Mario and Lani Medina have owned and operated Mulligans Cafe & Bar at 3500 McCaw Avenue since December 1993. In April I announced that Medinas have taken over the space at 521 Firestone Road in Goleta, the former home of Elephant Bar & Restaurant which closed in August 2013. The new restaurant will be called High Sierra Grill & Bar, and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner including a Sunday buffet. Menu will include BBQ, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, salads, and more. Opening is planned for sometime between August and the end of the year. Reader Charlotte let me know that things keep moving along at High Sierra Grill & Bar that a sign for restaurant was recently completed.
Reader Primetime passed me a tip that Globe restaurant at 18 E. Cota Street will open soon and include a $10 and under menu. I first wrote about Globe in January. Earlier this week I emailed Globe partner Laura Knight and received some details about the business:
Yes, we are very excited to announce Globe will be opening soon, we anticipate Friday July 31st! It’s a concept Santa Barbara has been missing, a small plates lounge, everything $10 and under, with dishes from all over the World , we will feature seafood, meats, vegetarian & vegan, something for everyone! Alone or with friends you will be pleased with the food, spirits and service. The bar will feature fresh squeezed juices, a full bar, wines & beers from around the world, Our kitchen will be open late, a comfortable, cozy place in a unique atmosphere. The location is 18 E. Cota Street, between American ale & Blue Agave.
I have been working since January with 2 design friends, Sandy Cowan and Cathy Buckingham, to completely remodel the dining space (we didn’t have to do much to the kitchen, the space has an amazing, huge kitchen!) to create a space where everywhere you sit will be comfortable, like a giant living room, and everywhere you look, sexy, beautiful décor, a feast for the soul as well as the eyes! I have been working on the décor, food & menu concept, and Gerry Cruz is the operating partner.
Globe…coming soon to your planet!
Laura Knight & Gerry Cruz.
GLOBE – Santa Barbara. As unique and distinct as our customers”
For those of you who read The Restaurant Guy in the Santa Barbara Independent, this Thursday July 23rd the column moves from its longtime home in the back of the paper (near the classifieds) to the food section in the middle. This brings all the Independent’s food content together in one happy home. My column submission deadline moves from Tuesday to Monday so if you have breaking news to share please let me know by Monday a.m. if it is to make print the same week. There is no deadline for blog stories.
Noozhawk reports that a fire broke out this morning in the kitchen at Carlitos Café y Cantina, 1324 State Street. Damage appears to be minimal and the restaurant is expected to reopen shortly.
This just in from reader Mike:
“Hi John, we love your site. I never thought I’d actually have a “hot tip”. But I do ! Wings Chinese restaurant at 4427 Hollister Avenue (sorta where State becomes Hollister) is for sale. After 45 years the owner is retiring. It’s a hole in the wall for sure, but a sentimental favorite for me and my wife. I suggest you try the salted squid before they close shop. I hope they get a little media coverage with their retirement. 45 years may as well be a million in restaurant years. Anyway – I thought I’d pass on the information. Cheers, Mike”
Having good, convenient choices when it comes to food delivery and takeout is key, and SBMenus.com is now making it easier than ever for the Santa Barbara community. SBMenus, Santa Barbara’s online restaurant guide & delivery service, has just launched a free, user-friendly app making it possible to order restaurant delivery and takeout from your mobile device.
I’m told that SBMenus is the only restaurant delivery service in Santa Barbara to launch a mobile app. SBMenus now offers delivery menus from over 80 restaurants at your fingertips, and provides the convenience of one-click ordering and paying directly through the app. Order delivery or takeout from many of Santa Barbara’s restaurants, including Los Agaves, California Pizza Kitchen, Silvergreens, South Coast Deli and McConnell’s, to name a few. A key feature of the app allows you to track your order from the restaurant to your home or office so you can see where your food is at all times.
“We set out to create a convenient way for people to order food delivery and takeout from their favorite restaurants, and now with the new app we’re making it easier than ever to do from their personal devices,” said Bryan Brand, Managing Partner of SBMenus. “Our community has an incredible selection of restaurants, and with the growing demand from students and business professionals, adding a mobile app was a strategic solution to accommodate our customers’ needs.”
SBMenus new app connects on-the-go customers looking for restaurant delivery or takeout, and restaurants seeking delivery solutions with this free, mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Customers can browse by cuisine or search their favorite restaurant.
Reader Robert tells me that Barbecue Company at 3807 Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria has served up their last rack of baby backs. I stopped by and confirmed their exit from the under-represented South Coast BBQ scene which now can be counted on one hand. The business opened in February 2009, replacing Pita Inn which itself replaced Smokin’ Jacks Kansas City BBQ.
A sign for Borrello’s Pizza & Pastaria has appeared at 3807 Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria, the former home of recently-closed Barbecue Company. The ABC license indicates the business is run by Michael Anthony Borrello.
Reader Robert let me know that another pizzeria is coming to Carpinteria, at 699 Linden Avenue, the former home of Tony’s. The name remained elusive at press-time.
My wife and I spent our 3rd wedding anniversary today, along with our son, having breakfast at Cajun Kitchen and dinner at Bouchon restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. For dinner, appetizers were Squash Soup, Grill & Chill salad, and crab cakes. Entrees were Grilled Lamb Rack and Roasted Duck Breast. Dessert was Chocolate Molten Lava. Food and service was amazing.
Last week I reported that reader The Shadow told me that a sign on the window at Crushcakes, 6533 Trigo Road in Isla Vista indicates that the business is moving next month to a new location on Hollister Avenue. Crushcakes owner Shannon Gaston sent me an email filling in the details:
I saw the little blurb you put in your last restaurant news section in the Independent about Crushcakes on the move and wanted to give you a little more info: Crushcakes & Simply Pies are tying the knot! Crushcakes has purchased Simply Pies at 5392 Hollister Avenue in Goleta and will be serving Simply Pies at all of the Crushcakes locations. Crushcakes Cafe in Isla Vista will be moving into the Simply Pies location in Goleta and serving our full breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake menu in addition to the Simply Pies menu. We are remodeling our new location in Goleta and hoping to reopen in August. Stay tuned for our “official” grand opening party! See you then!
Several readers have told me that Relais de Paris at 734 State Street has reopened after closing in January.
Enjoy the 27th annual French Festival this weekend (July 18 – 19) at Oak Park, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
This just in from Cal Taco at on Hollister Avenue:
“Hi John, Cal Taco Fresh Grill is a family owned restaurant. It has been open for 28 years in Goleta and we just start serving breakfast. We are located on 7320 Hollister Avenue and are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. We are serving breakfast from 8 – 11 a.m. Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. – noon Saturday and Sunday. Thank you, Sam”
Los Agaves Restaurant has announced the opening of its fourth location at the Shoppes at Westlake Village, located at 30750 Russell Ranch Road. The eatery had a soft opening on July 13th and will hold an official grand opening on Monday, July 20th. The newest location at Westlake Village is serving their award-winning Mexican cuisine that has made Los Agaves a favorite among foodies across the South Coast. “We are proud to open our doors to Westlake Village and welcome all to come taste and savor the flavors of authentic Mexico,” said Carlos Luna, owner of Los Agaves. “At Los Agaves, we have always taken tremendous pride in being a part of the community, embracing our neighboring businesses and residents alike, and we hope to surpass expectations with our dedicated service and quality of food in our newest location for many years to come.” Family owned and operated, Carlos Luna opened his first location on Milpas Street on Santa Barbara’s East Side in September 2008. Los Agaves quickly gained fame, taking the title as “Best Mexican Restaurant” and “Best Salsa” in 2013, 2014, and 2015 in the Santa Barbara Independent annual Reader’s Poll. Los Agaves opened on De la Vina Street in June 2013 and in Camino Real Marketplace in October 2014. Call 818-874-0769.
Reader Brendan let me know that Bob Montgomery, owner of the Nugget restaurants in Summerland and Goleta, has opened his third South Coast Nugget location at 21 W. Victoria Street, the former home of Arlington Tavern and Epiphany. Manager Jemal James tells me that the popular, extensive Nugget menu is available including the baby back ribs which were first introduced at the Goleta location. “We are opening up in a new neighborhood and want to invite everybody down,” said James. The new Nugget is open daily 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Happy hour is available 3 – 6 p.m. including $4 draft beers, $4 cocktails and $4 house wines. Call 770-2626.
Reader Steve let me know that Ah Juice has opened at 432 East Haley Street in downtown Santa Barbara.
The 27th annual Santa Barbara French Festival returns to Oak Park, 300 W. Alamar Avenue, July 18 and 19 to celebrate Bastille Day and all things French. Admission is free. Enjoy food, wine, mimosas, crepes, pastries, music, dance, the Poodles & Pals Parade and Femme Fatales Drag Revue. The French Festival is a community event not to be missed. Each day the fun starts at 11:00 a.m. when the entertainment kicks off on three different stages and continues non-stop until 7:00 p.m. This event is brought to you by Center Stage Theater and Speaking of Stories, and is a fundraiser for them — so you can have a great time and benefit a good cause at the same time.
The Poodle Parade expands to Saturday and Sunday: Napoleon and JellieBeanz are getting ready to lead the French Bulldog Village Poodles and Pals Parade. For 2015, in response to popular demand, the French Festival is expanding the parade to take place on both Saturday and Sunday. The parade will provide the finale for entertainment on the Eiffel Stage both days, beginning at 6:00 p.m. with an accordion processional through the park.
For complete details on the performers, food, crafts, shopping and activities visit FrenchFestival.com.
Readers Mike and Diane tell me that there is a sign on an empty lot at the intersection of Turnpike Road and Calle Real that says “Tom’s Burger and Mixed Use Development.” Rumor has it that a Starbucks might also go there.
Reader Liz says that Don Paco’s Taco Truck will be opening a non-mobile restaurant somewhere on Milpas Street.
Vincent Lesage is the new Executive Chef at Bacara Resort & Spa. At the age of 30, Chef Vincent Lesage’s career already includes 3-Star Michelin restaurants in Paris as well as experience at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Born and raised in Paris at the center of the food universe, Lesage was surrounded by the rich flavors and techniques that define French gastronomy. But it was actually art that inspired him to become a chef. An avid art lover, he spent his spare time at the Louvre, studying the beautiful paintings and color palates that would later influence his artistic presentations.
After graduating from the Institut Paul Bocuse in Ecully, France, Lesage trained at some of the world’s most celebrated establishments, including The Ritz Paris, the Michelin three-star restaurant, L’Astrance, and Michelin three-star restaurant, Bras.
Most recently, Lesage served as Executive Chef of Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach where he opened two of the city’s only waterfront restaurants, Waterline and A&O Kitchen + Bar. Prior to that, he served as Executive Sous Chef at St. Regis Monarch Beach, managing a culinary team of more than 60.
Today, as Executive Chef of Bacara’s renowned culinary program, Lesage oversees the resort’s six dining experiences, including a new signature restaurant opening spring 2016. When asked about his vision for Bacara, Lesage says “I approach every outlet as its own distinct concept. From a healthy breakfast at Spa Café to a casual family meal at The Bistro, each experience is unique, and each experience is exceptional.”
From my vantage point up here in the South Coast food news control tower I can many things off in the distance though summer fog frequently obscures the view. One fuzzy object appearing in my gastronoculars is a rumor that Cajun Kitchen is considering opening at 5677 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Denny’s. As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.
This just in from reader Primetime:
In celebration of IHOP Restaurant’s 57th birthday, participating locations are offering guests a 57 cent short stack of pancakes from 7am-7pm TODAY, July 7th.
Reader The Shadow tells me that a sign on the window at Crushcakes, 6533 Trigo Road in Isla Vista indicates that the business is moving next month to a new location on Hollister Avenue.
This just in from reader Dad:
Panera Bread at State and Ortega has a sign on the windows/doors this morning saying that this location is permanently closed.
I called the 700 State Street eatery and confirmed that they’re gone. Panera Bread opened in May, 2013. I was also told that the upper State Street Panera Bread is still open.
Reader Cris let me know that the Govender Family will transition Fresco Café North to The Fig Grill over the 4th of July weekend and hope to open Monday, July 6th. The emphasis of the new restaurant will be small plates and craft beers. The Govender Family sent me details about the changes:
We wanted to inform you that we have decided to change the name of our restaurant in Goleta from Fresco Cafe North to “The Fig Grill.”
We are turning over a new leaf!!! For the past 20 years we have had proud relationships with two local families that started home-grown restaurants which are a part of Santa Barbara history. We have been a franchisee of Giovanni’s Pizza and Fresco Cafe Group, respectively, with two decades of experience in operating and managing three restaurants.
It is now a perfect time to begin a new chapter with an independent and fresh concept. For the 11 years that we have been at this Calle Real location as a Giovanni’s and Fresco Café North, we have grown and developed into a restaurant that is a favorite amongst locals in both the family and business sector of our neighborhood. We are looking forward to continuing this tradition but with a fresh menu with simple ideas to include more options in small plate items, local craft beers on tap and some of our own popular favorites which have become synonymous with the Govender family and our loyal, long serving staff. Our customers, the life blood of any establishment, will continue to enjoy the same outstanding service from familiar personnel in front of house operations and our busy, competent kitchen.
We are looking forward to serving you with the best food, building better relations and offering you a new, tasty menu beginning this summer. Welcome and thank you.
- The Govender Family”
- View the menu at The Fig Grill
Reader Laila tells me that Chef Ramon Velazquez just signed a lease to open a brick and mortar location of Corazon Cocina in the Montecito Country Mart (aka the Vons shopping center). It will be located in a redesigned space formally occupied by Xanadu Bakery. Fans of tacos and ceviche, rejoice!
This just in from reader Anna:
“Hi John, Longtime reader, first time contributor. Santa Barbara needs to know what’s happening Friday and Saturday nights at the Goodland Kitchen at 231 South Magnolia Ave in Goleta. Buena Onda, an Argentinian pop-up, is serving up incredible empanadas, tamales, delicious salads, ceviche & yuca chips, and amazing chimichurri. It will be there through August – outdoor seating, BYOB, and friendly crowds. Not only have we been more than once already (it opened June 11), but we’ve gotten back in line on each trip to order seconds! We suggest the carne and caprese empandas with the quinoa salad.”
Thanks also to readers Avery and Margaret for tips about Buena Onda.
Reader Steve let me know that Ah Juice is almost ready to open at 432 East Haley Street in downtown Santa Barbara. A message on their web site ahjuice.com describes the business:
“From the very beginning we at ah juice committed to providing the highest quality medicinal juice available while keeping our business performing at the highest level of sustainability possible. Drinking our juice regularly promotes healing and health to our whole being. We have not wavered from these goals and have continued to be amazed at the testimonials provided by our customers and their willingness to participate in the program to sustainability. 100% Organic-no compromise and 95% produce from local farms. We hand clean and inspect all the produce. Anything that is not bright green, yellow, purple, red, or is shriveled is not in our juice. Minimize oxidation: To maximize nutrient quality and minimize losses we overfill each jar to remove air, cap and refrigerate immediately. All juice is packed in glass containers. Cold pressed every morning!”
Reader Tom says that there is a new sushi bar at Chinese restaurant Empress Palace, 2251 Las Positas Road. I am told it has been in place for several weeks.