verdeA new restaurant named Verdé has opened at 532 State Street, the former home of Zia Café. “We’re taking the south-western cuisine of Santa Barbara up a notch,” says owner Dave Campos. South-western cuisine is a fusion of Spanish, Native American and Mexican ingredients and techniques. Often referred to as Southwest or New Mexican cuisine, it has its own distinct preparation, ingredients and flavor. The defining ingredient of Southwest food is green and red chiles grown only in Hatch, New Mexico. The kitchen is run by Jim Gartman, an award winning chef who has cooked from New York to New Mexico and moved to Santa Barbara from a high-end country club in Arizona. Hours are 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information call 897-0033 or visit

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Christine says:

    They host Comedy Hideaway on Fri and Sat too, apparently.

  2. Lily says:

    The menu doesn’t look very exciting. Is the only difference here the use of Hatch chile compare to a slew of other cheaper Mexican restaurants?

  3. Glenn says:

    This was the place when you walked by that looked like you were in Bodie or a Twilight Zone marathon with dusty tables and silverware set out. Hope this place does better and gets out of the Twilight zone.

  4. Charlotte says:

    The place is beautiful and the menu looks very exciting!

  5. BDO says:

    The service was awful and the food was worse. Server had no clue about the menu or wine (there aren’t any local wines). He had to go ask someone else every question we had and could only handle one question at a time. Then he would forget to come back with the answer.
    The food took over an hour to be brought out. They said they were busy but the place is small and no one was upstairs. While waiting, I used the restroom and noticed that the kitchen is extremely small. No way they can be efficient in that space.
    We were entertaining out of town guests (one is a chef in NY) and he wondered about the so called “award winning chef” so we looked up Jim Gartman online and they are a joke. They brought out dirty water glasses (one had lipstick on it). The whole place seemed dirty. The management doesn’t seem to know what they are doing.
    Not worth the trouble.

  6. pjt says:

    Had dinner there with four other people. The food was delicious and they had a few interesting dishes. The service and ambiance need some attention. Be a restaurant or be a comedy club!

  7. Jerry says:

    The place is listed for sale in the MLS. Not a good sign.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *