Reader Primetime tells me that 3 new restaurants are coming to Highway 246, east of McMurray, in Buellton: The Habit, Chipotle and Panda Express. The new Buellton Habit may still be under the ownership of the Reicherts, who retained ownership of Habit restaurants in Santa Barbara County. Margerum Winery in Buellton is now open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. for wine tasting. They have had a tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara for over 6 years but this is the first time guests will be able to enjoy a tasting in Margerum’s working winery.



Management at Cadiz at 509 State Street tells me that they are having their floors cleaned so the interior may look a little different if you happen to be walking by.

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Reader Primetime tells me that Wayne Kjar has sold Your Cake Baker to Karine and Matthieu Hervouet, and that Chooket  is a new name associated with the business, but I think the name Your Cake Baker is still being used. Here is a message from the owners:

Hi John. I’m Karine, the new french owner of the bakery “Your cake Baker” located in the Mesa shopping center. I’m the owner since 3 month, and my husband and me created a new partner CHOOKET THE KINGDOM OF CREAM PUFF. (www.chooket.com) I contact you very late, but I just want to invite you for our grand opening tomorrow Friday,  March 3rd at 4 pm. It will be an honor for my company to meet you! Your blog is famous to France! Have a great day.



Reader Brendan says that a sign on the door says a place called “Foxtail” will be coming to 14 East Cota Street, the former home of American Ale, Little Cantina, El Taco Tequila Taqueria, and Square One. I first reported something about this in January.



Los Arroyos at 14 W. Figueroa Street is celebrating its 18-year anniversary on Saturday March 4th and will have discounts and giveaways all weekend.

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Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants (available locally at 1213 State Street, 3325 State Street and 7034 Marketplace Drive, Goleta) has launched their 7th annual March “Month of Giving” fundraising campaign where donations go to Operation Gratitude and City of Hope, which supports 150 different charities including hospitals, youth organizations, food banks and more. During the month of March, customers can make donations at local Jersey Mike’s. The campaign will culminate in a “Day of Giving” on Wednesday, March 29, when 100 percent of the day’s sales is donated – every single dollar that comes in.

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Here is a list of area eateries that have closed in the last year:

  • January 2017: Aldo’s Italian Restaurant, 1031 State St.; American Ale, 14 East Cota St.; OTaco, 6530 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista (now Lao Wang); Paloma Restaurant and Tequila Bar, 5764 Calle Real, Goleta
  • December 2016: Hungry Cat, 1134 Chapala St. (now Bar 29)
  • November 2016: Ahi Sushi, 3631 State St.; Globe, 18 E. Cota St. (now 18East); Julienne, 138 E. Canon Perdido St.; Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop, 503 State St. (now Hana Kitchen)
  • October 2016: Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, 718 State St.; Montecito Café, 1295 Coast Village Rd, Montecito; Ralphs, 2840 De la Vina St.
  • September 2016: Alchemy Spa and Café, 430 Chapala St.; Georgia’s Smokehouse, food truck; Relais de Paris, 734 State St.
  • August 2016: Coffee Cat, 1201 Anacapa St.; India House, 418 State St.; Petrini’s, 5711 Calle Real, Goleta
  • July 2016: Cielito, 1114 State St. (now Viva Santa Barbara); India Club, 5701 Calle Real, Goleta (now Nikka Ramen); Yankee Noodle, 214 State St. (now American Ale 02)
  • June 2016: Le Petit Bistrot, 532 State St.; Sam’s To U, 5979 Hollister Ave., Goleta
  • May 2016: Cafe Int’L, 5664 Calle Real, Goleta; Subway, 3613 State St. (now Miso Hungry)
  • April 2016: Jimmy John’s, 909 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista; Seagrass, 30 E. Ortega St. (now Oveja Blanca); Taqueria El Pastorcito, 2009 De la Vina St.
  • March 2016: Book Ends Café, 602 Anacapa St. (now The Honey B Café); Mexican Fresh Taqueria, 315 Meigs Rd. (now Mesa Burger)
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A French Mediterranean Restaurant Bar known as The Little Door has opened across the street from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse at 129 East Anapamu Street, the former home of Piano Riviera Lounge and Elements Restaurant & Bar. The Little Door’s flagship location in West Hollywood at 8164 West 3rd Street was voted “Most Romantic Restaurant in L.A.” in 2016 based on an OpenTable survey. The Little Door’s Facebook page describes the business as follows: “Santa Barbara invites you to enjoy our new menu inspired by the atmosphere and eclecticism of French Mediterranean kitchen. We bring together harmonious dishes & the right musical ambiance, overlooking the breathtaking Sunken Garden to please all your senses. Come along and enjoy a unique dining experience & celebrate Santa Barbara’s ‘Joie De Vivre’ with us!” The Little Door is open daily 4:30-10 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Call 560-8002 or visit facebook.com/thelittledoorsb.



Goa Taco is coming to 718 State Street, the former home of Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, Killer B BBQ,  Kozmo’s, California Crisp, and Fat Burger. Owner and Chef Duvaldi Marneweck, a South African native, opened his first location in New York City in 2014. Within 2 years, in a tiny (230sqf) store front, Goa had made acclaimed publications such as Critics’ Pick of the New York Times and New York Magazine, and the “100 best dishes and drinks in NYC 2015” (Time Out). A second location opened in Los Angeles. Goa Taco offers paratha tacos, with on-site coal-roasted Berskhire pork belly, pickled red cabbage and chipotle mayo. A paratha is a flatbread that originated in the Indian subcontinent and is still prevalent throughout Pakistan and India. Visit goataco.com.



This just in from 18East restaurant at 18 E. Cota Street:

“18East is proud to present another fabulous POP-Up Friday 02/24 & Saturday 02/25 6-10 pm. Bueno Onda will be featuring Argintinian flavors, empanadas, fresh farm salads  and of course small plates with Chimichuri . Also for those music lovers DJ Chadilac Green will be spinning Hip-Hop R&B and a little house music Friday night 9-11ish and if you didn’t know he is also the featured artist. If your looking for a fun fresh vibe stop by 18East Cota.”

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“When will our local Habits start serving the Golden Chicken Sandwich?! (Fresh, filleted chicken breast, hand-breaded with house-made seasoned flour and buttermilk, cooked to a juicy golden brown and topped with creamy, spiced red pepper sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles) It is available at every Habit in the country except for the ones in Santa Barbara/Goleta. Sad!”



Here is a list of area eateries that have opened in the last year:

  • February 2017: Lao Wang, 6530 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista; Tahgonadas, 1014 State St.
  • January 2017: Bar 29, 1134 Chapala St.; HiWi Tropical Fusion, 6555 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista
  • December 2016: 18 East, 18 E. Cota St.; Blaze Pizza, 3925 State St.; Mesa Burger, 315 Meigs Rd.; Somerset,7 E. Anapamu St.
  • November 2016: Nikka Ramen, 5701 Calle Real, Goleta; Red Kettle Coffee, 2275 Ortega Hill Rd, Summerland
  • October 2016: The Honey B, 602 Anacapa St.; Phoevermore, 1017 Casitas Pass Rd., Carpinteria
  • 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, 503 State 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; 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. (now closed)
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Reader Rebecca tells me that The Little Door at 129 East Anapamu Street (formerly Piano Riviera Lounge and Elements Restaurant & Bar) is having staff rehearsals over the next few days. It sounds like they might be up to speed by the end of the week.

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Lao Wang Asian Street Food restaurant has upgraded and relocated to the heart of Isla Vista on 6530 Pardall Road, the former home of Otaco, Angry Wings, Chino’s Rock & Tacos, Eclectic I.V., China Garden and Kung Pao Kitchen. They were open last year in Old Town Goleta from April to December. You can chose to create your own noodle bowls with over 15 topping options or you can enjoy noodle bowls created specially by the owners. If you’re just looking for a light snack, Lao Wang offers french fries, popcorn chicken or their classic buns. Dine inside and watch sports games or choose to sit outside and enjoy our (usually) perfect weather. Follow Lao Wang on Instagram (@laowangstreetfood) for updates on when they get their 18 craft beers on tap. Lao Wang is open daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Call 845-1614.

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Readers tell me that a new business named Tangonadas has opened at 1014 State Street that serves empanadas and other goodies, along with coffee and tea. This address has not been the home of a restaurant for as long as I have been tracking the local dining scene.



This just in from Warren Butler, owner of Butler Event Centers:

“Hi John,

The High Sierra Grill at 521 Firestone Road in Goleta is under new management. I have taken over as of January 1st as the Managing Partner. This is a great opportunity to utilize my vast experience in the hospitality industry which will be put to good use in enhancing not only the restaurant side of the business but also the entertainment and special events capabilities.

We have already made improvements to the menu, Happy Hour and live music programs. Come on down for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or our noon to 6:30 p.m. Happy Hour. Don’t forget about our Sunday all-you-can-eat brunch. We have instituted a new fast track lunch menu for those on a time limit. Enjoy live entertainment on Friday night, Saturday night, and  Sunday day with Tri Tip sandwich specials.

If your readers mention The Restaurant Guy and they will get 20% off their food bill now through the month of March! I guarantee everyone will have a great experience.

– Warren Butler”



Reader Fay says that paper has been put up in the windows at the former home of Sam’s To U at 5979 Hollister Avenue (at Fairview) in Goleta.

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Lao Wang Asian Street Food restaurant, that I recently learned had a location in old town Goleta from April-December last year, has opened at 6530 Pardall Road in Isla Vista, the former home of Otaco, Angry Wings, Chino’s Rock & Tacos, Eclectic I.V., China Garden and Kung Pao Kitchen. I am told that Lao Wang offers Chinese street food, noodles, and buns along with local and craft beer.

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Caffe Primo at 516 State Street closed in January. Reader Barry stopped by recently and encountered new activity and wrote to me about what he saw:

Hi John, As my wife and I were walking out of Holdren’s last night (from our annual night before Valentine’s Day, save money tradition) we noticed a whole team of workers inside Café Primo scrubbing the place from top to bottom.  The only thing on the door is a sign that says closed.  Does your crystal ball have any answers?

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours.



“What on earth happened to Little Door?  I am dying for their steak au poivre!! Thank you!
– Skye”

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The land that is the home of The Daily Grind’s second location is listed for sale on LoopNet. To be clear, it is not the business that is for sale, but the property itself at 2912 De la Vina Street.

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Reader Steve H. tells me that Isabella Gourmet Foods has closed their East Figueroa Street / La Arcada Court location and reopened inside the Honey-B Cafe, upstairs in the Antioch building at 602 Anacapa Street.



Reader Steve H. tells me that the Grocery Outlet has made it official that they’re coming to the old Ralph’s location at 2840 De la Vina Street by posting a large sign that reads “Future home of Grocery Outlet bargain market.”



Reader Mary tells me that Leonardo Ristorante & Pizzeria has opened at 632 Alamo Pintado Road in Solvang at Nielsen’s Plaza.

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“Do you know of a restaurant in Santa Barbara that has a piano?? My son wants to propose to his girlfriend by a song he wrote.
– Reader Fawn Ray”



A prominent restaurant building in Old Town Goleta, known for being the home of The Natural Café, was sold last year. The same family had owned 5892 Hollister Avenue property since the 1930’s. Until recently all that I have been able to report is that it will be an Asian-Fusion restaurant. Readers Cris, Christine and others let me know that the name will be Gimeal Cafe.

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Readers have been telling me that Aldo’s at 1031 State Street is gone, the phone number has been disconnected yet a sign at the restaurant says they are only closed for a remodel. Reader Matthew let me know that CraigsList has cleared things up with the following posting: “Liquidation Sale! 1031 State Street: Refrigeration Equipment, Cooking & Ventilation Equipment, Flatware, Cutlery, Drinkware, To Go Supplies, Industrial Espresso Machine, Cushioned Dining Chairs, Patio Chairs With Optional Cushions, Round And Square Tables, Industrial Microwaves, and much more.”

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Kanaloa’s Seafood is offering a Valentine’s Dinner featuring a fresh Arugula Salad, Lobster Risotto, and Red Velvet Cake, for $34.95. Call 966-5159 or visit kanaloaseafood.com

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Readers Annie and Louie let me know that things have changed at 718 State Street, the former home of Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, Kozmo’s, California Crisp, and Fat Burger. The for-lease sign disappeared last week and the windows are now covered with paper. My guess is that a new tenant is on the way and The Restaurant Guy will let you know who it is ASAP.



This just in from reader Annie:

“Restaurant Connection (food delivery service) is now delivering from HONOR BAR & HONOR MARKET! I’ve been waiting so long for this “

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