Here is the latest from owner Brad Sherman:

“Hi John, Here’s an update on the old ‘Blue Agave’ location (20 East Cota Street) turned Nectar Eatery & Lounge. We just celebrated our one year anniversary and have refined our vision to focus on Indian Tapas and other Asian inspired delights. Ingredients gathered from farms and local markets make the flavors pop. Aparna Sherman’s recipes are a great departure from more Americanized Indian offerings but we are, decidedly, not an Indian restaurant. There are reasonably priced choices of quality meats to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free small plates, entrees and desserts. We offer amazing specialty beverages and ultra local wine and beer list. It’s the perfect place to bring a date or book a large party. Check it out at

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My wife and I recently dined at the new Angel Oak restaurant at the Bacara Resort which opened in June. The food was phenomenal and I enjoyed one of the best steaks I ever had. I ordered the bone-in Rib Eye (16 oz USDA Prime) with mash potatoes & wild mushrooms while my wife enjoyed the Rack of Lamb (house-made harissa apricot purée) with Asparagus Salad. The Restaurant Kid of course ordered the made-from-scratch Mac & Cheese (which effectively ended our ability to serve the boxed stuff from Kraft at home). Our meals started off with the Blue Crab Cake and Roasted Bone Marrow, accompanied by a spectacular ocean-view sunset, and ended with the Molten Chocolate Cake and Apple Cobbler, served sizzling at your table. All in all, a great experience.


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The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural history has introduced two bookend events to complement the ever-popular Santa Barbara Wine Festival. The Women Winemakers event that occurred in the spring received rave reviews and the upcoming autumn symposium is sure to “wow” attendees with its all-star panel of Santa Barbara winemakers.  Panelists will include Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat), Fred Brander (Brander Vineyards), Ken Brown (Ken Brown Wines), Bob Lindquist (Qupe), Lane Tanner (Lumen Wines), and Rick Longoria (Longoria Wines); all of whom are pioneers in the industry. Antonio Gardella, a local fine wine specialist, is scheduled to moderate the panel with an hour long Q&A, followed by socializing and tastings from 10 local wineries and 6 local food vendors. Attendees will have the chance to mingle with the winemakers and ask any questions of their own. “In the Beginning: The Early Years in the Santa Barbara Wine Country” will take place on October 23, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Fleischmann Auditorium at the Museum’s Mission Creek campus. Tickets are $75 for members and $100 for non-members, and are available now at For more information contact Meridith Moore at 805-682-4711 ext. 112 or

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The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is accepting turkeys, canned food, and monetary donations in preparation for its annual Thanksgiving Feast on Wednesday, November 23 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.  The Rescue Mission’s staff and a team of volunteers are planning to serve over 300 meals to community members in need.  This festive celebration will be held in the Mission’s well decorated dining hall located at 535 East Yanonali Street. The turkeys are prepared and cooked in advance.  The Thanksgiving dinner will include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, pie…and all the trimmings.  Approximately 500 turkeys are needed for all of the meals that will be served throughout the holiday season.  “There are hundreds of hungry, hurting souls in Santa Barbara who have lost everything, can’t find a job, are enslaved by drugs or alcohol, or even find themselves homeless,” said Rolf Geyling, President of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. “For them, the holidays can be the hardest time of year, with no family of their own—or place to call home.” Donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Yanonali Street office.

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Reader Wedge says that Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame, was sighted today shopping at Santa Barbara Whole Foods.



Reader Annie sent me an update about 315 Meigs Road, the former home of Mexican Fresh Taqueria:

I saw the sign going up at Mesa Burger today!  Progress being made. Any idea when they will open?

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This Saturday October 22, Kanaloa Seafood Market & Kitchen at 715 Chapala Street (and opening soon in Oxnard at 251 Lombard Street) will celebrate its one-year anniversary in downtown Santa Barbara. The community is invited to join for food, drinks, live music and more. In addition, they will host their 1st Annual Peel & Eat Sustainable Shrimp Contest.  Kanaloa recently started a Happy Hour from 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., every Monday through Thursday

For over 30 years, Kanaloa Seafood has partnered with restaurants, hospitality groups, retailers, and home cooks — delivering seafood directly to their doorstep. The most recent addition to the Kanaloa family is their downtown restaurant.

Don and Randee Disraeli have been sourcing fresh seafood for Kanaloa since 1983.  From the beginning, they have taken an approach with includes full eco-system evaluation and audits.  By assessing entire regions, including the people living around and fishing the waters, their practices along with the balance of the surrounding ecosystem, Kanaloa is able to dynamically source a complete seafood portfolio and create lasting relationships with fishing communities who are actively engaged in protecting their waters and livelihood. I am told that Kanaloa is the only International Organization of Standardization-certified (ISO) seafood company in North America, earning their ISO 14001 certification through regular third party audits of their environmental management practices, and continuous efforts to reduce the size of the environmental footprint of their entire business, including their eco-packaging and shipping methods. Visit

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This November, Outpost at The Goodland at 5650 Calle Real in Goleta warms up to fall with their second annual Ramenfest. On Saturday, Nov. 5th from noon-4 p.m., Santa Barbara’s top restaurant teams, some returning and some new, will come together to put forth their best ramen recipes. This friendly competition will offer a taste of a variety of ramen, from the traditional to the unique, for the public’s “Ramen King of Santa Barbara” vote. If things couldn’t get any tastier, new this year to RamenFest will be a pop-up sake bar featuring sake cocktail creations by Outpost Lead Bartender Chris Burmeister, as well as a variety to enjoy straight. Festival-goers can also partake in Sumo Wrestling, available to ticketholders throughout the event. Fest-goers can purchase tickets at Tickets start at $30 for presale. Proceeds from the Ramenfest winning team will be donated to No Kid Hungry.

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Readers Brendan, Cris and Annie tell me that a sign for Meun Fan Thai Café has appeared at 5664 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Cafe International. I called Meun Fan Thai Café at 1819 Cliff Drive on the Mesa and they confirmed that this will be their second location and I was told that they hope to open in about four months.



Reader Brendan sent me a tip that Satellite Santa Barbara will open its doors later this year in the recently opened Impact Hub co-working space at 1117 State Street. Satellite Santa Barbara is a concept cafe and wine bar built to serve members of the Impact Hub and the surrounding community. They will take over the front lobby of Impact Hub and open directly onto State. They will showcase an ever-changing curated list of uncommon wine, beers, fortified wines, and vermouths from small, independent producers around the world. Food service at Satellite Santa Barbara will be provided by local favorite The Scarlett Begonia. The menu will feature locally focused seasonal salads, soups, sandwiches, and flat breads as well as list of light bar snacks and cheeses. Lunch items will be deliver fresh each morning for quick, healthy dine-in or take-away. They will also provide in-house catering services for the Impact Hub building’s conference rooms and event spaces. Alongside the opening of their café and wine bar, the company will begin offering industry-standard courses to service professionals and enthusiasts alike. Santa Barbara will be the home of Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a globally recognized set of wine education courses for the enthusiastic beginner to the most advanced wine expert. Utilizing the tastefully finished and conveniently located conference rooms at Impact Hub, WSET courses will serve to educate students in wine production, service, and appreciation. Visit



Reader Jenny sent me a tip that Vietnamese restaurant Phoevermore has opened at 1017 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria. Neighboring businesses in the Casitas Pass Shopping Center (also known as Shepard Place Shops) include Domino’s, Hugo’s, Pee Bee & Jay’s, Rudy’s, Subway, Taco Bell, Uncle Chen, and YoYumYum.

“We are very excited to offer our food to the community, especially Carpinteria,” say owner Ron Thai. “We live here. If we wanted to eat Pho we had to go to Goleta or drive down to Ventura so we wanted to bring it to the community. We only have a few items on the menu because we want to do them well. We didn’t want to offer a thousand things while doing none of them well. We do them traditional style and it has to be authentic.”

Thai says his personal favorite dish is the House Special Pho and he eats it every day. It includes eye round steak, brisket, well-done flank, tendons, tripe and meat balls. I tried the spring roll with peanut sauce and it was excellent. Phoevermore is open daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Call 220-6633 or visit

161020-phoevermore - CopyHusband and wife team Ron Thai and Pauline Tran at their new Vietnamese restaurant.

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Reader Mike says that Montecito Café at 1295 Coast Village Road is serving its last meals on Saturday, October 15th per a sign in the restaurant.

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Here is a list of local food establishments that have opened in the last year:

  • October 2016: The Honey B, 602 Anacapa St.
  • September 2016: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Loquita, 202 State St.; Pickles & Swiss, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta; PokeMee, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta
  • August 2016: Pieology, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Pizza Man Dan’s, 699 Linden Ave., Carpinteria; Sprouts Farmers Market, 175 N. Fairview Ave., Goleta; Vons, 2010 Cliff Dr.
  • July 2016: American Ale 02, 214 State St.; Convivo at Santa Barbara Inn, 901 East Cabrillo Blvd.; Corazón Cocina, 38 W. Victoria St.; Drunken Crab, 416 State St.; Helena Avenue Bakery, 131 Anacapa St.; Nona’s Deli, 415 E. De la Guerra St.; Viva Santa Barbara, 1114 State St.
  • June 2016: Angel Oak at the Bacara Resort, 8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Dunkin Donuts, 3771 State St.; Rusty’s Pizza, 111 State St.; The Nugget, 5096 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria
  • May 2016: Le Petit Bistrot (now closed), 532 State St.; Little Kitchen, 17 West Ortega St.; Nook, 120 Santa Barbara St.; Phamous Café, 7127 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Smart & Final Extra!, 3943 State St.; Zizzo’s Coffeehouse & Brew Pub, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta
  • April 2016: Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, 6530 Seville Rd., Isla Vista; Jane, 6920 Marketplace Dr., Goleta; Oveja Blanca Restaurante, 30 E. Ortega St.
  • March 2016: 805 Kabob, 6578 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista; Fire & Ice Cafe, 971 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista; Hana Kitchen, 5 W. Haley St.; Santa Ynez Burrito, 956 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista; Smart & Final Extra!, 850 Linden Ave., Carpinteria
  • February 2016: Green Table 113 W. De la Guerra St.; La Bella Rosa Bakery,7127 Hollister Ave.#18, Goleta; Nimita’s Cuisine 508 East Haley St. (now closed); Pascucci, 6920 Marketplace Dr., Goleta; Rusty’s Pizza, 5934 Calle Real, Goleta; Taqueria El Pastorcito, 4427 Hollister Ave., Noleta; The French Press, 250 Storke Rd., Goleta; Yankee Noodle 214 State St.
  • January 2016: Boondocks, 4444 Hollister Ave. (now closed); Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, 718 State St.; Home Plate Grill, 7398 Calle Real, Goleta; Nothing Bundt Cakes, 5784 Calle Real, Goleta
  • December 2015: Fernando’s Churros & Restaurant, 316 N. Milpas St. (in the back); High Sierra Grill & Bar, 521 Firestone Rd. Goleta; Sachi Ramen, 721 Chapala St.; Smart & Final Extra!, 7090 Hollister Ave. Goleta; Stone Age Restaurant, 415 N. Milpas St.; Wildwood Kitchen, 412 East Haley St.
  • November 2015: 805 Boba, 213 Paseo Nuevo; China King, 5915B Calle Real, Goleta; Marbella, 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd. (formerly Bistro 1111); Subway, 1936 State St.


After I received a tip from reader Primetime, and others, I called Ralphs market at 2840 De la Vina Street and was told that the grocery store is closing on November 4th.

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Reader Brendan let me know that a new cafe called The Honey B has opened on the rooftop patio of Antioch University, 602 Anacapa Street, in the former home of Book Ends Cafe.

The Honey B’s web site offers a write-up about the chef: “Katie Belanger, also known as The Honey B, fell in love with cooking for the intention of making others smile, cooking in Chicago for her family and friends. She applied her endless energy and passionate heart to achieve a degree in Food and Beverage and Business at the University of Missouri. Katie chased her culinary dreams out to California where she won a reality TV cooking competition and opened her very own vegan bakery business, Cinnies. After a year of success with Cinnies, Katie was craving to further expand her culinary creativity and business mindset. She is now expanding with The Honey B, a little kitchen with a lot love. Katie’s very own unique rooftop eatery with an unforgettable view is located on top of Antioch University.”

The Honey B’s sandwich menu ($4.25 small, $8 large) includes Boat (bacon, caramelized onions, arugula, tomato, chipotle ranch on cheddar and chive waffles), Caesar (grilled chicken, shaved parmesan, romaine, tomato, Caesar dressing on garlic parmesan waffles), Meli (avocado mash, cucumbers, red onion, romaine, tomato feta, hummus on spinach mozzarella waffles) and Jackos (chipotle-garlic pulled jackfruit, pickled red onion, avocado crema, cilantro, corn tortillas).

The Honey B also serves Buddha Bowls ($8.50) including Curry (spiced yams, maple roasted chickpeas, kale, avocado, cucumber, green onion, brown rice, coconut curry dressing), Kimchi (roasted Brussels sprouts, toasted cashews, kimchi, avocado, cucumber, mixed greens, brown rice, sesame ginger), Superfood (shredded kale, quinoa, seasonal berries, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, avocado, lemon poppy seed dressing), and Can’t Be This (baby arugula, roasted beet, farro, goat cheese, red onion, pumpkin seeds, basil balsamic dressing).

The Honey B also offers catering and has an outlet at Isabella Gourmet Foods, 5 East Figueroa Street. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Call 895-4248 or visit

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Reader Brendan says that TAP Thai oat 3130 State Street is now once again open for lunch.  Their web site shows a menu of $10 lunch specials. Call 682-1114.




The Peterson family, owners of local McDonald’s franchises for decades, have sold their four Santa Barbara restaurants: 1213 State Street, 3940 State Street, 29 North Milpas Street  and 1906 Cliff Drive. They continue to own 146 South Fairview Avenue and 6900 Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta.

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After intense concentration and a wave of my hand over the all-knowing crystal ball, my eatery oracle has revealed a list of food and drink locations appearing in your future:

  • Blaze Pizza, 3925 State St. (formerly Carl’s Jr.)
  • Cachuma Lake Café, Cachuma Lake marina
  • Ca’ Dario Trattoria and Pizzeria, 250 Storke Rd., Goleta (formerly Sams To Go)
  • Cajun Kitchen, 6025 Calle Real, Goleta (formerly Rusty’s Pizza)
  • Cito Street Café, 305 W. Montecito St.
  • Del Taco, Santa Barbara (2 locations)
  • Dickey’s, Santa Barbara
  • Dunkin’ Donuts, 3 more South Coast locations
  • Guicho’s Eatery, 901 Linden Ave., Carpinteria (formerly The Beach Bowl)
  • Handlebar Coffee Roasters, 2720 De la Vina St. (formerly Sleep Shoppe)
  • HiWI Tropical Fusion, 6555 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista
  • Kyle’s Kitchen, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta (Hollister Village Plaza)
  • La Entrada de Santa Barbara, 30 State St.
  • Luna Grill, 3925 State St. (formerly Carl’s Jr.)
  • Magic Castle, 30 Los Patos Wy. (formerly Café del Sol)
  • Mesa Burger, 315 Meigs Rd. (formerly Mexican Fresh Taqueria)
  • Mestizo by Los Agaves, 119 State St. (formerly Nuance)
  • Nikka Ramen, 701 Calle Real, Goleta (formerly India Club)
  • Norton’s Pastrami and Deli, Goleta.
  • Oliver’s, 1198 Coast Village Rd. (formerly Peabody’s)
  • Phoevermore, 1017 Casitas Pass Rd., Carpinteria
  • Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, corner of Carpinteria Ave. and Holly Ave., Carpinteria
  • Rusty’s Pizza, 2315 Lillie Ave., Summerland (Stacky’s Seaside)
  • Rusty’s Pizza, 4880 Hollister Ave., Goleta (moving from 149 S. Turnpike Rd.)
  • Sharkey’s Woodfired Mexican Grill, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta (Hollister Village Plaza)
  • Somerset, 7 E. Anapamu St. (formerly Arts & Letters Café)
  • Which Wich, 5 South Coast locations
  • Unnamed Asian Fusion, 5892 Hollister Ave. (formerly The Natural Café)
  • Unnamed BBQ, 4444 Hollister Ave., Noleta (formerly Creekside)
  • Unnamed Sushi, 134 East Canon Perdido St. (formerly Sojourner)
  • Unnamed Taco, 134 East Canon Perdido St. (formerly Sojourner)


  • The sign for Dumpling King, which was planning to take over The Cantina at 966 Embarcadero Del Mar, is gone. I am told that the The Cantina is still open but frequently closed during posted business hours.
  • HiWI Tropical Fusion, coming to 6555 Pardall Road, was projected to open last June. I stopped by and it appears that the address is in early-stage construction of a new building so I don’t expect them to open until next year.
  • The locally-owned Domino’s store at 955 Embarcadero Del Mar now has a Domino’s DXP delivery vehicle. The DXPs are specially-designed vehicles that have been created exclusively for Domino’s. They are in select markets across the U.S. and now officially in the Santa Barbara area. The DXPs have built-in warming ovens which can hold up to two Heatwave bags. The entire car itself can accommodate up to 80 pizzas.


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McConnell’s Ice Cream & Yogurt at 201 Mission Street, an independently-owned location that licenses the name from Santa Barbara-based McConnell’s, is changing its name to Mission Street Ice Cream and Yogurt. The Mission Street location has been in business since 1986.



Miso Hungry Japanese restaurant has completed their move to 3613 State Street (formerly Subway) which is across the street from Denny’s. Their old location was in the Galleria at 3891 State Street which is scheduled to be demolished.



Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has opened in Hollister Village Plaza at 7060 Hollister Avenue in Goleta. Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the nation’s largest barbecue chain was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey with the goal of authentic slow-smoked barbecue. The new South Coast location will have prizes and giveaways for the next four weeks:

  • Thirsty Thursdays—All guests will receive a free Big Yellow Cup with Dickey’s new reusable travel lid and straw. The first 50 guests will receive a taste of Dickey’s butcher taco of the month, the Buffalo Bleu.
  •  Philanthropy Fridays— “You Give, We Give”, guests who donate to Dickey’s charitable foundation, Barbecue, Boots & Badges, will receive a gift card. Uniformed first responders also receive 50 percent off their meal.
  •  Singer/Songwriter Saturdays—Enjoy live music from a local musician.
  •  Kids Eat Free All Day Every Sunday with a $10 dine-in purchase per adult.

“The Dickey family congratulates Gary Chhina on opening his Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location in Goleta,” says Roland Dickey Jr., CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “Dickey’s is rapidly growing nation-wide and is extremely proud to have such a large presence in the state of California.” Born and raised in California, Chhina has been in the restaurant business for seven years. After making a career out of building successful businesses, he decided that he was ready to open his own franchise. He chose Dickey’s because he wanted to bring the people of Goleta real Texas barbecue. “I am excited to not only to be a part of the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit family but also engage with my local community,” says Chhina. Dickey’s is open daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Call 201-0444 or visit

161006-dickeys - CopyPhoto by reader Jonathan

161006-dickeys2 copyOwner Gary Chhina



Acme Hospitality, owners and operators of a collection of local boutique food and beverage concepts, opened their Spanish restaurant, Loquita on September 28. The restaurant is located in the downtown Waterfront District at 202 State Street on the corner of Yanonali.

Loquita, a Spanish colloquial term for a “wild, fun loving young girl,” recalls the history of Santa Barbara. “Our city’s rich colonial history has defined us in ways that span architecture, food, wine, and even informs our community celebrations,” comments Sherry Villanueva, Managing Partner for Acme Hospitality. “It’s the right time to dedicate our next restaurant to the incredible culture and food that Spain is known for, but interpreted by a contemporary California sensibility that is our company’s signature.”

Leading the culinary team is Executive Chef Peter Lee, with a resume that includes most recently the award-winning Jöel Robuchon in Las Vegas and earlier stints at Gusto and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles. Skyler Gamble, recruited from The Lark where he has worked since its opening in 2013, oversees front of house operations as Loquita’s General Manager.

Chef Lee’s menu is shaped with Mediterranean flavors – olives, lemons, tomatoes, peppers, vinegars, jamon and Sherries. Small and large platters are patterned for sharing, either as an intimate meal or feasting with a larger group. Dishes include over a dozen spins of classic pintxos and tapas – Wagyu Carpaccio with Manzanilla; Croquetas de Pollo;Ahi Tuna Tartare with Piquillo; Tortilla Espanola; Escalivada Catalana with Eggplant; and Gazpacho with Jamon Serrano. Imported Charcuterie and cheeses feature Jamon Serrano, acorn-fed Jamon Iberico De Bellota and a flight of Manchego cheeses with accompaniments of membrillo and Spanish peanuts.

Loquita’s wood fired grill is the source for larger platters of charred fish and seafood, marbled meats, pork and chicken, serving two or more. Specialties include Shrimp with Tomato, Brandy, Garlic & Bocadillo; Spanish Octopus with Black Garlic Aioli; Loup de Mer with Tomato, Arbequina Olive & Lemon; Squid with Pork, Gigante Beans & Mojo Verde; Superior Lamb Chop with Eggplant, Tomato & Mojo Verde; Acorn Fed Pork with Peach Chutney; Prime Rib-Eye with Padron Pepper, Chermoula & Aioli; and Mary’s Chicken with Escabeche, Lemon & Potato.

The signature dish at Loquita is paella, prepared to order in traditional paella pans and offered three ways – Verduras with Saffron, Cauliflower, Romano, Mushroom & Cipollini; Pollo & Setas with Fried Chicken, Maitake, Royal King Trumpet & Beech Mushrooms; and Mariscos withBay Scallops, Shrimp, Calamari & Venus Clams.

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The Poké craze sweeping across California has entered the South Coast. PokeMee, serving Hawaii-inspired cubed-fish dishes, has opened in Hollister Village Plaza at 7000 Hollister Avenue suite 102 in Goleta. Offering cuisine described as “Japanese fusion” and “deconstructed sushi” PokeMee serves build-your-own customizable Poké bowls. “All sauces are made in-house and the sushi rice is made with a proprietary blend of Japanese vinegar,” said Manager Chris Nguyen. “Our fish is fresh and top of the line. For example the salmon is a Scottish salmon instead of a more-common Atlantic or Canadian salmon. We offer fresh tuna loins, considered the Filet Mignon of tuna.”

Each bowl starts with a base of white, brown or sushi rice, salad, chips or a combination therein. Meat options include salmon, tuna, yellowtail, albacore, shrimp, octopus, edamame and spicy tuna. Available sauces are house ponzu, spicy mayo, muso sauce, and wasabi mayo. Sides include cucumber, avocado, crab meat, kiwi, mango and white onion. And finally, toppings include masago, seaweed salad, green onions, fried onions, shredded seaweed and jalapenos.

PokeMee also serves a limited menu from the Bay Area-based Sno-Crave Tea House chain, offering a variety of boba milk teas and fruit teas.

Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Call 770-3826 or visit

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Photos by Snow Li



arts-and-letters-cafe-1Somerset Restaurant is coming to 7 East Anapamu Street, the former home of Arts & Letters Cafe. The property has been extensively remodeled and the original courtyard has been replaced. The courtyard has a base of pressed gravel and the space has been beautified with the addition of five 160-year-old olive trees to create a canopy. Fire pits and fountains offer a real indoor/outdoor feel. I am told that the inside offers a timeless 1930s – 1950s New York, London or San Francisco “forever feel” with white Calacatta marble walls, a wrap around walnut bar, Hans Wegner chairs, and tufted velvet sofas.

Somerset chef Lauren Herman has been the chef de cuisine at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s A.O.C. and Lucques in Los Angeles. Herman tells me that the Somerset will serve California seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean and French influences.

“It will be very high-end fine dining but very approachable and casual,” says Jordan Fife, Director of Development and Operations at Steve Hermann Design and Steve Hermann Hotels. “It’s not something you have to wear a suit for. You could wear flip-flops and a button-up. It’s not a tasting-style menu. It’s come in and order whatever you want. It’s a place to come in and have a cocktail and an appetizer, or come out to the courtyard and have a white tablecloth fine dining experience. It’s whatever kind of element you want. It’s casual just like Santa Barbara is but bringing some of the best food from the best places in the world.” Somerset hopes to open October 15th.

P.S. This eatery is not related to the Somerset Restaurant that once thrived on Coast Village Road.



The web site for Hollister Village Plaza at 7000 Hollister Avenue in Goleta has announced that Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill will be a future tenant.



Readers Chompee, Ken and Mike tell me that Nikka Ramen restaurant is coming to 5701 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of India Club restaurant. I am told that they have a sign up and workers remodeling inside.



George’s Smokehouse food truck has gone out of business. Here is a message for their patrons:

“It is with a heavy heart and an empty smoker that we regret to announce that Georgia’s Smokehouse will be stopping operations as of August 31st, 2016. We would like to thank you for your support and your belief to feed all of you! WE had a great time getting to know all of you through the trucks and sharing our love of hospitality and customer service. WE would like to thank all of our employees that have made it possible for us to do what we do, they all worked extremely hard and were dedicated to sharing our BBQ with all of you! We hope to see you all soon.”



Here is a press release:

Santa Barbara Restaurateur Offers Free Meals to Honor Firefighters

The Black Sheep and Oveja Blanca Restaurante to offer a week of dining for Santa Barbara County firefighters, September 18-22, 2016.

Santa Barbara, Calif., September 14, 2016 – Santa Barbara restaurants The Black Sheep and Oveja Blanca Restaurante plan to close to the public to offer a week of free, private dining for firefighters and their families, September 18-22, 2016.

“Given the many fires that have happened in our area in recent years, we want to give back to those who risk their lives every day to protect us from urban and wild fires, respond to emergencies of all kinds, and often are not in the spotlight,” said Ruben Perez, co-owner of both eateries with his father Robert Perez.

The restaurateurs plan to close both The Black Sheep and Oveja Blanca to serve dinner to California’s firefighters to thank and recognize them for their service. Reservations must be made and service during this time will be exclusively for firefighters and their families.

September’s Week of Dining is the Perez family’s first in a series to recognize service sectors in our community. Plans for three additional dining weeks will honor law enforcement, armed forces, and hospital staff (paramedics, nurses, doctors).

To make a reservation:

The Black Sheep
26 East Ortega Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Oveja Blanca Restaurante
Located adjacent to The Black Sheep
30 E. Ortega St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101



Ca’ Dario Trattoria and Pizzeria is coming to Goleta next to the new French Press in the Kmart Shopping Center, a few doors north of Rusty’s Pizza. This space is the former home of Sam’s To Go which moved across the parking lot in 2012. Owner Dario Furlati tells me that prices will be lowered without cutting quality. Opening is scheduled for November or December depending on when permits are ready.