Owner Clay Holdren sent me an update about Holdren’s Grill at Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta:

Hey John,

I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to let you know that Craig Baldi has taken over as the chef for Holdren’s Grill in Goleta. He is the original chef that we had when we opened our downtown location 10 years ago and came up with a lot of our original recipes. We are very excited to have him back and expect great things out of the kitchen at Holdren’s Grill!

Clay Holdren
Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood

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  1. Kevin says:

    I fondly remember Craig from back when Holdren’s opened on State St. Gonna have to check out the Grill just to say hello.

  2. . says:

    good they haven’t been great yet. in my opinion

  3. Charlotte says:

    I hope he teaches his cooks how to cook a steak, make a sauce without a packet of Knorr, make a crab cake with a “c” not a “k”, fight the urge to swap out fried calamari with fried jalepenos (yes, we noticed..bad idea for so many reasons! And stop bulking up your appetizers with that terribly dated Rice-a-Roni. I can only speak for the Goleta location. The food is horrid! Too bad, as the place is lovely and the staff is fabulous. Don’t get me started about the “BBQ” place next door! (Same kitchen, same Chef?) The new Chef really has his work cut out for him!

  4. Charlotte says:

    Oh do tell! I get deleted all the time errrr!

  5. Kevin says:

    Well I will give Clay credit for listening to his customers and taking action to improve, bcs, Holdrens Goleta is not what it could be. It would be so cool if we had a place as good as the “Tee Off” in Goleta. Why not call up the guy who ran Jasper’s in Fairview shopping center a few years ago, or hire a Tee Off chief, make offers they cannot refuse, to come cook some quality back in that Goleta Steak House. Outback does a better job than Holdrens, sad to say. I occasionally go to Holdrens Goleta to support a local biz, but so far they have not got above a “C” grade for food. We are so spoiled by all the great restaurants in SB. Good luck Holdrens I will try the place again in a few weeks.

    • Charlotte says:

      I’m sorry but Outback wins, hands down, as the worst “steak and seafood” restaurant on the planet. AND the place is packed!!?? Holdren’s was hopelessly slipping into the same category and the owners know it, hence the new Chef. I’m expecting a huge improvement…hoping.

  6. Lisa says:

    Sad to say we are disappointed with the change. My friends and I went there monthly for girls night and all agreed. My favorite dishes were the salmon with mashed potatoes and spinach – not on the menu anymore – and the Cajun salmon pasta which was too spicy to eat for the first time ever. We would love to see it return to what it was. And why downtown did I have to choose between potatoes and spinach with the salmon – it’s the combo that made it superb in Goleta. We will give it one more try before picking a new monthly meeting spot – hope it will get better!

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