This just in from Barbareño restaurant at 205 West Canon Perdido Street:

Hi John,

I just wanted to give you a brief update on things happening over here at Barbareño. We are now open seven days per week (whereas we used to be closed Tuesdays), and we just began serving a bar menu on week nights starting at 5:00pm. The bar menu offers more casual snacks and delicious bites that don’t break the bank and are perfect for the folks looking to come in for a snack and glass of wine or beer after work. We’ve heard from our neighbors (many of who are local businesses) who want a nice casual place to grab a drink or bite without having to commit to a full meal, so we’re hoping to better serve our community by filling in that gap. Our snacks range from our Cook’s Tartines ($6), which change daily depending on the quality ingredients we have on hand and each of our cooks’ creativity, to a charcuterie board which features local cheeses, cured meats, and other Santa Barbara specialties.

All the best,



This just in from the Winehound 3849 State Street:

Dear Friend of the Winehound,

“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” –James Thurber

If I’d originated this quote, the drink of choice would have been a margarita, of course, or perhaps “glass of Syrah.” Thurber’s observation is universal and applicable to all manner of enjoyment, and so, to each his/her own.

Today, we must announce that the Winehound will be transferring ownership early next year, and we’d like to thank you, our loyal clients, for your support since April of 2008 when the doors opened.

We’ve been delighted to introduce our patrons to the finest vino we’ve encountered, and perhaps turn a palate or two onto something unexpected and flavorsome.

And we’ve made a few friends along the path, folks with a sense of humor who also appreciate liquid satisfaction, and we’ll surely encounter you again, (“don’t know where, don’t know when”).

Please understand that we’ll be minimizing inventory over the month of December in anticipation of the changeover, so if we don’t necessarily have your favorite bottle, we’ll be glad to suggest a worthy option. There will be more spotlight sales, and we’ll also continue to accept special orders by the case.

So, after over 1000 emails, all personally authored by yours truly, I’ll let one of my favorite humorists express our deep appreciation to all of you.

To paraphrase Thurber: “One ‘thank you’ is all right. Two may be too many, but three are not enough.”

Bob, Betty and Dennis



This just in from Spencer the Gardener:

Uh Oh , The Bird is loose – Out for it’s annual pilgrimage around the globe – The controls are in your hands – Set it free – Pass it on – Far and Wide – This Bird must fly or she will , no , this bird will fly – Happy Thanksgiving to all !!!!!!

And a special Ventura Holiday show this weekend – Sat. Nov 28 @ The Ventura Beach Club (281 W. Main St.) – Spencer the Gardener and Raging Arb and the Redheads ! – Doors open at 8:00 !



The Korean taco shop Kogilicious at 956 Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista has closed. The business opened in August 2010. Thanks to reader Brendan for the tip.

1 Comment


Reader Brendan let me know that Santa Ynez Burrito is coming to 956 Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista, the former home of Kogilicious.



In a blog item last week I mentioned that Petros restaurant was sold. I have been asked by Petros to clarify that they are still open for business and is available for all dining, catering, and event needs.

Leave a comment


Apparently ocean-themed restaurant names are popular at 416 State Street. First it was the long-time home of Sharkeez. Next it became cozy with Killer Shrimp. Now a sign at 416 State Street lets us know that The Drunken Crab of North Hollywood will be opening a new location in the space. Here is a message for you from the owner: “The Drunken Crab is both proud and excited to announce plans to open our second location in beautiful Santa Barbara. We look forward to bringing our delicious brand of authentic Louisiana-style seafood, unique dining experience, and of course inviting Southern hospitality style of guest service to the idyllic seaside community of Santa Barbara. So put your bibs on Santa Barbara, because The Drunken Crab is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to become your favorite neighborhood crab shack. Stay tuned for more info.” For more information visit Thanks to readers Bruce, Brendan and Ben for the tips.

151125-the-drunken-crab - Copy

Photo by reader Bruce



This just in from Freeman’s Flying Chicken at Earl Warren Showgrounds:

Hi John,

Hope all is well.  I wanted to let folks know that Freeman’s Flying Chicken will have a “Take and Bake” offer for pick up on Wednesday the 25th.  For around $9 per person, we have everything you need for your holiday meal.  Each dinner comes with all the fixins’ – creamy mashed potatoes and our au jus gravy, sage and onion stuffing, sauteed veggies, sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows, chunky cranberry sauce, apple crisp (you supply the ice cream) and your choice of chicken or turkey.  Just bake and reheat to our instructions and you’ll have a meal in no-time.  All orders must be placed prior to November 24th.  All pick-ups will be at Earl Warren Showgrounds location on Wed 11/25 between 4 and 8pm.  To place an order people can go to our website: or call us directly at 805-765-9200.

Thanks for helping us get the word out.

Paul Freeman

Leave a comment


Last week’s rain may have only lasted an hour but unfortunately it was enough to cause a leak up here in the foodie news control tower in Goleta. Just after the rain ended, the 14-month-old Restaurant Kid walked in the room and handed me a soggy printout from the Rumor Machine which means either the leak occurred directly above sensitive electronics or he dunked the print-out in the toilet. Either scenario is highly likely. After letting it dry for awhile I was able to make out a few words: “Carl’s Jr. at 3925 State Street will depart in a few months and that address will become a second location for Woodstock’s Pizza of Isla Vista.” As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.



Reader Barry let me know that the “bulk sale” of Petros restaurant at 1316 State Street has been published in The Santa Barbara Independent, Inglewood News, and the Hawthorne Press Tribune. The buyers are listed as Roger E. Vian and Lora Beth Vian of Hesperia, CA. The assets being sold are generally described at furniture, fixtures and equipment. The announcement says that the anticipated sale date was November 17. Petros is still open for business and is available for all dining, catering, and event needs.




A reader tells me that Beach Bowls at 901 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria looks to be closing soon and that they are nearly out of all the ingredients. I’m told that the young lady who works there said they are going out of business. Beach Bowls opened in April 2014.



This just in from Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop at 503 State Street:

Hi John,

Hope all is chipper. Sightings of sweaters and scarves has prompted us to kick off our annual Holiday Appeal. This year we are mixing it up a little and offering a HOLIDAY SANDWICH (instead of the pie) consisting of thick slices of roast turkey breast dipped in gravy with sage & onion stuffing and cranberry sauce (all house made, of course) in a warm kaiser roll. We’re selling them for $8 each with a whopping $4 going directly to The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. They will be available until the end of the year.

Last year we raised over $1000 for the Food Bank and we’re hoping to top that this year.  It would be great exposure if you would be so kind as to post this on your blog and help us reach your very attractive audience.

Much appreciated and keep warm,




This just in from Laura Knight at Globe restaurant, 18 East Cota Street:

“We are off to a great start, and after being open 3-1/2 months, we will be adding a weekend brunch starting this weekend…we will serve the brunch menu Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and will serve our regular menu during brunch too. And from now through the holidays we are extending our hours to be open Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We will be serving brunch with the same ‘small plates’ style, so if you can’t decide between eggs benedict & huevos rancheros, you can have one of each. We will feature home-made quiches, pumpkin pancakes with spiced maple syrup  and candied pecans, mascarpone stuffed croissant French toast with fresh strawberries, and my ‘famous spicy oven-roasted bacon’ and other yummy brunch dishes. Keeping with the regular menu, all items will be $10 and under.”



Reader Jim let me know that the windows are papered over at Boochies, 113 West De la Guerra Street. A message on their web site says: “Apologies, Boochies is taking a rest for reenergizing. More updates to come on when we can start serving the community again.” Boochies opened in August 2014.

1 Comment


Last month I wrote that China King is coming to 5915B Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Las Brasas Mexican Grill (closed last September), Los Tarascos (closed last March) and Fortune Garden (closed August 2009). Reader Cindy tells me that China King, near Zodo’s, is now open.



Reader Primetime tells me that El Torito restaurant at 29 East Cabrillo Boulevard has closed down, abruptly. A sign in the front of the building reads:

“We have closed this location and apologize for any inconvenience. We appreciate your patronage and look forward to our next opportunity to serve you at one of our 54 other restaurant locations. Visit Sincerely, the management team.”

Primetime reports that employees have been assisted with work at other restaurants and that the parent company of El Torito might convert the Santa Barbara location into a Las Brisas restaurant.

151119-el-torito - Copy



Reader Cindy says that Trattoria Mollie at 1250 Coast Village Road in Montecito will be offering a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year. Call 565-9381.

Leave a comment


This just in from Santa Barbara Brewing Company at 501 State Street:

Hey John,

I am a partner and manage the Santa Barbara Brewing Company.  Please add us to the list of Restaurants open on Thanksgiving 11:30am-11pm. We are serving our regular menu and a traditional Thanksgiving menu.

We have the NFL ticket and show all the games on Sundays (open 9am), also serving till midnight Fri and Sat.

We are open every day of the week Monday-Friday 11:30am Saturday & Sunday 11am. During the NFL season we open at 9am and serve breakfast till 11am)

Christmas and New Year’s Day we are open as well and always have been  since opening our doors in 1995.

Appreciate it!
Michelle Trella

Leave a comment


After Haggen disintegrated in September several competing food stores have started picking up the pieces. Albertsons is bidding for 163 South Turnpike Road (formerly Vons). Sprouts Farmers Market is bidding to take over 175 North Fairview Avenue (formerly Vons). Roxy’s Market/SB Grocery is bidding for 2010 Cliff Drive (formerly Albertsons). Some Haggen properties have already been sold. Smart & Final has purchased 3943 State Street (formerly Albertsons) and 850 Linden Avenue (formerly Vons). Completion of the transaction with Smart & Final remains subject to certain conditions.



This just in from Ca’ Dario, 37 E. Victoria Street:

Hi John,

I hope you are doing well.  I was hoping you could add us to your list of restaurants open for Thanksgiving.  We open at 3pm for dinner and will be offering our regular menu and a traditional Turkey dinner will be on our specials page for the evening.


Danny Chisholm
Manager, Ca’ Dario Ristorante & Pizzeria

Leave a comment


This just in from Sly’s restaurant at 686 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria:


The bar at Sly’s is open from 12 pm to 5 pm, but we are closed on Thanksgiving for food service. Again this year, Sly’s is offering a complete traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, prepared at Sly’s, boxed and ready for carry-out. The ready-to-serve menu (portions for about 8 people) includes:

• Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (two quarts)
• A Certified Organic Range Grown Turkey, 14 to 16 pounds
Prepared the best way we know how: brined,
seasoned with fresh sage, thyme, & butter, and slow roasted to perfection.
• Traditional sage and onion stuffing made from our home-made bread
• Our mashed potatoes (two quarts)
• Our Turkey Giblet Gravy (two quarts)
• Homemade Cranberry Orange Relish (1 pint)
• fresh Blue Lake Green Beans with Shallots (1 quart)œ
• fresh Brussels Sprouts (1 quart)
• Our homemade Rye Raisin Rolls & Parker House Rolls
• 8 portions of our Warm Apple Crisp

We’re available to schedule the pickup time for the family dinner at any time between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. The dinner will be conveniently packaged and ready to take home to the waiting family.

The guest’s kitchen suffers a lot less wear and tear – and so does the cook! You get a high quality meal from Sly’s. If it’s a family tradition to make Great Aunt Martha’s Candied Yams, well, they’ll have a whole lot more time to do that; and much more time to relax and enjoy the holiday without slaving over a hot stove.

Sly’s full list of great Californian and French wines is available at a special discount of 25% off with the carry out Thanksgiving Dinner to go along with free advice from staff as to what goes best with your dinner. If someone would like to have a cocktail when you come to pick up the meal, well, the full bar will be at your service. Relax a little, we won’t say anything.

The complete dinner for eight is priced again at $295. plus tax
Please reserve ahead, as Sly’s can only produce a limited quantity of dinners.

James Sly
686 Linden Avenue
Corner of Linden & 7th
Carpinteria, CA 93013

1 Comment


Each November my inbox is swamped with the same question: Which restaurants serve a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day? Last week I made a hundred phone calls to find the answer, just for The Restaurant Guy readers. Here is my list of restaurants serving a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 26th. Restaurant names with an asterisk* are already sold out.

  • Bacara Resort, 968-0100
  • Ballard Inn Restaurant, 688-7770
  • Bella Vista at Four Seasons Biltmore, 969-2261
  • Blush Restaurant and Lounge* (reserve 4 weeks in advance), 957-1300
  • Bouchon* (reserve 6-8 weeks in advance), 730-1160
  • Brasil Arts Café, 845-7656
  • Brothers Restaurant at Red Barn, 688-4142
  • Bucatini, 957-4177
  • Ca’ Dario Ristorante & Pizzeria, 884-9419
  • Cadiz, 770-2760
  • C’est Cheese (boxed traditional side dishes, take & bake free range whole turkey), 965-0318
  • Cold Spring Tavern, 967-0066
  • Creekside Buffet at Chumash Casino, 686-0855
  • Crocodile Restaurant at Lemon Tree Inn, 687-6444
  • Dargan’s, 568-0702
  • Doubletree Resort, 564-4333
  • El Encanto, 845-5800
  • Eladio’s, 963-4466
  • Finch & Fork at Canary Hotel, 879-9100
  • Freeman’s Flying Chicken (take & bake), 765-9200
  • Fresco Café Five Points (side-dishes & dessert only, take-out only, 3 days notice required), 967-6037
  • Frog Bar & Grill at Glenn Annie Golf Course, 968-0664
  • Harbor Restaurant, 963-3311
  • Harry’s Plaza Café, 687-2800
  • Holdren’s, 965-3363
  • Hungry Cat, 884-4701
  • Jack’s Bistro & Bagels Carpinteria (eat-in or take-out, 3 days notice required for take-out), 319-0155
  • Joe’s Café, 966-4638
  • Julienne, 845-6488
  • Live Oak Café, 845-5193
  • Longboards Grill, 963-3311
  • Louie’s at the Upham Hotel, 963-7003
  • Marbella (formerly Bistro 1111) at Hyatt, 730-1111
  • Marmalade Café, 682-5246
  • Moby Dick Restaurant, 965-0549
  • Montecito Wine Bistro, 969-7520
  • Mulligans Cafe, 682-3228
  • Petit Valentien, 966-0222
  • Petros in Los Olivos, 686-5455
  • Plow & Angel at San Ysidro Ranch, 565-1724
  • Relais de Paris, 963-6077
  • Root 246* (reserve 6 weeks in advance), 686-8681
  • Roy, 966-5636
  • Sage & Onion (take-out only, 3 days notice required), 845-4134
  • Santa Barbara Brewing Company, 730-1040
  • Seagrass, 963-1012
  • Shoals Restaurant at Cliff House Inn, 652-1381
  • Sly’s (take-out only, at least 10 days notice required), 684-6666
  • Stella Mare’s* (reserve 6-8 weeks in advance), 969-6705
  • Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch, 565-1724
  • Tee-Off Restaurant, 687-1616
  • The Black Sheep, 965-1113
  • Trattoria Mollie, 565-9381
  • Treehouse Restaurant, 687-2426
  • Willows at Chumash Casino, 686-0855
  • Wine Cask, 966-9463


This just in from the Bacara Resort:

Hi John,

I wanted to make sure you had information on Bacara’s Thanksgiving Champagne Brunch Buffet. We still have available seatings.

Champagne Brunch Buffet at Bacara Ballroom Terrace

November 26, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Enjoy Executive Chef Vincent Lesage’s extensive Champagne brunch buffet featuring roasted turkey, honey glazed ham, assorted shellfish and sushi, prime rib, California wine country salads, decadent desserts, and more. $85 for adults, $35 for children 12 and under, children 5 and under are free. For reservations, please call 866-987-5772. View the menu.

Anne Elcon
Director of Marketing & Communications
Bacara Resort & Spa

Leave a comment


Area residents won’t have to wait until the year-end holidays for bagful of fresh tamales on the spot. Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go is opening a tamale window downtown at 20 East Cota Street on the east side of Nectar Eatery & Lounge (previously the Blue Agave). The grand opening, hosted by the Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region, will be Friday, November 20th, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Company owner, Richard Lambert, says two pop-ups at the SB Public Market this summer gave him the idea for the window. “More than half of the folks who came to our pop-ups wanted tamales to take home. With our new window, they can come get fresh tamales straight from the steamer and packaged to go.”

The company makes six traditional tamales; chicken, pork, beef, chile and cheese, spicy black bean, and farmers’ market (vegetable). According to Lambert, their tamales are gluten and lard-free, and are made fresh daily in Santa Barbara. The tamale window will be open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The company suggests calling ahead for orders of three dozen or more. Call 965-9321 or visit

Stephanie Armstrong and Cheyanne Brooks with the Chamber prepare for the grand opening.



Miro restaurant at the Bacara resort closed last December. This December a new restaurant will open in its place named “Ocean House.” Bacara’s Bistro restaurant temporarily moved into the Miro space and will occupy it until Ocean House opens.

Leave a comment


The Bistro 1111 restaurant inside the Hyatt at 1111 E. Cabrillo Boulevard has been renovated and was given a new name: “Marbella.”

Leave a comment


Willows and the Creekside Buffet at the Chumash Casino Resort are being renovated. I am told that Willows reopens November 16th and the Creekside Buffet reopens November 23rd.

Leave a comment


I can’t hide it anymore: Sublime restaurant at 901 N. Milpas Street has migrated to greener pastures. I stopped by today and nobody was around but a sign steered me to the McConnell’s dairy plant next door where I grilled an employee who revealed that Sublime is gone. The eatery looked gone. I first herd rumors that Sublime bought the farm a few months ago though I could be misteaken. Back in their prime, when Sublime opened the barn doors earlier this year, I was in udder amazement to learn that the owners of Sublime spent nearly 5 years renovating the building. Sounds like somebody was milking it.

Photo from better times, circa April 2015.



Last week the rumor machine starting popping out pages of tidbits about Palazzio restaurant, 1026 State Street, that is currently closed, so I asked owner Ken Boxer if he was planning to reopen and here is what he had to say:

Hi John,

I have every intention of reopening Palazzio.  I am currently “dancing in place” as the lawyers, the landlord  and the insurance companies solve the many issues.  Once the construction begins, which I am hopeful will be shortly, it will take approximately one to to months to complete.  I have  been told that the estimate to fix the problems will cost approximately 250,000 dollars.  Thanks for your inquiry, John.  I’ll keep you in the loop as I learn more.

Best wishes,



This just in from owner Paul Freeman:

Hi John,

Hope all is well.  I wanted to let you and your readers know that Freeman’s Flying Chicken ( out at the Showgrounds celebrated it’s one year anniversary last week.  We’ve had a few additions to our menu recently, most notably that we now are selling grilled tri-tip, in 1 pound increments, with a choice of garlic rub or our cowboy coffee rub.  We also have added a holiday combo with our rotisserie chicken, sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.  This is available for about $9 per person and can be ordered online or by calling the restaurant at 765-9200 after 4pm.  The last bit of news is that we’re got a food truck rigged up for our breakfast and lunch menu and will be serving out at mSpecial Brewery, in Goleta, on Wednesday from 5-8pm and Sunday from 1-6pm.  We will also be at the TedX Youth event on Saturday at noon at La Cumbre Junior High.   We invite everyone out for chicken sandwiches, tri-tip burritos and some of our other lunch specials.

Thanks for your support.

Paul Freeman