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

  • January 2015: La Mission Cafe (Airport Downstairs), 500 Fowler Rd.; Lilac Patisserie, 1017 State St.
  • December 2014: Kyle’s Kitchen, 5723 Calle Real, Goleta; Patxi’s Pizza, 515 State St.; Pizza Hut, 915A Calle Real, Goleta
  • November 2014: Tino’s Italian Grocery, 210 West Carrillo St.
  • October 2014: Aladdin Café, 938 Embarcadero del Norte, Isla Vista; Barbareno, 205 W. Canon Perdido St.; Los Agaves, 7024 Market Place Dr., Goleta; Tri Tip Company, 214 State St. (now closed)
  • September 2014: Café 154, 4151 Foothill Rd.; Taqueria El Pastorcito, 2009 De la Vina St.; The Outpost at The Goodland Hotel, 5650 Calle Real, Goleta.
  • August 2014:   Boochies, 113 W. De la Guerra St.; Tacos El Rey, 5 W. Haley St.
  • July 2014: Benchmark Eatery, 1201 State St.; Mesa Verde, 1919 Cliff Dr.; Papa Johns Pizza, 5756 Calle Real, Goleta.
  • June 2014: Himalayan Kitchen, 431 State St.; Spudnuts, 6530 Seville Rd., Isla Vista.
  • May 2014: C’est Cheese Café, 825 Santa Barbara St.; Caribbean Kitchen, 731 De la Guerra Plaza; Jersey Mike’s, 1213 State St.; The Black Sheep, 26 E. Ortega St.
  • April 2014: Ana’s Taco Bar, 505 State St.; Beach Bowls, 901 Linden Ave., Carpinteria; Belcampo Meat Co., 38 W. Victoria St.; Crazy Good Bread Co., 38 W. Victoria St.; Deli Express, 7398 Calle Real, Goleta; Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar, 38 W. Victoria St.; Enjoy Cupcakes, 38 W. Victoria St.; Fire & Ice Museum Café, 1130 State St.; Flagstone Pantry, 38 W. Victoria St.; Green Star Coffee, 38 W. Victoria St.; Juice Well, 38 W. Victoria St.; Lovin Oven Mediterranean Bakery & Café, 6578 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista; Pasta Shoppe, 38 W. Victoria St.; Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, 38 W. Victoria St.; Santa Monica Seafood, 38 W. Victoria St.
  • March 2014: Betos Subs, 731 De La Guerra Plaza (now closed); Blaze Pizza, 6546 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista; Firehouse Subs, 6530 Seville Rd., Isla Vista (now closed); Jimmy John’s, 909 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista; Olio Crudo Bar, 11 W. Victoria St.; Piano Riviera Lounge, 129 E Anapamu St.
  • February 2014: The Lovin’ Spoonful, 2028 Cliff Dr.
  • January 2014: Barbarians Pizza, 511 State St.; Wok on the Wild Side, 901 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista.
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Two weeks ago I reported that a yoga studio was opening at 108 Pierpont Road in Summerland, the former home of the Big Yellow House restaurant. It appears that they will be occupying just the upstairs portion of the property. Kelly Mahan with the Montecito Journal reports in the January 15-22 issue that the downstairs section will be occupied by a farm-to-table Italian restaurant named Pace (pronounced PAH-chay). This business is not related to the recently-closed Pace restaurant at 413 State Street.

The concept for the eatery is “Bohemian, artisitic, and artisan, featuring locally sources produce and products and house-made everything,” reports Mahan. “Summerland Pace will be a casual and organic twist on refined Italian cuisine: think house-made pasta, locally sourced seafood and meats, pizza made with farmers’ market veggies and more.”

Owner and chef Sandy Gendel owns a second Pace restaurant in Laurel Canyon. Summerland Pace will be open for breakfast lunch and dinner. For more information visit Thanks to reader Jim for the tip.




150122-inn-crowdPopular local cooking show The Inn Crowd is now hosted by Chef Michael Hutchings. The Inn Crowd is aired Saturday nights on the ABC affiliate KEYT channel 3 and it can also be seen on the Santa Barbara News Press web site The show will has notable guests from the area to assist and learn from Chef Michael. All the recipes will be posted on the In addition to learning new dishes, The Inn Crowd will be shown the relationship between food and wine and suggested wine parings to enhance the dining experience. Produced by Craig Case, the Foley Food and Wine Society continues to be a major sponsor for this well received show. The culinary action is filmed at Foley’s Crossroads Victorian estate in Santa Ynez Valley. The production team YTS is continuing with Season 5, including Will Conlin, Harlene Conlin, and Gary Conlin.

Photo: Guest Archie McLaren (left) and Chef Michael Hutchings on The Inn Crowd cooking show.



Reader Hugh tells me that Vietnamese sandwiches and Pho are now available from Mama’s Bakery at 5342 Hollister Avenue in Goleta:

“Hi John, Mama’s Bakery on Hollister across from Cottage Hospital is now serving a variety of Vietnamese sandwiches. They come with pickles, cilantro, grated carrot, and thin sliced jalapeños. Monday’s special is with steak, Tuesdays with chicken, Wednesday chicken pineapple meatball, Thursday Pork, and Friday a 3 meat combo. Pho is also available daily in 2 sizes.”



Whether or not your New Year’s Resolution is to eat less meat, Chipotle Mexican Grill is giving its customers a special opportunity to try its new vegan menu item, Sofritas, this month. On Monday, January 26, 2015, customers who purchase a Sofritas entrée item at any Chipotle restaurant can redeem their receipt for a free entrée of their choice any day between January 27 and February 28, 2015. Sofritas is organic, non-GMO tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblano peppers and a blend of spices. Sofritas was first tested in spring 2013 in several markets after which the vegan offering became a permanent addition on Chipotle’s menu.

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Reader Primetime tells me that a restaurant named “Montecito” has opened in Toronto, Canada. The Montecito Restaurant is a partnership between Toronto-native and Hollywood director, (and Montecito resident,) Ivan Reitman and Master Chef Jonathan Waxman. On the menu you might note a dessert which is a version of baked Alaska, called the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, one of the characters from Reitman’s hit movie “Ghostbusters.” The restaurant is also decorated with video screens which show scenic videos shot from Montecito’s foothills, giving diners a taste of Santa Barbara County. For more information visit

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I recently stopped by McDonald’s in Camino Real Marketplace to refuel with a quick regular hamburger. While there I noticed something interesting about their Dollar Menu: most things cost more than a dollar. Of the nearly 20 entrées and sides on the Dollar Menu, only one item, a cone, cost a dollar. All other entrées and sides on the Dollar Menu cost more than a buck, up to $9.59. A few offerings of tea are available for $1.



Reader Brendan tells me that Lilac Patisserie, a “dedicated gluten-free bakery and cafe”, has opened at 1017 State Street.

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Here is a message from the new Yellowbelly restaurant at 2611 De la Vina Street:

“Hi John,

My name is Alex Noormand. I own Yellowbelly on De la Vina Street. I just wanted to let you know that we are open for dinner, with a full menu. We are also a craft beer and wine bar. We also just changed our name to just Yellowbelly and took off the ‘tap sucker.’

- Alex Noormand and Tracy Clark”



Anne Elcon, Director of Marketing & Communications for Bacara Resort & Spa tells me that Miro restaurant has close. I’m told that Bacara plans to utilize the venue, which has amazing ocean views, as a special event space until they begin restaurant renovation in the fall.

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If you are one of those people who has to “see it to believe it” that a restaurant will open outside of the security zone at the Santa Barbara Airport, this is your day. La Mission Café opened at the John T. Rickard Airline Terminal on January 8th with ribbon cutting ceremony. Mayor Helene Schneider was present to do the honors.

“We have received requests to have a downstairs café, before security, where warm food, wine and beer could be served. Tasneem Vakharia owner of First Class Concessions responded to those requests with the new re-imagined space,” said Hazel Johns, Airport Director. “It is a wonderful addition and I think it will open up new possibilities for the public to come and enjoy time with family and friends at the Airport.”

In addition to their own food and wine offerings, La Mission Café offers the complete menu from Costa Terraza restaurant located upstairs in the security zone.




Reader Cris tells me that the Big Yellow House restaurant at 108 Pierpont Road in Summerland, that closed in 2006, is now home to a yoga studio.



I was cruising my electric Razor scooter through Isla Vista, looking for any changes in the dining scene, and noticed that froyo hangout Sweet Alley at 955 Embarcadero del Mar in Isla Vista has reopened after closing last October.

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I was in Albertsons market recently and noticed that all the avocados had stickers on them that read “Ripe Now!” yet not a single avocado (in a batch of hundreds) was ripe. In fact every one of them was several days from being ripe. I asked customer service about this and was told that avocado titan Calavo uses “Ripe Now!®” as a registered trademark and that it is not an indicator about the state of the avocado.

Photo Jan 12, 2 54 54 PM



The 2nd annual Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend is being held April 16-19 at the Bacara Resort & Spa with the theme: “Savoring the Past, Cultivating the Future.” Join the celebration of Santa Barbara County chefs, artisans, winemakers and farmers. Now in its second year, the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend showcases the distinct tastes, sights and sounds of the region while also bringing culinary talent from across the country to Santa Barbara. Highlights include:

  • Educational lunch with Los Angeles’ power couple and celebrity chefs, Suzanne Goin and David Lentz
  • Neighborhood Tasting & Market that explores Santa Barbara’s top up-and-coming food regions, including Los Alamos, Arts District and Funk Zone
  • Cooking classes with famed chefs and cookbook authors, including Dorie Greenspan, Jim Dodge, Anne Willan and Virginia Willis
  • Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association wine reception and video tribute to Julia Child presented by her former producer and director, Geoffrey Drummond
  • Screening of A Year in Champagne in the resort’s 211-seat movie theater paired with a glass of champagne and local chocolate tasting

The weekend is inspired by Chef Julia Child’s lifelong passion for learning, love of eating well and mission to further gastronomy. It’s designed to marry entertainment and inspiration, celebration with learning. Event proceeds will benefit The Julia Child Foundation, which is based in Santa Barbara. Tickets cost $25-$125 and are available at

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Pacific Pickle Works, a Santa Barbara based gourmet food company, is the recipient of the 2015 Good Food Award for their Jalabeaños, a unique blend of jalapeño spiced pickled green beans. The award was presented to Pacific Pickle Works Founder Bradley Bennett by world-renowned chef and food activist Alice Waters on January 8, at the Good Food Award ceremony held at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

“We are extremely proud to receive this prestigious award,” said Bennett. “To have our product recognized among a field of such high quality food-makers from across the country is a real honor.”

To qualify for a Good Food Award, a product must be responsibly produced from locally sourced ingredients, without the use of pesticides and with respect to seasonality. Over 150 products in 11 categories were selected from nearly 1,500 entries for the award this year. The winners were selected in a blind taste test by a panel of industry experts.

“We take pride in the fact that we make good food using local and organic produce,” added Bennett. “This award gives us a great seal of approval as we look to introduce our pickles to a larger audience in 2015.”



This just in from owner Shannon Gaston:

Hi John,

Crushcakes Kitchen & Tasting Room is relocating to allow Yellow Belly to expand and have the entire space at 2611 De la Vina. We are currently in negations for a new space for Crushcakes Tasting Room, new location to be announced soon.


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This just in from Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop at 503 State Street:

Hi John,

Happy New Year to you and yours. Just a quick note to say that we beat last year’s Pie Appeal sales target, selling a total of 209, resulting in a donation to the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County of $1045 so thanks for helping us spread the word on your blog and in The Independent. It clearly makes a huge difference to reach a wider audience than our little (but vociferous) shop community so thanks for helping us do that and being part of our event.

Kind Regards,


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Reader Brendan let me know that an alcohol license sign is up in the window of the space at 18 E. Cota Street, the former home of Cafe Luck. The name of the business listed is “Globe.” My research revealed that Globe will be a restaurant and I’ll offer more details as they become available.

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Reader Brendan also let me know that an alcohol license sign has appeared in the window at 413 State Street, the former home of Pace restaurant. The business name is listed as “The Mex.”

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This just in from reader Steve:

Hi John,

The former Adama location [at 428 Chapala Street] will be a SUSHI restaurant. Don’t know name. May open by mid-January. Happy New Year!




The owner of this truck broke in to A-Frame Surf Shop in Carpinteria and stole a bunch of stuff. Various clues suggest he might be a local. Reader Primetime has the details.




Reader Primetime reports that the longtime home of Hot Spots Coffee Shop has been torn down as part of the La Entrada redevelopment project.

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If you can help reader Courte, please leave a message in the blog.

Hi! Do you know of any Oscars screening parties in SB this year or best places to watch it with girlfriends? Thanks!

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Local coffee house The French Press has inked a deal to open its third South Coast location and first in Goleta, according to Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments. The popular local hangout for coffee connoisseurs currently operates two downtown Santa Barbara locations at 1101 State Street and 528 Anacapa Street. Recently French Press signed a lease to occupy approximately 1,800 square feet of the former Bicycle Bob’s at 250 Storke Road near the corner of Storke and Hollister Avenue, across the street from the Camino Real Marketplace. About 3,100 square feet of space remains available in the building. Radius agents Rob Hambleton, Mike Chenoweth and Bob Tuler brokered the deal. The company’s renovation plans include a more open layout and new patios for patrons to enjoy their locally roasted brews and homemade baked goods.




I called Xanadu French Bakery and 1028 Coast Village Road in Montecito and was told they plan to close permanently January 15th. The business closed temporarily from July 2010 to January 2012 after a fire damaged the building.

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Last week’s year-in-review column included a section titled “Most Turnovers.” I wrote that during 2014 the space at 731 De La Guerra Plaza was the home of TonyRay’s, Beto’s Subs and Harold’s Caribbean Kitchen. It ended the year on a bright note, becoming the new home of Killer B’s BBQ and Bar. Reader David tells me that a 5th restaurant occupied that space in 2014. A Mediterranean restaurant named “One Thousand and One Nights” opened and closed at 731 De La Guerra Plaza just before Harold’s Caribbean Kitchen did the same.



Reader Bowen tells me that Pizza Hut has opened in December at 5915A Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of YoYumYum (the folks with the beloved neon sign).

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Reader Bernard sent me a message that Gina’s Pizza (next to the movie theatre in the Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta) has closed. He said that the windows are covered over with no signs of life. I stopped by this morning and a cleanup crew told me that Gina’s is gone for good and that they don’t know what type of business will replace it.



I recently posted a story that negotiations were underway that could result in the Café del Sol reopening in Montecito under the same ownership as The Nugget restaurants. Montecito Journal columnist Richard Mineards writes that negotiations have collapsed and that the quick return of Café del Sol is not going to happen.