DENNY’S DEPARTS

This just in from reader Tim: “Hi John, I drove by Denny’s in Goleta on Calle Real tonight and it was closed. The Denny’s sign is gone and a for-lease sign is up.” Reader Rex of SB sent me similar information. Goleta Denny’s opened in July 2005. Fortunately you will still be able to get a Grand Slam breakfast on the South Coast by visiting Denny’s at 3614 State Street.

This leads me to ask about one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries: Which came first – freeways or Denny’s? If you know the answer please let me know.

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OTACO UPDATE

This just in from reader Jen: “Looks like there is construction activity over at Angry Wings in Isla Vista and the chicken mural had been painted over.” Angry Wings at 6530 Pardall Road closed last December and will be replaced by OTaco. During the last decade this address has been the home of Angry Wings (opened 2012), Chino’s Rock & Tacos (opened 2010), Eclectic I.V. (opened 2006), China Garden (opened 2006) and Kung Pao Kitchen (opened 2005).

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VIVA OLIVA

Reader Primetime let me know that Viva Oliva is currently moving from Paseo Nuevo mall downtown to 1275 Coast Village Road in Montecito. Viva Oliva was created by Santa Barbara local Andi Newville, and her two daughters Amanda and Ellie to provide over 40 flavors of premium oils, balsamic vinegars and gourmet foods at affordable prices. Visit vivaoliva.com.

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IGRILL / SUSHI TERI UPDATE

Here is a message from reader Amie:

“Hi John, iGrill Korean BBQ at 3132 State Street has changed hands and is now owned by Sushi Teri (Laxman Perera aka Nikka Marketing). Super excited! Also, Sushi Teri has a brand new location at 213 West Ocean Avenue in Lompoc.”

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY SANTA BARBARA PUBLIC MARKET

Santa Barbara Public Market is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a Spring Fling on Saturday, April 4th from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and invites the community to a free event to commemorate this exciting milestone with special springtime food samplings, cooking demonstrations, family festivities, and live music. 14 merchants make up the dynamic collective at 38 West Victoria Street.

“The Santa Barbara Public Market is truly a unique experience for everyone,” says Marge Cafarelli, owner of the Santa Barbara Public Market. “It has been fun to watch visitors discover the great synergies that exist across the Market, and shop it each in their own way. We like to think of it as “choose your own adventure” at the Public Market – whatever the experience you’re looking for may be, you’ll find it here!”

Starting at 10 a.m. on April 4, the celebration begins in The Kitchen with a visit from the Easter Bunny, along with egg decorating crafts. The afternoon will offer a springtime culinary festival of food tastings, cooking demos and classes. From 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., a Tasting Passport will be your ticket guide through the market to experience seasonal food tastings at participating market merchants. Get stamped at each merchant, and turn in your completed Passport for a chance to win prizes throughout the day. Festivities continue with Santa Monica Seafood fishmongers in The Kitchen at 2:00 p.m. for a lesson in how to filet a fish, and more. Live music will be available noon to 8 p.m.

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SHALHOOB PATIO UPDATE

When Shalhoob Meat Co. at 220 Gray Avenue in the Funk Zone opened their new Patio cafe late last year they were surprised when the business quickly filled to capacity with customers. Consequently Shalhoob decided to initiate extensive renovations and the Patio café portion of the business will be closed until late May as they go through the permitting process. Shalhoob plans to increase the patio size from 2,500 sqft to 10,000 sqft and offer beer and wine. Here is the official announcement: “We are obtaining permits in connection with improvements to our property and the Patio will be closed temporarily for dining. Our Grand Opening will be just in time forsummer, and when we re-open we will have extended hours and begin serving beer and wine! Shalhoob Catering is still open for deliveries and special events.” Thanks to reader Jonathan for the tip.

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CHOCOLATE DE VINE

The Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center’s annual Chocolate de Vine fundraiser will be held on Saturday, May 2nd at The Rincon Beach Club, 3805 Santa Claus Lane, Carpinteria, from 5-7:30 p.m. For something extra-special, join the private VIP reception at 4 p.m. to sample distinctive reserve wines and hors d’oeuvres. The benefit will offer chocolate creations from local chocolatiers and pastry chefs. The event will feature a judged competition of chocolate creations including Best Tabletop Presentation, Outstanding Flavor Appeal and the coveted People’s Choice Award. Tickets are $65 in advance and $75 at the door (if available). The $100 VIP ticket also includes admission to the main event. Tickets can be purchased by calling 805-963-6832 or www.chocolatedevine.org. Guests will also have a chance to bid on luxurious getaways andmore, in live and silent auctions.

Desserts are provided by Michele’s Tesora, Renauds, Brasil Arts Café, Conways Confections, Stafford’s Famous Chocolates, Secret Ingredient, and Mama Ganache. Wineries include Imagine Wines, Palmina, Brewer-Clifton, Riverbench, with several more to be added as event gets closer.

The Chocolate de Vine fundraiser benefits Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, founded in 1974 to support survivors of sexual assault. SBRCC offers a 24-hour hotline, crisis and long-term counseling, self-defense programs, and sexual assault prevention education programs. All services are offered, regardless of ability to pay, in English and Spanish. Visit sbrapecrisiscenter.org.

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PASCUCCI FUNDRAISER

Reader Primetime let me know that help for a burned teenager in Santa Barbara was organized recently by Laura Knight of Pascucci restaurant, 729 State Street, in the form of a special food certificate drive. The teen was wounded recently and hospitalized in a fire accident along with other kids. Knight says Pascucci was able help the single mother with her medical expenses in a fundraising partnership with customers. $1000 in certificates were sold last week for $10 each and funds were donated to the family.

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

If you can help reader Viola please post a comment.

Do you have any suggestions on who could host a corporate event for us.  We plan on having 85-100 people.  I am thanking you in advance for your help.

- Viola

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RUSTY’S UPDATE

Multiple readers tell me that construction has started at 5934 Calle Real, Goleta (formerly Takenoya Sushi) which will be the future home of Fairview Rusty’s Pizza which is moving from 6025 Calle Real.

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SUMMERLAND WINERY UPDATE

Reader Jessica let me know that Summerland Winery experienced a fire and were closed for renovations. I called the winery and was told that the fire happened in early February and that smoke damage has caused the business to close until late April or early May.

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DEUX BAKERY

Reader Steve tells me that the family-run business Deux Bakery at 824 Reddick Street is now open to the public. An off-shoot of Scarlett Begonia in Victoria Court, Deux Bakery had been wholesale-only, offering artisan bread, desserts and more. Visit deuxbakery.com.

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AAA RATINGS

Reader Chris tells me that AAA announced their hotel and restaurant ratings for 2015. Bouchon, Harbor View Inn, Simpson House and Fess Parker each received a 4-diamond rating. Four Seasons Biltmore received the top tier 5-diamond rating.

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SIPS & SWEETS

The Restaurant Gal and I attended last week’s Sips & Sweets event as part of the annual Taste of Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley. Judges awarded Best Dessert–Professional to Carol and Kim Jensen at Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates, 1679 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang, for their Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramel. Best Dessert–Amateur was awarded to Celi Ribit for her Choclate Espresso Pot de Crème. The People’s Choice award went to attorney Lana Clark and her grand daughter MacLaine Watson who cooked up some popular English Toffee.

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416 STATE OPENING DOWNTOWN

A new bar/restaurant named 416 State is having a grand opening Friday, March 20th at (you guessed it) 416 State Street, the former long-time home of Sharkeez. Local and partner John Hall tells me that he, along with Kevin Michaels, Paco Buxton and Alfredo Peralta plan to offer street-style taco’s with a flavor reminiscent of Rosie’s Tacos in Cabo San Lucas, in addition to other unique flavored foods cooked up with local fresh greens. 416 State will offer free live music, Rincon Brewery Beers on all taps, Refugio Ranch Winery wines and a full bar. The grand opening will include live music from local bands The Hidden City Band, AFishNSea the Moon, and PLEASURE. Hours are Friday –Saturday 8 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

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DAWN PATROL TO OPEN DOWNTOWN

A new restaurant named Dawn Patrol is coming to 324 State Street, the former home of recently-closed Beachbreak Café. A sign on the wall indicates that the eatery will open later this month and will offer breakfast, lunch, coffee, organic juices and a bakery. The cuisine is described as “local, seasonal, fresh.”

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HUNGRY CAT OFFERS LUNCH

150219-hungry-catHungry Cat restaurant at 1134 Chapala Street stopped serving lunch last October, with the intention of opening up again in the spring. After the New Year Hungry Cat hired a new chef de cuisine and sous chef and decided to take it slow and offer dinner-only during January, added brunch in February and restarted lunch last week.

The menu includes snapper ceviche (avocado, fresno chili, late winter citrus, spring garlic, puffed rice, shoyu, lime), market lettuces (avocado, sieved egg, pecorino, shallots, extra virgin olive oil & lemon juice), black garlic caesar (romaine, arugula, radicchio, boquerones, toasted nori, croutons), braised mussels (garlic, shallot, fennel, fregola sarda, vermouth, saffron butter, grilled bread), black cod (farro, baby turnip, sugar snap peas, radish, shiso, miso butter), fish tacos (beer batter, jalapeño tartar, avocado, queso fresco, red onion, cilantro), oyster po’ boy (corn meal crusted oysters, remoulade, shredded radicchio, butter-toasted roll), grilled chicken sandwich (harissa aioli, parsley pistou, goat cheese,  pickled onions), maine lobster roll (fine herbs, butter toasted roll, aioli, french fries) and the pug burger (blue cheese, bacon, avocado).

The new hours are Monday closed, Tuesday – Thursday noon-10 p.m., Friday noon-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. -10 p.m.

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LOS AGAVES REMODEL

Los Agaves at 2911 De la Vina Street is currently undergoing a remodel and are expanding the front patio that will soon accommodate 40 people. They are also putting in a new parking lot that will be easier to navigate and will include additional spots. The restaurant is still open during construction, and the expanded patio will be finished in approximately 3 weeks. “We’re lucky to live in Santa Barbara where we can enjoy dining outside most days of the year,” says owner Carlos Luna. “I’m excited to offer our customers a more comfortable al fresco experience and easier parking.”

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ARTWORK AVAILABLE

This just in from reader Peter:

John:

I am hoping that you may help me, and perhaps one of your many contacts in the restaurant trade.

As a local artist and a long time resident of some 45 years, my wife and I have reached the age (I am eighty-five) where we must downsize. A long time ago I painted a three panel painting of a Mexican Plaza. It has hung, much admired, in my house for years. But it requires a large length of wall to display.

I am hoping that with your trade contacts, you could pass on the attached promo page to suitable Mexican Restaurants that might enjoy to have and to show the painting.

This oil painting was created from photographs taken by me during a visit to the Mexican mountain town of Patzcuaro, Michoacán, during 2006.

It depicts the central town square on a typical Sunday afternoon when the townsfolk and street vendors converge to make a colorful scene. The detail images show the ice cream vendor and the balloon and windmill vendor and are typical of the action all over the painting, with over 170 figures (including the heads of distant people) enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

The painting, which consists of three 18 x 36 inch stretched unframed canvas panels, has been hanging in my home for many years. It needs nine feet (plus a couple of inches for the space between the panels) of wall space to hang, preferably at eye height.

We are downsizing and will no longer have space to hang the painting. I would like to donate it, at no cost, to someone, such as a restaurant, where it may be seen by the public. I will even deliver the canvases if they desire.

If you would like to view the painting, or discuss more details, please contact me at:

Peter Worsley

art

Update: Mr. Worsley’s painting has found a new home, and a steady-stream of viewers, at Taco Bell. Exact South Coast location to be determined.

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EAST BEACH TACOS OPENS

Reader Cathy tells me that East Beach Tacos has opened at 226 S Milpas Street, the former home of Norton’s Pastrami and Arturo’s Taqueria. Cathy tells me that many food items include a token for use at the neighboring batting cage. Call 770-2761.

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STEVE’S REOPENS

Reader Jim tells me that Steve’s Patio Café at 3007 De la Vina Street has reopened after being closed for a couple of weeks during a remodel.

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SOJ ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL

Sojourner Café at 134 E. Canon Perdido Street is celebrating its 37th anniversary by offering a dinner for two for $37. Choose 2 entrees and share an appetizer and dessert from the special anniversary menu. Offer valid March 17-22 and excludes beverages/gratuity, and cannot be combined with other offers.

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BEACH BREAK CAFE UPDATE

This just in from reader Steven:

Big news..I had brunch last Sunday at the Beach Break cafe [324 State St]. I left my credit card there…I just walked over there and the place is closed…most of the inside is gutted and there is a sign saying Dawn Patrol coming soon. Well, I am excited about the new place, but I would love my credit card back. If anyone knows how I can email the old or new owner I would be most appreciative.

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WHAT’S COOKING

Arthur von Wiesenberger, one of Santa Barbara’s premiere restaurant reviewers, has partnered with KEYT, television producers Linda and Ira Distenfield, and the Foley Food & Wine Society to bring “What’s Cooking,” the only thirty-minute cooking show on the central coast where every Saturday night cameras go inside the kitchens of some of the central coast’s best restaurants to learn the recipes and secrets from their top chefs, focused on culinary creations that are easy to do at home.

Airing Saturdays at 7:30pm on KEYT/ABC, in season one, Arthur is cooking side by side with Executive Chefs from the Four Seasons Biltmore, the cozy cuisine of Boochies, Grappolo in Santa Ynez, celebrity favorite Trattoria Mollie, and Bacara to name a few. The audience is enjoying seeing what Lexus he will be driving in each show.

“The Foley Food & Wine Society Presents What’s Cooking with Arthur von Wiesenberger” is going into production for Season Two with some special surprises including Arthur traveling to Palm Desert to discover some special restaurants enjoyed by locals and visitors.

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Rebekah Winquest, owner of Boochies at 113 W. De la Guerra Street, joins Arthur von Wiesenberger in a recent episode of What’s Cooking.

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TASTE OF SOLVANG

The 23rd-annual Taste of Solvang offers savory flavors and sensations from Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 22. This popular event lures foodies throughout the South Coast with its variety of happenings, including:

  • March 18: Solvang Village Farmers Market Chef Walks & Dining Experiences. Choose walk & talk from Chef Budi Kazali of The Ballard Inn & Restaurant followed and Chef David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante.
  • March 20: Sips & Sweets features tempting treats accompanied by local wines and beverages with live music from the Sean Wiggins Band. The Best Dessert–Amateur and Best Dessert–Professional will be chosen by three judges including George Yatchisin of the Santa Barbara Independent.
  • March 21: Grand Tasting (also known as the Walking Smorgaasbord) features more than 40 taste stops at restaurants and retailers around the village featuring delicious bites and beverages. Wine & Beer Walk day one, offers 18 stops at downtown tasting rooms pouring their vintages into the prized Taste of Solvang souvenir glass. Enjoy a Larner Winemaker Dinner with Bacon & Brine’s Chef Pink.
  • March 22: Wine & Beer Walk, day two.

The 2015 Taste of Solvang Weekend Passport includes tickets to Sips & Sweets, Grand Tasting and Wine & Beer Walk plus Souvenir Wine Glass, Wine Charm, Taste of Solvang Map, Visitors Guide and Souvenir Tote Bag for $85 per person. 2015 Taste of Solvang ala carte ticket prices per person are: Sips & Sweets-$30, Grand Tasting-$35, Wine & Beer Walk-$40; Larner Winemaker Dinner-$95. To enjoy wine and beer tastings, attendees must be age 21 years or over with valid ID. 2015 Taste of Solvang advance purchase of ticket packages or ala carte tickets is highly recommended at www.SolvangUSA.com/tickets.

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HAGGEN BUYS LOCAL MARKETS

Bellingham, Washington-based Haggen Food & Pharmacy has purchased several Albertsons and Vons grocery stores in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria, as part of a 146-store acquisition in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Each purchased grocery store plans to change their name to Haggen. The affected local stores include Albertsons at 2010 Cliff Drive and 3943 State Street, and Vons at 163 South Turnpike Road, Goleta, 175 North Fairview Avenue, Goleta, and 850 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria. These stores are being sold to secure Federal Trade Commission clearance for the merger of Albertsons and Safeway. Safeway is also the owner of Vons stores.

“We’re pleased to have found strong buyers for these stores and to have completed this important step toward combining Albertsons and Safeway,” said Safeway President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Edwards, who will serve as the combined company’s President and CEO. “We look forward now to the transaction’s close, so we can begin working together to enhance the loyalty of grocery shoppers by delivering high quality products, great service and lower prices to become the favorite local supermarket in every neighborhood we serve.”

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WINECASK FUNDRAISER

This just in from the Wine Cask at 813 Anacapa Street:

Santa Barbara, CA. March, 2015 – This March, treat yourself to lunch in Wine Cask’s sunny courtyard and enjoy seasonal favorites while supporting Junior League of Santa Barbara (JLSB). Throughout the month of March, Wine Cask is partnering with Junior League through their Charity Lunch Promotion, and will donate 10% of all guest checks during lunch when they mention this local nonprofit organization, committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the leadership of trained volunteers.

The JLSB is passionate about improving the welfare of the Santa Barbara community and strives to make a lasting difference. Their current focus is to improve youth literacy in Santa Barbara County. They partner with the Santa Barbara Public Library, the Santa Barbara public schools, Girls Inc., and a variety of other organizations in our community. Wine Cask is proud to contribute to the Junior League’s important work surrounding youth literacy in Santa Barbara, and invites guests to give back while enjoying a delicious meal this spring.

For the duration of March, all guests need to do is mention Junior League of Santa Barbara during their lunch, and Wine Cask will make sure 10% of their bill goes to the nonprofit. You know about Wine Cask’s fabulous flatbreads and gourmet burgers but how about trying the Heirloom Carrot Salad; Duck Confit Salad; Littleneck Clams in a Thai curry broth, and of course the famous Filet Mignon Enchiladas! Dine on Chef David Rosner’s new spring menu items, and help support Junior League’s wonderful community efforts!

Wine Cask is located in downtown Santa Barbara in the historic El Paseo complex, and offers the best of all worlds to enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner in a stylishly relaxed setting. Our passion is serving great food, providing the highest caliber of service and bringing back the comfort and nostalgia of one of Santa Barbara’s favorite restaurants to our patrons. Wine Cask is located at 813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. 805.966.9463. www.winecask.com www.intermezzosb.com 

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FRESH MARKET TO CLOSE

This just in from reader Rodney:

Fresh Market 222 N Milpas Street is shutting down. In fact, it was in the news today the company is shutting down all the remaining California stores. The store was closed early today (Thursday) and will reopen tomorrow with a big 30% off everything to the public as they liquidate inventory.

Fresh Market, Inc. put out a press release about it. Fresh Market opened in Santa Barbara in November, 2013 and plans to close at the end of March.

UPDATE: Reader Peter says as of Friday morning there is no liquidation sale but reader Art said he received the following notice Friday morning:

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GOLETA DENNY’S DEPARTING?

Readers Michael, Jim and Maureen tell me that a For Lease sign has appeared at Denny’s restaurant at 5677 Calle Real in Goleta. Reader Jim added that a waitress told him that their lease is up soon.

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YUME SUSHI OPENS ON CHAPALA

Takenoya restaurant on Calle Real in Goleta closed in late 2013 but the ownership and most of the staff have returned with the opening of Yume Sushi at 428 Chapala Street, the former home of Adama and Casa de Sevilla. Yume Sushi will be very different than Takenoya, offering more of a relaxed, western-style Japanese restaurant experience. Co-owner Denise Hsueh tells me that offerings from the extensive menu include Japanese-style pizza also known a “seafood pancake” which is a pan-fried mixture of flour, egg, onion, shredded cabbage, scallop, shrimp, squid and bacon, topped with okonomuyaki sauce. Hsueh also recommends a noodle dish called Seafood Nabe which includes assorted fish, clam, crab, mussel, scallop, shrimp and vegetables. Hours are Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5 – 10 p.m, Saturday – Sunday 4-10 p.m. For more information call 965-8873.

yumeChef/owner Robert Hsueh (right) and chef Felix Alonso (third from right) along with other members of the crew of Yume Sushi.

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