Chef Ricardo Zarate and business partner Stephane Bombet, of Chef Zarate Restaurant Group, have opened a Californian-Peruvian restaurant named the Blue Tavern at 119 State Street, the former home of Anchor Woodfire Kitchen which closed in September.

Blue Tavern is the group’s fourth restaurant, following the success of Los Angeles eateries Mo-chica, Picca, and Paichẽ. “Launching our first restaurant outside of Los Angeles, and to be opening our doors along the most vibrant street in the city, is truly the realization of a dream for Ricardo and me,” Bombet says. “By utilizing local Santa Barbara seafood and produce on our menu, Blue Tavern will offer our guests a new way to experience Peruvian culture in a relaxed environment.”

Zarate, a 2011 Food & Wine Best New Chef and two-time James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist for Best Chef: West, infuses Californian techniques and Peruvian ingredients throughout the menu. “I always try to blend inspiration from my past and present when I create a menu,” Zarate says. “To update classic Californian dishes with ingredients from my country, along with produce from local farmers’ markets, is a culmination of decades of cooking which I am looking forward to introducing to Santa Barbara.”

Blue Tavern, which seats 60 inside and 30 on the patio, is open daily beginning at 7 a.m. for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For more information call 845-0989 or visit


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  1. David says:

    I’m really worried. On one hand, it’s amazing we are going to have a world class restaurant in SB. On the other hand, restaurants, especially ones of this calibre, rarely make it in SB. Definitely checking it out while it lasts.

  2. julibelleSB says:

    check out the menu – now that is a smart, professional chef’s menu who is more interested in making a successful, fun spot than in being the big dog. Easily trainable & managed, simple to to set up. Just a few bells and whistles. I think they can look forward to a long run in Santa Barbara.

  3. Connie Milano says:

    I ate lunch there yesterday was was impressed. Although a little spicey for my peronal tastes….the menu is fresh and innovative…staff was friendly and helpful…..pricing decent…..I wish them much success.

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