouse and Plow & Angel), private dining, events, catering and more. Prior to his role at San Ysidro Ranch, Nobles was the General Manager of both Stella Mare’s and Le Café Stella in Santa Barbara. Before that he served as the Restaurant Manager at Holdren’s Steakhouse and was a mixologist at The Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore.
At The Lark restaurant, 31 Anacapa Street, Chef Paluska and the team present Father’s Day (June 19) dining with a trio of specials in addition to the summer menu. Specials include Cornmeal Fried West Coast Oysters with Old Rasputin Aioli, Grilled Meyer Lemon and Lark Hot Sauce and Smoked Beef Brisket with Ancho Chile Cornbread, BBQ Baked Hominy, Beer Braised Greens and Crispy Shallots. Dessert includes a Classic Coconut Crème Pie with Kaffir Lime, Toasted Almond and Chocolate created by Executive Pastry Chef Jeff Haines.
Reader Dick says that Sprouts Farmers Market, coming to 175 North Fairview Avenue, the former home of Haggen (for about 3 seconds) and Vons, has moved the opening date from July 27 to August 24.
Reader Brendan says that a “For Lease” sign is up on the front of India House restaurant at 418 State Street. India House is open for business as usual.
Reader Jeff passed word to me that Subway at 3613 State Street (next to Rudy’s) has closed.
Reader Jeff let me know that the recently-closed Subway on upper State Street is becoming the new home for Miso Hungry, according to the big sign in front. Miso Hungry is currently located at the nearby Galleria. The Galleria mall on upper State Street is scheduled for demolition and replaced by a four-story, mixed-use project with 85 units of rental housing and 11,000 square feet of commercial space.
Readers Elise and Ray let me know that The Nugget opened for business on Saturday, June 11 at 5096 Carpinteria Avenue, the former home of Cielo Bar & Grill and Cabo’s Baja Grill & Cantina. This is the 4th location for the iconic local eatery that started life decades ago at 2318 Lillie Avenue in Summerland. The Nugget expanded to 5685 Calle Real in Goleta in December 2009 then added a location at 21 West Victoria Street in downtown Santa Barbara last July. Unlike the three other locations, most of the seating at the new Nugget in Carpinteria is outdoors so if you are itching to have a Gold Miner’s Classic Burger during inclement weather, plan on ordering to go! The Nugget is open daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Call 318-1016 or visit nuggetbarandgrill.com.
Last week nearly a dozen cooks participated in the judging round of The Santa Barbara Independent’s 7th Annual Sizzling Summer BBQ Contest. After comparing notes and scores, the panel of judges — which included a mix of Indy staffers and Food & Drink section contributors as well as additional chefs, brewers, and winemakers — have decided to award these four chefs with a slot in our grilling showcase on the evening of June 23 at The Brewhouse:
- Emily Falke: For her gourmet-leaning “Umami Tri-Tip Tacos” with pickled beets, crumbled cotija cheese, and cilantro horseradish creme, served with black IPA-braised red cabbage and farro with grilled Meyer lemon slices and shishito peppers
- “Neighbor” Tim Goebel: For an expertly barbecued brisket served with snappy/smoky baked beans and the classic mac ‘n’ cheese.
- George Levinthal: For his scrumptious “Kick-Ass” burger made with beef, chorizo, and cotija cheese, that was preceded with a grilled watermelon and tomato gazpacho and accompanied by a zesty mustard-infused potato salad.
- “Texas” Rex White: For a traditionally excellent and overloaded dish of apple-hickory pork, sauteed green beans with bacon, and cheesy grilled squash, accompanied by home-pickled okra and his own mellow yellow and spicy red sauces, finished with a peach cobbler.
And as a bonus category of sorts, the Independent will also be showcasing contestant Tony Figueroa’s dry rub at the Brewhouse. It’s called Figs Dirty Rub. All four winners will be given four free tickets to the June Brewhouse event, which includes a logo glass, a beer, and a sampler plate. To purchase tickets ($15) visit tinyurl.com/indybbq2016.
Founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts, 66 years and 11,000 locations later Dunkin’ Donuts finally rolled into Santa Barbara this week at 3771 State Street, the former home of Taco Bell and Char West. As big as they are, the coffee and donut powerhouse is a small player on the west coast, but growing quickly. In 2013, Nigel Travis, Dunkin’ Donuts’ CEO, announced that the Dunkin’ Donuts franchises will be available in California beginning last year and I am told that there are more than 20 locations in California. Several more South Coast locations are planned.
Though you might think that donuts is their claim to fame, newbies quickly figure out that the Dunkin’ part of the name is where much of the action is. Coffee accounts for 50% of their business on the west coast and 70% on the east coast. Dunkin’ Donuts offers a full assortment of coffee drinks – think Starbucks with an in-house bakery. And the list goes on: the eatery also offers an assortment of breakfast sandwiches. Though McDonald’s recently rolled out all-day breakfast, I am told that Dunkin’ Donuts has been offering all-day breakfast for decades.
Santa Barbara is just the first stop on the South Coast. I am told that future locations are being considered for Goleta, Isla Vista and “to the south.” Dunkin’ Donuts is open daily 5 a.m. – 11 p.m.. Thanks to readers Ashley and Josh for the tips.
In February I wrote that Cielito restaurant at 1114 State Street (still open for business as usual) would be replaced by a new eatery named Tu Casa. Reader Wade says that a Facebook page for the new restaurant now refers to the business by a new name: Viva Modern Mex.
This just in from the Restaurant Connection:
“Hi John, I just wanted to inform you and everyone else that we are now open for delivery on Saturday and Sunday for weekend brunch / lunch. Now, people can get brunch delivered. Operating hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We are then open again for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We are also offering new restaurants for delivery: Andersen’s Bakery & Restaurant and Ca’Dario. We will also begin delivering from Galanga Thai Restaurant starting in June. Visit RestaurantConnectionSB.com.”
This just in from reader Laura:
I thought you might like to share this with your readers: From my sources in Solvang, the Food Network TV show “The Great Food Truck Race” is filming in Solvang today. 4 Food Truck Contestants are in Solvang right now and serving until about 5pm (or when they run out) at: Sweet Southern Soul on Mission Drive at Solvang Park. Hawaiian Leiaway Ladies: On Alisal Road in front of Birkholm’s Bakery. Carretto’s Sicilian on Mission Drive in front of The Olive House. Grilled Cheese All Stars on Copenhagen Drive & Second Street across from Solvang Visitors Center. No word on their plans for Saturday at this point.
If you have any suggestions for reader Linda please leave a message.
I was wondering if you could help me find a personal chef that does catering in private homes. I live in SOCAL so I am not familiar with the area. We will be in a vacation rental in Santa Barbara. We are looking for someone who will take care of the table and flowers for the dinner. I was just hoping you could give me some suggestions.